Shopping at TaoBao

The family is going for a really cold winter holiday at Korea which includes a visit to the ski resort.

First thing to do, get enough warm clothings for the family. Hubby will settle the itinary, which was important too.

After checking out my usual favourite online stores at Gap, Old Navy, Carter’s and Osh Gosh, I decided they were either too expensive or out of size for the kiddy winter clothes which we might just use for once.

Then I remembered taobao. Taobao has been having some hype recently in Singapore due to the launch of sea.taobao.com. The pricing there really looked ridiculously, seriously ok!

Guy winter boots for 8SGD?

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Kids down feather jacket for 40SGD?

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It’s hard not to get hooked. The only problem? The site is all in Chinese! Major hurdle! I sought help on my FB and found some answers and also explored on my own. Google translate made me more confused so I just read it in Chinese. Just have to get used that “login” is “登录”,shopping cart is “购物车” something like that.

There are a few ways to shop at tabao .

1. Buy and ship to your friend/ relative’s house/hotel in china and get them to bring back. Save buckets on shipping

2. Use a buying agent like
1. http://www.65daigou.com
2. http://buy4u.peeka.sg

3. Use Vpost

4. Use taobao’s forwarding agent partners via sea.taobao.com

For this time, I used option 4.

Buying agent
You just have to create a new account with them, give them the URL of the item and the details such as size and colour and they will do the rest. You just have to pay and wait for your items.

The downside? The agent fee that is calculated as a percentage of your purchase amount and various fees for everthing. So if you are buying a lot of stuff, it might bring up your cost and down your savings because the agent fees is on top of whatever shipping cost that you incurred.

http://buy4u.peeka.sg/rates

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http://www.65daigou.com/Help/shippingandcharges.html

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The upside is that the agent will help you settle whatever issues that came up during the shipping and maybe also wrong orders, missing orders etc.

For my first try at taobao, the seller had entered a wrong delivery tracking number at my tracking page and I tracked the parcel had reached a wrong address at a different city! That caused me a major problem because I couldn’t consolidate my shipping as the system is still waiting for that package!

I managed to resolve it in the end my online chatting various parties(seller, forwarding agent and taobao) and also calling up when I couldn’t get into the chat. My Chinese writing and conversation skill must have improved tremendously! If I have gone through a buying agent, I would probably saved all this trouble.

Vpost
I have not tried Vpost china shipping before but if you tried it for US shipping, you would know that the process takes about a month and if you happen not to be home during delivery, you might have to collect it at the post office rather than re delivery.

Forwarding Agent
Sea.taobao has a few preferred forwarding agent to various countries and Singapore is 1 of them so it’s quite easy to set up.

The shipping was quite fast and efficient and anything difficulty encountered you can online chat the customer service (客服) to get it resolved on the spot. But you probably have to to take some time to type out. But it doesn’t cost anything except an Internet connection.

The shipping rate was fair and I tried using Vpost calculator to calculate for the same volumetric weight I had, the savings was 50%! And I didn’t had to pay extra for consolidated packing, extra big package or agent fee! This was the size of my package with volumetric weight of 10kg!

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Yes the sellers has shipped in their shoe boxes! Hence the bulk. Sob!

Here’s 2 of the items I got in that package. Will do a review on the items and sellers later on

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