I’ve been spending so much time both window-shopping and doing actual shopping on Taobao.com that I’ve decided to dedicate a blog entry for it. And no, I am not sponsored by Taobao to do this but it’s just my way of sharing the bargains I’ve come across.
First and foremost, if you have not registered on Taobao yet or have no idea what to do. Please refer to their online guide, I’ve managed to start this crazy shopping madness all thanks to this guide. And if someone as clueless as me can understand this, then it should be pretty straightforward for everyone else.
In August, I’d finally joined the dark side and signed up for an account which resulted in 3 shipments that month alone. This september, I’d toned down reluctantly mainly due to a lack of funds (no thanks to credit card bills racked up in August by shopping on taobao) and only managed 2 shipments. The stuff which I usually buy are for my son. For my first shipment, I bought gifts for everyone; my husband, my mom and my sis, it was like as though I was on holiday in China. Lol!
My buys usually comprises of books, educational toys, bags, clothes, shoes and random cutesy stuff. I’ll be sharing some of the Dos and Don’ts of shopping on taobao.com
Don’t Buy Fakes That Might Harm You Or Your Child
One thing to take note of though is that China is well-known for manufacturing counterfeit products so if something is too cheap to be true, it has got to be a replica. And honestly, replicas ain’t all that bad unless you are particular over copyrights etc. But if it has to do with safety then it’s best to practise some caution. For example, I won’t recommend buying water bottles off there, because how would you know if they are really BPA free and so on. The prices might be really attractive but I won’t risk it.
Always read the reviews given on the page and if you find something fishy, trust your guts. But if it’s something harmless like a fashion accessory or clothes then it should be fine.
This is my Rilakkuma tee which I love so much so much from Taobao.com. The seller claims that it’s from the brand, Chocoolate. I paid around S$13 before shipping so I’m not too sure about the authencity but I don’t really care. Cuz it’s a really cute tee and the quality is not bad either.
And guess what? They have pirated books too, who would have thought! In fact, I had bought some unknowing though the price was a dead giveaway. My chinese isn’t so good so I’m not sure if the seller had explicitly stated that it was pirated or not but I doubt so.
Read the reviews
I strongly suggest that you read the reviews before committing to a buy. Remember to look out for words such as “贱版” or “盗版” which means “pirated” in the feedback. Filter the feedback to show those with photo reviews so that you can have a rough idea how the product looks like.
I’ve heard of fake reviews though so the same rules apply. If it seems too good to be true then it most likely is. However, I’ve have had pretty good experiences with majority of the sellers so far.
Chat with the seller, ask questions to clear any doubts you have. As Taobao’s forwarders calculate shipping based on actual weight, you could get an estimation from the seller regarding your item if cost is a concern. Most sellers are more than happy to help. And should you run into a non responsive seller then it raises a red flag so you should avoid that shop.
Look out for these key words
I’ve noticed for books, the sellers would usually put “原版” or “正版” (which meand original) in their product names to differentiate from the others. I didn’t pay much notice till I realized that there were pirated books.
However, I don’t really have an issue with that. The quality of the books which I’d received were surprisingly decent, complete with clear illustrations too. However, if the price difference is negligible then I would rather buy the original version.
When shopping for other items which brand names, it would be good to take note if the seller is an authorized seller. Look out for this word “代购” which basically means that they are an authorized reseller. Or “进口” which means the item is imported.
Order on your own or through a trusted agent like Daigou65, Peeka, Oops and so on
If possible, order your Taobao loot on your own. Unfortunately, not everything can be shipped via Taobao’s authorized freight forwarders. There’s a limitation and they don’t allow you to ship food items or air fresheners (I know cuz I’ve tried). Besides, it is more economical to ship your bulky items via sea. However, sea freight is not offered by Taobao. So this is where your trusted agent comes into the picture. Check for their reviews online before selecting an agent to handle your goods. Don’t be like me when I’d experienced an unfortunate situation in which I had received my books with damaged corners.
Be part of a local Taobao sharing community
Last but not least, join Taobao groups on Facebook so that you can always ask the experts over there for advice if you run into any problems. My favorite group at the moment would be Taobao Sharing. Members share reviews complete with photos and links. They are also a helpful bunch when it comes to dishing out advice on shipping and stuff.
I hope this blog entry has been useful. Before I end, I shall leave you with some cute items that I’d found while surfing on Taobao.
Cute doggy cushions with funny expressions
Gladiator sandals; they are all the rage now!
And I’m so getting this! My hair tajes awhile to dry and I can never wrap it up properly with a towel. It being so adorable is a bonus too!
淘宝商品:韩国珊瑚绒超强吸水加厚速干干发帽包头巾 洗脸发箍发饰 束发带 http://b.mashort.cn/S.ZTsIL6?sm=056b38