Why I No Longer Buy Clothes From Taobao


As my previous blog entries have shown and proven that I am a budding Taobao enthusiast. If you do not know what Taobao is then you must be living under a rock all these while. Simply put, Taobao is like the China version of eBay except that things are dirt cheap which makes the quality really questionable.

I started out buying books, toys and children’s clothes from Taobao for Asher as I was attracted by the really low prices. And I was delighted when the quality surpassed my expectations. Soon, I was buying other stuff such as mobile casings, cushions and even bed sheets. My best buy was probably the tempered glass phone protector for my mobile. It came packaged in a metal tin and cost only around SGD3-4, so you can imagine how much the local market is marking it up.

In Nov 2015, I donated most of my office work wear thinking that I would probably not need them in the near future. At that point of time, I had been a stay home mother for around 2 years. But who knew, I rejoined the workforce come the start of 2016 and that was when I decided to turn to Taobao to purchase clothes.You look at photos like these accompanied by attractive prices and you are so tempted to cart them all out.


But then China sites have this notorious reputation for really terrible quality knockoffs for clothes. They take photos from other brand sites and make you believe that you will be buying a piece that looks exactly like what is shown on the model. But when you receive it, you are utterly confused as to if this is was the beautiful dress you had ordered or a cleaning rag which they had mistakenly sent over.

To be fair to the sellers on Taobao, I had some hits despite the misses. There have been times where I felt like I had scored a great bargain, a fabulous looking piece for a good price. But other times, I’m just left feeling disappointed and fat. Just to share, here are some of my misses:

Wrong item or size sent
One of my first misses were a wrong item sent, the listing was for a top and pair of shorts. I had placed an order for the shorts but they sent the top over instead. And the top was not even something I would wear so I had to just deal with it.

Collage 2016-04-07 20_03_43

Another frustrating incident was when the seller sends over the wrong size, especially when it is a smaller size. Because if it were a larger size then you could at least get it altered. And things are made worse when it is quite a pretty piece but now it would not fit. There was this dress which I was really anticipating and when it arrived, it turns out that the seller had sent S instead of M. I’m not sure how did that happen since there was only M size available on the site. Now, this won’t have been that bad if I could fit into the S without it squashing my boobs till I looked like a boy.

Returns are troublesome and not worth the money at all. So I was better off trying to sell it online or donating it.

Collage 2016-04-07 10_05_25

Bad quality or damaged goods
They probably do not even do quality checks because I have received clothes with holes in them or missing buttons. Luckily, these were relatively cheap buys at around SGD10-15. Other times, the material is just so inferior, you wonder why do they even bother making such terrible clothes.

Collage 2016-04-07 11_57_24

Clothes that look nothing like the modeled photos
There was once I received a dress that was so short, it must have been made for hobbits. Just look at the photo above, noticed that the elastic waist line is just directly below my boobs as compared to the modeled photo. Apparently, I was not the only one who faced the same issue as well. Some even commented that this dress was meant for little kids instead.

Wrong measurements
I really hate it when they have misleading measurements on the site and then I receive a piece of clothing that is simply too tiny for me. I bought a jumpsuit which stated that the bust circumference was 88cm. Now, 88cm is a really comfortable fit for me because there is some allowance and I like my clothes slightly loose fitting. But when I received the the item, I could only zip it up halfway. I took the measurements and it turns out that the bust area was just 74cm. Gosh, I felt so cheated!

However, this usually happens when you buy clothes that are priced below 100rmb. Especially those that cost like 20 to 30rmb, do not expect something decent. And do not trust the feedback given, I do not understand how some people can be satisfied with the crappy quality. But I have heard of sellers offering rebates to get buyers to change their negative feedback to positive ones so that could be the case. Guess I should just stick to buying other items off Taobao instead. 😛


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