My good friend asked me to make a post about how to order direct from taobao with out the use of any agent. As you know, Taobao is like the Ebay of China and everything there is either an original or imitation. Prices are lower and very affordable but the cost of shipping and the additional sometimes gets scary but luckily there are taobao shops who accept payments through PayPal.
First, to be able to get through the hell of navigating this Chinese site, you’re going to need Google Chrome. Why Google Chrome? Easy, it has a built-in auto translation system. Sure, translation is too literal but the basics are there and they are essential to getting you around.
Here’s a general way on how I use it.
Now you might be wondering what’s up with those boxes in the lower part of the photo. As you can see once the site has been translated you are given an idea that a shop caters to international buyers. Note the email, Paypal account and shipping options.
But that’s not all. If your Google Chrome is being wonky and won’t translate, Google Chrome has this hyperlink identification when you over over one as you can see below.
As you can see the second hyperlink from the right corresponds to the listing of items according to PRICE meaning you can view items from the cheapest all the way up to the most expensive.
However, there are some taobao shops who are kinder providing series logos for easier browsing like Lucaille and Ayamisatoru. However there are sites like Fantasy Sheep and Coconuts (http://coconuts.taobao.com/) which will take a while to load because of heavy graphics.
Mercifully, there are taobao sites who have English parts for their international buyers like Lucaille.
To break things down, here’s my personal (and mental) check list to know if this Taobao shop is good to go with direct orders:
- They have a PayPal service
- They ship either in DPEX (the fastest, ship within 7 days and is delivered straight to your home), EMS (second best in my opinion but it takes up to 2 to 3 weeks to ship and you need to claim it to your customs) or China Mail a fancy name for snail mail however is the cheapest shipping option)
- They can be reached through email
- Are PROMPT (take note) in replying the status of availability of items and total amount to be paid (this is because there are some who comply to the items above but are slow to almost not replying at all)
- Gives you your tracking number right after its shipped
- Customer service is good
If I were to give my personal suggestions on good taobao shops with prompt service, it’s Grand Young (http://youngcoswig.taobao.com/) and Lucaille (http://shop33700042.taobao.com/) because so far my shopping experience with them has been great and smooth and barely any delays (except if its holidays and Christmas).
Shops like Fantasy Sheep (http://fantasysheep.taobao.com/), The Secod Nachname (http://xiangyejia.taobao.com/) and Ayamisatoru (http://shop57068175.taobao.com/) used to have direct ordering services but so far my experience hasn’t been pretty. I have yet to make a full transaction with TSN but I haven’t paid for the list because I did not receive any final quotation amount.
Hope you guys find this informative. My next topic will be about how to order from a Taobao Agent (another request) and I will be using Taobao Spree as an example since it’s my longest running agent now :3
P.S If you guys want me to review a wig brand, drop me a note! But given time and resources might take me a while to review it (unless you want to sponsor it for me *wink wink*).