Hands up those of you who have heard of Taobao… Great! I believe most of us know of this China ecommerce giant since they stepped foot into Singapore with a big bang sometime last year. For those few who have been living under some rock or another:
What is Taobao?
It’s a Chinese website for online shopping similar to eBay and Qoo10where one can buy almost everything under the sun from the site – clothes, furniture, pets, sex toys, bicycles, sports equipment, you name it and it’s probably there.
One look and it’s obvious that an astonishing number of blogshops, Carousell sellers and Qoo10 shops get their stock from Taobao. I mean like they even use the exact same pictures from the Taobao sellers, sometimes even with their original watermarks!
You can totally see the price difference! On Carousell, the pouches go for $13.90 for the small one to $29.90 for the entire set. On Taobao? $5.40 for the small pouch or $13 for both. Definitely cheaper even after you add in shipping fee. Why pay these sellers more when you can save the money?
There are a couple of ways to buy stuff off Taobao. You can register for an account and buy off the site directly, through registered agents or through small time home based agents (really not recommended).
For safety’s sake, we’ll not discuss the agents who are not properly registered businesses. You never know when they’ll up and run with your money. Let’s start with a few main pros and cons of buying from Taobao direct versus using an agent.
Direct from Taobao:
What is this? I don’t even have the patience to read & understand anything. x_X
Pros – No agent fee or any other miscellaneous fees, everything under your own control.
Cons – EVERYTHING is in Chinese, confusing to navigate for most people, stocks may come damaged or incorrect, no telling when a seller cheats your money and doesn’t deliver at all, difficulty in answering the sellers questions as they use Ali Wang Wang, a China based messenger and they type in Chinese.
Using a Taobao agent:
Yay! English! (Except for items’ description) And prices in SGD! 😉
Pros – Customer service who can communicate with you in English and will help liaise with Taobao sellers on stock availability, checking at their China warehouse to make sure that your items are undamaged and are what you ordered, repacking service to save shipping fee (eg if you bought a luggage bag, they will pack all your other items into it so you don’t get charged), VIP purchases since most professional agents have Certified Buyer accounts and can get special prices at some shops.
Cons – Agent fee.
We’ll talk about cost later.
Repacking is a big part of why using an agent makes more sense. Imagine if you bought 2 boxes of accessories but each box is only half filled. An agent will help repack your items into one box and effectively save you 50% shipping fee. The other part where your items are checked before being shipped to Singapore is also a lifesaver. Who hasn’t received damaged/wrong goods from online shopping before right?
And now what everyone has been waiting for… price comparison! If you google “taobao”, these are the first results that you will see:
65daigou is a registered agent in Singapore.
Bought these 3 items items from Taobao: A chiffon jumpsuit, a super heavy and thick material knee length dress and a scarf. The scarf didn’t have the Kate Spade words when I viewed it in the shop! Very good deal, paid a cheap price for something unexpectedly branded and good quality! (Don’t expect my OOTDs lah okie… This ain’t for me!)
I paid $55.54 for the items and the weight was 1.29kg, originally 2.74kg before repacking.
So when I buy through 65daigou my total cost is $55.54 + $15 for economy shipping + 8% service fee equals $76.18. There are more than 90 free self collection points in Singapore and there is one near my place so I saved the $5 delivery fee.
One other good thing about 65daigou is that no matter how heavy or large your parcel is, the maximum charge is only $8 delivery!
On the other hand, buying directly from Taobao will cost a bomb. Products cost will be the same but shipping has a BIG difference.
Firstly there is no repacking service, so I will have to pay the full 2.74kg plus there is no one to inspect my goods for me at the China side. For 65daigou, the inspecting service is free. They will make sure that my item is not spoilt and is what I ordered, instead of wrong sizing or colour.
From Taobao it will be $55.54 + $20.43 economy shipping + 3% credit card charge equals $78.25.
Its only about $2 cheaper through 65daigou but the value added services are worth alot more than that. And there is after sales service in the event that my items are spoilt and they did not notice it, 65daigou will liaise with the seller for an exchange or refund. Anyone in their right minds can see that a few dollars extra for less headache is just a tiny sum to pay.
If you asked me a few months earlier, I would tell you that I had never wanted to shop on Taobao. My chinese is actually very good as compared to the younger generation but reading a whole lot of cramped together non-simplified chinese just ain’t my forte, hence I always prefer to shop on English sites.
With 65daigou, I am now more open to buying things off Taobao since there’s some english aid. 😉 I wanted to show you some photos of the stuff I wanna buy again but decided against it because THERE IS TOO MANY. Ahahaha~~ Anyway I ordered another 3 blazers last week for work, shall save it for OOTDs on Instagram, so follow me okie!