Thursday, July 24

Guide to buying from Taobao yourself :D

I'm not sure how helpful my post would be for people out there who are looking at how to buy from Taobao directly and bypassing agents (like 65daigou which is fucking expensive) and to save on these middlemen fees which can be really stupid because basically they are earning lots of your money for free?!?!

I hope that people would find this post useful if you are unsure of how to do it!


Step 1: Create an account with Taobao


When you go to Taobao.com, you will kinda go to this homepage and at the right side of the page, you will see this 登录 which means log in. Since you are creating an account, go to 免费注册 (Free sign up). 

You will need your phone by your side because they will send you a code to enter for authenticity.  


You will reach this page upon signing up so basically Taobao has already input Singapore as one of the choice so it's really easy from here on. Just follow the instructions and continue as prompted.


验证号 = the code sent to your phone. 
You have approx 1 minute to enter the code in before it gets invalid


After you are successfully registered, you can create the password and username for your new account!

So now that you have your account, you can start shopping! You can check out this post for some of my fave stores and the items that i have bought from them over the past months.

Step 2: Checking out from your shopping cart


After you have selected your items, you can check out the items with your shopping cart by clicking the square beside the shop name (indicated by the arrow in the image). 


Click on 结算 to pay. You will be directed to the next page whereby you will choose your preferred shipping agent and the method of payment you would be paying with.


You can input/edit your address and confirm the shipping address the parcel would be sent to. I had been using the service from 4Px because they are pretty efficient and good, but apparently their rates increased over the months.

REMEMBER TO TICK 使用国际转运


The rates are as stated, ranging from RMB$35/kg to RMB$12 for subsequent 500g. That would be around SGD$7 for the first kg and SGD$2.50 respectively, but that's for an exchange rate of 5.0 , which would be the best but rare.


After you have selected your preferred shipping agent, you can choose the payment method you prefer and ta-daa! Its done! :D

Step 3: Sending out your items from the warehouse


Click on your account username on the top left hand corner of the website and you will arrive on this page. Click on 已买到的宝贝


From the sub-menu, click on 国际转运 to view the items which you have bought from Taobao and if it's 
- preparing to go into the warehouse
- arrived at the warehouse

Things to take note
There is a maximum of 20 days because the warehouse charges you for using up their space. So make sure you purchase all the items you want at one go instead of taking your time to make up your mind. 


You will see some word at the space i circled (i am not sending anything out so i don't have the exact screenshot) and just click on it. The item will be counted into the box which my arrow is situated at. You can then have all your orders consolidated and you will see the shipping fee and the total weight of your parcel.


Items which you have bought and not arrived at the warehouse would fall under 待入库宝贝, and the ones which arrived would automatically be under the 待集运宝贝 tab. So once you have consolidated and have all your items lumped together for shipping, you proceed to payment which is totally the same as of what you did when you first buy your items from the individual stores.

Things to take note
I am not sure about other shipping agents but 4Px allows a maximum of 20 stores to be lumped together. So there was this one time when i bought from more than 20 stores and i had to separate the parcels into two batches. So sad!

One good thing though is also that whenever your item arrived at the warehouse, a SMS will be sent to you. 


Every successful transaction would then be recorded here.

AND JUST WAIT FOR YOUR ITEM TO ARRIVE ASDFGHJKL

Similarly, an sms will be sent to you when the deliveryman is out delivering your parcel, but i think their timing not very accurate so yeah lor.

It's really that simple and i really feel that consumers out there should know how to get items which you can get for half the price as compared to getting them from shops which are basically selling the same thing over at SG. But of course, sizes and quality may differ so you are warned. 




FAQs


Would there be any danger/risk with buying with Taobao?
From what i know, Taobao is registered and a really big international company so i really don't think that there would be much danger from buying with Taobao. If you are referring to the individual stores, Taobao has a policy that only when the buyers have confirmed to receive the item, would the payment go through. So in another words, until you have received your item, Taobao would hold on to your cash payment to prevent fraud.

How do i communicate with the sellers on Taobao?
Usually, you would be able to select the size and color when you are adding the item into your shopping cart. However, there may be times whereby you wish to communicate with the seller or when you are buying something custom made, like when i tailor my cosplay costumes on Taobao. In such cases, i downloaded this app called 阿里旺信 which allows me to communicate with the sellers on Taobao. I recommend readers to download the app instead of downloading the computer .exe file since it doesn't work on my laptop so i can't really help you with that.

Is there an app for me to shop on my phone?
Yupp! Just search for Taobao on the app store. I swear it gets super addictive because you just scroll past the numerous stores when you are feeling bored (on mrt, on bus etc etc) and add add add items into your cart! It is available on both Apple and Android. 

Why can't i bypass the shipping agent on Taobao?
Basically, sellers on Taobao DO NOT ship directly to Singapore. So you will need a middlemen, which is tied and contracted with Taobao, to have the sellers send the items to their warehouse and they will pack everything and send to your house. Delivery is till doorstep (why i like buying directly instead of using 65daigou or private agents) and usually takes less than 5 working days upon. 

What are the exchange rates like?
It fluctuates from 4.2 - 4.6 mostly and the best i have seen was 4.7? Credit card charges an administration fee so you might want to take note on that. I always buy their shopping card which is available to buy from any AXS machine. Their shopping card credit ranges from RMB200 , 500 & 1000. I find that it is much safer this way (for me) because i have had paid with my OCBC bank card before and the exchange rate churned out to be 4.2 ?! (i added the administration fees into the exchange rate though)


Possible errors which you will encountered

I can't seem to select 国际转运 when i am checking out. Help!
One of my friend encountered this problem when she was checking out from Taobao for the first time. To solve this, try to check out items from 1 shop first, and likely you would be able to check the 国际转运 box to select your preferred warehouse and shipping agent. After you are done with this transaction, the other items should be able to be checked out successfully with this method as well.

Why am i not able to buy an item immediately, but have got to check them out from my shopping cart?
I encountered this problem before when i was buying from Taobao and i realized that i have to go through the tedious process of placing the item into my shopping cart before i can check them out. I am not sure why is that so, but i am guessing that direct purchase is only available for people who lives in China because direct purchase bypass the 国际转运 option. 

My browser died on me when i was paying and now i paid for the same items twice! Helppppp
YES I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. FUCKING TAOBAO CHEAT MY MONEY. My internet was super failed at a point of time and this happened to TWO of my transactions. I was so worried! I contacted Taobao online service help and talked to them about it. They took note of my problem and reassured me that my money would be returned to me after a week or so, and it did. So don't worry too much about this because they are an international money and $100+ is really a small sum to them. Wont cheat your money de lah. But talk to them just in case if you are worried, and check your bank details!

The buyer issued me a faulty item! I WANT A REFUND
Usually when such shit happens to me, i would talk to the sellers on 阿里旺信 and ask hopefully, for a refund. Most of them it would be partial refunds, or 1-for-1 exchange (which is dumb because you have to pay for your own shipping fees). If you are lucky and the sellers agree for a refund, you can 申请退款 IF the seller agrees. So there got to be an agreement between both parties before it can be processed.

My item is not shipped out from the seller after a really long time, what do i do?
First thing first, talk to the seller about it. If she ignores and does not respond to you, you can 申请退款 and it will be processed after 7 days (i think) automatically if the seller did not respond at all. I once bought this pair of shoes and the seller ignored all my messages, and my items were are arriving at the warehouse so i did this and my money was refunded back to me!

Why can't i complete the transaction on my Taobao phone app?
I am not so sure on the reason why, but from what i gather, the phone application does not support payment which is in-tied with the 国际转运 option. So my Taobao phone app is just to bookmark items and shops which i like, browse through and shop when i can't sleep and to add ridiculously many products into my cart and slowly pluck each of them out when i look at the total bill.

// I will add on as time goes by! Don't be shy to drop me e-mails if you encountered a problem which is not stated here - i will try my best to help you! :)


Sooo, i hope i answered and taught some of the readers out there who always wanted to try out buying from Taobao yourself? I will add in more information along the way and hopefully review on some items which i bought from Taobao! :D I will be upping a post on these lovely eyelashes which i bought and its so fucking cheap like $13 for 5 pair and its damn nice <3

You can drop me an e-mail > jane.peh@hotmail.com if you have anymore questions, or my ask.fm if you wanna! :D 

Thanks for readinggggggggggg

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