Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored/advertorial. All tips are from my own shopping experience on Taobao.com (淘宝网).
If you hadn’t heard about Taobao, where the hell have you been?!
For the benefit of the doubt for those who are really clueless, it’s okay, you will soon be introduced and wow-ed by this very awesome e-Commerce shopping platform whereby you can buy almost anything and everything (except for prohibited items) from none other than…China!
I know I should have done this a looonnnnggggg time ago but I guess I never really got my ass down to do it. But today, I will! I will be sharing with you some of my useful tips and shopping experience on Taobao!
I have been shopping on Taobao since 2008 thereabout which spells about 8 years?! Previously, Taobao did not open to overseas shipping yet and shopping on Taobao was tough because you had to engage a Taobao agent who has a Taobao account and warehouse in China for the goods to be sent to. This was because Taobao’s shopping platform was only restricted to purchases in China, unless you have your own connections as mentioned above.
More costs were involved as you would be required to pay a handling and/or agent fee to the Taobao agent. Sometimes, these agents conduct bulk pre-orders which also means longer waiting time. They would also be the ones liaising with the Taobao sellers directly on your behalf.
Until recently, Taobao decided to open up to global shopping (like finally) which has proved to be a very smart and successful move for them as their revenue and profits skyrocketed thereafter.
However, it may seem intimidating for first-timers, especially since I believe most of our Chinese proficiency is sub-par. Ahem, like Yours Truly.
BUT, it can be done so not to worry! 🙂
In short, here is what you need to do before you shop away :-