Monday, June 16, 2014

Taobao Shopping For Chinese Illiterate Folks

Taobao is now probably my favourite online shopping experience. No, I didn't buy clothes, shoes, handbags or accessories. I bought a lot of home and decor stuff. It all began when I searched 'zakka' on Taobao. Oh the endless merchandise!

The disadvantage I have is that I am Chinese illiterate. I Sekolah Kebangsaan mah. But there are so many online forwarding services that it is impossible to be left behind. After searching, I decided to use 11sgd. I just felt that they all cost almost the same. 11sgd's website is in English. The description and the buying guide is rather easy to understand. The awesome part about it is that there is a customer service chat box you can use to ask any questions. I asked in English, and the reply was in Chinese. So I used Google Translate. Brilliant, right. 

This is how it works:
1. Go to Taobao website and do a search. You will have to use Google Translate, then paste the Chinese characters in the Taobao search bar. The only English word I used was 'zakka'. The tricky part here is searching with the right keywords. You may have to try different words.
2. A list of items appear. 
3. Click on the individual item of interest, copy the link from the address bar, and paste that link onto 11sgd Product URL bar and click Quick Buy. 
4. 11sgd will sort of extract the item details from the url, and you will come to a page with all those details. Enter the Freight cost. You can find this at the Taobao item page itself. I just look for the words EMS, and copy the digits next to it. Don't worry about over or under-pricing it. 11sgd will either refund or charge you the correct amount eventually. I bought several items from one seller and was only charged the amount that is same if I were to buy just one item. Depends on the item's weight and size of course.
5. Enter in the remarks section, the colour, size or design you want.
6. Click Submit. The total cost in Yuan will be stated somewhere below in bold. 
7. Convert the Yuan to SGD or RM according to their rates on their website.
8. I transfered fund to their Singapore bank account. It was very convenient as everything was done online. For Malaysian buyers who doesn't have Singapore bank account, you will have to go to a Maybank ATM machine and do a cash deposit. 
9. After you transfer the payment, you will have to inform 11sgd via their chatbox or leave them a message. 
10. 11sgd will then purchase the items from Taobao on your behalf. In the meantime, you will have to keep checking the status of your order.
11. Upon arrival at their warehouse, they will check your order if they are correct, and repackage it compactly for you. Then they will update that status, and state the International Shipping cost. 
12. Again, you will have to transfer payment to them. And then wait to receive your goodies!
It took just 4 working days to arrive in my JB address. So awesome!

I'll just shut up now and show-and-tell.

The Box. It is pretty huge and heavy. S$65.90 to bring it here.

Welly Diecast VW Buses 1:24 scale. Very solid! I am impressed with the quality.

Zakka wire hanging basket, and wooden decor shelves

Storage burlap/jute baskets. Quite roomy.

Enamel colander. In Taobao, I only saw this when I searched for 'enamel fruit basket'. The words you use when searching Taobao is VERY crucial!

Enamel canister and vase/cup.

Enamel pot. My head could fit it.

Floor mat. Which NO ONE will step on, ever. It's padded, and non-slip. 

Bought 2 of the 'milkpot' flower pot for my colleagues.

Bought 3 sets of these adorable mini gardening tools, as gifts and for myself too.

Bought some cute little gardening decor figurines like these ones for my colleagues.

I must say, the quality of all the items I bought is excellent. Those were not poorly made, and they really look like the ones in the photos. Not bad!

I think I might just start my next batch of orders... woo hoo!


Lokman said...

What a loot! Love the enamel items :)

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