My Taobao Experience

Update:
Taobao Experience II on PRouter
Taobao Experience III on 65Daigou and Peeka
Taobao Experience IV on Skycart
65daigou and feedback section

It's been a while since I wrote anything non-advertorial because I was too busy with school!
Anyway, now that I am income-less once more, Taobao has become my lifesaver for cheap stuff. Previously I was buying stuff from US sites like ae.com, amazon and forever 21. Prices are cheaper in the US than in Singapore, but some items are still out of reach for me these days.



Now Taobao isn't a new platform, its been there for quite a while now and it was very hard to buy stuff from Taobao in the past because it only accepts payments from China local banks and shipping fee from China to Singapore is shit expensive. So people engage agents like 65daigou etc to help them to purchase stuff and they also charge agent fees. I have ordered stuff with an agent before, 6Spree - I picked that agent because the exchange, shipping rates used were pretty decent and there wasn't any agent fee. The only downside is that I have to collect the parcel at Bukit Batok or pay for local delivery. Given the hassle, that was the only time I bought from Taobao.

Fast forward to today, international buyers can pay with credit cards. Taobao also designated three forwarders as official forwarders so you don't have to worry about fraud or cheats. Of course if you find the prices too steep, you are free to find your own forwarders.

taken from HWZ

My first purchase was shipped through Lequgo, because back then the base charge was CNY35 and not 40. Anyway, 4PX is the most commonly opted choice because 4px has a Singapore hotline to call and they also liaised with Singpost to deliver the products. The second reason I opted for Lequgo was because I dislike Singpost as they do not provide redelivery if I am not home to receive the parcel. I have yet to miss a parcel from LQG yet, but the Singapore forwarder was OCS and I have dealt with OCS before at work, I must say they are pretty decent. They even came to my house at 11pm to pass me my Taobao stuff. Singpost on the other hand... puke blood.

So this is the speed of LQG for my first purchase.
Aug 19: seller shipped out my items
Aug 21: LQG received my items
Aug 22: LQG sent out my items
Aug 27: items received!

effectively LQG only took 5 days to send me my items. 
My US sprees usually take about 2 - 3 weeks because domestic shipping within the US isn't as fast as in China. 

Subsequently, I have ordered 24kg worth of stuff with LQG (for the spree) and that came up to be about SGD190 in shipping fee. There were some hiccups here and there as LQG forgot to send all the parcels, especially those tiny ones. It was a hassle trying to tell them to move their butts to find the missing parcel. I never tried PRouter or 4px before so I cannot compare between the companies. 

For LQG, to report a missing parcel, the 4 steps you need to make:
  1. when you have received your parcels, open and check la lol
  2. Weigh your parcels on a weighing machine, take photo of the parcel on the weighing machine and another photo to show the weight. 
  3. Talk to LQG, send them the photos and wait for eternity for them to reply you. 
if you receive no reply or you are tired of waiting..
call Taobao SG hotline: 8001886018 (no it is not 1800 or 6800, is just 800 lol) and they will escalate it for you. Miraculously, LQG will reply very fast after that. Once verified that they have indeed forgotten about your missing parcel(s), they will proceed to ship them out free of charge. 

Some things to expect while buying from Taobao:

1. You pay peanuts you get crap 

  • If there are ten sellers selling the same thing and the price range is from RMB5 to RMB100, then you may assume that the quality of the RMB5 and RMB100 item will differ. If you want to save money, then be sure to expect that the quality may not be that good. Always check out the shop's rating, reviews of the particular item and how many people have purchased the item. You are running a risk if you are buying from a shop where no one has bought from before. 

2. Some sellers are rude and some cheat

  • This is very self-explanatory. When you want to purchase something from a shop, check that the seller is nearly always online on Aliwangwang (China's version of MSN,Skype,Gtalk etc). Communicate with the seller a little (by asking lame questions) and see how fast they respond. Again, always check the shop ratings.  

3. Having low expectations means everything will exceed expectations

  • Similar to point one. In this age of entitlement, everyone thinks that everything is about them. I pay for the good why i no receive my stuff?! I pay for the shipping why haven't ship out?! How come three days already, the stuff still stuck in China?!? Why so long, why the exchange rate so crap, why the clothes quality like shit?! 
  • Stop complaining, wait and be patient. You wouldn't die if you receive your stuff a few days late. You wouldn't die if the clothes turn out to be like shit and you only pay RMB5 for it. Expect less and you will be pleasantly surprised! 

if you find my posts informative, please click on the ads, it doesn't cost you anything, but it will help me so much, thank you ^^


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Popiah Danbo

Just a small-time writer! Please comment or share if you like the post :)

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10 comments:

  1. Hi, do you happen to have 4px singapore hotline? I tired to search online but i couldn't find it. My parcel has been delays for 2 weeks :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello! the delay will be longer than expected thanks to the stringent customs check so they are taking a long time to clear, what's more there was the golden week holiday so all parcels are piling up at 4px :(

      Calling the SG hotline wouldn't help, they engages Singpost or Toll to help them ship the items in sg and neither singpost nor toll will know what's going on.

      you can join https://www.facebook.com/groups/196273897195633/ and see updates about the delay or search hardwarezone :)

      Delete
  2. hi - do you know who should i be contacting if i bought 2 items of the same but the 2 weighs differently? freight forwarder or seller?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello! are they packed into the same parcel or not?
      if they are packed differently, chances are the parcels have different weight (especially if the seller uses a bigger box and stuff it with random things, which will increase the weight) if they are packed in fairly similar ways, take a picture of both packages showing the weight on a weighing scale and complain to your freight forwarder for overcharging haha. Good luck!

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  3. Hi Cher thanks for sharing, any of them offer consolidation service ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. for all services, consolidation service is provided. so they basically put all your parcels (from different sellers) into a big bag/box and ship it out to SG. the risk with all forwarders is that they may miss out some parcels

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  4. I am having mounting problems with 4PX (based in China), a shipper with whom we entrusted freight shipments to Amazon warehouses in the US and the UK.

    Their website claims that they are experts. They don't even know how to schedule a delivery appointment to Amazon, and as I write this, merchandise sits in their warehouses over a month late. Yes, it missed Christmas.

    Payment has been made in full--demanded arrogantly with an additional fee for "FBA services." Almost laughable. 4PX won't confirm a delivery date with Amazon for any shipment. This is freight, not some knick knack hanging indecisively on the lip of a trash can over a box of "to-be-eBay" listings in the garage.

    Representatives of 4PX disappear, and replacements are not named. Emails go unanswered. Worse yet, offers to assist in the complicated and ever-changing process of delivery to Amazon are ignored by staff until, of course, the last minute--in a very pushy and demanding fashion.

    When questions are acknowledged, the less-than-reassuring mantra "Don't worry" is oft repeated.

    What a disappointment. I wouldn't recommend them to even my closest competitor.

    Has anyone had similar experiences? Any recommendations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello anon,
      that's very distressing. I have not personally dealt with 4px and in the case of Singapore, the local delivery of stuff within Singapore is being sorted out by our national postal service, so I doubt anyone has any problem like yours.

      perhaps you would like to give more details? I am aware that 4PX has Aliwangwang services, so you might want to contact them via the chat? The only thing is you will need to type in Chinese. There is an agent in SG, 65daigou which helps to import stuff from US, China, Taiwan to Singapore, but maybe you can contact them and ask if they are willing to do the China-US leg.

      hope you will get your items soon!

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  5. Are Toner cartridges considered 禁运物品?
    Any problem sending to SG using 4PX / Lequgo ?
    http://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.3.w4011-3080687855.50.XhT6gV&id=35210872760&

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. liquid stuff are supposedly so. I was asked not to ship pen re-fills by both LQG and Prouter, but others said pen refills can be shipped normally via 4px. Tone cartridges contain more liquid (obviously), the best way is to contact the forwarders and paste them the link. If this is not urgent, definitely can use sea :)

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