To kick of the new year I've decided to do a review on items that I purchase from Taobao via the site Taobao Ring.
Click on the link to the video I posted to view the clothes I bought!
In the mean time, in the post below I'll be going over more of the details of the service I used as well as how to use Taobao with links to all the items I purchased.
Now, for those of you who may not be particularly well versed when coming to the realm of online shopping from Asian countries such as China, Korea, Japan and etc then you probably have no clue what Taobao is. Basically, to simplify it it, Taobao is like the China version of eBay. You know eBay right? Good for you.
Let's get to it!
So then ... how do we get around it?
The answer is easy ... VERY SIMPLY! If you're like me and what you're looking for is J-Fashion or cosplay related, there's already tons of places that have Taobao dictionaries that you can use to plop down any, if not, most of the things you're looking for. Just note that while a lot of items here are cheap, which is great, most of it will not be authentic so keep that in mind while buying. If you're looking for the real thing I recommend buying straight from the designer and just come to terms with spending more money to do so. If you're still hype on getting a bargain on it, your best bet will be either online auctions or 2nd hand sellers and retailers.
Now, when I first decided to purchase from Taobao personally and not through a re-seller (these are online stores online that do EXACTLY what we're trying to do right now, but have taken the grunt work out of it and are charging you double, if not, triple what the item is worth) I actually went and googled some sites that had some good FAQs as well as extensive store lists. I'll link below the ones I used:
Now these are an absolute God send. It goes over pretty much everything you need to know. 1) How to search for what you want. 2) How to make sure a seller is reliable. 3) What stores to buy from ... and last but not least, 4) Shopping services: the KEY to buying all those fabulous cheap bundles of clothing without going through resellers! Yayyyyy~
Jumping into shopping services ... what are they and why do you need to use them?
Basically, many of these stores don't ship to overseas. So how do we get around THAT now? By using a shopping service of course! Any and all 3rd party services you'll be using for Taobao are usually located in China, have English speakers (not native but they work to help you through your purchases well enough), charge shipping fees and commission fees (mandatory so they make money too but nothing outrageous), and will receive the items FIRST, then package it all and it ship it to you. Simple right? They're basically just your middle man.
I've used 2-3 different services during my time and the one that I've come to use time and time again is a site called Taobao Ring.
It's been by far the easiest to use and operate:
All you have to do is do a "quick order", throw the URL to the item you want to buy, and TBR will take care of the rest.
They will put a drop-down menu with the price so you can choose things like sizing and color as well as add any sort of comments or question about the item.
After you've added all your items to your cart, it will ask you to pay the first installment (payment for the items and shipping to their warehouse). Once they've received all your items at their warehouse, they will proceed to take a picture of all the items they've gathered for you (which is my personal favorite service they do so you can make sure it all looks right) and they'll even inspect everything for you too to make sure everything is in good condition before they send it!
Once this is all done, all you have to do is pay for everything to be shipped to you, and BAM! You're done.
Wasn't that simple? Haha.
Now, getting on to the items that I purchased this time around.
Here is an example of one of the pictures they sent to me containing some of the items I had purchased. Over all I ended up getting 19 items from several different stores. I think when all was said and done ... shipping, commission charges, express shipping to the USA ... it cost around $380 USD? Most of them were of rather decent quality except for a couple of items here and there (various misspellings, thin fabric, etc). The one thing that did kind of suck was that (not at the fault of my shopping service) I was sent the skirt I wanted but in the wrong color. Not a HUGE deal but it did suck. The funny thing about it was that after my SS contacted the seller, the seller just sort of said "Oh well, you paid for it but we didn't have it in stock so instead of refunding you we just sent you a different color :D"
-___- ... wtf
Well whatever. Aside from that it was a great experience! I only do HUGE hauls like this a couple times a year so it was really nice to refresh my wardrobe. I don't want to go into too much detail on the clothes themselves since I went into detail about it already in my video. Lol.
Anyhow, that wraps that up!
Until next time my loves,