If you have been shopping online a lot, Taobao is a place you must not miss. Some people gets intimidated by shopping in taobao because it's all in Chinese. But if you put in effort to learn, its not that difficult to pick up at all. Besides, there's Google translator at hand if you don't really understand a word of Chinese.
Top reasons why it's so rewarding shopping on taobao.
You are paying less compared to getting on other online platforms
Most of the merchants on Qoo10 and local online retailers get their goods from taobao. So you are paying a much higher price to buy from these resellers compared to sourcing on your own on taobao. For example, a children's rocking horse which comes with music costs SGD 20 plus on taobao. The same horse is being sold for SGD 80 at Qoo10. It will even be more expensive buying from the brick and mortar shop in shopping malls.
|Happy owner of the music rocking horse|
You can find popular designs on taobao
If you are a regular at Qoo10, you will realise some of the popular designs will be sold out and the merchants don't seem to replenish these popular designs fast enough. It may be frustrating for some - why settle for a design which you don't really like? But at taobao, it's totally different. They have all your designs at stock, and at a much lower price point. Once you are on taobao land, you will most likely not return to Qoo10 unless you are much desperately in need for an item which is already in SG and needs to be shipped fast.
Taobao is shopper friendly
Besides the usual feedback from buyers - some of the Chinese buyers are really helpful in giving ratings and posting photos of the actual item online. There is also these additional feature of 问大家 where you can ask random questions of the item. Often, you will get a decent reply from one of the thousands of buyers. Even if you don't get any reply, many merchants are quick to answer you in the online chat feature. The reply is almost instantaneous in most cases.
There are some cool features on taobao app which I have not seen in other apps
If you find something you like, you can add it to your favourite folder 收藏夹 and go back to it or search similar 找相似 and this works very well for you to compare prices across similar items. Popular items of your searches will also appear at random to entice you to add them to your shopping cart. Sometimes I end up carting another item they feature on the app instead of buying the one I originally searched for.
Try to search for item using the scan photo feature
This may not work for all cases but if you have found an item on Qoo10 and you do not know what it's called in Chinese, this can be a life saver. Most of the Qoo10 merchants reuse the same images on their store so there is a high chance of finding the exact item if you screenshot and scan for it. Look out for the camera icon in the search field if you want to try out this function.
|A singing puppet from Taobao|