How to Shop for Furniture on Taobao
We all love a good bargain, and today, many have snagged steals on e-commerce giant Taobao. Reasons to shop on Taobao are aplenty – affordable rates, quality furniture when you look in the right places, beautiful aesthetics often in line with the latest trends. However, shopping on the site can sometimes be challenging, especially at the beginning. Don’t fret though, we’ve put together a guide of must-know tips so that you can have an easier time navigating the platform.
Use the right keywords
Navigating a Chinese site may be tough if you’re not proficient in the language. You can, however, use Chinese translation sites such as fanyi.baidu.com and fanyi.youdao.com or simply just count on Google Translate. Just like making purchases on any e-commerce site, using the right keywords can help you make purchases more efficiently. We’ve put together Chinese-to-English translations of some key items that you may find useful:
|Home & living||居家生活|
Tip: Try using the following keywords to further filter your results!
销量: Sales volume
信用: Credibility of seller
价格: Price range
Check sellers' reputation
As with every shopping platform, reviews from past customers are key. If you’re going direct, the onus to check is on you. Look out for feedback about delivery, accuracy of specifications and measurements. Quality of customer support is important to look into as well – for example, the returns and refunds process, which can be quite complicated for an overseas platform. You can also look at ratings, another feature which Taobao provides. Do note that reviews and ratings can be bogus, so check them out with discretion.
You can get customer support by tapping on 'Customer Service' (客服), which will prompt open a chatroom with the product listing. You can opt to tap on 'Send Product listing' (发送商品), which will send the listing to the seller for easier reference. You can either type or paste your question into the text field. Some sellers will set up chatbots, so you can select a query from their list of FAQs.
Here are some phrases that may be useful to you when you are considering a product:
|Add to Favourite||收藏|
|Add to Cart||加入购物车|
|Send product listing||发送商品|
|Can this be shipped to Singapore?||可不可以运到新加坡？|
|When will this be shipped?||什么时候发货？|
|Can I return this item?||可以退货吗？|
|I would like a refund||我想要退款|
Explore your shipping options
Once you’ve decided on items you want, it’s time to decide how they will be sent to you! Below are the three shipping options (物流方式) you have:
a. Direct shipping (官方物流-直送):
Your items will be sent to Taobao’s warehouse in China to be registered before being sent to you directly as individual packages. You’ll pay for the shipping fee together with the item.
b. Consolidated shipping (官方物流-集运):
Your items will be sent to Taobao’s warehouse in China to be registered, consolidated and repacked before being sent to you via a single delivery. This is typically a cheaper option. However, you will need to pay for shipping on separate occasions – that is, when your items arrive in Taobao’s warehouse in China. Once you are done, you can go to your orders page and select “合并转运” (i.e. consolidate shipment) under any item to consolidate your items to send out.
c. Seller's shipping (自行联系卖家寄送):
In such cases, you may be able to get the seller to ship the item(s) directly to Singapore.
If you are still looking for other options, you can also try ezShip's freight forwarding service, which has a shipping rate that is as low as $0.80/500g. All you need to do is to get your ezShip China address (find it in the "Mine" section), input it into Taobao, and then submit your order details to ezShip (go to your ezBuy app's ezShip section and click on 'Submit New Order'.
Note: All items shipped by sea and/or are worth S$400 and above will incur GST charges.
Track your orders
The more complicated parts have been settled, and now you’re ready just sit back, and wait for your new furniture to arrive. You will be able to track your order in your profile page once it has been placed. Here are the key phrases to know when tracking the status of your order:
• 待付款: Waiting for payment. At this point, you can still make changes to your order.
• 待发货: Waiting for the seller to ship out the item(s).
• 待收货: Waiting for the buyer to receive the item.
• 待评价: Awaiting review from buyer. This means that you should have already received your items.
Not comfortable with buying direct from Taobao? Try getting help from a third-party agent
If you’re buying via an agent, it’s going to be a much easier process as your agent will do most of the legwork for you. From selecting your items to payment processing, delivery, shipping, tracking and even post-sales service, you will be able to shop with peace of mind. Do note that there will be an agent fee, and shipping may sometimes cost slightly more. Another easy-to-use option is to go through Lazada’s Taobao Collection, if you don’t mind the limited selection of products.
There you have it – everything you need to get your Taobao stash. If you are going to invest time and money to ship your freshly minted furniture from across the world to your home, make sure to get it protected against unexpected fires, or even floods during the rainy season. Income’s Enhanced Home Insurance plan offers you a lump sum payout in the event of damages to your home. This sum of money can help you to rebuild your place without stressing your finances. Protect your safe haven, so that you can have a greater peace of mind.