BUT BUT then, the Internet is brilliant and the people behind it, even more so. Introducing... *drum rolls* SGshop, an agent for several Chinese websites! And of course, one of them is Taobao. :D
I had the opportunity to give SGshop a try (Thank you Nicole from Street Directory!), so let me take you through the ordering process and show you just how easy, quick and fuss-free it is!
This is how SGshop's website looks like. You will first need to create an account (Just click on 'Register' on the bar at the top.). This takes only a couple of minutes. And then, the shopping begins. :D
There are 6 steps altogether:
- Step 1: SHOP and pick your
itemitems (Who am I kidding.) from various Chinese websites.
- Step 2: Tell SGshop the URL of each item and submit your order.
- Step 3: Bid some moolah goodbye (But it is for the 'greater good'. *nods*).
- Step 4: SGshop deals with all the Chinese characters *shudders* while you sit back and chill.
- Step 5: Bid a litte more moolah goodbye (Just a little more!) for shipping and delivery charges.
- Step 6: Wait for SGshop to deliver your items right to your doorstep!
Step 1: SHOP and pick your item(s) from various Chinese websites.
Hop on over to Taobao and search for your items. Unfortunately, we can't escape the Chinese characters here but there is a thing called Google Translate (Thank you, Google.). Alternatively, just run a search on Taobao hauls on Google (My heart is yours.) and you should be able to find some links. :D
After spending hours picking your items and then, a few more hours re-picking them, copy the URL of each item's page.
Step 2: Tell SGshop the URL of each item and submit your order.
Head back to SGshop's website and paste the URL at the top. A pop-up window will appear where you can fill in the details of your item, like the colour, the size etc.
Once you have filled in all your items, proceed to 'Place Order'.
You get to choose how you want your items to be shipped, at various charges.
Step 3: Bid some moolah goodbye (But it is for the 'greater good'. *nods*).
For me, cash was topped up earlier so the amount was deducted from my SGshop account. You can make payment using ATM Transfer, Internet Banking or Paypal/ Credit Card.
Step 4: SGshop deals with all the Chinese characters *shudders* while you sit back and chill.
Once your payment has been verified, SGshop will go ahead and do the ordering for you. You can check the status of your items under the 'My Orders' tab. :D
Step 5: Bid a litte more moolah goodbye (Just a little more!) for shipping and delivery charges.
When your items have arrived at SGshop's warehouse, a SMS will be sent to notify you. If your items are out of stock, a SMS will also be sent. Proceed to SGshop eagerly, select your preferred delivery method and make payment for additional charges.
Step 6: Wait for SGshop to deliver your loot right to your doorstep!
On the day of the delivery, the delivery man will send you a SMS to check if you are home within a certain time frame. Besides home delivery, you can also choose to collect your items at MRT Stations during certain timings or collect them personally from SGshop's warehouse.
If you scrutinize the photos above, I had initially ordered a sweater but that went out of stock so I got another bag instead. I can't exactly remember how long the entire process took, because I waited for both items to arrive, but I think each took less than 3 days to reach SGshop's warehouse? The bags were packed splendidly and came in pristine conditions (No scratches, rough edges or anything like that!).
Overall, it was a really good experience shopping with SGshop. The convenience, the simplicity of the entire process and the fact that I didn't have to decipher complicated-looking symbols... I give it two thumbs up and I would definitely be using SGshop again to get my Taobao stuff. :D
P.S.: From December 1st to January 15th, SGshop will be providing free service fee. Do head on over to their website here to learn more about what SGshop can offer you. Happy shopping! :D