IPT wrote:You have to be very careful on Taobao though because there are a lot of dealers that show photos of authentic items, but what you get is totally different. There are also others that will take you money and simply not send you your item. That happened to my wife yesterday. There's not really much you can do if you get cheated. I often purchase items from Taobao, but never buy tea because I've had too many problems.
Buyers out of China are more susceptible to this kind of scams. But for people in China, I always recommend alipay (Chinese type of paypal) as payment method. What's great about it is, only if you get the item and approve it, the seller gets paid.
But overall just as you said, in taobao shopping, tea is more complicated than a lot of other things. When I was in China this past summer, I bought a lot of non-tea things from taobao. Some of them, I took one look and decided they were not as good as expected. And I returned them immediately paying a small postage, and got money back. But it's hard to do such quick judgment for tea. Besides, when it comes to puerh, inexpensive puerh is too heavy to justify its shipping cost, and expensive puerh can be very tricky.
As for tea ware on taobao, it's not only important to find a seller reputable for their quality, but also reputable for their packaging - the latter quality might be harder to find
But still, it would be nice if people who have purchase experience keep giving comments on certain sellers they dealt with. I remember a few were mentioned in the past.