Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby Poohblah » Mar 30th, '12, 10:09

Has anybody, without using a proxy or agent, bought from taobao and/or tmall.com and shipped directly to the states (or anywhere else outside of China, for that matter)? I'm trying to figure out 1) if it's possible and 2) if so, what fees are charged, whether for shipping, tax, customs, etc. I can't seem to find that information on tmall.com, but then again, my Chinese still needs some work.

Thanks
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby Poohblah » Mar 30th, '12, 11:06

I think I may have found my answer - "Taobao’s Alipay can only be funded by Chinese banks, or by buying recharge slips locally in China." So it seems that I can't buy anything without adding money to Alipay, and I can't add money to Alipay with a Visa card...?

I tried going to Alipay and starting an account, but it doesn't seem that I can do so, since (unsurprisingly) it only accepts accounts linked to a Chinese bank.
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby TokyoB » Mar 30th, '12, 18:49

Yes, payment seems to be the issue.
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby Chip » Mar 31st, '12, 00:57

Imagine that ... :?
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby gingkoseto » Mar 31st, '12, 12:24

If you can read some Chinese, you may consider panli.com. They have a service to pay for the buyer's online shopping. But the amount they can pay depends on your account points. So first you will have to use them as regular taobao agency (but I think their service is better than most English language taobao agencies that I know of). Then you earn some points based on the money you've spent with them. Then you can do your own shopping and let them pay for it and ship it to US. This way, you don't have to pay them the 10% item price as shopping service. But you will have to pay about 5% for the transaction fee when they pay for your shopping. So the major gain is only flexibility of shopping by yourself, and you don't save much money on it.

If you can establish your own alipay account, you may find some service to take US$ from you and feed your alipay account. But usually the service fee is much higher than bank transaction fee. It's still quite inconvenient, unless you have some friends in China who need US$ and can feed your alipay account.

But I wonder what Hong Kong buyers do for their taobao shopping. As far as I know, there are a lot of Hong Kong buyers and their currency is not rmb.
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby Poohblah » Mar 31st, '12, 13:00

Are there any other large online Chinese shopping websites besides the ones operated by taobao? Are there any that accept international payment?
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby wyardley » Mar 31st, '12, 15:14

I think aside from payment issues (which are, by far, the biggest problem), most sellers won't want to deal with interntional shipping.
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby TwoDog2 » Apr 5th, '12, 00:51

Do the agents charge a crazy fee?

I have all the necessary alipay/Chinese bank accounts to buy from taobao. I just bought a new electric tea kettle for myself. I have never bought anything in terms of high grade puer from taobao, mainly because I fear that a lot of it is counterfeit or been incorrectly stored. What has your experience been with them? I think there are some deals in recent shu pu though.

Also, you might try Tmall? Not sure if they accept anything by alipay though
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby Poohblah » Apr 5th, '12, 01:07

tmall is almost exactly the same as taobao. It's run by the same company and it also uses Alipay.

I wouldn't buy tea from taobao or tmall, but I would really like to buy tea tumblers and other such things that are expensive and hard to find stateside.

from what I've read, taobao agents usually charge a 10-15% fee. so not so bad.
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby TwoDog2 » Apr 5th, '12, 22:54

Let me know what you are thinking of getting. If you consolidated a lot of items into one order, you could probably ship them together. And if it is non-perishable stuff, shipping them on sea cargo is probably cheaper. To be honest, I've never shipped things that way, just heard from friends that it is less expensive
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby wyardley » Nov 29th, '12, 23:46

gingkoseto wrote:If you can read some Chinese, you may consider panli.com. They have a service to pay for the buyer's online shopping. But the amount they can pay depends on your account points.

FWIW, I tried to use them recently, but somehow got flagged as problematic, and they refunded my Paypal payments / closed my accounts. I have a feeling that if you pay with a non-Chinese sounding name, that may look suspicious to them (or perhaps they just don't want to deal with the hassle).

It's too bad, because they're fairly quick to respond and their site is fairly easy to use compared to some of the English language sites (even for someone who doesn't read much Chinese). However, as best I can tell, they were kind of cagey about their reasoning for not letting me use their service.

If anyone has any new suggestions for proxy services they'd like, I'm all ears. I'm not the hugest fan of Taobao Now or Taobao Focus for various reasons (under-communication about issues, slow responses, various fees adding up, sometimes packing / breakage problems, etc.), and I don't want to support the service that was spamming this forum a while back.
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby jayinhk » Nov 30th, '12, 01:00

Up until Taobao relaxed their rules on HK credit cards, I used Zarmark.com .
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Re: Buying directly from Taobao/tmall.com

Postby wyardley » Jan 9th, '13, 03:09

wyardley wrote:FWIW, I tried to use them recently, but somehow got flagged as problematic, and they refunded my Paypal payments / closed my accounts.

After some more experimentation, it seems like smaller amounts are not a problem (I ordered a $30 teacup with no problem, plus they have SAL shipping as an option, so overall, the service is cheaper than most of the competing services). However, if you make a large (> $300) payment, it seems to set off their fraud alarms, and they refund the payment and close your account.

I can understand why they'd want to be careful, especially with new users, but for a user who's already successfully made an order, and is using Paypal for the payments, I'm not sure why they make a big deal out of it. It seems like most of their users are ordering clothes, etc., so maybe it's just not worth their while to deal with more expensive things.
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