Author Topic: Taobao agents  (Read 3974 times)

taizou

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Taobao agents
« on: September 03, 2012, 04:55:21 PM »
Okay, so I know a lot of people on here like to buy stuff from China, and there are literally (not literally) a billion different agents who claim to help you in that process. so I thought I'd start a thread with a few of the ones i've had better experiences with.

(Also note that I mention Taobao specifically in the title since it's the largest and most popular online shopping site in China by a long shot, and 99% of anything you may be looking for can probably be found there, but most of these agents will also buy stuff for you from just about any Chinese site if you ask)

Basically all Taobao agents charge a certain percentage of the item price as their service fee and a percentage on all Paypal payments. International shipping is usually offered by both EMS and Airmail, with the latter being cheaper, but they almost universally offer a discount on the listed EMS price as they use shipping agents which offer a lower rate. Sometimes they'll offer other methods, but this seems to vary from agent to agent and even from week to week. Personally I had good experience with Yanwen Express (which is delivered by Interlink in the UK), it was cheap and fast, but it's rare to find an agent that offers it.


These two are smaller operations, but I've used them both recently and I was impressed with their service:

XYBBuy - http://www.xybbuy.com/
Service fee: 5% (minimum 50CNY) / Paypal fee 4% NO LONGER AVAILABLE - accepts Western Union or MoneyGram / EMS discount 50%
This one seems to be quite a new agent, but I gave them a chance and I was happy with their service. Their ordering system is a bit "oldschool" in that it's mostly done by email with Excel spreadsheets, but that does mean you're in contact with their staff at every stage in case you need to ask any questions or make any requests, which can make it more flexible than some of the newer web-based systems. In any case, everything was dealt with quickly (usually within a hour or two if it was within their listed business hours, 9:30-18:00 Mon-Fri), Brace was very helpful, always replied to emails quickly and was available on Skype when I needed to ask something at short notice.

TaobaoRing - http://www.taobaoring.com/
Service fee: 8% (no minimum) / Paypal fee 4% / EMS discount 40%
This one has a more automated web-based system but again everything was dealt with quickly - when I had to contact them Sydney was very helpful and quick to reply (again usually within an hour or two during business hours, and their business hours are considerably longer than most - 9:00-21:00 Mon-Sat), and available on MSN if you need a quick answer to something. Sydney's English is also very good so they might be a good choice if you have any detailed special requests or anything like that.

Both of these agents will send you a picture when the items arrive at no extra cost, so you can check everything looks alright before they ship it onto you, which is a nice touch.


Then there's the big one:

Yoybuy - http://www.yoybuy.com
Service fee: 10% (minimum $5.60 USD) / Paypal fee 4% + $0.30 USD NO LONGER AVAILABLE - only accepts credit card, Western Union, MoneyGram etc / EMS discount 50%
Yoybuy is one of the bigger agents around, and they probably have the best online ordering system (at least as far as I've seen). I also like that everything is basically done on a per-item basis rather than strictly grouping it into an order, so if one seller is being slow it won't hold up everything else, and you can always add more stuff before you have it shipped. The quality of service you get does depend on the staff member dealing with your order, though - on average they tend to take about 24 hours to respond or do something, which is much slower than the other two, and quite often they will just cancel an item when there's a problem whereas the smaller agents will contact you to try and work something out. Still, they seem like a professional operation, and they've always been reliable as a fallback. Also their mascot is cute.
edit: Also if you feel like giving me some Yoybuy points (not that they're hugely valuable, but hey) you can sign up using this link.


Anyway, feel free to add your own experiences/recommendations/warnings!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 10:53:31 AM by taizou »

Picrodus

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Taobao agents
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 09:34:37 PM »
I've only bought from taobao once. I used ibuygle everything worked out ok. You can go to taobao directly through their portal and pick out stuff. If you can't find it you can just input your order manually.  :pandaaway:

Macaw

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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 03:28:47 AM »
Anyone know some good agents for buying from the Taiwanese sites like Ruten and Yahoo Auctions Taiwan?

Pepper-98

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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 05:17:06 AM »
For Taiwanese sites I use Taiwan Shopoholic.  It's the only Taiwan ordering site that I know of, and I had to have somebody tell me about it.

Macaw

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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 03:12:59 AM »
Just noticed that Shopping Mall Japan has just started a Taiwan service that they are still testing.