Tips to Buying Cheap and Chic Furniture on Taobao
Taobao is one of China’s largest online shopping platforms and they ship all over the world, including Singapore. One can find almost anything on Taobao nowadays, including large pieces such as the kitchen sink. It’s always fun shopping on Taobao as there are so many varieties of one product to choose from.
In fact, online shopping for furniture on TaoBao can be an experience that’s equally, if not more fulfilling than shopping for furniture on brick-and-mortar stores. These are some of the ways you can find chic furniture at a cheap rate on Taobao.
1. Use As Many Search Terms as Possible
When you’re searching, think of using as many key words as possible. You may want to consider typing in details like colour and shape to your search terms too. This will reveal a more relevant list of furniture selections that may previously not have shown up with other terms. One may also choose from the list of suggested search terms on the Furniture category, including the brands, size and input your preferred budget range.
You can use as many synonyms as possible. For example, when you’re shopping for a sofa, you can also use terms like settee and couch. Once you’ve done this, you’ll find that your selections will increase. The more options you can see, the more prices you can compare. As Taobao functions in Mandarin, one can use Google Translate as a quick and easy means to find the related search terms.
2. Check the Customer Reviews
For each product, there will be a section where previous customers can give feedback on the quality of the product as well as the service they’ve received. Here you can see how this product has been rated by other people who have bought the same piece of furniture.
This portion will give you a real and honest view, without any bias. As the score listed is out of five, it would be best to purchase from buyers with a score of at least 4.6 and above. Potential buyers can also take a look at the photos in the reviews for a better gauge of the actual product. This way you’ll know whether the product is well-worth the price paid.
3. Find A Store That Suits Your Style
If you’ve been shopping on Taobao for quite some time, you’ll find that different stores tend to feature different styles of furniture. On Taobao there are stores focusing on Scandinavian furnishings, Oriental pieces, minimalist furniture and so much more. Once you place your search terms in the main search bar, a list of products from various stores will appear.
As you browse the product on its page, you’ll be able to see the store at the upper right side of the page or the top of the page. Clicking on the link will bring you to the store’s main Taobao page. There, you would be able to see more related products from the same seller. Keep an eye out for discounts, as some stores will hold a store-wide offer at different times of the year.
4. Check the Shipping Costs
Shipping can be expensive considering the weight and size of furniture pieces. This is why choosing the right forwarding agent is important. You can also buy several pieces of furniture at once before shipping them together via the agent of your choice. For example, purchasing items on Taobao Collection via Lazada entitles you free shipping when you hit minimum purchase of $20.
In Singapore, you can also buy your Taobao items via agents like Ezbuy and SGshop. This way, you can consolidate your individual packages into one shipment. These agents also provide a ‘buy-for-me’ service, great for buyers who have troubles navigating the site. Just enter the URL of the product you’d like to purchase, and they will handle the rest. Look out for any shipping promotions they have from time to time to keep your shipping costs low.
Certain stores will also have special offers from time to time where shipping is free to certain regions or for a limited time period. You can take advantage of these promotions and shave off some of the costs from buying your furniture.
5. Look Out for Sales
Taobao stores tend to have sales around major events such as Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Christmas periods. One of the biggest sales on Taobao takes place on Singles Day, which falls on November 11th or 11.11 each year. On this day, huge discounts are offered for a period of 24 hours. Some stores will also have sales on ‘Couple’s Day’ which falls on upcoming, December 12th.
6. Be Patient and Careful
Sometimes, you’ll find your preferred deal only after the 20 pages of listings, so don’t give up browsing too soon. In saying that, you should also be wary of any sites that don’t look legitimate on Taobao. A quick reference is if there are no records of previous sales or if the price of the furniture piece is just too good to be true. This is why point number 2 is really important. Shop wisely, and you would find some true gems!
Taobao has some of the most modern and stylish furniture that you can have without losing and arm and a leg. For even more savings on your furniture purchases, why not make use of our Taobao cashback to bring down your shopping costs further. Have you shopped for furniture on Taobao before? Share with us your experience!
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