Note: This is not a review of the stores I purchased items from, ONLY the shopping service
Through taobaonow I ordered a Kidsyoyo OP and a dollscrops petti, just for reference. Taobaonow is different from other shopping services in that instead of email correspondences, they have an internal update system that updates with the ordering, shipping, tracking and payments. Meaning you will not get emails saying you need to pay, etc. this is a particularly useful tutorial here on egl on how to use taobaonow
service fee is 10% of the order+shipping within china
5.10.2010I placed my order through their shopping cart system.
5.11.2010My invoice appears on 'My Orders'
5.13.2010I paid my invoice/they received my payment through payal
6.02.2010In this span of time, my item is made and then shipped to their office. I receive my second invoice to ship to the US.
6.04.2010My item is shipped via China Airmail
6.17.2010I received my item today
so from placing the order to receiving it, it took about 4 weeks. Of course this time varies with what is ordered and from what shop, but I like how up to date I was kept throughout the whole process.
Packed very neatly, arrived safely and soundly
Communication 5/5: Excellent, you can leave comments and questions on your order page and they will respond within 24-48 hours depending on when you ask.
Ordering 5/5The shopping cart system is great, it is functional, intuitive, and allows you to specify your measurements and colors
Shipping 5/5 You are given 4 different shipping options, from China airmail, hong kong airmail (small parcel), hong kong airmail, and EMS. You also receive a discount on Ems so shipping for 1kg is between 30-40$
Their site is a little different, there's a less consistent quality in english but everything is understandable. The ordering process was a little more confusing and not as intuitive. Nothing went wrong however, when I placed an order for a bag and a blouse.
Service fee: 10% on top of intitial 50 CNY (order+shipping in china)
taobaobuying does all its communications via email. Like some other buyers from egl, I spoke with 'popeye' who provides wonderful customer service.
Here's a breakdown of the timeline.
5.21.2010Order is placed from their website
5.22.2010Response with an invoice conveniently broken down into a handy excel spreadsheet.
5.25.2010I am informed that an item in my order is out of stock. I really wanted this bag (the IW style violin bag) at the moment, but it looked like nothing could be done. I requested popeye keep an eye out for the bag, and if not simply put the difference into my EMS shipping and possibly refund the difference. He agrees and all goes smoothly
6.03.2010 Popeye informs me that he has obtained the bag from the manufacturer so everything is the same as before.
6.08.2010: I get my final shipping invoice to the US
6.14.2010: I receive my package, as shown below
For a blouse and a magically appearing bag, this took approximately three weeks.
Communications 5/5 Popeye was great with keeping up communications and I'm really grateful he was able to get my bag in the end (even though unfortunately I have to sell it)
Ordering:4.5/5Not quite as polished as Taobaonow's system, but still, it works and I was able to specify everything about my order. The measurements I gave translated into a perfectly fitting blouse.
Shipping 4.5/5 For speed, 5/5 because I got it very quickly through EMS. But I was a little worried as it came wrapped in an an tai na shoebox, and shoeboxes sometimes don't hold up well during transit. Still, I received everything in perfect condition and they were wrapped protectively inside. I got a cute towel ice cream cone as a gift too. Discounted EMS came out to about 30$ for 1kg
The Bottom line?: Both are equally fine shopping services for taobao. Personally, I think I prefer taobaonow because of their streamlined web system. However, if you prefer email correspondence or perhaps have very particular specifications, taobaobuying/popeye have great customer service and are very attentive.
Congratulations if you got through all of that! I think TBN and TBB are two of the more popular shopping services for lolitas and I think some more information about our experiences with them can help others. Thanks for reading
Just as a quick shameless plug, this review (plus upcoming reviews of what I received from Kidsyoyo, Dollscrops, Momo&Jia shop, and IW replica violin bag)and other musings on lolita prints, news, happenings, and baked goods are on my lolita blog, http://fuwafuwaru.blogspot.com Thanks!