Anyway, I've recently asked around Taobao sellers and here's a list (possibly growing) of shops that said they can handle some english, do international shipping, and even a very small number that takes paypal.
Here be introductory rants
Hi all~ I've been watching this community for ages, but it's only quite recently that I've started posting. I started off gothic and now I'm more into classic. I sewed my own stuff and made things for friends to start off with, and then later started buying online, taobao being one of the sources that I found quite useful.
Anyway, since two, three years back, I've been trying to navigate taobao on my own after some mishap with agents and with help from friends, and then I discovered that there are sellers who are quite willing to take overseas orders, as long as they get paid via taobao's own twin to paypal, so I searched up agents who would just do the payment bit for me, and it worked out ok. Then I discovered that some even take paypal.
So, I thought it'll be helpful if I compile a list of sellers whom I've asked, about international shipping & paypal. Realistically most shops can't offer paypal due to china's currency flow restrictions, and you would need to navigate the taobao system to order from those that can mail overseas, but, I'm trying to get emails from those that can deal in english, so that this'll also be helpful if you're using an agent and something went wrong...?
1. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it'll expand as I get around to harassing more sellers [lol]. So, if you have a seller you have your eyes on, tell me and I'll go ask about it in taobao?
2. This is by no means also a list indicating quality or reliability, though I'll try my best to verify that the sellers are reputable etc. Personally I have only bought from RS and 69th department directly, and hmhm via agent so far, so the list is not tested, and based on information I get from the sellers on their taobao page/ by asking them on the taobao site. Do take the usual precautions with online shopping, and if you have positive/negative experiences, please do let me know! thanks!
The list -- Sellers who can do international orders in english, and TAKE PAYPAL [yay~~~]
** They take orders directly, and remember to ask if you'll need to cover the paypal transaction fees and also keep a lookout for other hidden fees.
erm I don't know if gekkou wigs deal in english yet but they take paypal, so worth trying! Will update when I hear from them.
The list -- Sellers who can take orders in English, ship overseas, but cannot take paypal
Kidsyoyo [they're in the process of setting up paypal though.]
Secret Shop Socks
The list -- The ones I'm waiting for response from are as follows;
akane & alois
Some misc notes on taobao:
How to get a taobao account
As far as I know, there isn't an English page for taobao. I suspect google chrome's integrated translate option would be useful, but here's a picture guide for reference. I've used light green for arrows and darker green for words.
2. Fill-in-your-details page
3. Red cross means you need to change what you filled in, green tick means it's ok.
4. Next page, enter your email
5. Next page, confirmation, and wait for email verification
6. Now, go to your email inbox. you should see an email looking like this:
7. Open it, and you should see something that look like this:
8. Click the link, and you'll see this on the taobao page.
They opened an alipay account tied to the same email address. [alipay is tied to emails just like paypal]
Alipay is like paypal, except that you need to tie it to a chinese credit/debit bank account, and overseas credit/debit cards don't work. If you don't have a chinese account, then you have very limited functions. only 500RMB is allowed to flow through your account per year, and it's a whole different can of worms altogether...
My advice below:
Generally taobao shopping services sometimes will also do just the payment service. Ask a shopping service you trust? Though, don't ask them to credit you directly, since taobao's internal system will lock anything more than 500rmb if your account isn't validated [by having a chinese bank account or having a chinese citizenship cert]. The 500rmb is a yearly flow limit, not a single-transaction limit, so beware. There's an option in taobao when you go to checkout that says 'get someone else to pay', and I've done that before with an agent.
Other payment methods
Basically any sort of international bank transfer, eg. Western Union. Most taobao users will take this too, though there's a high transaction fee, so it's not really worth it for smaller orders.
The numbers shown are often not representative of the actual stock. I think it's safe to always ask the seller before bidding. Actually, ask everything you need to ask, and save the responses for record, when dealing with taobao. They depend on reputation to sell, so they do care about what you think of their service.
Asking seller questions
Here's a view of the taobao shop layout. Instructions on page.
On the bottom right corner you should see this. This is taobao's inbuilt chat function toolbar.
Notice that the icon on the right is the same as the one displayed beside the seller's name. When you click the seller's icon as pointed out above, wait for your own icon to turn blue, and then you'll see a window pop up.
Always ask how long it'll take. Normally half a month is what most sellers will take to churn out an order. If you're in a rush, ask the seller, and sometimes they would be willing to accommodate the shorter deadline.
Most sellers will ship internationally, and at discounted price on par with those offered by agents too. You need to ask beforehand how much discount it will be, most sellers will not be able to give you an exact of how much it'll cost, but they should have a rough idea I think. If not, just google up the china EMS official price table and apply discount?
Thanks everyone for the input!!!! [bow~]