Taobao's hottest stores

Three Beijing starlets share their hottest Taobao stores
Taobao's hottest stores
 
published on 7 Feb 2012

 
Who doesn’t love Taobao? The online Chinese-language auction site cannot be overlooked as a  genuine phenomenon, with its virtual shops becoming a popular alternative to trudging malls, markets and hutongs in search of great finds and sweet deals.
 
With hopping on the Taobao expressway to quick fashion and home accessories such a great choice, we get three of Beijing’s hippest Taobao-lovers to reveal some of their top tips and secret shopping gems. Plus, check out our quick guide to getting the most out of Taobao if your Mandarin isn’t so hot.
 

The model: Xiao Wen

Top tip ‘There are so many wholesale jewellery shops on Taobao. If you have a good eye for a bargain, you could make a decent profit!’
 
Why
‘I love this women’s clothing store, not just for shopping, but for mindless, peaceful relaxation.’ Recent purchase  ‘An amazing pair of earrings.’
 
What Time Out thought
From cropped tops (25RMB) to maxi dresses (79RMB), this store has a wide array of affordable designs for the youth market. We discovered a divine nautical scarf for 5RMB!
 
Store
 
Why
‘This is actually one of my friend’s sites. It has a cool range of casual clothes, accessories and various types of top-up services. It’s really useful for when I’m travelling or working abroad.’
 
Recent purchase
‘I use this site to top up my mobile phone and Skype.’
 
What Time Out thought
There’s quite the mish-mash here, but we love the quirky vintage dresses (59RMB) and T-shirts (45RMB).
 
The fashion designer: Fan Ran


Top tip
‘You should always choose stores that have lots of positive feedback, especially from a variety of different buyers. Some shops ask their friends to leave good comments, but you’ll see the same user ID repeatedly if that’s the case.’
 
Store
 
Why
‘This store sells modern, unusual lamps and lighting equipment at affordable prices.’
 
Recent purchase
‘A Habitat chrysanthemum light for 600RMB – the quality is great and it was really cheap for what it is.’
 
What Time Out thought
This store is really easy to navigate, and is clearly divided and labelled. It also has frequent sales and special offers. While some of the chandeliers might be a tad oTT, we were drawn to many of its more quirky offerings (50-2,000RMB).
 
Store
 
Why
‘The service is excellent and all the products sold here are 100 per cent genuine.’  Recent purchase  ‘I bought some EVo dog food for my pup.’
 
What Time Out thought
If you haven’t got a pet yet, the cute critters flanking Treesong’s homepage will have you marching to your local pet shop with a hole in your heart that only the cuddliest of puppies could fill. It stocks heaps of Western brands, including food products (from 4RMB), flea treatments (from 45RMB), toys and plenty of top canine couture.

The rocker: Fu Ying from DH & Chinese Hellcats

Top tip ‘Whenever I’m flicking through fashion magazines, I note down descriptions of things I like and use these as keywords for searching Taobao. Be wary of fakes, though – if you see the same item in lots of stores, it’s most likely a mass-produced fake. I prefer more exclusive products that I can only get from one or two selected stores. They may have some tiny flaws, but if you’re lucky you might find something amazing.’
 
Store
 
Why 
‘This shop sells vintage pieces from a variety of different eras. You can also find some retro classics like leather bags, and dresses from foreign labels.’
 
Recent purchase
‘I bought a  yellow Japanese vintage dress from the ’80s with floral prints. The fabric is really unique, and the pressed hems create a really interesting texture against the smoothness of the material.’
 
What Time Out thought
This treasure trove boasts divine vintage shoes (79RMB), boxy faux-snakeskin satchels (299RMB) and a variety of frocks in gorgeous fabrics (around 199RMB).
 
Store
Simple Sample

Why 
‘This store does exactly what is says on the tin – sells simple pieces that look effortlessly casual, but at really reasonable prices. You can find lots of basics, bags and purses here.’
 
Recent purchase
‘I  recently bought a  fantastic high-waist denim skirt.’
 
What Time Out thought
Being a bit simple, we’re not entirely sure what the motto ‘Simple is a sample, sample is simple’ is getting at, but maybe that’s just us. Either way, the pussy-bow blouses (50RMB), patent purses (99RMB), and especially the high-waisted shorts (69RMB) are all worth a gander at this cute little store.

Check out our Taobao field guide
Alice McInerney

Comment

Posted by : Tyler on 19/11/2014 01:16:56
I love Taobao too! I buy a lot of my clothes there :D If you want to buy it yourself, I highly recommend a China buying agent like this one since I've had really good experiences with them. The problem I ran into was the limited amount of payment options, and a buyer agent like this one accepts paypal. The other pro is that you can buy different items from different store and the buyer agent will collect all the items and send it to you in one package which saves you a lot on shipping costs!

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