A New Way to Shop for Weddings: Exploring Taobao

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Looking to add some personal touches to your wedding without the worry of a weighty price tag? We've been thinking about how the emergence of online resources like mega Chinese e-marketplace Taobao can be used to open up endless possibilities for personalising your wedding while helping you save costs. With a bit of time, patience and lady luck on your side, you can trawl it for a treasure trove of wedding supplies available right at your fingertips.

We've done some independent investigating and in this feature, we’ll be sharing some tips to help guide you through this e-commerce giant, as well as highlight some of our more interesting wedding invitation, decor and bridal accessory finds.

Signing up
- Sign up for a free account.

Browsing and shopping
- Taobao has a shopping category dedicated to wedding supplies, which is a good place to start.
- For shoppers who are not well-versed in Mandarin, we recommend using Google Chrome to browse the site and Google Translate to translate the page.
- Use the filter function to rank your search results by popularity, number of sales, seller’s reputation and price.
- Check the reliability of the sellers through their ranks: The lowest rank are hearts, followed by diamonds, then blue crowns, with the best rank being the yellow crowns.
- Read through feedback of previous buyers, who give their ratings of the products (the system uses a rating of 1 – 5, with 5 being the most satisfied.)

Payment
- For buyers outside of China, Taobao allows you to send all your purchases to a forwarding warehouse in China. This helps to significantly reduce shipping costs compared to having the buyer ship the item directly to you from China.
- After you have filled in your home address (e.g. your Singapore address), make sure that you check the ‘use parcel forwarder’ option. Select from the list of parcel forwarders available – you can do so by reviewing their user ratings.
- For each purchase that arrives at the forwarding warehouse, Taobao will notify you via SMS. Once your multiple buys have all arrived at the warehouse, you need to go to your account and consolidate them into one package, pay the forwarding charges, and get the forwarding warehouse to send your items to your final address in one parcel.
- The forwarding warehouse will hold your items for up to 20 days without additional charges.
- Payment to the sellers and payment for the parcel forwarding charges are 2 separate transactions. You will only be charged the parcel forwarding fees after your items have arrived at the forwarding warehouse.
- More tips on shopping and shipping from Taobao.

Just some of the wedding invitation, decor and bridal accessory offerings we spied on Taobao (at pocket-friendly prices, of course!): 

1. Watercolour wedding invitations via 蝶恋花喜品

2. Vintage rose wedding invitations via Fanny Fan

3. Mason jar alternative guestbook via Love 38.6°

4. Calligraphed “Bride” and “Groom” chair signs via 怡美居婚庆生日派对用品

5. Dessert table tulle skirting via 雅芝婚品

6. Rustic table runners via For Home

7. Calligraphed aisle runner and backdrop via 喜客婚品

8. Marquee lights via 颖美婚庆道具

9. Paper rosettes via 海浪派对节日婚庆用品

10. Fun photo booth props via The Nice Day

11. “Mr” and “Mrs” signs via The Nice Day

12. Engraved wooden ring holder via 喜客婚品

13. Nest ring holder via 由木

14. Customised “Mr” and “Mrs” cake topper via Ev Deng

15. Diamond-shaped cupcake toppers via 简爱派对

16. Floral headpiece via Qian Se Bride

17. Cathedral veil with lace applique via 月下相恋

 

 

We hope you found this feature handy, Wedding Scoopers, and perhaps it even inspired you to consider e-commerce sites like Taobao as weding suppliers! Found and ordered some amazing items from the site? Share them with us by tagging your snaps @theweddingscoop and hashtagging #theweddingscoop on Instagram. We can't wait to see your best buys!

 

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