FAQ

I’m in the process of rewriting some of the information on my website. If there are discrepancies between the information on the shopping service pages and in this FAQ, please use the information on the respective shopping service pages. Sorry!

1) Ordering

Can I add on new purchases later and still ship everything together?
Yes, you can.
Can you help me search for products?
  • I can help you to search for specific items, but I will require photos/pictures, or as much relevant information as you can provide.
  • I can advise you on some keywords that you can use to do your search.
  • Tip: Taobao has a function that allows you to search by uploading a photo.
  • I have a Xianyu account and, depending on the nature of the product that you’re looking for, I can help you to make want-to-buy listings for free.
Do you accept group orders?

Yes. There are two ways we can do this.

1) I handle orders, payment and communication with only one group order leader.

2) I treat everyone’s orders as separate orders, so payment and orders will be communicated separately with each member. When it comes to shipping arrangements, one person handles the payment for shipping fees. The disadvantage of this method is that even if individual members are ordering items from the same seller, it will not be possible to benefit from associated discounts and bulk purchase.

Do you take orders for pre-order / split-payment listings?

Yes, I do. Bear in mind that in the case of split-payment listings, or pre-orders where the downpayment has to be confirmed and released in advance to the seller, 99% of such pre-orders are non-refundable. Also, if the release date is delayed, this would not be grounds for cancellation / refund.

Generally, how long should I expect to wait for in-stock products?

Most products that are in-stock will arrive at the warehouse within a week from the time that payment is made. It then takes about 2 working days for the product to be inspected and inventoried. Once it is inventoried, it is ready for shipping. I’ll inform the customer when all their purchases are ready for shipping. After shipping arrangements are paid for, the package will be shipped and you will receive the tracking number within three working days.

I need to receive my items by _____ date. Can you make it happen?

No, I can’t. I don’t own the postal services or the shops, so it’s not up to me to promise you a date that you’ll receive your items. For made-to-order products, bear in mind that production time frame estimations given by sellers are generally just estimations. They are subject to delays. Even the most reputable of sellers overshoot promised deadlines for various reasons. This isn’t something within my control. Covid-19 has made things more complicated, particularly in China, and I can only ensure that sellers eventually send out your purchase or try to ask them to cancel your order and give a refund.

Is my personal information safe with you?

Your personal information will only be shared with the relevant parties who are involved in processing your order/shipment. Order-specific information like body measurements will be shared with the seller. Shipping information will be shared with the postal service / courier and the logistics agent handling your parcel. Aside from that, I will not give your information to anyone else.

Is this a pre-order or is it in stock?

Here are some useful terms that may show up in the item name:

定金 / ding金:Downpayment (usually for a pre-order). Usually the listed price will be significantly lower than the actual price.

预定:Preorder

尾款 / 尾kuan: Remainder payment of a previous pre-order. You can’t purchase it if you did not participate in said preorder.

定做 / 定制: Make to order

现货:In stock

无现货: No available stock (in other words, it must be pre-ordered)

If you’re not sure, just ask me or send your order and I’ll advise you accordingly.

Regarding clothes, what size should I choose?

Standard sizes for Clothing

Standard sizes i.e. S, M, L, XL and One-size only pieces differ for different stores and even different items from the same store. Never assume that just because you usually wear a certain size back home, the same size from the Taobao store will fit you. Size is just a label on Taobao.

The good thing is, the measurements of each size and item will usually be stated in the item’s description in cm. Online translations tend to do a decent job with translating them, but if the seller uses images for the size chart, the translator can’t pick it up, so knowing what the relevant terms are will be helpful. Here are some common ones:

身高: Height
肩宽/肩寬: Shoulder width
胸围/胸圍: Bust
腰围/腰圍: Waist
臀围/臀圍: Hips

衣长/衣長: Length of whole outfit / Length of top
裤长/褲長: Length of pants
裙长/裙長: Length of skirt, may sometimes refer to length of a whole dress too
袖长/袖長: Length of sleeve

男: Male size
女: Female size

All sizes are in cm. Measurements stated may not be spot-on due to a variety of reasons. Please expect slight differences of around +/- 2 to 3 cm.

You should thus find out your own measurements in cm first in order to choose the most fitting size. There are lots of guides on taking your own measurements which apply internationally, so I won’t go into that. If you really need help, feel free to ask.

Standard sizes for shoes

Shoes on Taobao generally take on Chinese sizes, which are very similar to European size, but usually about 0.5 larger. To get an accurate Chinese size for your feet, you will need to measure the length of your sole.

The upper row indicates the Chinese shoe size while the lower row indicates the corresponding length of sole in mm.

However, if the width of your feet tends to give you issues (e.g. if you have wide feet or bunions), you may wish to provide the width of your feet as well so I can check it out on Taobao’s feet size calculator. They have a very good one here but unfortunately you need to be logged in to see it.

Here’s a simple guide to measuring your foot length and width: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-Shoe-Size
Do work with cm/mm instead of inches.

Most of us have one foot slightly larger than the other. Make sure you provide the size of your larger foot unless you don’t mind it being pinched throughout the day.

Some shoes may run large or small. This information may be available in the seller’s description, or in the customers’ reviews.

What items cannot be purchased?
  • Flammable items (including fragrances, alcohol, nail polish, lighter)
  • Precious metals (gold, silver)
  • Cigarettes
  • Fresh food
  • Live animals
  • Plants (includes seeds and flowers)
  • Hazardous products like weapons. Includes props that resemble weapons as well, notably guns and blades.

Some types of products are prohibited by certain shipping methods. These are usually products of sensitive nature and shipping them by a sensitive shipping route tends to be significantly pricier than other methods. If shipping costs are a concern for you, please avoid the following types of products so you don’t limit your shipping options:

  • Any type of food product, including dried goods and snacks
  • Any type of product with powder
  • Any type of product with liquid (e.g. make-up, pens)
  • Products containing magnetic fields and batteries, which rules out most electronic gadgets.
What measurements should I provide for custom-sized clothes / footwear?

Custom sizes for clothing

If you’re getting your clothing custom-sized, the basic info required by most sellers is as follows:
Height, bust, waist, hips, shoulder width, biological gender.
Provide all measurements in cm.

Sellers may specify the measurements they need, so please follow that as much as possible.

Feel free to use your good judgement and common sense to provide additional information. If the outfit has sleeves, then provide your desired sleeve length. If it’s a top and a skirt, then provide your preferred length of top and length of skirt. If you often find sleeves tight on your arm, you might wish to provide the circumference of your upper arm. And so forth. There is no guarantee that the tailor will use all the measurements that they did not ask for, but if they notice that the clothing may not fit at certain parts, they can inform us.

On the other hand, do not over-complicate measurements. For example, if it’s a simple pair of pants, don’t split it up into parts and provide thigh length, length of calf and whatnot. No tailor will go to that extent to make it so exact to your body unless it’s your personal tailor. Pants length will do. That said, please understand that it is not quite possible to get a 100% exact fit when you have your clothing custom-made online by someone who hasn’t seen you in person. If you’re particular about the fit, you may have to be prepared to have a local tailor adjust your outfit.

For measurement of body parts, do provide your actual body measurements. The tailor will translate this to garment measurements accordingly so you do not have to incorporate a buffer.

Custom sizes for shoes

For boots, you generally need to provide: Physical gender, Chinese shoe size, boot height, circumference of opening in cm. For shoes with no extension beyond the ankle, you’d just need to provide your Chinese shoe size.

 

2) Cancellations / Changes

I chose the wrong option. Can I change it?

You can make changes before I start purchasing your items. After I have placed the order, the decision lies with the seller. it is usually possible at no extra cost if the seller hasn’t already started making it or dispatching it. Otherwise, you will need to be responsible for any extra charges incurred to do the return or changes.

I only want item A and I’m just adding the rest to make the shipping fees worthwhile. If item A is not available, can I cancel the whole order?

Please let me know this when placing the order. I will verify the availability of item A before going ahead with the whole order. And because some sellers will only check their stock after they receive payment, I will only process the rest of the order after item A is secured.

I’ve paid, but now I want to cancel my order. Can I?

Cancellations are generally only allowed if:

  • The item you wish to purchase is out of stock
  • Seller has a cancellation policy
  • Part of a set is out of stock (e.g. you ordered a dress and matching accessory. The dress is out of stock. You may then cancel the whole set)
  • Waiting time is unreasonably extended (subject to seller’s cancellation policies)
  • Seller sent out a wrong or defective item (the first course of action is to get an exchange, but it may also be possible to cancel for legitimate reasons)

If an order is cancelled successfully on your request, my handling fees are non-refundable. (You will not be charged handling fees if your purchase is out of stock)

3) Pre-Shipping

Do you do quality checks?

Yes, please take note of the following:

By default, checks will be conducted based on what is visible through the product packaging or what is printed on the packaging. The product will not be extracted for further inspection. This applies to most “brand new in packaging” items. If you do require the product to be extracted for inspection, please ask. Availability is subject to the nature of your purchase.

Quantity: If the seller sends out less than what you ordered, the seller will be asked to send out the missing quantities free of charge. For bulk purchases concerning small items (e.g. buttons), it will not be possible to count everything and achieve a 100% accuracy.

Colour: The general colour of the items will be checked (e.g. blue vs yellow), but not so much the shade of the colour (e.g. turquoise vs cerulean). The lighting when the photo was taken and the difference in calibration of colours on monitors can lead to a slight difference in colours between the actual item and the photo onscreen.

Size: If the item comes with a sizing label, it is possible to check the order against it. If there’s no label, it will not be possible to check it. This applies to custom-sized clothing too.

Design/Style: Where there are multiple designs available, checks will be conducted to ensure the seller sent out the correct design. Marginal differences in design may be missed.

We do not conduct in-depth checks. That said, if you’re worried, you do have the option to conduct your own in-depth checks by requesting photos/videos. This is an available add-on service for China, Taiwan and Singapore shopping services and may be free or require a small fee depending on the complexity of your request.

Inspections will not be conducted for the following:

  • The authenticity of branded/designer/official goods
  • Functionality
  • Complicated items consisting of multiple parts and accessories: Cue cosplay costumes, props, self-assembled models… we do check that the general appearance and product description on the packaging matches what was ordered, but there’s the possibility of missing or wrong parts that we may not catch on, especially if the parts are small/numerous, or if the seller’s description is vague.
  • Gifts/Freebies, unless it’s a bonus item that you had to pay more for.

Please only purchase from reputable shops with good feedback. It will reduce the likelihood of problems with your purchase. For second-hand items, please only purchase from sellers who publish their own photos of their items. When you purchase items second-hand, by default, you accept that the product cannot possibly be as new as it was at the time of its release, and there may be small flaws that the seller has missed or failed to photograph.

4) Shipping

Can I ship some of my purchases separately? / Can I ship out some of my purchases first?

Yes, you can. Please tell me in advance.

How are items packed to ensure safety of my purchases during shipping?

Here is a typical package we ship out. Usually, a large sheet of bubble wrap will be used to wrap the contents. Air packets and other fillers will be used to cushion spaces where necessary.

As most couriers charge by volumetric weight over physical weight, attempts will be made to reduce the overall size of the package, while retaining as many of the individual packing boxes that your products arrived in. This is to provide as much protection as possible for your purchases.

Our packers are experienced professionals and will pack items in a more cost-effective way possible while keeping risks of damage minimised. That said, if you wish to reinforce packaging for products that are more vulnerable to damage, please ask me when making shipping arrangements. It is usually free of charge or available for a small fee.

5) After Sales

I haven’t received my parcel / Tracking status is abnormal

For all delivery-related issues, contact your local post office / courier to make inquiries using your tracking number as soon as you can. If your parcel is supposedly signed for, do also check with anyone who might have access to your apartment or lives nearby to see if they signed for your parcel while you were away.

Do not wait for the post office to contact you! I have had returned packages from customers because the postmen don’t leave a notice for failed deliveries and the package was returned after the claim period. Please check the tracking status of your package regularly until you receive it.

I’m not satisfied with my purchases. Will you compensate me?

I am not a seller and none of the sellers you choose are my suppliers. I purchase items at your request, consolidate them and ship them to your address according to your instructions.

As such, please understand that my responsibilities and actions are limited compared to an actual seller because the product or service you purchase is not provided by me. I do not have control over, nor am I able to guarantee the quality, accuracy, legality, user-friendliness or safety of your purchase.

My parcel is damaged / has some items missing. How do I file a claim?

Evidence is needed for all claims.

Before you open your parcel:

  • Inspect the box first for signs that it has been opened up or damaged.
  • Take clear pictures of the sealed openings on the box (that’s usually the top, and bottom of the parcel). Photograph the damages if any.

Inspect contents:

  • Open your package gently. If you’re using a pen knife, do not push it in too deep as you may cut into the contents.
  • Snap another top view picture of the layout of the contents in the box
  • Check all items as soon as you can.
  • If items are damaged, photograph the damage. If a part of a set / item is missing, photograph the parts that you did receive. If there is a sticker label with numbers on it, that is usually the identification label used by the warehouse to identify items, photograph it as well. Do not dispose the product packaging until the case is closed.
  • Send all your photos to me with explanations about the problem and I’ll get it looked into as soon as possible.
  • If there are problems with your parcel, contact me within 2 weeks from the projected deadline that you are supposed to receive your parcel. Otherwise, I assume that you have safely received your parcel with no problems, and that concludes the end of our transaction.

If the exterior of the package is damaged, and the contents are damaged or missing as a result, I can file a complaint / compensation to the courier company or post office.

If contents are missing, but the parcel is intact, the missing item will be sent out if found, or you will get a refund.

Word of caution: it is generally very difficult to claim for damages and missing parcels from the postal service.

I would like to assure you that all packages are carefully packed, with usage of boxes, bubble-wrap and packing fillers where necessary. Many different people/companies are involved in the shipping process and it is difficult to pinpoint the blame. Even if the claim is successful, if the value of the parcel has been marked down, the compensation amount is very little.

I will do my best to protect your interests, but if I fail to secure a claim for you, please understand that I have tried my best.

Please consider insuring your package or valuable products (available for China and Japan shopping services) if you experienced shipping problems before or your country’s postal service is not very good.

There’s a quality problem with my purchase. Can I get a refund / exchange?

The standard protocol is to require consumers to send back the replacement product in order to get a refund or replacement. Sellers are usually unwilling to cover the expensive international shipping fees. Furthermore, the expectation is that customers should notify the seller about problems as soon as possible after they receive their parcel. Due to the long overseas shipping duration, this is often not possible and by the time the consumer receives the product, the window for problem resolution has closed.

For items with missing parts, the seller will typically consent to send it out for free to the warehouse, but you’d have to ship it with your future shipment, or pay international shipping fees if you ship it out alone.

If you still wish to attempt to get some compensation, please take clear photos of the problem areas and email them to me. I will try my best to help you get some form of compensation, but I can’t guarantee it.

Please be reminded that as stated in my answer on quality checks, we don’t do in-depth quality checks.

For second-hand products, the window of time for problem resolution is even shorter. When you purchase items second-hand, by default, you accept that the product cannot possibly be as new as it was at the time of its release, and there may be small flaws that the seller has missed or failed to photograph. Hence, it’ll be even more challenging to receive compensation from sellers, who may simply be looking to declutter and have no interest in maintaining a commercial reputation for international customers.