Today I am finally getting around to reviewing my Taobao order from last month. I put in a small order. I will show the things I can (some items are going towards the Ox Loli Anniversary meet!).
I decided to re-use Taobao Spree to place this order, as I had found them reasonably easy to use last time. I seem to recall that last time they had a video on their front page showing how to order, but there didn't appear to be one this time around. Luckily, I found the instructions on their website fairly easy to follow. The only real mistake I made was filling in the wrong form. Their order form has 2 different pages to fill in, depending on whether you want the order insured or not. Luckily I spotted my error and copy and pasted my details on to the other part of the form. I think Taobao Spree could make this a bit easier to spot, but apart from that I was really at ease placing my order.
I ordered from 2 Taobao stores. One of the stores already had the item in stock. I also ordered from Red Maria- http://redmaria.taobao.com/ which had about a 7 day waiting time for them to make their stuff. I think I counted that Red Maria actually took a few days longer. The order was placed on the 3rd of January and it arrived at Taobao Spree around the 19th.
This time around I was assigned an agent called Cici. Cici was always very quick to reply to me. Despite not working at weekends, she even responded to me on a Sunday at one point, just to put my mind at ease. Whenever there was a new update, Cici would contact me the following day. I think I lucked out a bit too, because some of Taobao Spree's agents went on holiday on the 15th and Cici stayed on a bit later than that.
I received my tracking number on the 22nd and was able to track it via Parcelforce straight away. I decided to use EMS because their service is fast and reliable. My package arrived on the 27th.
My order was packed very securely in a box, which was covered in lots of tape. The box was just a tiny bit bashed in one corner when it got to me, but I was not too concerned.
Inside my order was protected with air bubble style packaging. Every part of my order was wrapped in plastic as well. The box was packed very well and the items did not have much room to move about and get bashed.
And now, on to my new stuff!
First up, I ordered both of these rings from Red Maria. The rings were cheap and I thought the design was pretty. I love the rose design. The pearls have been placed on the rings with no obvious glue marks anywhere. The base of the rings is actually lace. The lace is soft and makes for an interesting base to the rings. The rings are on an adjustable ring base. The metal bases used looks a bit cheap. I am just hoping these rings wont stain my fingers green. We will have to wait and see! Overall though, I think the rings were definitely worth the cheap price.
I also ordered this beret from Red Maria. In fact, this was my main reason for placing an order! I really loved the design when I saw the photo and it did not disappoint in person. The colour is quite accurate to the product listing. The beret size is good, although probably not suitable if being used with a very thick wig or hair style that has a lot of volume. When I tried the beret on I found I was able to position the beret well and the detail was positioned nicely.
And here is a close-up of some of that beret detail. The ribbon roses have been made so neatly. The ribbon for the bows is tidy with no fraying edges. The lace underneath is pretty and helps to tie the whole design together. I like the little swan too!
And a view of the back. It is pretty much a standard beret from this view. The material is very soft and feels warm.
I also ordered a feather hair accessory from a bridal Taobao store, but I don't seem to have the link saved any more, so I can't remember the store name.
I ordered this on a whim because it was cheap and I thought it might make an interesting hair accessory. There are a few things I would have done differently. For example, the feathers are a bit too long and therefore they meet and cross in the middle. I might attempt to trim the feathers a bit to see if I can get a better shape. The gem stones look quite cheap and I will probably cover them with something else. But I do like how the metal band is lined with ribbon on the outside so it matches the colour of the feathers. I don't think it would look so good if it was plain metal. As I said, I was taking a gamble ordering it and I only got it because it was cheap, so I didn't lose out too much money-wise. I will definitely try to fix it before giving up on it altogether.
I also got given a free gift! I believe this was in the Red Maria bag, so I assume it was from them. As far as free gifts go, it is okay. It is not really my colour though, so I guess I will be adding it to the prizes for that upcoming Ox Loli meet.
So it looks like I got very lucky with the Taobao Spree agent I was assigned. I would definitely be happy to deal with Cici again. Taobao Spree's service was brilliant and I would recommend their shopping service. The only negative thing I would say is that they could give more warning on their facebook page about when they go on holiday. They announced their holiday after I had placed my order, and before Cici told me she was leaving later, I was worried my order would have to arrive before the 15th. They were not coming back until Feb the 10th, so I could have potentially been waiting a very long time if I had been given a different agent. The Red Maria items were of a decent quality and worth the low prices I paid. I know I will be getting a lot of wear out of that beret. They have some very pretty items in their Taobao store and I recommend going and having a look. I wasn't amazed by the bridal hair accessory but I am just relieved I didn't spend out too much. Overall, I would say this has been quite a positive experience. Hopefully in the future I will gain further confidence when it comes to ordering from Taobao.