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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Taobao Direct Step by Step Guide (淘宝直送)

During the recent wildly successful Singles Day 11.11 sales, which recorded a whooping $14 Billion worth of sales for Alibaba, i made some purchases using the Taobao Direct (淘宝直送). The purchases were made with the intention to share some of my personal experience with you guys, especially those looking to choose between the various shipping options.


Taobao Direct Shipping


So here's the guide to share some of my experience with this relatively new method of purchasing from Taobao. For the purpose of the review, i would assume that you are already familiar with Taobao shopping


For my other guides on freight forwarding and 4PX, you can refer to the Taobao Related Links on the menu.


Lets start with the shopping cart check out process... 

*(refer to this link if you need help on the Taobao account creation).



1) Choose Direct Shipping (淘宝直送)


You will be prompted to select a method of shipping. "淘宝直送" is a seamless service provided by the freight company ZTO (CN), in partnership with DPEx (SG) for delivery of packages to Singapore. Read more about it here.



Taobao Direct Shipping costs








2) Pay for your purchases INCLUSIVE of freight


So here's the great thing about using Taobao Direct. Your shipping costs are fully calculated during check-out. For my purchases, i was charged a total of 39RMB. 


Complete the payment process via Alipay (eNETs or Credit Card).



Taobao Direct Shipping costs are calculated


3) Check the consolidation process (Optional)


Once you have completed the payment process, you can either track the flow of your purchases or move on to step 4 - "Receive your package". 


To track the consolidation process at the ZTO warehouse, select 淘宝集运-> 国际物流订单. You will be brought to the screen below, which shows the status (订单状态) of your purchases.




Check the status of goods


Clicking on the individual items will show the flow of goods. Typically Ordered->Domestic Shipping -> Arrived at Warehouse -> Overseas Shipping -> Delivered.





Taobao Direct Monitoring the flow


The last of my purchases reached the ZTO warehouse on the 19-Nov. It took a total of 9 days for the packages to be consolidated and sent out from the warehouse on the 28-Nov. When the packages are sent from the ZTO warehouse, the status will be updated to "已出库"


Shipping from the ZTO warehouse



4) Receive your package


Wait for your package to be delivered to your doorstep. There is NO additional consolidation/payment step that is typically required for the 3rd party or Taobao appointed forwarders (e.g 4PX, 65daigou, peeka, etc).

Summary


PROS
I was quite impressed by the fact that Direct Shipping is able to provide the cost of freight at check-out. This definitely helped me make my decisions and prevent shipping bill shocks.

CONS


ZTO strives to consolidate and send packages between 3-5 working days, for all SG orders. However, i was left disappointed by the amount of time it took for them to do it. My last of my orders reached the warehouse on the 19-NOV, but the whole package was only sent out on 28-NOV. It took a grand total of 7 working days!

Perhaps it was the busy 11.11 sales period which caused the logistic backlogs. Nevertheless, unless there is another promotion on the shipping price for 淘宝直送, i would very much prefer to stick faster and perhaps more reliable freight forwarders like 4PX or 65Daigou.


Updates (4 Dec):

Packages arrived to my doorstep. The air freight from China to Singapore took 6 days (or 4 working days). My items were packed in a gunny sack and secured together using clear tape. The 2nd package arrived 2 days later, on the 6th Dec, containing one of the purchase that was omitted in the gunny sack that arrived on the 4th DEC.


Related: Taobao Direct Shipping, Pros and Cons