Buy from Japan and China - Shipping forwarding guide ★彡

So I thought I’d write a guide on how to order from Japan or China via a shipping forwarder, to help those a bit in the dark about internet shopping. I’ve bought so much (sooo much) stuff off the internet, most of it from overseas. I buy a lot of fashion but this guide can help you buy (almost) anything!

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I’m thinking about make a guide about how to buy from Taobao. There’s a lot of people paying even 150% of the original price in stores that simply all they do is order by intermediary, as the end customer could do and safe more than 50% of what they’re paying to the reseller. 

Personally, I think is not just take advantage of the ignorance or mistrust of consumer. (・へ・)


For example, the shirt on the image. The original Taobao link is a shirt that costs 45.00 RMB = 7.34USD. (american dollars). 

On the shop of the reseller (I don’t say who is it), the shirt costs 18.65$ (more than 50%) and with the shipping (18$, VERY EXPENSIVE, as you can see later…), the shirt that costs 7.34 now costs 36.65$!! Awesome huh?

Taobao only sells to China, but there’s a lot of intermediaries that will buy the item for you. In this case, I’ve shown BuyChina. It’s the most comfortable, but more expensive than others like Yoybuy. Even buying the item by Buy China, the shirt would cost (with shipping fees!!) 18.92$. 


The Taobao resellers who inhabit on Storenvy, simply buy the item by BuyChina or another cheaper intermediary and give them the address of their customers, so it means that they’re gaining most of the 50% of the real price because of the ignorance of the customer. 

That’s because I always link the BuyChina item, because this way you can avoid the resellers, safe money, and if you want to try with a cheaper intermediary, you can go directly to the Taobao link. 


Then, I ask you: Are you really ok with this kind of business? 


Taobao, BuyChina, & Storenvy

I usually get around 3428943242 questions about one of these sites a day, and about 342943240 out of those 3428943242 are questions that I’ve answered many times before. 

So hopefully this relatively short post covers the basics.

Taobao - a “Chinese eBay” where people from around the world can get cheap clothes, many of which are fakes or imitations. To use Taobao, you will require a Taobao Shipping Agent to order the item for you.

  • Taobao Shipping Agent - An individual or agency, separate from Taobao, that purchases and ships the item from Taobao for you. There are many different agents with different policies, fees, and locations, and you should find one that is right for you.
  • Fake - When an item is created to look exactly like another, such as a name-brand, and is advertised as being that brand. Ex. Common fake Louis Vuitton purses.
  • Imitation - When an item imitates a name-brand item, even if it does not claim to be that item. Ex. Intentionally making a pair of tights that look exactly like Candy Stripper tights, but are not labeled as such.
  • Not everything on Taobao is a fake or imitation, but you should keep an eye out. You get what you pay for, so buying the brand-name is almost always going to be much higher quality, and worth the higher price.

BuyChina - a large Taobao Shipping Agent that comes in the form of a shopping website, making it easier to purchase items off of Taobao without contacting an agent and filling out a form.

Yes, BuyChina is a safe, legitimate site. It simply projects the shops of Taobao onto an English, easy-to-navigate site, where it is still advised that you check the seller rating before making a purchase. When purchasing something off of BuyChina, you are still purchasing from the individual Taobao shop.

Storenvy - an online marketplace where individuals from around the world can sell their products, or sell retail. Many Storenvy shops act as Taobao agents, meaning if you purchase an item off of their shop, they order the item directly from Taobao and have it shipped to you, and it never passes through their hands. Usually this is the most expensive method of purchasing items off of Taobao, but is also sometimes the easiest.

Reasons Why I Like / Dislike Using BuyChina

For those of you who don’t know, BuyChina is essentially an industrial-sized shipping agent for Taobao. The entire site is in (broken) English, but is really easy to navigate and understand. 

  • Quick FAQ: Before you ask, yes, you have to use a shipping agent to purchase from Taobao if you’re buying from overseas (for example, if you’re buying from within the US or the UK). 

Just like Taobao, the website is set up with the individual shops and seller ratings that you expect. When you purchase an item, your package is first delivered to a separate warehouse (hosted by BuyChina) and they then mail the package to you. The same goes for any other shipping agent. 

  • Quick FAQ: Yes, you are paying a fee for this service, but it may be more or less than any fees you would pay for any other shipping agent used to purchase from Taobao.

Now, I don’t like a lot of hassle when purchasing online. Maybe that means I’m willing to pay more, but I don’t feel like I’m paying much more to utilize BuyChina than I would another shipping agent. 

Anyway, here are the reasons why I like to use BuyChina:

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