Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taobao haul #3

Relatively small haul this time as I didn't really need anything except for a few versatile, basic velvet dresses and a faux leather skirt that wouldn't cost me an arm and leg (as it does instore).

Once again I placed my order with TaobaoSpree, as most Taobao sellers don't ship outside of China and a service provider is often required to ship internationally. Although I communicated with a different TBS representative than with my previous orders, he still replied pretty promptly and there were no communication mishaps.

I made two lots of payments to TaobaoSpree: first time before they had the items shipped to their location within China, and second time after the items had arrived so I could pay for shipping from TBS to me. The time it took for the items to be shipped domestically was about 10 days, and from TBS to me via EMS took only about a week!

This was much faster than expected, as I didn't even input the tracking number provided onto the tracking website. That just shows how busy I've been lately! Usually I'm refreshing postal tracking pages 24/7 like I actually expect an update every 5 minutes ("the driver is 2km away from your house...the driver is 1km away from your house...the driver is standing on your front porch and ringing your doorbell, looking impatient...")

The total cost of the items themselves (including any domestic shipping fees to TaobaoSpree) was 185 CNY (29USD), and shipping via EMS for the four items was 28USD (as is frequently the case with ordering from wholesale websites- shipping ends being more costly than the items themselves!). Total amount I had to pay was $57.7USD (including service fees and Paypal fees. However in hindsight when calculating everything myself it should actually be a few dollars less and I'm not sure why the figures don't match. Oh well it's only a few dollars so it's not worth complaining about!) For a more detailed explanation of how TaobaoSpree works, check out my Taobao Haul #2 post.

Sleeveless velvet dress x3

price: 19y
colour: black, red, navy
size: free
domestic shipping fee: 10y (now 20y)
total price of item (not incl shipping, service etc fees): 29y (~5USD)

Stock photo:

My pictures:

When worn:

^ this is a picture I took for one of my uni outfits, in a series I'll be posting soon!

I didn't model the navy one as it's exactly the same dress...but in navy!

Without international shipping, each dress costed 29 yuan (about 5USD) which seems remarkably low on first instance. But take care to not neglect the international shipping fees from TaobaoSpree to Australia!! As the international shipping fee was about 28USD for 4 items, the international shipping fee for one dress alone would probably be about 7USD. So basically, the ultimate cost I had to pay for the dress was about 12USD when the price listed was 5USD. Not that 12USD burns an especially large hole in my E-wallet, but it definitely made me think twice about buying three versions of the same dress. Well, I still did anyway. Naughty me.

I'm quite happy with the quality of these dresses! They feel lovely as velvet usually does and the craftmanship of the dresses is pretty decent. There were some loose threads which I cut off, but the quality is definitely better than what you'd expect from a $5 dress.

As I recently bought a navy velvet dress locally (from Chicabooti, in which I did a photoshoot in my previous post) , the navy one I got from this Taobao haul is pretty redundant and I'm planning to put it in part of a blog giveaway soon! :) Maybe when I reach a nice round number like 400 followers.


price: 88y
colour: black
size: Small
domestic shipping fee: 10y
total price of item (not incl shipping, service etc fees): 98y (~15.5USD)

Stock photo:

My pictures:

When worn:

This was more expensive than the dress but the quality wasn't as great. I'm glad I chose Small because it's already quite long for a skirt and the waist fits perfectly (I was just a bit thrown aback by the skirt ranging from S to XXL). Buying faux leather items online is definitely a risk as I have learnt now, as you don't get to see and feel the material in person and judge for yourself its quality...which is something you shouldn't skimp on for faux leather items, in my opinion. The material isn't as thin and...garbage bag-like(?) as some other faux leather skirts I've seen instore, but it still has that plastic sheen to it.

The cut and design however are pretty true to stock photos. There is a zip on the side which works perfectly fine. I think I will research ways to iron out the wrinkles in faux leather items, as that might help make it look better quality. Although I'm a bit sceptical as this might ruin the flared design and pleats?


I'm reeeally trying to curb my online spending habits (especially from Taobao) as it makes me feel a bit silly knowing that most of my money went into shipping- seems like it went into "empty" costs? Although it is true that with non-wholesale stores those extra costs would probably go into higher mark-ups imposed by the retailer, and are just disguised that way! :P Nonetheless- please feel free to slap me through the computer screen if I make another relatively large haul or contemplate doing so. It will be for my benefit, really.


  1. love the style of the velvet dresses!

  2. I doubt I would slap you, I'd probably encourage you an go 'Buy this! *sends link* and how about this *another link* and you should totally get this *more links!!*'

    Yeap. That would totally happen.

    Your posts about velvet dresses definitely makes me think about giving them a try. I always thought they would be unflattering from the sheen it gives, but it looks like I'm wrong! How about washing? Can I just throw them into the washing machine?

    ♡ M.May

  3. nice velvet dress, and the leather skirt is so nice, too! i want one for me!

    It’s a GIRL Thing

  4. I really like the velvet dresses, they look lovely :)

  5. Gasp :O *slap* LOL
    You got more velvet :D They look like nice classic dresses ^^ And I had my share of a lesson for faux leather off Asian shops >> But there are hits and misses. If possible, yo could try ironing it down from the inside on low heat? I do that to anything I don't wan to burn hahaha
    But I do understand how online shopping can be sooo addicting! The way they price the items lure you in, despite knowing that shipping is going to be more pricey >.< Plus, there is so much selection!

  6. I think its cos i dont know how to use the site properly but last time i tried sourcing cool items i got nothing and was soooo confused over the site that i gave up :(((( However i keep seeing these gorgeous items on you and it makes me want to give it another go! The velvet dress is cuteee, the skirt is abit disappointing due to the wrinkly-ness :( the style and fit look nice though. Its a pain shipping aint it? lol i think if i were to ever try buy i'll try get a couple of friends aswell to split shipping costs or something.


  7. that velvet dress is gorgeous!!
    I love your taobao hauls I wanted to try it too, but shipping to europe is so much more expensive... gah.

  8. The velvet dresses are really pretty. I have yet to try clothing that's velvety but it looks pretty and does give simple pieces that extra oomph.

  9. Velvet fabric is gonna be the trendy one for next season!! :D I love it in navy blue colour!

  10. The velvet dress looks super cute!! :-) XX

  11. You're so funny in this post! LOL. I love those velvet dresses. They're so versatile and yay! I hope you reach 400 followers soon. You totally deserve it. I think I'd freak out if I reached 400 followers. Love that leather skirt too. I've been wanting to find one for a while. Scouring ebay and stores. No luck yet. You can iron it if you're careful. I would turn you iron on to a low heat setting and then use a thin towel as a barrier between the iron and leather. That way the leather will get enough heat transfer to smooth the wrinkles, but not burn. It shouldn't get rid of the pleats because it looks like it's sewn together so the pleats are permanent. It will automatically pleat up when worn. If that makes sense. :)

    Oh and I found a 3 D mesh top on ebay for $22.00! I'm so excited. I hope it fits. :) <3

    DIY Giveaway!

  12. Those dresses look so cute on you :> Nice colours.
    + I agree, the stock picture of that skirt is a bit misleading since true product does not seem as good quality as those velvet dresses. Too bad it cost more than the dresses also.

    - Indie by Heart

  13. love the flared leather skirt! i've seen some really cute ones around the blogosphere...i would love to have one!


  14. Ahaha OMG I wish there were updates like that "driver's within 1km from your house"!

    But seriously, this makes me want to go out and buy some velvet dresses! Yours are so pretty! (:


  15. Well the velvet dresses look lovely! I tried visiting that site and gave up. Haha, I could not understand a word on there!
    Ah well, you look gorgeous :)

    Trendy Teal

  16. I love love love all of those dresses! and that skirt is so cute but with a hint of "bad ass" <3
    you look amazing in everything you wear.

  17. oooh you and velvet hehe
    that dress is sooo pretty! you got me into velvet now.. i want that dress! oh and i still haven't checked out chicabooti thoroughly for the velvet dress yet :(

  18. The velvet dress looks lovely on you! I think the leather skirt doesn't go accordingly to the picture, but it still looks very nice on you!

  19. the dresses are so pretty! good call on buying them in different colors. ;)
    it is a shame the skirt didn't live up to your expectation. the fit is nice, though.

  20. Hey i'd like to buy your products. Ilike the velvet dress but i already have one for myself and i also like the leather skirt but its not like the exact one I want. But I am sure u have more pieces. Can you please upload pictures of them ? n btw I love ur outfits and the way u carry them.

  21. Those velvet dresses are gorgeous! THe velvet looks so smoooooth. xD

  22. So many beautiful velvet dresses! I'll be stalking your follower count and will be the first to let you know when you hit 400 so you can hold that giveaway hahaha.
    You always have such good luck with wholesale sites, I'm forever scarred since my experience with wholesale7 so I won't be going to the hassle of trying any of the sites again. I'll just live through your hauls! Although it sounds like you're trying to cut down ahaha :)

  23. oh wow! those velvet dresses are adorable <3

    Daria, the Fashionsurfer

  24. Hi sweetie!!
    I just find your blog....I think it is very nice!!!

    Take a look to my blog...We could follow each other?
    Let me know on my blog if You agree!! :) ;)

  25. really like your skirt! x

  26. I really like your navy velvet dress! It looks so cool on you!

  27. Love the navy velvet dress :) :) ahhh I wish shopping at taobao wasnt as complicated :(

    accidental encounters

  28. I have a velvet dress from years ago- i think it's time to bring it out :)
    great post hun xxx

  29. i must have that red velvet dress!! :) it's so girly!! <3 it suits my style! :)

  30. Yes love the velvet dress and the leatherette skirt!

  31. Love the velvet dresses, if i didn't have so many already i would be tempted to buy those ones too hehe!

  32. Thank you so much for following me and joining my giveaway :) I was really surprised because I've seen you on lookbook loads of times and I've been following your reviews for a while now ever since I first discovered asian fashion retailers and began researching them. Really enjoy reading your blog and your awesome fashion looks, very inspiring!

  33. Actually I think the faux leather skirt looks pretty good, at least on the photos ;D And the velvet dresses !!!!! Soooooooo amazing ^_^

  34. Hey Izzy!

    This is so helpful. Thank you for posting this. I see all the links from where you got your items but I have a question. How else do you find stores? Do you already have a list of trusted stores?


  35. 19 Yuan!?!? You have got to be kidding me! I've been putting off venturing on Taobao for some time now, but but but this is just too good to ignore! Thinking about it, you introduced me to Black Milk too, so I gotta say thanks for bringing all these wonderful shops to my attention!

    Yishi x


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