Which Taobao Agents in Singapore Should You Use to Avoid Getting Scammed?

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 21 June, 2017

In addition to shipping packages from China, Taobao agents like ezbuy can transact on your behalf and help you avoid bad deals.

As the world’s manufacturer, China’s merchants sell everything for less. With the quality of Chinese goods rising to a more-than-respectable level, many Singaporeans save money by shopping from Chinese merchants online.

Taobao is the de facto online marketplace for shoppers looking to score cheap deals from China. In fact, the Chinese portal has become so popular that Taobao is becoming synonymous with online shopping, the way Google represents searching online.

But because Taobao is a consumer-to-consumer marketplace (you’re buying directly from an individual, not a company), you don’t get the safety net of consumer protection or customer service. To avoid being vulnerable to common Taobao scams, make your transaction through an agent.

Table of contents

Disclaimer: This article was last updated on 21 June 2017.


What is a Taobao Agent?

A Taobao Agent is a service that helps Singaporeans buy direct from Taobao. They are basically a middleman that communicates with the merchant on your behalf, and helps you with payment and shipping.

You’ll have a pay a modest fee for the services of a Taobao Agent, but in exchange, you’ll get a convenient and hassle-free shopping experience. Also, a good agent can help you avoid frustration and financial loss arising from misunderstanding or a bad deal.

When choosing a Taobao agent, verify that they can:

    • Alert you if you are buying from a potentially fraudulent seller
    • Check that the correct orders are placed
    • Make sure goods sent are undamaged and in good condition
    • Consolidate and repack your purchases to save you shipping fees
    • Liaise with the seller on your behalf in case of any disputes

Which Taobao Agent in Singapore is the Best?

There are several Taobao agents in Singapore who can help you buy from Chinese merchants. To help you decide which one is the best, we compared four popular agents: ezbuy, Peeka, SGshop, and Oops.

Note that we only have information for air freight, which is suitable for smaller packages. However, if you are looking to buy large items like furniture, and don’t need the items in a hurry, sea freight is the more cost-effective choice. Sea freight delivery takes around 2 to 3 weeks, but charges go by increments of every 30kg.

Taobao Agents in Singapore
Taobao Agent Cost of Air Shipping Shipping Time Repacking and Consolidation Other Services
ezbuy (Formerly 65daigou) From S$1.69 to S$4.99 per 0.5kg, depending on service chosen From 1 to 2 business days, to 4 to 7 business days, depending on service chosen

Repacking

- Free


Consolidation

- Free for 30 days

- S$1 per order per day thereafter

Basic Inspection

- Checks for quantity, design, colour, size and visible defects on your goods before shipping to Singapore


Parcel Tracking

- Yes


Insurance

- 3% of total value of shipment, or S$9.90 minimum

- S$2,000 limit

- S$100 compensation for items not insured


Concierge (Buy-For-Me)

- 4% to 8% of total value of shipment


Self-collection

- Available at 277 points throughout Singapore


Other Fees

- Home delivery: S$5 to S$8 per trip

Peeka S$14 for 1st 0.5kg, S$3.60 per 0.5kg thereafter 3 to 5 business days Repacking

- Free


Consolidation

- First 20 days free

- S$1 to S$5 per day thereafter, depending on weight

Basic Inspection

- Checks for colour, size and quantity of items ordered.


 Parcel Tracking

- Yes


Concierge (Buy4U)

- Minimum $5, or 5% of purchase cost, (price of purchase + local delivery fee*)


Other Fees

- Surcharges apply for Buy4U and Ship4U

Sgshop From S$1.60 to S$4.90 per 0.5kg, depending on service chosen From 1 to 3 business days, or 3 to 5 business days, depending on service chosen Repacking

- Free


Consolidation

- First 30 days free

- S$1 to S$5 per day thereafter, depending on weight

Basic Inspection

- Checks for quantity, design, colour, size and visible defects on your goods before shipping to Singapore.


Parcel Tracking

- Yes


Insurance

- 5% of purchase cost (price of purchase + local delivery fee*)

- S$2,500 limit


Concierge (Buy 4 Me)

- 4% to 8% of transaction cost (price of purchase + local delivery fee + international freight fee^)


Other Fees

- Clearance fee of S$0.98 per parcel.

Oops S$3.30 + S$2.06 per 0.5kg 4 to 7 business days Repacking

- N/A


Consolidation

- Yes

Basic Inspection

- N/A


Parcel Tracking

- Yes


Insurance

- May be purchased from air carrier, coverage up to full value of parcel


Concierge (Assisted Purchase)

- Minimum S$1, or S$1 per 1kg

Notes:

*Local delivery fee refers to the amount charged by the seller for delivering your purchase to your agent’s warehouse in China.

^International freight fee refers to the amount charged for delivering your package from your agent’s China warehouse to Singapore.


Not All Taobao Agents Are Created Equal

As the table above shows, there are differences in delivery prices and services offered by Taobao agents.

ezbuy, which also ships packages from the US to Singapore, offers fast delivery at low prices. Besides the rates listed above, they have a Prime service for a yearly subscription fee of S$99. As a Prime member, all your delivery charges will be knocked down to S$2.99 per shipment, and you’ll also enjoy lower fees with their concierge service. With it's one-price-per-shipment model, Prime is useful for shipping bulky and heavy items, such as furniture.

ezbuy also offers another way for you to save money on your Taobao shopping. With its Friends Deal feature (exclusive to mobile site or ezbuy app only), you can rope in your friends to secure discounts on items you all are interested in.

Sgshop ticks all the right boxes with a full-service offering combined with low freight charges and quick deliveries. We also like that they offer three levels of freight service to keep costs low, while still promising a decent delivery window. However, they are the only agent out of the four to charge a clearance fee per parcel.

Oops offers low shipping rates and decent delivery lead times, but they do not provide important services such as basic inspection, which can nip a bad order in the bud.

On the other hand, Peeka’s service includes inspection, but their freight charges are the highest among the four, with a base rate of S$14. There are also several surcharges applicable, so you need to make sure to read all the fine print to know what fees you may end up paying.


Best credit cards for online shopping on Taobao

Regardless of which Taobao agent you choose, make your dollar stretch by using a credit card for online shopping

Best cashback credit cards for online shopping🪙

Use these cashback credit cards for your next online shopping spree:

  • OCBC FRANK Card: 8% cashback on online, mobile contactless, and foreign currency spend
    • Min. S$800 spend per month
    • Capped at S$80 cashback per statement month
  • POSB Everyday Card: 5% cash rebate on Taobao
    • Min. S$800 spend per month
    • Capped at Daily$15 per month
  • DBS Live Fresh Card: 5% cashback on online and mobile contactless payments
    • Min. S$600 spend per month
    • Capped at S$75 cashback per calendar month
  • CIMB Visa Signature Card: 10% cashback on online shopping
    • Min. S$800 spend per month
    • Capped at S$100 cashback per statement month
    • No annual fee
  • Maybank Family & Friends Card: 8% cashback on online shopping under relevant spend categories
    • Min. S$800 spend per month
    • Capped at S$125 cashback per calendar month
  • UOB EVOL Card: 8% cashback on online and mobile contactless payments
    • Min. S$800 spend per month
    • Capped at S$60 cashback per statement month
    • No annual fee with min. 3 monthly purchases each year

OCBC Frank Card open_in_new

Cashback Overseas Online Shopping: 8 %

POSB Everyday Card open_in_new

Cashback Overseas Online Shopping: 5 %

DBS Live Fresh Card open_in_new

Cashback Overseas Online Shopping: Up to 6 %

Maybank Family & Friends Card open_in_new

Cashback Overseas Online Shopping: 8 %

UOB EVOL Card open_in_new

Cashback Overseas Online Shopping: 10 %

 

Best miles credit cards for online shopping ✈️

Use these miles credit cards for your next online shopping spree:

  • HSBC Revolution Card: 4 mpd on online and mobile contactless payments
    • Bonus miles capped at S$1,000 spend per calendar month
    • No annual fee
  • Citi Rewards Card: 4 mpd on online and offline shopping purchases
    • Bonus miles capped at S$1,000 per statement month
  • UOB Lady's Card: 6 mpd on "Fashion" spend as preferred category
    • Bonus miles capped at S$1,000 spend per calendar month
    • Complimentary e-Commerce protection
  • UOB Lady's Solitaire Card: 6 mpd on two preferred categories; "Fashion" must be one of them
    • Bonus miles capped at S$3,000 spend per calendar month
    • Complimentary e-Commerce protection
  • DBS Woman's Card: 2 mpd on online purchases
    • Capped at S$1,000 spend per calendar month
    • Complimentary e-Commerce protection
  • DBS Woman's World Card: 4 mpd on online local and overseas spend
    • Capped at S$2,000 spend per calendar month
  • OCBC Titanium Rewards Card: 4 mpd on online retail purchases
    • Capped at 10,000 OCBC$ per calendar month
    • Complimentary e-Commerce protection
  • UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card: 4 mpd on online and mobile contactless shopping
    • Capped at S$2,000 spend per calendar month
  • UOB Visa Signature Card: 4 mpd on overseas spend (including online purchases)
    • Min. S$1,000 foreign currency spend per month
    • Bonus miles capped at S$2,000 spend per statement month across overseas spend + petrol & contactless spend
  • UOB PRVI Miles Card: 2.4 mpd on overseas spend (including online shopping) with no min. spend and no cap
  • KrisFlyer UOB Card: Up to 3 mpd on online shopping 
    • Min. S$800 annual spend on SIA, Scoot, and KrisShop

UOB Lady's Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: Up to 10 miles per dollar

UOB Lady's Solitaire Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 6 miles per dollar

DBS Woman's World Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 4 miles per dollar

UOB Preferred Platinum Visa Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 4 miles per dollar

UOB Visa Signature Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 4 miles per dollar

UOB PRVI Miles World MasterCard open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 2.40 miles per dollar

UOB PRVI Miles Visa Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 2.40 miles per dollar

UOB PRVI Miles American Express Card open_in_new

Airmiles Overseas Online Shopping: 2.40 miles per dollar

 

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

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