Taobao: The Amazon of China

I'm a fan of Amazon and almost all online shopping portals. In Berlin, we use it a lot for its time-saving convenience and competitive pricing point. We also don't have a car there and so it's a great way to buy anything I don't want to lug around on the bus. Now in Shanghai, I'm buying odd bits and pieces through the Chinese 'Amazon' called Taobao. There are quite a few other online shops as well, but this one reigns supreme. Even some hotels prefer to buy articles through Taobao, from cups to furniture, as they are cheaper than getting it from a hotel vendor.

Local shops that you find throughout Shanghai.

Local shops that you find throughout Shanghai.

These are the reasons why I like Taobao: Shanghai is a sprawling city of 25 million inhabitants. It takes me 2-3 hours to buy groceries, that's twice a week and with a driver. Can you imagine if I had to do it with public transport? If I need something other than groceries, I can buy it of course as there are many shops that sell absolutely everything I can think of; I only need to know exactly where that shop is though. So with Taobao, I like that I can buy what I need without having to hit the streets going from shop to shop (I've done that many times before and it was rarely enjoyable). With a city of this size, having the item delivered right to your door within a day or two is invaluable. And finally, the competitive prices allow me to not have to haggle or shop around. Overall, the time saved and absolute convenience of the shopping experience is fantastic!

My most recent purchase was two pairs of craft tweezers that cost 13.20 RMB including delivery!

My most recent purchase was two pairs of craft tweezers that cost 13.20 RMB including delivery!