Buying direct was surprisingly easy. I'm just done. *surprised*
Following Ezbuy's collapse of their Buy4Me service just before 11.11 & even 2 weeks after, I have no choice but to Do It Myself. From other reviews I read, it's very easy. Since I know Chinese, I just did everything on Taobao, no need for the English site or translation.
But their checkout process was a bit cranky just now because I delayed in clicking in the confirmed payment button while I was checking the online reviews to see if I was doing it right.
By the time I clicked the confirmed payment button, it hung.
Asked me to wait 1 minute for card processing & don't close the window. But nothing happened for a long time. I checked my bank account & Alipay account & nothing was deducted. So, it meant the payment didn't go through.
So, I just tried again just now. And it worked smoothly. I got this page: Success! Click to enlarge:
Note to self: For all items, I let the China domestic delivery be free or as calculated. I did not change to overseas shipping as items are going to China warehouse first.
I started putting stuff into Taobao cart last night. Tried checking out but wasn't sure which of first two options to click for delivery. In Chinese, I figured 1st option is Global Direct & 2nd option is Forwarders (they only have Ninjavan). I don't see the list of forwarders that bloggers keep talking about. The last option is to contact seller to arrange (which isn't necessary).
I chickened out to check for more reviews. But all the items disappeared from cart. Only now, I realize that they have all been moved to "already purchased" section (although not yet purchased).
Earlier today, not knowing that they have been moved, I freshly added the same items to cart, plus 1 more item. After some more messing around with removing the "already purchased" from Taobao & Alipay account (they stashed the items there too since the 2 sites are connected), I was ready to check out at Taobao.
Used Mastercard debit card. Online, someone already asked & readers confirmed that Singapore debit card can be used on Taobao (through Alipay).
For Alipay, there's no need to separately register first. After putting stuff into ur Taobao cart, just check out & u'll be shown an Alipay page to create a passsword. And that's it. I didn't need to enter any personal details.
Although I keyed in a different password for my Alipay account, I only succeeded in getting into Taobao Alipay using my Taobao password.
Now, I'll see how fast it takes for the sellers to send out the items to the Global direct shipping warehouse. It's 32 yuan (around $7) for all these 6 items (actually 12 items because 2 are boxed sets). Ezbuy would have charged around 1kg or 1.5kg ($3.38- $5.07). So, the difference between Direct & Ezbuy is minimal.
$7 for 12 items is cheap. Average just $0.58 per item shipping. And if considering the entire cost 196.9 yuan ($42.92 deducted from my bank account), each item costs $3.46. Depending on the item, it's cheap or expensive. I bought small earrings & $3.46 each is expensive. But I also bought underwear which is cheap at $3.46.
I didn't manage to find out online which local delivery courier is going to deliver my items after Global Direct shipping. Suppose it's Singpost.
Update: 6.15pm. Oh, my goodness! 2 of the sellers have already dispatched the items in less than an hour while I was typing!! I read one blogger's comment that it's fast (within 2 hours) but I didn't expect it to be this fast. Wow!
9:14pm: One item already received by the courier & on the way to warehouse. So fast.
物流" dispatch details for this item:
9:20am 23 Nov Thurs: 3 more sellers not yet dispatch items. The other 2 sellers' items already with courier to the warehouse this early morning & already passed through several receiving points.
Hope the other 3 sellers will send out today.
11:39pm: remaining 3 sellers have sent out today. Now waiting for items to reach warehouse.
10.32am 24 Nov Fri: They are very fast. Already 1 item has arrived at the warehouse. Status at the bottom said "已入库". Already in warehouse. Waiting for the other 4 sellers' items to reach warehouse by today.
Clicking on the details "item flow":
Sat 25 Nov 3:50pm: Left 1 more item not yet arrive at warehouse. If I get everything perfect, I'll be ordering again when I've money. Too bad, the earrings I bought for work.... I already quit the job. :) But I think I can use for the next job or other times when I go out.
Sun 26 Nov9.49a.m.: I've noticed that China mail is very hardworking. They move even on Sundays.
This is the last item, still on the way to warehouse. So, tomorrow, the lot should be able to fly out to Singapore. I don't know what this seller is using but it's been the slowest out of all the sellers. U can also see that Friday no tracking details & parcel wasn't processed until Sat.
9:15pm Sun: All items have been sent out to Singapore at the same time on a Sunday!! Wow. Fast. Since order till now, been only 5 days. Let's see how long it takes to reach Singapore. Wonder what it'll look like.
For now, tracking details show items have been sent "overseas".
10:02 a.m. Sat 2 Dec: Yesterday, I missed the delivery at around 5pm. Was out temple-ling for help with bro. Was aware the delivery might be Friday but I couldn't stay home. Terrible situation developed at home in the early hours of the morning. I don't even know what time it was. Bro had trouble with the spiritual disturbance & I had to urgently find spiritual help online. We left the house as soon as we could. I bet nobody has this reason for missing delivery.
Anyway, the courier I discovered that is delivering the Taobao items after global direct is: Dpex. Yes, the one that many people complained about online. It was either global direct or Ninja van. As mentioned above, I didn't see any forwarders options when I clicked for forwarding companies. Maybe Taobao changed the options?
When I got home at about 9pm, I didn't see any card at my door. I checked my phone (didn't bring it when we went out) & saw missed calls & missed SMS "Parcel delivery" at 5.09pm from the delivery person.
I SMSed whether the courier could deliver the next day Sat? No reply.
I checked Taobao "flow of goods" & saw the delivery was marked "signed"!! Well, that's bad news but having experienced the worst from Speedpost a while ago, I didn't panic. Firstly, the parcel cost is low ($42.92). I purposely didn't buy much because I was testing it.
The Dpex tracking however, was left as "out for delivery". Even though I kept checking since parcel left Taobao, Dpex tracking didn't have any information until 30 Nov 5pm "Arrived Depot". I stopped checking before then & just estimated the delivery based on other bloggers' posts (4-5 days after leaving China Taobao).
Again, I SMSed, mentioning my reason for not picking up my phone & asked why the parcel was marked as delivered & whether he/she will deliver again tomorrow? Surprisingly, there was reply.
The person (assuming that I meant the Dpex tracking page) SMSed that he/she wasn't sure why it was marked delivered. I thanked the person & said I will wait for the delivery tomorrow. But again, received no reply/confirmation on that.
The new update on the Dpex page as at 8.44am is "Awaiting delivery instructions, refer to notification card/DPEXDeliver SMS". However, I have received neither. ]
I called all their phone lines & got nothing. Seems nobody is working on Sat, even though their couriers are supposed to deliver till 1pm on Sat.
I don't know if the person SMSed & called before delivery or when already at the door, since I wasn't home. But it was still nice of him/her to have informed. Just that it's strange the person don't/won't reply about whether there'll be re-delivery the next day or whether I should call the office to arrange.
I read online that Dpex will make 2 attempts at delivery, after which there'll be a $6 charge. So, I absolutely gotta be home for the next one. Intend to call them on Mon if it's still not delivered today. I'll wait till 2pm. I don't want to SMS the delivery person again when the person don't/won't reply & I think it might be delivered by someone else.
11:30am: I checked the Dpex tracking & it has updated to: "In transit delay - More information required". Slight panic. What is "more information required"?Delivery Attempt Fee in SingaporeDPEX Worldwide will make 2 delivery attempts. An additional charge of up to S$6.00 per shipment will apply for the 3rd and subsequent delivery attempts.
Ok, called their main line again & a lady picked up!! Mon 2-6pm arrange re-delivery.
I was so happy someone actually picked up the phone & my "Hiii..!" sounded warm & friendly. She sounded surprised too on the other side. I asked if re-delivery could be today (Sat) or Mon? She said, "We can only arrange re-delivery on Mon 2-6pm.". I said, "Okayyy...! Thankss.".
The system has also been updated to "Delivery/collection instructions confirmed" at 11.29pm.
2:51pm Mon 4 Dec: Thank you Dpex!! As I guessed, courier came even before 2pm. My psychic is so accurate, I should strike 4D & Toto already!
Courier called my phone. I said, "Yes, come on up! I'm waiting.". He said he's already at the door. Wow!!! I hurried out of my room. Very nice, smiling Indian guy. I thanked him, asked if the first time was also him. He said "Yes. I knock on the door, nobody home.". I thanked him again.
(Hmm.. I wonder why he didn't reply to my sms to call Dpex to re-arrange delivery when I said I'll wait for him the next day. Refer to above update.).
I got all of my Taobao items!!! Very pleased with every item. Total, if I had been home to receive on the first delivery on 1 Dec, it would have taken only.... since Nov 22 upon self-order placement.... 9 days. Confirming another blogger's post about the speed of global direct consolidation.
The flight alone from the China warehouse to Singapore is... Nov 26 Sun sent out... 5 days.
Overall time, 9 days is longer than if I had ordered under normal conditions from Ezbuy which takes 5-7 days.
Dpex even better than Speedpost!!! At least Dpex courier bothered to SMS & call me when delivering. And the call centre was very good & professional in arranging 2nd delivery. And the courier turned up even before 2pm (arranged time frame 2-6pm)!! Very impressed!!