Taobao is the Amazon of China, except in the words of Kanye West: it’s better, faster, and stronger. Now, personally, I had a unique experience because I ordered a pair of sweatpants from Taobao that took several days to arrive. BUT typically packages are received in about 2 days. Ultra-fast! In my opinion, my problem occurred because I made a minor mistake... I placed my order the day after 12/12 or “Double 12” which is another major day for online discounts in China similar to “Double 11” back in November. I’ve been told, “Save everything you want into your shopping cart and then buy it all on one of those days so that you get the sale prices!” Unfortunately, I missed both my chances.
But Taobao is great! It only has one minor fallback for an English speaking American with little to no knowledge of the Chinese language: the APP is almost entirely in Chinese. Certainly I can search for items in English, but as I add them to my cart, purchase them, and track them during shipping I have to rely on my students and friends to guide me. (I got a message yesterday and I thought it said my package got to campus so I jumped up and basically ran to the pick-up station, but alas I was wrong. It still had a little ways to go to get sorted and delivered, but then it arrived late last night!)
My sweatpants are comfy, my legs are warm, and Taobao has my approval. (I’m trying to learn more Chinese too, so that maybe next time I won’t prematurely run for my package!)