Let Taobao light up your home

2:00 PM

When I put together this list, a reader commented I left out Taobao. 

Fact is, I didn't and I was preparing an entire entry dedicated to them! I have never purchased anything from the site before but this time round with the house, I did. Kudos to the Hubba's ability to read, write and then make sense of all the jargon in chinese - we purchased 90% of our lights and all our ceiling fans from Taobao.

First up, they have a new site created for the market within South East Asia which makes it slightly easier to purchase items - since searching in English does get you something BUT, prices will be higher. So then, rule of thumb is - brush up your chinese and then shop on Taobao.

These are a few snapshots of the items that we managed to put together and installed.  Special thanks to a dear friend who made our home look so good in pictures!

The dining table light that both the Hubba and I fell so in love with, a Timothy Oulton inspired piece. No swarovski elements or crystals involved but with such a statement piece, I can stare at it all day long (cleaning it is another story altogether). 

Our walkway of lights that can be adjusted anyway we want and for now, we have a tiny space on the first wall dedicated to pictures...someday, we'll have both walls filled up!

Where the King and Queen retires nightly, having these starry lamps did give the room a warmer hue at night.

Saving the best for the last with our walk-into-the-room wardrobe and our row of industrial lights.

I shall not paint the rainbows and unicorns about how awesome shopping on Taobao is because the harsh reality is, you have to be prepared of the downside of shopping on a China website.

What you see may not be what you get

Let's be upfront and honest how online works - especially China works. Replicas galore and each may be less like the real deal and it depends which supplier you choose since there are a ton selling the same thing BUT showing the same picture.

Get a trustworthy technician

I cannot reiterate how important this is. We had one who was pretty decent but he charged us based on the complexity of setting up the lights. However thankfully, he was able to install everything we wanted at the right height.

Be prepared for incomplete items

Missing bolts, nuts and parts that would make the light complete. This had to be a great nightmare since the Hubba had to run to various hardware shops to find the missing piece. At this juncture, he almost gave up finding the jigsaw piece.

Safety certificates non existent

The downside of getting your own lights overseas is they are not stamped with a mark of approval from the governing body and that means if there is an act of God like a fire breakout or a result of the mis-wiring, insurance gets away scott free and happily does not include you in payout.

Freight charges and insurance bits

There are a ton of forwarders whom you can work with but we opted for Singpost and topped up for insurance to ensure our items reached us. That being said, Singpost still audaciously lost one parcel but graciously reimbursed the cost of the lost after numerous calls and emails to badger the poor customer officer. 

On that note, we loved the lights and saved a heap of money but note that I saved on cost price, we had to pay for freight which was the cost of the items anyway. Savings were made and pretty substantial but there are risks involved.

I originally had my mind on making my home a uniquely Taobao one but the freight charges did put me off a weebit. I leave you with our gorgeous lights and fans which proved to be an experience both of us would remember for a long while.

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  1. Hi may i know how long js the ceiling fan stem? My hub and i are also looking for a ceiling fan from taobao.

    1. Hi there! I'm not so sure how long exactly it is but our ceilings are not that high to begin with....

  2. Hi, thanks for your informative post! May i know what did you check for in terms of electrical compatibility and safety before buying your ceiling fans? Thanks very much!

    1. Hi there, apologies for taking so long!

      As for safety, I'm afraid we just read the reviews and made sure there aren't any negatives and took a huge gamble with the fans. They have worked fine till now!

      As for electrical compatibility, the electrician should be able to do some extra wiring to sort that out. :)

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi, thanks for your informative post! May i know what did you check for in terms of electrical compatibility and safety before buying your ceiling fans? Thanks very much! ceiling fan with light singapore


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