Can’t find what you’re looking for? Have you tried Taobao? Mum of one, Wei Shi, uses Taobao’s image search function to find enriching toys that are hard to find in local stores. Here’s what she loves most about this online shopping platform!
Mention the word Taobao in your mama circle, and odds are, they’ll rave about this vibrant online marketplace that retails items that you can’t always find elsewhere and often at a better price. There’s an impressive range of categories – nine to be exact – spanning kids and baby items to smart technology, homeware, pet care, food, personal care, automotive products, sports, fashion and beauty, and more. The website is in Mandarin, but you can use Google Chrome’s auto-translate feature to get product names and instructions in English or your preferred language! And while many shoppers love that Taobao is always on trend with its innovative products – many of which are unique to the platform itself – Taobao also proved to be a lifesaver for Wei Shi, mama to 2-year-old Elliot, who is visually impaired, as she was able to find items on Taobao that she couldn’t find elsewhere.
Easy access to products not available anywhere else
One of Wei Shi’s challenges was adapting baby books and toys to suit Elliot’s needs – he was born with Leber congenital amaurosis, an inherited disease that causes vision loss. This means that the toys Elliot plays with have to be modified for inclusive play – think larger buttons, string switches and more. Her efforts to curate suitable toys and books for Elliot’s early learning experience were hampered by the fact that many of these could not be found in Singapore or anywhere else.
“Taobao is already a big name that everyone has heard of, and I decided to start my sourcing there because of the huge variety of products it has. The prices are really reasonable, too!” she shares.
Taobao’s search with image function
Wei Shi began her shopping process by first looking for references online and from the social media accounts of other mums with visually impaired children. “Taobao has a handy feature that allows me to search for products using an image,” she explains. All you have to do is take a picture of the product you want to buy, upload it into the Taobao app and you’ll see a list of merchants retailing the item. “The search results are quite accurate,” she adds.
Shopping on Taobao enabled Wei Shi to introduce Elliot to a wide range of toys and books with sounds that would attract him to play and interact. “I found various audio-led books on Taobao, particularly Mandarin sound books, which are rather rare in Singapore. These buys – all of which cost around $8 to $12 before shipping – have helped my son enjoy reading and learning new words through listening,” she says.
Value for money, convenience & affordability
What Wei Shi loves most about her Taobao shopping experience is just how convenient it has been for her schedule. She doesn’t have to head from one store to another looking for what Elliot needs. Instead, she relishes having access to lots of different baby and early learning products, as well as household items, all at her fingertips and in her own time. “I can even shop when physical stores are already closed at night!” she adds.
Another highlight for Wei Shi is Taobao’s affordability. “The items I’ve purchased for Elliot on Taobao aren’t exorbitantly priced, and seeing him enjoy playtime with his toys and learning new words from his books has been absolutely priceless.”
How you can shop on Taobao too!
While Taobao might be daunting if you’re a newbie, Wei Shi loves that there are loads of online guides that demystify the app, and says that the app is now also very user-friendly. Want to shop just like Wei Shi does?
“I always start by checking reviews of the products I’d like, especially ones with pictures included so you know you’re getting the right thing. Sometimes, prices can be a little higher, so it’s good to check out other stores and make a comparison,” she shares. Wei Shi also consolidates all her orders to save on shipping and reviews her cart carefully before purchasing to avoid duplicate orders.
Shopping on Taobao has also helped Wei Shi plan ahead, and she’s excited to see how Elliot thrives in the next stage of his development. Check out the gallery below to see what purchases are currently in her cart!
Shop the Taboao 11:11 sale
From products that suit your lifestyle to items that are great for everyday use, Taobao has it all! Download the Taobao app to shop its 11:11 sale and enjoy exclusive deals and discounts on your purchases. Taobao’s sales are happening from 31 October – 3 November 2022 and on 10 – 11 November 2022.
Use promo code TB30SASSY to get an exclusive ¥30 ($5.85) off with a minimum spend of ¥499 (S$97)! Valid from 1 – 3 November & 11 November 2022 on Singapore-based orders made via the Taobao app. Other terms and conditions may apply.