Ship by Sea or Air? My experience with Taobao Official Sea Shipment

Well, I've been shopping on Taobao again and this time round, due to some bulky items and "air restricted" items, I've to choose shipment by sea.

I am still not sure why but there are a few items (ear simulator) that I can't choose to ship by air but is made possible when I choose the option to ship by sea.

This is my first time shipping by sea, I usually don't ship by sea because it usually takes longer for the parcels to arrive (5-10 days VS 15-25 days). But this time round, I don't have a choice.

I went with Taobao Official Sea Shipping (which happens to be DEX-I Destination Express International) instead of Lazada. Lazada has too many negative reviews and adds up to be slightly more expensive.

 

Price List:

Ship by Sea or Air? My experience with Taobao Official Sea Shipment
Volumetric Weight = Length (cm) x Width (cm) x Height (cm) / 6000


The items I bought added up to over 7kg (which would be rounded up to 8kg). 8kg = RMB26 + 8(9.4) = RMB91.80.

However, I was charged RMB126.28 due to a 7% GST tax of RMB34.48. (Note: GST doesn't apply to air shipping IF items total value did not hit SG$400). However, RMB126 is still cheaper than RMB143 if I ship by the cheapest Taobao Appointed/Official air forwarder. (If I've choosen Lazada sea shipping, it'd have cost RMB$116 excluding GST).

Ship by Sea or Air? My experience with Taobao Official Sea Shipment

And there is a service charge of 3% by Alipay (which occurs on every payment you make).

Ship by Sea or Air? My experience with Taobao Official Sea Shipment


Customer Service (2.5/5)

I'm not too happy with the sea freight CS department. When I enquired about shipping items with battery, they couldn't answer me and asked me to baidu (China's version of Google) it myself.

I Shop, I Use, I Review | ishopiuseireview.com
If all you could do is ask people to "baidu" on their own, 
what is the Customer service department for!


Speed of Delivery (3/5)

20 Sept: 
(around 14:00-15:00) Items were consolidated and shipment fee paid.
18:38: Checking and packing of goods
18:50: Preparing for shipment

21 Sept: 
17:40: Sent out from warehouse
17:46: Parcel waiting to be pick up/check
17:51: (Crossing border) Parcel sent out

22 Sept: 
17:00: (Crossing border) Clearance at custom
19:00: (Crossing border) Custom clearance completed
20:00: (Crossing border) Departed Origin Port

02 Oct:
9:00: (Singapore) Arrived at Port

03 Oct:
9:00: Customs Processing
16:00: Customs cleared

04 Oct:
9:00: Container sorting
14:15: Shipment Inbound Scanned

05 Oct:
9:00: Out for delivery
17:54: Deliveryman at my doorstep

Well, it took 15 days to reach me, well within the stated time frame, no complains here!


Tracking (3.5/5)


There are 2 ways (3, if you consider Taobao website) to track your parcel. As mentioned, you can check on Taobao under 【查看物流】or you can download the Cainiao Guo Guo application. (For some weird reasons, I can't track my parcel with the given tracking number on the Cainiao GuoGuo website...)


The application allows you to track every single item you bought on Taobao (if you link them up). And there are options to win coupons and stuffs. But I won't go into details.

This application will show the same information as Taobao (I think Taobao draws information from Cainiao) but the app updates faster.

 

The next option, is tracking via the Dex-i website. The website is available in both English and Chinese, so it might be easier for some.

There is an error in their system's date (same as Cainiao Guo Guo), 
I captured this on 22 Sep, there is no way they could have updates of 26 Sep. 
Unless, it is a prediction?
  

Anyway, similar with most tracking system, information will only be updated when the parcel reached a new "destination" (or port) and processed hence there will be days that there is no updates at all.

For my case, I do not have updates since 22 Sept and then on 05 Oct, everything is updated at one go. So there is no way you could contact the local delivery agent to arrange the delivery.


Condition of Parcels (4/5)

I think the conditions of the individual parcels are quite acceptable. I've a few screen protectors (including large ones, 19 inch) and they're in good condition. But I'll leave it for you to judge.


 But once again, I must make it clear that there is no way of knowing when the parcel was damaged. Before they reached the warehouse or after.


Local Courier/Partners (4/5)

The local Delivery Agent is Last Mile Delivery Pte Ltd, which is a new company setup in February 2018.

I've tried contacting them via their online chat, during working hours but it seems like there is no one there to answer.

The deliveryman is quite friendly, he knocked and waited (I was in my room when it arrived), unlike our SingPost postman who has buttery hands and can't knock. *roll eyes*


Overall score: 3.5/5


Conclusion:


I'm pretty happy with Taobao Official Sea Shipment. They're pretty fast and parcels arrived in acceptable conditions.

But I just wish to bring up, the few things you do need to note when choosing between shipping by sea or air:

- Size of items.
If your item is bulky, you probably could ship by sea only.

- Taxes 
You may want to calculate the price after GST when comparing the prices. (Although GST was collected when you pay for the delivery fee, it is 7% of the value of the goods and not the deliver fee)

- Urgency/shipping time 
If you can't wait, don't ship by sea. Sea shipment takes typically 15-25 days! Air would take about 5-10 days!

- Types of items 
Some items can't be ship by Taobao official air shipment, you can go through sensitive air shipment though but that would requires you to find your own forwarder. I've cover some of them in my PingAn International Express (Taobao forwarder) Review and Lazada (Air) Shipping and Shipping Sensitive Items from Taobao!) However, some sensitive items can't be shipped by sea also.

Don't ask me what can't be, I'll just ask you to "baidu" yourself! LOL.

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