We all hate hidden costs. Especially when they come after hours of carefully trawling the pages for the perfect buy – only to find that the shipping costs outstrip your potential savings. Shipping is a tricky beast where Taobao is concerned; so tricky that we have not one but two articles dedicated to it.
The good news? If you’re a serial Taobao shoppaholic, there is a weapon out there that you should consider adding to your arsenal: shipping membership programmes.
And today, we’ll be reviewing one of the most well-known programmes: Ezbuy Prime
Ezbuy Prime: Why you should consider using it only if you’re a serial Taobao shopper
Heard of Amazon Prime? For the uninitiated, Amazon Prime is an Amazon membership program that allows members to enjoy delivery perks in exchange for a monthly (or yearly) membership fee.
Ezbuy Prime pretty much works the same way.
Formerly known as 65Daigou, Ezbuy is a third-party forwarding service company that helps shoppers to ship their items from Taobao’s shops to their country of residence. And just like Amazon, they’ve launched Ezbuy Prime – a membership programme that allows you to ship items from Taobao shops at extremely low flat shipping fees. We won’t get into the full membership details which you can dive into here – but we’ll be covering some important pointers you need to know before you decide to hop on.
1. Signing up
Ezbuy Prime membership will cost you SGD 99 annually. Like every good Singaporean shopper, testing the goods is an important ritual before making the purchase. So have a taste of the service with a 1-month trial for newbies, going for SGD 9.90 – or you could try it for free with this $10 voucher courtesy of ezbuy.
If you love it, you’ll have the choice to subscribe to the annual membership at the end of the 1-month trial.
2. The catch (but you saw this one coming, right?)
All good things don’t come without a price (just as there are no free meals in the world!) Ezbuy Prime may allow you to ship items at low shipping rates, but it also means that you can only shop from specific shops that are covered by the Ezbuy Prime membership.
3. How to tell which shops are covered by Ezbuy Prime
Two ways to go about this.
Method 1: Shopping directly from products listed on the Ezbuy Prime website.
Shops covered under this membership programme are listed on Ezbuy Prime’s homepage, and separated by categories such as Homes & Garden, Sports & Outdoors, Women’s Fashion, Men’s Fashion, Toys, Kids & Babies as well as Shoes, Bags & Accessories.
It looks like this:
Method 2: Searching for the item that you want to purchase using Ezbuy’s search bar.
If you’ve already found something you want to buy on Taobao, you’ll need to see if it comes under the Ezbuy Prime programme, by entering the product’s URL into Ezbuy’s search bar.
What the search bar looks like:
If the product is covered by the Ezbuy Prime programme, the search results will look like the below. Specifically, you’ll see that it is available for Ezbuy Prime as indicated by the “Prime” label under the field “Available for”.
If the product isn’t covered by Ezbuy Prime, the search results will look something like the below. There’ll be no “Prime” label under the field “Available for”.
4. The Ezbuy Prime shipping process
Filled up your basket with Ezbuy Prime approved products?
Congrats! Now that you’ll fill up your basket with Ezbuy Prime approved products, the check-out is where the magic begins.
Listen carefully: the shipment fee for your entire shopping basket (and every single one of the items in it) will cost you a crazy low rate of SGD 2.99.
Yup, you read that right – this single shipping fee cover every single one of the products in your basket. Even if you’ve piled up hundreds of items, the fee remains the same. Just make sure that it’s within your membership period.
We can already see lots of new home-owners rubbing their hands in glee…think of the racks of Taobao products you can now buy under a single shipping fee.
5. What’ll it cost me?
This is what you’ll be coughing up for Ezbuy Prime
1. Membership fee (fixed cost): SGD8.25 per month
2. Flat delivery fee (per order cost): SGD 2.99
3. Agent fee (per order cost): 4% of total order cost
4. GST (per order cost): only applies if your order is above SGD 400
6. Shipping by air or sea
Whether you item can be shipped by air or sea depends on a couple of factors: volume, weight and customs restrictions on sensitive items. Shipping durations are no different from Ezbuy’s regular ‘Buy For Me’ service.
So, sounds too good to be true? Perhaps!
We think that it boils down to what kind of Taobao shopper you are.
If you’ve read everything up to this point, you’d be able to tell that Ezbuy Prime benefits these 2 types of Taobao-holics the most:
Taobao-holic 1: The Taobao Shopaholic
Orchard road? What’s that? The last time you stepped into a shop was when mum made you accompany her to Isetan. You shop so much on Taobao that the office security know you by name.
So if you currently shop more than twice a month on Taobao, an Ezbuy Prime subscription could help you make significant savings on international shipping. Tip: you can make the membership work harder for you by maximising the quantity of your orders. Basically, if your delivery cost hits SGD 10, you stand to benefit from the membership. And of course, the more you shop, the more you’ll be able to save from the Ezbuy Prime.
Taobao-holic 2: The Big Shopper
Furniture shopping for your new apartment? Or stocking up items for your shop?
It goes without saying that Ezbuy Prime will benefit you the most!
The flat fee pretty much means that you’ll stand to save on hefty shipping fees that typically accompany large, bulky purchases.
The most important thing to note?
Regardless of what kind of Taobao shopper you are, you must be happy with the existing products covered by Ezbuy Prime even before you consider signing up for the membership.
Not everything is covered by Ezbuy Prime. But here’s the good news: 4 million existing products (and counting) are covered by the membership – so it’s pretty likely you’ll be able to find what you want!
Our advice? Get a feel for the variety of products covered by Ezbuy Prime before you commit to the membership. If you have a list of Taobao shops you always go to, check if the products qualify for Ezbuy Prime by using the search bar (as mentioned above), and you’ll be able to make a better decision.
Taobao Hacks readers, we have a $10 ezbuy voucher up for grabs at http://www.bit.ly/TaobaoHack65 – which means you can try 1 month of prime membership for *free* 🙂 Don’t say bojio!
Are you an Ezbuy Prime user? We’d love to hear about your experience! Holler in the comments!