Taobao Shops Masterlist and Useful Tips! (2022)

It's already been a while since I've published my first post, and I've been getting a lot of questions regarding the various stores I order from; which store is good for what, how do the sizes work, is this one good or trustworthy, and so on.
In response to all these, I'll be making a complete masterpost of my favorite Taobao stores, my impressions and appreciation, and I'll be including a short and practical guide to safe Taobao shopping!

The following list will include mainly gyaru, himekaji, mori, natural kei and general cute stores. It's still incomplete as I've only made 5 orders as of now and haven't had the chance to try out all the stores that interest me; I'll be updating this with time!

Clothing:


fairy kei, himekaji, roma || clothes, outerwear and accessories


My all time favorite taobao store and one fo my favorites altogether. They specialize in cute fashion, sometimes more on the fairy side, sometimes more on the gyaru side, but always extremely pretty. They release small collections about once a month, always following the season's trends perfectly, and staying true to their unique style. They carry everything except bags, shoes, lingerie and hats, which I hope they eventually will soon.
Quality: 8/10
Reliability:

fairy kei, himekaji, otome/sweet || clothes, outerwear, shoes and accessories


I haven't actually ordered from them yet, but their rating is fairly good and I've heard good things about them. Their style is a bit over the top, sometimes bordering on bad taste, but their more simple items are cute. They also carry a good selection of cute shoes and boots similar to Yumetenbo.

Quality: N/A

Reliability:


zipper, mod, otome, casual gyaru || clothes and outerwear

I haven't tried out CiciShop either as they're not exactly my style, but I enjoy the whole concept and overall look of the brand, the attention to detail and effort put into marketing. CiciShop's look is similar to Zipper with a more classic twist. They release new collections every season and have a very good rating.

Quality: N/A

Reliability:

fairy kei, roma, zipper, casual gyaru || clothes, outerwear, accessories, wigs and shoes

I have mixed feelings about them, mainly because my experiences with them are so-so. I've ordered shoes from them and the color was slightly off than showed on their website, and the quality was also a bit less than what I expected. Though they're still a taobao shop so I wasn't that surprised. Their designs are cute but I'd like to order from them again to completely make up my mind.

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Quality: 7/10

Reliability:

fairy kei, spank!, mahou kei || clothes, roomwear and accessories


Extremely cute shop from which I've seen a couple worn things that seemed of very good quality. They make their own original designs and release them one by one on pre-order basis (I believe). I'd definitely like to get something from them but I've yet to find an item that really caught my attention.

Quality: N/A

Reliability:

mori, natural kei, cult party, dolly kei || clothes, outerwear, accessories and shoes


One of them most well-established brands on taobao. They have their own unique style and put a lot of effort into marketing their clothes (graphic and web design, photoshoots, promotions). The quality is also really great, and although the prices are a bit higher than what you'd expect from a taobao store, you get what you pay for!

Quality: 9/10

Reliability:

mori, casual, otome || clothes, outerwear, accessories, bags and shoes

I own several pieces from ForestGirlFans, and I adore them. They are not rated two gold crowns for nothing! I'm not really into mori, but their clothes are also great for casual gyaru wear! All my comfort clothing is from them. They also update their store pretty frequently following the seasons. Totally recommended!

Quality: 9/10

Reliability:

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mori, casual, korean fashion || clothes, outerwear, accessories and shoes

A very cute and simple store for mori and cute casual styles. I have yet to order from them but I'm confident their products are great quality-wise, similar to the more cute style of Korean store Style Nanda.

Quality: N/A

Reliability:

casual, zipper, otome, korean fashion || clothes, outerwear and accessories

Like Maggie-Z or CiciShop but with a more urban and pop twist. They have very good feedback and all their products seem to be originals, although the style is similar to a good variety of Korean fashion stores.

Quality: N/A

Reliability:

gyaru, himekaji, korean fashion || clothes, outerwear and accessories

Maykii is a certified store on TMall. Their style is pretty similar to Candy Rain; weird cutesy designs and some over-the-top pieces. You'll need to filter through the weird stuff to find the wearable items, but it's still worth it and suitable for a variety of styles.

Quality: 8/10

Reliability:

TMall certified

gyaru, himekaji, otome/sweet || clothes, outerwear, shoes and accessories

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Viobo is another shop selling cutesy chinese womenswear like Candy Rain, and where you can find some cute simple items here and there. Some clothes are of very bad taste and look like they're made with weird lace, but in the middle of it you'll find cute shorts or tops that'll work in your gyaru wardrobe.

Quality: 8/10

Reliability:

Others:

accessories, stationary, school supplies, various merch


A cute reseller carrying various merch from san-x and others, especially rilakkuma, sumikkogurashi and sentimental circus. Their products are authentic and come directly from Japan. I wouldn't recommend to get out of your way to make an order from them only, as it is way more simple to purchase from Rakuten global or elsewhere, but they're a good alternative if you're already making a taobao order and want to buy a few supplies at the same time.

Quality: 9/10

Reliability:

gyaru, also works with all styles || wigs


A store that carries PRISILA wigs at a really reasonable price. I'm not 100% sure they're not replicas since the difference in pricing is huge, but their rating is fairly good. I ordered a wig and two half wigs from them and the quality is amazing, so wether or not it's the real deal, I recommend checking them out.

Quality: 8/10

Reliability:

___________________________

Now for the quick shopping guide! I won't make this super detailed since there are already plenty of great taobao guides out there, but I figured covering the basic stuff would be important.

1)

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Safety

Before buying, make sure the shop you're looking at is trustworthy. For that you can check in a few places; first, the store's rating, based on the number of feedback from customers.
It starts with the hearts and goes up to gold crowns. Try to buy from stores that at least have one blue crown.

You can also check the reviews on here and google translate them if needed. This section will give you a rough idea of the customers' appreciation of the product

(The image here is taken from the page of a dress by Bobon21. It shows the item has 203 reviews and comments from customers, often with irl and worn pictures attached.)

Stay away from replica stores as much as possible, and be very cautious with resellers.
Another way to judge the store's legitimacy is to take a look at their site layout and product selection. A safe shop will at least have a header or a bit of graphic design here and there, and will usually specialize in a certain style (all mori, all fairy, all lolita, etc.) or a specific type of product (just accessories, just nails, just shoes, etc.). I stress the word usually; it's really a matter of using your better judgement.

2)

TMall vs Taobao

It's important to understand the difference between the two. Well-known site Taobao is built on a market system, or "customer to customer". It allows everyone to have their own store and sell what they want. The stores' reliability is based on customer feedback only. It is pretty similar to ebay.
TMall, or Taobao Mall, is literally like an online shopping mall, and works on "business to customer" basis. It only allows legitimate manufacturers and brands that would've had to provide legal documents to be registered.
source: taobaofocus.com

3)

Sizes

A majority of stores carry one sized clothes, sometimes S/M/L, but the measurements vary a lot.
Here's a list of some translated terms you'd need off their size charts to make sure an item fits you:

腰围 /中腰 : waist 裤长 : pants length

臀围 : hips 裙长 : skirt length

胸围 : bust 大腿围 : thigh circumference

肩宽 : shoulder to shoulder length 裤管围 : pants hem

袖围 : sleeve cuff circumference

袖長 : sleeve length

衣长 : general length of item

Tip: Take your measurements once and make your own chart, so you don't have to measure yourself every time!


4)

Translating

Some stores like to post their product and promo information on a picture instead of as text, which means you won't be able to copy/paste it on an online translator when you need it. To help you with this, Google Translate has a handwritten translation option for some langages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and a majority of other langages that don't use the roman alphabet. I'm sure most of you already knew this, but it's something I discovered recently so I thought maybe talking about it could help !

You trace the characters and chose from the different choices given. Don't worry if you don't know anything about Chinese, or if you don't have a tablet to make it accurate; it doesn't recognize the strokes at all, only the shape.

(Here I just translated the title of a song from my Itunes library. The title is "forgot how to be happy" but you still get the idea. Google Translate is always a bit off but it's not totally unreliable.)



Hope that helped at least a little! If you guys have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Like I said, I will be updating this article with more stores and ratings as time goes by, so come back periodically to check what's new!

See you soon!


Videos

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4. How to Buy From 淘宝 (Taobao) Guide | Shopback | Singapore
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