Our Renovation Journey: Taobao Loots (First Batch)

Table Of Contents

  1. Our Renovation Journey
  2. Introduction
  3. Selecting a Contractor
  4. The Mood Board
  5. List of Works Done
  6. Problems Encountered
  7. Hacking and Plastering
  8. Tiling
  9. Taobao Loots
  10. Kitchen Appliances
  11. Issues Encountered Part 1
  12. Issues Encountered Part 2
  13. Brick Walls
  14. Electrical Works
  15. The Finished Look + Final Review and Contacts


  taobaoloots Introducing my very first ever batch of purchased items from Taobao! The prices are in SGD, and per item. From left-right, top-bottom:

  1. Hanging caged lights for bathroom, above the sink. $15
  2. Hanging mesh lights for bedroom, above both bedsides. $20
  3. Hanging caged lights for kitchen, above the row of bottom cabinets. $10
  4. Hanging bird cage lights for living room, above both corners of the living room window. $14
  5. Track lights (20w), Track and track connector for all rooms. $4, $1 and $0.40 respectively
  6. Hanging wall lights for still unknown (lol). $40
  7. Hanging pendant lamp for study room, above study tables. $21
  8. Craftstone bricks for living room and bedroom. $6 per box (1 box has 66 tiles and covers 1 sqm)
  9. Rustic wall clock for living room. $14

With the time we took searching for the perfect pieces (1 month!!!), you’d think we would order dozens and dozens of items, lol. We spent the longest time EVER searching for these items. Because we were new to Taobao, the entire process was completely alien and stressful to us, and it took us almost a month to finally complete the entire process. Though the savings kinda make all the pain worth it! Besides, you really only need to go through it once, and then you’ll get the hang of it. The agent that I used is Oops. I was pretty lucky because a friend of mine had used their services to purchase items for her house, and so she was able to guide me along the way. Off the top of my head, here are a few things to take note of: 1. Sea Freight Vs. Air Freight

  • Sea Freight – Calculated by volume: SGD$11.11/0.1 cubic meter – Minimum requirement: 1 Cubic Meter (or pay for the same amount ie. $111.10) – Use for big and/or heavy items like furniture, craftstone bricks, etc. Also use if there you have plenty of items to ship over. – Pros: Can be used to ship a large amount of items over, including heavy and bulky items – Cons: Slower than air freight. Will arrive in 2-3 weeks time
  • Air Freight – Calculated by weight: SGD$2.22/500grams – Minimum requirement: 500grams (or pay for the same amoun ie. $4.44) – Use for light items like cloth, small containers, little items etc. and if you need them urgently – Pros: Faster than sea freight, will arrive in 1 weeks time. Don’t need to buy in a large volume quantity. – Cons: Too expensive to be used for heavy or large items

2. Place Order (Assisted Purchase Service) Vs. DIY Place Order (DIY Reship Service) Use “Place Order” if you are very unfamiliar with the Chinese Language, or are not confident in making a purchase even after translating the page. Oops (or your agent) will make the purchase for you instead. Conversely, use “DIY Place Order” if you are able to make the purchase on your own. 3. Communicating in Mandarin  Be prepared to communicate with the Taobao sellers in Mandarin. You will need to ask them about the volume or weight of the item so you can calculate the shipping fees (from China to SG). You will also sometimes need to inform them to add in shipping the charges from the seller’s location to Oops’s China warehouse. Not all, but some sellers require additional shipping charges. If you’re not sure, always ask the seller to check. 4. Taobao Item Refund Taobao has this nifty function that allows for a full refund (hurray!), as long as your item has not yet been shipped (I’m not sure if the same applies after shipping has begun). All you need to do is contact your seller and inform them of your decision, navigate to the refund page in Taobao, and request for a refund. The seller will then proceed to refund your money, no questions asked (at least in my experience).   I’ll try my best to blog about the process soon. Hopefully it’ll help out others who are equally baffled as we were.


  • Amanda
    2 years ago

    Hi, I’m intending to get track lights from taobao for my hse as well.
    May i know the length of the track that you took?
    And whats the track connector for?
    Bcos im intending to put abt 4 lights so does it mean i need a track connector to connect 2 of the tracks so that its long enough?

    Thanks in advance :)

  • Liping
    2 years ago

    Hi, can i have the link for your track lights, track and connector? Are the lights functioning well?

  • Lydia
    12 months ago

    Hi, really nice items you have there! Would u be able to send me the links of these items as I’m also looking at getting bricks and lights from Taobao. How much did u spend on the shipping in all?

    • 11 months ago

      Hi Lydia, the links are included in my post, edited to make the links clearer.

  • ming
    11 months ago

    Hi Ling!
    Your lights look lovely!
    Am considering getting our lights from Taobao as well for our new place.

    Wanted to ask for your opinion on their durability and performance since you got them. How have the lights from TaoBao performed so far?

    Cheers Ming

    • 11 months ago

      Thanks ming! The hanging lights are working well, and so far I only need to do the light bulbs for 1-2 lights. But the track lights are faulty, though we suspect it’s because I don’t have a very flat ceiling for the tracks to be attached securely to.

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