Have you ever noticed how most cosplays on Ebay all seem to be the exact same cosplay but with a different seller? Yep. They really are. That's because many Ebay sellers are Taobao cosplay resellers!! You can save money by buying your cosplays from Taobao!!
Things to note before starting:
- Shipping will be a lot. it's best to do this if you have 2+ items to buy, or to order with friends to combine shipping!!
- You will have to use a purchasing service. I will recommend my favorite one below!
- There are also scammers on Taobao, but your purchasing service will warn you about this if they have any concerns!!
1. Get on a computer.
You can try the Taobao app, but I've found that with all the copy pasting of names you'll be doing, it's way easier on a computer!
2. Figure out what the character & anime you are looking for is in Chinese/traditional characters.
I've found that the easiest way to do this is to simply Google: "(character name) name chinese" or "(character/show name) kanji." Kanji is the traditional Japanese, but as names are written the same regardless of which chinese-based asian language they are written in, this is a great search to start with!
Here's how you might find out something. Let's say I want to find Lucy cosplays from Fairy Tail. I might search "Lucy Heartfilia kanji name" but she isn't going to have one, as her name is foreign, not Japanese-based. So, instead I search "Lucy heartfilia chinese name." Still no easy results!
Instead, I'll go to the show name - Fairy Tail. I searched "Fairy Tail chinese" and got this "妖精的尾巴" Now, to find Lucy, I'll go to Taobao.com and search the word I just found (妖精的尾巴) along with "妖精的尾巴" "cos" "cosplay" or "服装" or "cos服" which are all variations of cosplay & costume!
You'll start seeing results! From these, I figure out that Lucy's name would be written as "露西哈特菲利亚" and searching "露西哈特菲利亚cos服" got me lots of results!!
3. Search away!
1) Use google chrome's translate feature to get the basics. You can also use this to help find more phrases to try searching for to find what you're looking for.
2) If having trouble with the translate feature, try downloading the Google Translate app to your phone. Then, you can use the camera function to take a picture of hte chinese & translate it. Yep, lol, but it works!
3) As you begin searching, you'll find other phrases that are useful. You might find a shop who has really good quality and just want to scroll their site. After clicking around, you'll learn how to navigate Taobao more and more.
4. Found one you like? Now, search the name of the shop in English.
People have been buying cosplays off Taobao for years. Just search the name of the shop in English. You can find the shop highlighted as it is in the screen shot above.
This is a list of some shops & reviews of them, but it's not that up to date so it's better to search it when you find it!
5. Keep those links open!
As you choose everything you want, bookmark the links. You'll need these when you go to the shopping service.
6. Choose your shopping service.
There are many shopping services out there, but my friend recommended Martin at Clobba Online! They have popular items available directly on their website, but if you just email them through their Contact Us page, you can work directly with Martin to get exactly what you want :)
7. Send in your request.
Every shopping service will have different requirements, but generally you will need to send a list of the items you would like.
8. Review the items; send final confirmation & first payment.
They'll get back to you asking for any needed info (measurements), a price & info on how payment and shipping will work. For Clobba, you pay for the items, they order them, then they quote your shipping based on the actual price after they receive the items in their office. You can then pay shipping.
9. Wait patiently & enjoy!
It might take a while to arrive depending on what shipping method you chose, so be patient! Then, rock those cosplays!!! This cosplay pictured above is one I got on Taobao :)