Taobao fail: My knock off nightmare

I really love online shopping.

This is mostly because I can’t stand real-life shopping in China.

As soon as I enter a store here, I instantly have at least three shop assistants shadowing me, getting all up in my grill about what I should buy.

Usually, I just say, “Wŏ kàn kàn” (I’m just looking) but it does little to shake them off.

So, online shopping it is!

And it was all going well until this week…when I ordered a bridesmaid dress for my brother’s upcoming wedding…

What’s Taobao?


For those of you outside of China – or for those living under a rock in China – Taobao is basically Chinese e-bay (but better).

Here, you can shop to your heart’s desire, finding absolutely any item you want and usually, on the cheap.

Everything is in Chinese so you have to know some basics or have a really reliable translator app.

Fast fashion fail

This is the sweet, simple dress I bought from a seller on Tao bao.

Totes adorable, no?

Simple bridesmaid dress, chiffon material and gorgeous interlaced back.

It arrived within a few days and I excitedly ripped it open to find out that it was everything I had hoped it wouldn’t be.

The whole thing was a wardrobe malfunction.

Potato sack chic?

Not only was it ill-fitting in all the important places, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same transparent material used to make the budget curtains currently hanging in my apartment.

For sure, this dress was made in some dark and dingy sweatshop in China by some poor pleb, tasked with stitching 200 hems a day. Clearly, mine was the 200th hem.

Nailed it.

Trying to send it back, the seller refused, saying too much time had passed.

I could practically hear him saying nerrr, nerrrneh, ner-ner” from his dark, little sweatshop.

Must see: Knock-off Nightmares Facebook page

So now, I am without a dress for the wedding and will soon be frantically dashing about the shops in Australia to try and find something.


Fast Fashion: Cheap knock-offs that cost everyone


I’ve never ordered clothes from Taobao before but I threw caution to the wind .. a wind which blew back a “fast fashion” dress to smack me in the face.

Fast fashion is when a new style of clothing becomes ‘cool’ and so cheap copies of it are made, en masse, to sell by the barrel-load to suckers like me.

Sure, it allows every 20-something-year-old girl on a barista wage to have the latest off-the-shoulder Spring top but the true cost is far greater.

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Not only are these clothes made in factories where workers endure exhaustingly-long hours but they are also produced with cheap materials like polyester that are terrible for the environment – and your skin!

Read more: How to avoid buying cheap knock-offs on Taobao


Got a great Taobao fail? Share it in the comments below or on the Facebook page!



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