What is Taobao?
Taobao is my absolute favorite place to find affordable additions to many of my hobbies, though I use it mostly for Lolita fashion additions. Taobao is an online marketplace based in China. With Taobao, you are able to search for any items that you wish. This website has many items to offer! The availability of various products being offered for sale on this website is nothing short of incredible! You are able to purchase everything on Taobao from common household items to niche based items!
Why I love it.
When I wish to have a new closet addition or, a specific accessory for a coordinate, I always visit Taobao! Not only does Taobao have the best selection of items, but they are extremely affordable as well! All of the items you see displayed on the screenshot below are in Chinese Yuan. There is an online calculator on Taobao that displays your country's currency for easy conversion. There are indie Lolita brands here that create high-quality items and they are priced at an affordable price!
From dresses to blouses, shoes to bags, your Lolita needs can be met through this one marketplace! I find active items on eBay, Amazon and even Etsy that are available from the original shop on Taobao. Below are some recommend Lolita indie brands that are Taobao based in order to get you started:
Magic Tea Party
Neverland / Souffle Song
How do you order from Taobao?
The sellers on Taobao only sell to people within China. Do not fret! There are shopping services you can hire to purchase any Taobao item from for you. A shopping service is a person or company that purchases the items you desire on your behalf. Once the items arrive, they ship them to you! Most of the shopping services you can use for Taobao use this format and process to buy your items.
Simply paste the URL of the item that you would like into the shopping service of your choice. There is usually a place for notes, so that you are able to choose a certain size and input your desired color.
Once you submit your desired items to your shopping service, they will contact the sellers to ensure that the items are in stock. If the items are unavailable, your shopping service will keep you informed.
After the shopping service confirms that the items that you would like to buy are in stock, they will calculate the cost to purchase the items plus the shipping from the seller to their location. Once this calculation is complete, you will receive your first invoice for the cost and pay it through PayPal.
With your first invoice payment, your shopping service will order your purchases. Once all of your items arrive, the shopping service will take photographs of your order to confirm it is accurate.
The second invoice that you will receive will be the cost to ship your order to you from the shopping service location, plus the service fee. The service fee is for the service that the shopping service has provided by acting as the middle man between you and the Taobao seller. The % service rate varies from shopping service to shopping service. Many times the shopping service will have % sales!
Once your 2nd payment has been made, your shopping service will ship your order to you!
Online and in person thrifting is a fantastic way to find Loliable jewelry, accessories, and apparel. There are tons of wonderful finds that are hidden away in thrift shops! There are numerous pieces that I have added to my own wardrobe accessories from local shops. In addition to your local thrift and antique stores. there are also some fantastic online second-hand places that you can browse!
Second-hand shops are a great way to get your hands on some less expensive Lolita brand and off brand items. Be sure to check in with each site often to see if some of your wishlist items pop up!
Bodyline is a clothing brand based in Japan and they have an online store which offers worldwide shipping. Among cosplay and costumes, Bodyline also sells Lolita fashion and Lolita accessories. Not only does Bodyline sell Lolita fashion, the vast majority of Bodyline's items are extremely reasonably priced. This is especially true when it comes to Bodyline's famous and common sales. Whatever your Lolita needs, Bodyline is a fantastic and inexpensive source to increase your Lolita wardrobe.
There are over one hundred tutorials on how to make Lolita yourself! I know that the idea of learning how to sew may be intimating, but it is well worth the time and energy! I started learning how to sew because of Lolita. I have made hair accessories, gloves, and mini Lolita ball-jointed-doll accessories.
The trick for me was to make items that I wanted to make. My mother is a professional seamstress and suggested that I start with small items, such as pillow cases and bread covers. My passion for sewing came from making items for my ball-jointed-doll and myself! Our matching Lolita items have inspired bigger and grander sewing projects! I hope to make my own Lolita staples, such as Lolita socks, wrist cuffs, bloomers, and blouses, in the near future. I may even create my own tutorials!
With sewing experience, you can repair damaged pieces, alter your Lolita items and create items yourself! You can also create items to sell and raise money towards your own future Lolita wardrobe!
There are literally hundreds of excellent tutorials for Lolita items! Whether in a video format, DIY instructions, or printable patterns, you are sure to discover a learning method that will work for you.
F Yeah Lolita has a great list of free tutorials to get you started.
Again, there are almost a never ending selection of Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, egl links, YouTube videos, fashion magazines, and online patterns to choose from!
What are some of your tips and tricks to save money in Lolita? I would love to read your answers!
All the best,
This is the account of one young woman and her passion for Lolita Fashion.