Latest update on 7th April 2017

There is a growing trend of Singaporeans buying from Taobao to seemingly fulfill all their shopping needs. This can range from clothes, to home furnishings, to bicycles and even large-sized items like sofas!

However, what shoppers have sometimes found frustrating is that most Taobao vendors on Taobao (or other Chinese online shopping sites) do not offer direct shipping to Singapore. Or if they do, the shipping fees to bring your purchases to Singapore are horrendously expensive. 

This is why more and more Singaporeans are turning to parcel forwarding agents to help them ship to Singapore. Some popular ones include Ezbuy (previously known as 65Daigou), Peeka, SGshop, Oops and so on. 

If you didn’t already know, what can these parcel forwarding agents do for you?

Most Taobao vendors offer free or subsidized shipping within China.  Ship your items to one of these agents’ warehouses in China, and the parcel forwarding agent will forward the shipment to you in Singapore.

But more importantly, these agents help you liaise with Taobao vendors in Mandarin to ask crucial questions such as the volumetric weight* vs. the actual weight of the item, packaging details, as well as other important info that newbie shoppers may not know to ask.  It makes the Taobao shopping experience a whole lot easier and stress-free ! 

So who has the best rates? pingNshop has checked out the rates of the 5 most popular agents in Singapore and compared their rates for you.

ezbuy peeka logo oops buy2
Agent fees

8% of product value + shipping fees

(Add 7% GST for all sea shipment for ezbuy)

5% of product value only or min. SGD 5

(Add 7% GST for all shipments for Peeka)

8% of product value + shipping fees

(Add 7% GST for all sea shipment & add SGD 0.98 for clearance fee for all shipments for SGShop)

Air freight: min. SGD 1/kg

Sea freight: min. SGD 5/0.1cbm

10% of product value only + China domestic express fee

Exchange rate

*Set by agent

SGD 1 ≈ RMB   4.50 SGD 1 ≈  RMB 4.82 SGD 1 ≈  RMB 4.50 SGD 1 ≈ RMB 4.90 SGD 1 ≈ RMB 4.68
Shipping rates (every 500g or stated otherwise)
Seamar-barco-con-contenedores_318-61807.png

0-30kg           →$1.30

30.01-60kg    $0.90

60.01-160kg $0.60

160kg & above  $0.45 (Shanghai)

$0.36 (Guangzhou)

0-30kg           →$1.40

30.01-80kg    $1.00

80.01-160kg $0.70

160.01kg & above  →   $0.50

0-20kg           $1.25

20.01-50kg  $0.95

50.01-100kg  $0.65

100.01kg & above   →$0.35

Min. 1 cbm $10.20/0.1 cbm

First 0.3 cbm → $96.15

Additional → $21.15/0.1cbm

Economy Airplane $ 1.69 N.A $1.69

Base charge → $3.27

Min. 500gr        → $2.13

 

First 1kg $6.20

Subsequent 1kg       →  $5.13

Express Airplane $ 2.99

First 500g $14

Subsequent 500g   →        $3.60

$2.99 N.A N.A

 

So what does the table above mean? In general, the total sum you pay is made up of 3 components:

Total shipping costs =  Agent fees  +   Shipping rates   + GST (if applicable)

  • Agent fees: x% of product value or total product value including shipping.
  • All agents calculate shipping rates based on actual weight or volumetric weight, whichever is higher. 
  • Volumetric weight = refers to the size of your item. 
    • Volumetric weight in kilogrammes (kg) = Height x Width x Length in cm / 6,000
    • Volume in cubic metres (CBM) = Height x Width x Length in cm / 1,000,000
    • Sea freight: 1 CBM = approx. 1,000 kg
  • Why do we recommend you using an agent? Agents help you liaise with vendors in Mandarin and ask them crucial questions such as packaging details, volumetric weight and so on – in order to help you get your items to Singapore as safely and affordably as possible. They also check your items when it reaches their China warehouse to make sure there are no defects before forwarding it to you in Singapore. 
  • Additional note: GST is charged at 7% of product value. If the total value of your package(s) is more than $400 SGD, you will be required by law to pay 7% GST) = payable to your agent during second payment (GST + shipping + agent fees)

—-

So all the above can be rather bewildering.  To help you get a better picture of who offers the cheapest shipping, we have chosen one small item (a ceiling light), and one big-sized item (a three-seater sofa) to give a snapshot comparison. 

Here are the total shipping costs for a ceiling light and a sofa:

lamp

Ceiling Light

Freight Forwarders

 

 

 

 

 

 

lampLamp Measurements:

Volumetric Weight: 4.95kg/0.0297cbm

Actual Weight: 2.1kg

Price: RMB 299 / SGD 67.19

ezbuyAgent fees: 8% of (Product price + shipping)

(Add 7% GST for all sea shipment for ezbuy)

peeka5% of product value only or min. SGD 5

(Add 7% GST for all shipments for Peeka)

logoAgent fees: 8% of  (Product price + shipping)

(Add 7% GST for all sea shipment & add SGD 0.98 for clearance fee for all shipments for SGShop)

oopsAgent fees: Air freight: min. SGD 1/kg

Sea freight: min. SGD 5/0.1cbm

buy2Agent fees: 10% of product value only

Shipping Method

Shipping Price

Seamar-barco-con-contenedores_318-61807.png (8-14 working days)

SGD 13 + 6.42  + GST 4.70 =

          SGD 24.12

SGD 14 +  5 +       4.70 =

 

SGD 23.70

(cheapest)

SGD 12.50 + 6.37 + GST 5.57 + 0.98  =

 

SGD 25.43

N.A (Minimum requirement is 1cbm)

SGD 96.15 + 6.72 =

 

             SGD 102.87

Economy Air plane(3-5 working days)

SGD 16.90 + 6.73 =

SGD 23.63

(cheapest)

N.A

SGD 16.90 + 6.64 + 0.98  =

                SGD 30.01

SGD 19.59 + 5 =

      SGD 24.59

SGD 26.72+ 6.72 =

             SGD 33.43

Express Air plane(1-3 working days)

SGD 29.90 + 7.77 =

 

          SGD 37.67

(cheapest)

SGD 46.40 + 5             + GST 4.70 =

 

SGD 56.10

SGD 29.90 + 7.67 + 0.98 =

 

 

SGD 38.65

N.A N.A

*All of the above freight forwarders calculate shipping price based on actual weight or volumetric weight, whichever is higher. Do note that for the ceiling light, we have assumed a volumetric weight of 4.95kg (because this was higher than its actual weight) to compute shipping prices.

 

sofa

3-seater sofa

Freight Forwarder

 

 

 

 

 

 

sofaMeasurements:

Volumetric Weight: 300kg/1.8cbm

Actual Weight: 75kg

Price: RMB 1650 /SGD 370.79 

 

ezbuyAgent fees: 8% of (Product price + shipping)

(Add 7% GST for all sea shipment for ezbuy)

peeka5% of product value only or min. SGD 5

(Add 7% GST for all shipments for Peeka)

logoAgent fees: 8% of (Product price + shipping)

(Add 7% GST for all sea shipment & add SGD 0.98 for clearance fee for all shipments for SGShop)

oopsAgent fees: Air freight: min. SGD 1/kg

Sea freight: min. SGD 5/0.1cbm

buy2Agent fees: 10% of product value only

Shipping Method

Shipping Price

Seamar-barco-con-contenedores_318-61807.png (8-14 working days)

SGD 270 + 51.26 +   GST 25.96 =

 

  SGD 347.22

SGD 300 + 18.54 + GST 25.96 =

 

  SGD 344.49

SGD 210 + 29.66 +  0.98 =

 

 

SGD 266.60

(cheapest)

SGD 204 + 100 =

 

 

    SGD 304

 

SGD 455.70 + 37.08 =

 

 

SGD 492.78

Economy Air plane(3-5 working days)

SGD 1014 + 110.78 =

SGD 1,124.78

(cheapest)

N.A

SGD 1014 + 110.78 + 0.98 =

SGD 1,125.76

N.A. (Exceed limit) N.A. (Exceed limit)

Express Air plane(1-3 working days)

SGD 1794 + 173.18 =

 

             SGD 1,967.18

(cheapest)

SGD 2170.40  + 18.54 + GST 25.96 =

SGD 2214.90

SGD 1794 + 173.18 + 0.98 =

 

  SGD 1968.16

N.A N.A

*For the 3-seater sofa, we take volumetric weight, 300 kg or 1.8 cbm, to compute shipping prices.

 

Verdict (based on the most cost-saving option):

For lightweight items below 1cbm such as apparels, accessories and home décor,

  • Sea shippingezbuy and  Peeka, offer the cheapest prices. Choose this method only if you are willing to wait approximately 1.5 weeks for your parcel(s) to arrive (from the time your item reaches the China warehouse).
  • Economy air and express airezbuy offers the best rates, followed by Oops for Economy Air and SGShop for Express.

For heavy items adding up to 1cbm and above such as sofas, tables and appliances,

  • Sea shippingSGshop offers the best shipping price since shipment is calculated based on cbm, followed by Oops and Peeka.
  • Economy air and express air: Air shipment is generally very expensive since the items are significantly big and bulky. Thus, it is advised that you choose sea shipping instead. However, if you do not mind paying the additional amount for fast shipment, you may consider using ezbuy.

After our comparison, ezbuy offers the best of both worlds as they are the cheapest air and sea shipment for lightweight items, as well as reasonable prices for heavy items (although ezbuy is not the cheapest). They also have many satisfied customer reviews who praise its efficient services. You may view these customer reviews here>>.

In addition, do keep a look out for ezbuy’s promotional periods, usually lasting 3-6 days every 2 months or so. You can save more on shipping fees during the promotional periods when they waive agent fees completely!

An ezbuy app, available for both Apple>> and Android>> users, is very much user-friendly for customers to browse through products from China, Taiwan or USA. After which, customers can track their parcels effortlessly as it provides a step-by-step tracking method that can be found both on the website and app. Ezbuy are also active on their Facebook page>> and also interact with their customers there.

ezz

ez

For heavy items, we recommend Oops because it provides the best sea shipment price since parcels are measured using cbm. We’ve actually compared Oops with Hongxun Logistics, another popular parcel forwarding agent which goes by cbm.

However, since Hongxun Logistics is more expensive than Oops, and is said to have a more complicated process for ordering, in addition to being conducted in Mandarin, hence we’ve not included Hongxun Logistics in our comparison chart. 

Please refer to the first table for the new and revised shipping rates for Oops as it is still not updated on the website.

Oops does not engage in promotional events often. They simply provide customers with the best sea shipment rates especially when buying bulky and heavy items such as furnitures. Oops also keeps their Facebook page>> active by updating on various shipment delays and interacting with customers online. With generally satisfied customer reviews, Oops seems to be a trusted agent for shipping your parcels!

 

Picture credits:

Cover picture: http://mymailforwarder.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/concierge-shopping-America.jpg

Ceiling lamp: http://world.tmall.com/item/43165489651.htm?spm=a312a.7700718.1998099587.4.KAHrAB&id=43165489651&bi_from=tm_comb&skuId=91693680650

3-seater sofa: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a312a.7728559.2014082902.1.lS57ZB&id=42159072177&_lang=zh_CN:TB-GBK&thwarea=hw&toSite=main

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39 Comments

  1. I loved this analysis.

    Having tried some of the agents myself, I couldn’t agree more with your verdict.
    I do like to point out that for small parcel, another option is to use Taobao partner agents such as 4PX. I like them as they offer 24hour POPstation as collection point. Great for those who are unable to receive parcel personally during the day.
    For pricier items, I prefer to go with 65Daigou as they do parcel inspection and have extension collection option islandwide.

    I have not used oops.sg before and I look forward to trying their service in the next big shipment.

    • Hi Bear & Mouse Co,

      Thanks for the compliment ! 🙂 Ok, great to hear about your experience with 4PX and 65 Daigou 🙂

      Yes, we found good reviews on Oops.sg . For bigger items like sofa, dining table etc, it makes a huge difference to go by per cbm rates, rather than per kg rates. We’d definitely recommend going by Oops.sg or any other agent that goes by per cbm for those type of items 🙂

    • Hi NoSLeD, Thanks for the tip ! Perhaps Hongxun is having a promotion right now. In that case, it’s a good time to use Hongxun now!

      When we last checked, Oops was offering RMB 500 per 1 cbm while Hongxun was slightly more expensive at RMB 550 per 1cbm. Don’t forget to check the exchange rate set by the agent before proceeding ! Happy shopping 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comparison! I’m new to Taobao. Could you share how cbm is calculated? And how would I know if I have filled up 1cbm, if shipping by oops? Thanks v much.

    • Hi Noobie, you’re welcome! Thanks for reading it 🙂

      CBM Calculation Formula : Length (centimeter) x Width (centimeter) x Height (centimeter) / 1,000,000 e.g. 35 cm x 35 cm x 45 cm = 0.055 cbm

      When purchasing items, you would have to check via Live Chat with the Taobao seller to find out the dimensional weight (cbm) of your item including packaging. You would then know if your items fills up 1cbm or not. For a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to shop at Taobao, you can also check out our post here >> Step-by-step tutorial on How to Shop at Taobao

  3. Excellent article, tables makes things clear, especially the 2 item examples. Really easy to understand. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Jason,
      Thanks for the kind words ! 🙂 That’s so nice to hear – we changed the format a few times trying to make it less complicated. Thanks very much for the encouragement. Have a good week ahead !

  4. That’s a really nice review! Do you mind to do more reviews on agents outside Singapore? I’d really like to see some reviews on taobao agents such as bhiner, taobaospree or buynosaur.

      • Seconding Buynosaur, I’ve been using them since January and they have been tremendous! Please do a detailed review on them!

        • Hi! totally new with all these and I happened to chance upon your reply. How has it been like buying from Buynosaur? Reliable for purchasing in big bulks?

          • Tiffany Wong on

            Hey there,
            We haven’t tried buying from Buynosaur before, but we’ve read some good reviews on buynosaur’s prompt and efficient customer service. From what we know, they only ship by air, so it may not be suitable for bulk purchases though. Your shipping fee might be pretty high. Hope this helps 🙂

  5. One of the best review i have read on the internet! Especially the table for both items make things clearer. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  6. Vry useful info n rather easy 2 comprehend. Thk U so much!

    I read fr another review dat 65daigou’s packaging isn’t … things can b delivered in damaged condition.

    Hv u any similar experience like dat?

    Will u consider adding dis part on Goods’ Condition (Packaging) in your review 4 de different agents?

    Thk U once agn ?

    • Tiffany Wong on

      Hey Charl,
      Thank you for your suggestion! No we have not received items in damaged conditions. From what we know, most of the items get repacked in the warehouse. All of my orders from 65daigou were in good condition. You may want to try Peeka as well. I’ve read reviews and they were mostly praised for their packaging qualities. Have a great day! 🙂

    • I also highly recommend 65Daigou and wish I could place more orders through them. Two years ago I bought multiple bicycle components from multiple sellers through them. They were very professional. They answered my questions promptly. They forwarded and translated my questions for sellers. They apprised me of the status of my orders and made recommendations when it seemed like sellers weren’t being professional. I had a rush need for a product and one seller was holding up the entire package. When it finally arrived, 65Daigou reduced the price on the fast shipping so that I could pay close to what I would have through standard shipping. I was very happy with the service and looking forward to making more purchases. And then what happened? I live in Thailand and they decided not to provide their service to Thai customers anymore. They wanted me to order through their Malaysian site, but the cost of shipping from Malaysia was extremely expensive. So now I’m looking around for a similar, high-quality service that ships to Thailand. Anyone have any suggestions? Maybe the folks at 65Daigou can make a suggestion!

      • pingNshop.com on

        Hi Willy, thanks for writing in. I’m sure other readers will find your review helpful. No idea about Thailand – but hope some other readers have some suggestions ! Cheers.

  7. hi tiffany,
    I think you may have made a mistake in your comparison

    7% GST is applicable for sea delivery for Daigou ( similar to Peeka). As such, daigou is not necc the cheapest when it comes to sea delivery. Your Lamp example , daigou will not be the cheapest. Peeka will be instead.

    you also may like to highlight that peeka delivers to your house/ doorstep at no extra costs. But for daigou, there is a min of S$5. But of course, if you choose to self pick up from a variety of collection points, there will be no extra costs.

    Quote from Daigou/ ezbuy website:
    For Buy-for-me service: 7% GST applies for all sea/sensitive sea shipment orders. For air shipment orders, 7% GST applies if an individual order value is more than S$400.

    • pingNshop.com on

      Hi Coco, sorry for the late reply ! Thanks and really appreciate you flagging this out to us 🙂 Our info was based on the rates of the old 65daigou website. True about the $5, we’ll be adding that in. Thanks for helping us make this post better!

    • pingNshop.com on

      Hi Didi, thanks for writing in! Unfortunately, not really. However, if there is enough interest expressed through comments, we will do our research and write a post about it. We did our Part 2 for our Step-by-step Taobao Tutorial due to frequent questions from readers. Thanks, Didi !

  8. hi,
    i’d like to know if i’d to buy 5 items altogether, the agent fees (let’s say it’s 8%) will be calculated as in:
    (each product x 8%) x 5?
    OR
    to consolidate the 5 items altogether as one big order, like,
    total price of 5 items x 8%?
    i hope i don’t confuse you though hahs. thank you!

    • pingNshop.com on

      Hi Tara, thanks for writing in ! No problem at all. Either way is fine – because the amount will work out to to be the same. Thanks, Tara !

  9. I also using 65daigou the service is good but sometimes sending wrong items, when i collecting (OMG)

    Nowadays for sea delivery need 7% of GST (65daigou / SGSHOP)

    Next time will trying SGSHOP

    • Hi Season ! Oh that’s unfortunate about your wrong items! Yes, seems like perhaps Singapore customs changed their laws for sea delivery. Ok, let us know how SGShop goes for you! 🙂

  10. Hi
    Can you clarify how to calculate the shipping cost (using the sofa example) for Oops? How did u get “SGD 202.25 + 65” ? If the sofa is 1.8cbm, shouldnt it be 18* $5 = $90?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Joshua,

      Thanks for writing in. Here are the calculations:

      For Oops sea freight rates, they are:
      Min. 1 cbm →$112.36
      Subsequent 0.1cbm →$11.236

      So 8 x 0.1 cbm = 8 x $11.236 = 89.888
      1.8 cbm = 112.36 + 89.888 = 202.25

      Agent fee: 1.8 x 5 = 90 (yes, you’re right – we made a miscalculation here)

      Total: 205.25 + 90 = 292.25

  11. jaycomposer on

    Just want to share my bad experience with 65daigou (ezbuy), recently i ordered some makeup through their Ship-for-me services, which they advertised as providing free repack services that will protect and reduce the weight and volume of the shipment. The contents of the entire box was smashed, with powder everywhere. When i asked them about with attached pictures as evidence, they denied responsibility even though they admitted it was damaged during international shipping, as they opened the box when it was delivered to the warehouse overseas and it was fine.

    So they admitted the box was damaged during international shipping, but they said I should have rejected the parcel because once i have accepted the parcel, it’s not their responsibility. Well, how would i know it’s all smashed inside?

    Do not deal with this irresponsible company, i spent a month writing and replying and they always replied with the same words, with terrible grammar, making you feel like you’re having a conversation with an automated machine.

    I lost more than a hundred dollars through this incident. The seller refused to compensate as well as it arrived intact at the warehouse, and was only damaged by the shipping company.

    • Hi Jaycomposer, oh sorry to hear your poor experience ! That’s quite unfortunate 🙁 Did you happen to take any photos of the packaging before you opened your parcel? If the external packaging was damaged, I think you might still have a case to ask them to compensate. But from their FAQ, it seems that customers who use Ship-for-me without topping up for the additional insurance will only be compensated at most for the shipping charges 🙁

      Perhaps you can try sending photos of the external packaging if you have any. Otherwise, maybe the other agents such as Peeka or SG Shop would be a better option and have better customer service. Thanks for alerting our other readers. Good luck!

  12. Hi PingNshop,

    Thank you very much for your hard work and sharing. It is comprehensive and clear, especially with 2 different examples. I was using 4PX before get to know EZbuy, fast but expensive. EZbuy service is good and shipping rate is cheap (so far). Fortunately, to date there isn’t any unforgettable & unpleasant experience. We are moving house soon, intend to buy some furniture from Taobao. Therefore, i’m looking for cheaper sea shipment rate. Read through your analysis, then I know about Oops and it is the cheapest. Recently in my FB, there are some friends in Malaysia are sharing their Taobao shopping experiences including “pay on behalf 代付” & “ship on behalf 代运” by China Agent. I understand the term but still figuring out how it works. It is seems cheaper and the sea shipment is faster because I saw they are buying bath room glass panel, outdoor drinking filter (like oxygen cylinder), floor tiles, large furnitures, etc. Need to find out more. I am not sure whether the China agent do ship to SG or not.

  13. Is that mean that if I order a lot of items, combined, the cheapest option is by oops (including all the fees)? because ezbuy have 7% gst charge now. Is the analysis above the latest one? Btw, thanks a lot for this article. It helps a lot !

    • Hi Rene, we’re sorry for the late reply! The analysis was accurate at the time of posting; the Taobao agents may have changed their fees and policies by now. However, you’re correct in mentioning that Oops would be cheaper now due to the 7% GST charge by EZBuy. Ultimately, it depends on the mode of delivery and waiting time you prefer. We hope this helps!

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