Ezbuy Prime vs Taobao: Which is cheaper?

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Is it worth getting an ezbuy Prime membership or should you just stick to buying directly from Taobao? Read on to find out how they fare against each other!

Xinman, our YouTrip Ambassador, shares her ezbuy Prime and Taobao experience!

We all probably asked ourselves this question before – is ezbuy Prime membership really worth it? On paper, it makes a lot of sense, paying a fixed subscription fee to cart out ALL items for only a $2.99 flat shipping fee.

However, have you realised that after you add Taobao items into your ezbuy Prime Wishlist for purchasing, suddenly the listing seems more expensive? 

For someone who moved house recently and bought ezbuy Prime thinking it’d be worth it to save money, I did a comparison and got my findings.

Here’s my detailed breakdown of buying through ezbuy Prime vs directly from Taobao – plus extra Taobao links if you’re interested to get what I’ve bought for my new place!

Taobao vs ezbuy guides:
#1: Taobao Furniture Shipping: Taobao vs ezbuy vs ezShip
#2: Taobao Daily Purchases: Taobao vs ezbuy
#3: ezbuy Prime vs Taobao: Which is Cheaper?

What is ezbuy Prime?

PHOTO: Ezbuy Prime

ezbuy Prime is a subscription-based membership where you pay between $9.90 (five-day trial) to $99 (one year subscription) for the above mentioned services: $2.99 flat shipping, promotional vouchers, and Wishlist quantity.

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To enjoy the $2.99 flat shipping, your items must have a “Prime” tag. With this tag, your cart check out will be $2.99 flat, no matter if you have one or 20 items.

PHOTO: Ezbuy Prime

What if there isn’t a “Prime” tag? When you become an ezbuy Prime member, you’re entitled to convert non-Prime items into a Prime item by adding them to the Prime Wishlist, which will then be eligible for $2.99 flat rate shipping.

Different tiers of ezbuy Prime memberships get different Wishlist quantities. The 6-month and 12-month membership gives you six Wishlists to use immediately, and then it’ll be limited to three Wishlists per month.

Note that the five-day Prime trial doesn’t come with Wishlist, which means that you cannot convert listings into a Prime item. You can only enjoy the $2.99 flat shipping for items that are already tagged with “Prime” on ezbuy.

However, even with Wishlists, not all items can be converted into Prime and be eligible for S$2.99 flat shipping. I’ll show you an example in the later part of this article.

Which is cheaper? ezbuy Prime or Taobao?

The Taobao prices listed below are based on the Mastercard Currency Conversion Calculator on my day of purchase (Oct 4, 2020), including discounts that have been applied to both ezbuy and Taobao, rounded to the nearest 10 cents.

In short, item prices are cheaper when buying directly from Taobao, as compared to buying through ezbuy Prime. I bought five items in total and here’s how they fare:

1. Double-sided floating photo frame

PHOTO: YouTrip
ezbuy Prime Taobao Taobao Savings
$56.10 ~$46.80 ~$9.30

Buy it on Taobao: Double-Sided Floating Photo Frame

2. Magnetic note holder

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ezbuy Prime Taobao Taobao Savings
S$2.15 ~$1.90 ~$0.25

Buy it on Taobao: Magnetic Note Holder

3. No-Drill mini wall shelf

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ezbuy Prime Taobao Taobao Savings
$3.80 ~$3.50 ~$0.30

Buy it on Taobao: No-Drill Mini Wall Shelf

4. No-Drill wall key hook

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ezbuy Prime Taobao Taobao Savings
S$6.60 ~$5.20 ~$1.40

Buy it on Taobao: No-Drill wall key hook

5. Wooden wall hanger

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ezbuy Prime Taobao Taobao Savings
$25.40 ~$13.10 ~$12.30

Buy it on ezbuy: Wooden wall hanger
Buy it on Taobao: Wooden wall hanger

Note: Remember I mentioned that not all items can be converted in the Prime Wishlist? ezbuy didn’t accept this Taobao listing, so I had to comb through ezbuy to find something similar with the “Prime” tag instead. The one I eventually found was closest to the original that I wanted, with the same number of hooks.

ezBuy Prime vs Taobao: Total cost

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Shipping Total Cost
ezbuy Prime Free self-collection ~$191.90
Taobao Free doorstep delivery ~$174.10

With shipping also included from both sides, Taobao is actually cheaper by ~$17.80. Plus, Taobao includes free doorstep delivery by default, while ezbuy Prime only has free self-collection (doorstep delivery is chargeable).

This might not look like a huge amount of savings, but don’t forget about the $69 ezbuy Prime membership that I paid for. This means my total cost of buying through ezbuy Prime is actually a lot higher, and my savings should have been $17.80 + $69 = $86.80.

And with Taobao shipping directly to my house, I can talk to the seller directly if there’s any issue with my items, instead of going through ezbuy. This is of course, provided you can read and type in Mandarin. (Or ask for help from our Taobao gurus in YouTrip Taobao Alley.)

Taobao vs ezbuy Prime comparison

Taobao ezbuy Prime
Member $9.90 to $99
Language Mandarin Able to translate listings from Mandarin to English
Purchase Limit No limits Needs approval for Prime (through limited Wishlist per month) and items may not always be accepted
Custom Products Yes No
Price Pay in Chinese (CNY) with YouTrip card, no markups Markups on Prime Wishlist items after conversion
Shipping • Your choice of shipping ( consolidated air or sea shipping ) – payable once items are consolidated at warehouse

• Can also use third-party shipping for extra bulky items
• Domestic shipping (may be covered by seller)

• Unlimited flat $2.99 shipping from ezbuy overseas warehouse to Singapore

• Free self-collection for applicable items OR home delivery depending on weight
GST 7 per cent GST for air shipping above $400 and for all sea shipping regardless of price. 7per cent GST for air shipping above $400 and for all sea shipping regardless of price.

Shipping depends on items as some items aren’t available for air if sea is stated.
Discounts Taobao site-wide sale like 10.10, 11.11, etc. Exclusive discounts for Prime members + free agent fee depending on promotion events
Cashback Yes No
After Sales Contact seller directly to resolve problems to the best of your ability, like refunds Takes a few days to respond (three in my case and one month for actual resolution)

Should I use ezBuy Prime or buy from Taobao directly?

If you have really heavy furniture and items you want to ship from Taobao, ezbuy Prime may still be worth it for the flat $2.99 shipping. The items I’ve chosen are small items (sans the photo frame).

But do also note that ezbuy doesn’t allow some items to have self-collection, so you must pay extra delivery fee from ezbuy’s Singapore warehouse to your home.

Also, the markups on Prime Wishlist items mean that you have to pay extra for each item. So while you’re paying a $2.99 flat shipping fee, you have to weight your options and see if the markups are worth it or not.

For example, will the total markup costs exceed the shipping fees if I were to purchase from Taobao directly?

And speaking of shipping fees, you can also consider looking into other Chinese shipping forwarders or third-party forwarders for bulky shipping if you want to leave no stone unturned.

My Taobao hauls

PHOTO: YouTrip
PHOTO: YouTrip

These are the results of my experiment and thoughts! The items I’ve bought from Taobao have arrived with no issues, and some of the quality even exceeds my expectations like this bag hanger I bought – the wood is properly varnished and not raw! I love that we can hang our clean masks near the door with house keys and shopping coupons as well.

I’m also really happy to have found a reliable listing with reasonable price for a HUGE beautiful modern looking frame that I can frame my full page newspaper feature from 2018 ( check out the rest of my mini stuff here)!

The transparent part is thin acrylic and not glass so it’s not too heavy, but be warned that it may be prone to scratches and fingerprints down the road. I also hung one of my favourite paintings from a local artist , and can’t wait to decorate this area with more art like the little prints in the photo!

PHOTO: YouTrip

Hope this article helps you to have a better understanding of how ezbuy’s Prime and Prime Wishlist works! Happy shopping, and always remember to use your YouTrip card when checking out in foreign currency to enjoy YouTrip’s Wholesale Exchange Rates for the best currency conversion rates!

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Possibilities are endless for Taobao, so if you still haven’t gotten your free YouTrip card yet, use promo code < XM5 > to sign up and receive a free $5 in your account.

PHOTO: YouTrip
PHOTO: YouTrip

This article was first published in YouTrip.