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Online shopping is more educational than traditional shopping

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

About three years’ ago, I was a little suspect on the online shopping market in China, especially when most people believe there is a big TRUST issue in  Chinese Internet world. “Are you really wanting to take the risk to pay for something before you actually see it, not to say get it?”

Today,  with the support of fast development of online payment services, online shopping is becoming a common sense. And as a new mom, I think it is indespensible in my daily life., a subsidiary site of Alibaba, is the one leading the C2C/B2C market. Two years’ ago, we were talking about how Taobao defeated eBay in China by winning the sellers. Today,  CNReviews called it “Toxic”(Chinese Web Insights: Taobao Is Toxic)  as it is addictive for shopper like myself. The most recent statistics shows that the estimated sales of is over 200 billion RMB (~ 30 billion USD) in 2009, it is 3 times as big as the total sales of all major supermarkets (Walmart, Carefour, etc.) in whole China.

I used to think online shopping is less of fun because I can’t see, touch and feel the product as the real time matter. However, there are some advantages over mortar-and-brick shopping other than cost.

Education is one of the big advantages.

I become the first-time mom in Feburary this year.  Although I got a lot of help and advice from my mother and mother-in-law, I still want to take advice from outside and buy the best I can find and afford for my baby. At the same time, I knew I have zero knowledge about the baby&mom world. Online shopping sites are perfectly for education for such situation. For example, I found this stroller buying guide is very helpful in understanding what kinds of products for what kinds of needs in the market, and what is avaliable within my budget range.

Living in city like Shanghai means that we needs a light weight stroller with which we will carry around when we go out by taxi. By research on the web, I got to know that Maclaren is very good for light and steady requirements. But I have never heard about it before in China.  Luckily, I later got a Maclaren from my boss as a gift.

When the baby gets old and we were considering feeding him solid food, high chair become another key item in my shopping list.  “Easy to clean” is one of the most important feature I learned and we picked one of  IKEA’s product called ANTILop as the result of research: simply,  easy to clean, save and cheap. A lots of mom said the fancy features are really not necessary in feeding baby. And we are not very happy with it.

Happy shopping!