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Thread: Taobao here we come !

  1. #1
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    Talking Taobao here we come !

    For folks who are interested in a group buy on Taobao using Taobao Focus (test piloted by Dr. Hobbes), please identify yourself here. More information will be coming soon !

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    I would be in, but would prefer if funds were exchanged a week from now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thanks View Post
    I would be in, but would prefer if funds were exchanged a week from now.
    Argblech and myself have only barely started discussing this. We are not planning on pulling the trigger on this immediately (say like this weekend or within the next week). Hobbes actually suggested we not rush.

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    I am most definitely in!

  5. #5
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    We are discussing how best to do this.

    What we don't want is a free for all where everyone gives us a list. I'm open to this later but we'd like something simple to start.

    My suggestion was that we (we == those participating) agree on 3 or 4 teas and order enough so that we each get a cake of each tea.
    The winter boys... drinking heavy water from a stone.

  6. #6
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    To follow up on argblech's comment, below is a list of teas and vendors Hobbes has previously ordered from and liked the results. To play it safe, we will be placing an order for teas from the below list. Please send me a PM with your home email address. We will be polling you via email to sort out which three to four teas we will be ordering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbesoxon View Post

    My test purchases for your reference, all of which look and smell to be the real thing:

    i.
    2001 Dingxing - $30 (was double or triple this at Essence of Tea)
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=2390561266

    I enjoyed this from Essence of Tea, and MarshalN recently reviewed it positively. Almost a decade old for $30, and tasty too? I am helpless before such bargains.


    ii.
    2003 Quanji Bulang (a.k.a. "Male Urine") - $26
    http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_...5e1cec67da.htm

    A delicious cake that has been doing the rounds for some years - my thoughts here. $26 for this would require brain surgery not to purchase.



    iii.
    2006 Yongpinhao Yiwu - $10 (!)
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4810706353
    Solid and reliable, the YPH cakes are usually cheap but very cheerful. For RMB65, it's a crime not to buy it.


    iv.
    2003 Manluo Yiwu - $25
    http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_...869e6cd8.jhtml

    My old favourite from Maliandao, with which I am stocking up. My notes here. Ask yourself what you can buy from Western vendors for $25. A beautiful cake, now seven years old? Stunning.


    v.
    2004 Yiwu Mahei - $19
    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4...&cm_id=&pm_id=

    Recommended by MarshalN - I've not tried it yet, but it looks and smells decent.


    vi.
    2005 Dayi "Zaochun 501" Tuocha - $13
    http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_...m_cat=50003862

    My old warrior (notes here). Most people are not entirely thrilled by Dayi - they're more stalwarts for reliable aging (pre-2006 vintage for preference, no idea about 2006+ vintages), but this tuocha is darned good. So woody and potent. I have tubes of this stuff.

    What's not to like?


    Toodlepip,

    Hobbes

    He also suggested to us the following:


    2006 Xingshunxiang "Yiwu": http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_...m_cat=50003862

    2005 7542: http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_...559766d249.htm

    Happy reviewing !

    TGY

    PS: This group buy is targeted for B&B folks living in the United States.
    Last edited by tieguanyin; 07-09-2010 at 01:26 PM.

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    (iii) YPH was not good, but the rest are all thoroughly worthwhile :)

    Bonne chance!

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    I'm liking the looks of i, iv and v. especially liking iv.

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    It looks as if (vi) has sold out recently, and so in order of excellence:

    Tied at first place:
    (i) 2001 Dingxing, (iv) 2003 Manluo

    then:
    (v) 2004 Xingshunxiang "Yiwu Mahei" (with the red old-fashioned "cha" character in the middle)
    (ii) 2003 Quanji Bulang

    then, the other recommendation mentioned by TGY:
    2006 Xingshunxiang "Yiwu" (with the map of Xishuangbanna on the wrapper)

    and probably ignore:
    (iii) 2006 YPH "Yiwu"
    Last edited by Hobbesoxon; 07-10-2010 at 01:01 AM.

  10. #10
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    Exclamation Group Buy Update

    We are on hold until we get mod approval for this activity.

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    When y'all decide on something, can you post it with approx. cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlin View Post
    When y'all decide on something, can you post it with approx. cost?
    My assumption is that we will choose cakes based upon the prices noted above and then a shipping quote can be provided when all of the quantities are known.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatwaves View Post
    My assumption is that we will choose cakes based upon the prices noted above and then a shipping quote can be provided when all of the quantities are known.
    Don't jump the gun. Tea prices and currency exchange rates are subject to constant change.
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  14. #14
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    I did some back of the envelope on Friday using the four cakes I voted for and it looked to be $120 to $130 per participant to get them to the US. There would be additional fees once the bundle is broken up. Those numbers aren't hard and fast... a lot can change before the order and I could have forgotten a fee or something.

    Maybe we the interested parties should send TGY some indication of what price point they require to participate.
    The winter boys... drinking heavy water from a stone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arghblech View Post
    I did some back of the envelope on Friday using the four cakes I voted for and it looked to be $120 to $130 per participant to get them to the US. There would be additional fees once the bundle is broken up. Those numbers aren't hard and fast... a lot can change before the order and I could have forgotten a fee or something.

    Maybe we the interested parties should send TGY some indication of what price point they require to participate.
    With Taobaofocus, the costs are usually:

    Stage 1 costs
    1a Cost of the cake
    1b Cost of the intra-China post from sellor to handler (typically RMB15 / vendor)
    1c Handling fee, which is 10% of 1a

    Stage 2 costs
    Postage from China to your location (recommend Airmail, the cheapest, 1-2 weeks)

    (Note that Taobaofocus offers the facility to send an order to multiple addresses, which is what I did for our previous B&B group buy when we used Taobaonow.com. If you don't use this, then you need:)

    Stage 3 costs
    Postage from your location to each of the group-buyers' locations, by local mail

    This latter gets quite expensive, and we saved a lot of money by having the handler deliver to individual locations in stage 2.


    Toodlepip,

    Hobbes

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by arghblech View Post
    I did some back of the envelope on Friday using the four cakes I voted for and it looked to be $120 to $130 per participant to get them to the US. There would be additional fees once the bundle is broken up. Those numbers aren't hard and fast... a lot can change before the order and I could have forgotten a fee or something.

    Maybe we the interested parties should send TGY some indication of what price point they require to participate.

    I was also doing some quick tallying on Friday. Argblech's figures are in the ballpark.

    Still waiting for mod approval for the group buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tieguanyin View Post
    I was also doing some quick tallying on Friday. Argblech's figures are in the ballpark.

    Still waiting for mod approval for the group buy.
    Forgive my ignorance, and my curiosity, but what interest would forum moderators have in a group purchase of tea from random vendors? The previous group purchase was coordinated by e-mail.


    Best wishes,

    Hobbes

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbesoxon View Post
    Forgive my ignorance, and my curiosity, but what interest would forum moderators have in a group purchase of tea from random vendors? The previous group purchase was coordinated by e-mail.


    Best wishes,

    Hobbes
    My co-conspirator in this effort, Argblech, mentioned to me that somewhere there is a requirement to get mod approval before engaging in a group buy. I am fairly new to B&B so I trust his judgment on this.

    Since our hope is to share information on how this experience goes on B&B, we wish to be in good standing with the mods. If anyone else has information on this, please share it with us!

  19. #19
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    Well, I suppose one does have to obey the rules...


    Toodlepip,

    Hobbes

  20. #20
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    Good luck on the group buy, but funds have been short this month and I"ll have to be counted out =/

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