shopping on taobao

Jul 22, 2018

A peanut butter taste of home

Who is the winner in the battle of the crunchies?

I ordered some peanut butter on Taobao, like you do. And then I ordered some more, and some more. And then what we had was a good old fashioned taste test!

If you’re interested in figuring out the relative nutritional information of each peanut butter — what a good math problem! — then you can find the stats below. (For the points, go comment on the video with your results!)


Skippy (per 2 Tbsp)

  • Source: America
  • Energy: 190 American Calories
  • Protein: 7g
  • Sugars: 3g


Whole Earth (per 100g)

  • Source: UK for Hong Kong Park N Shop
  • Energy: 643 kCal
  • Protein: 27.7g
  • Sugar: 3.8 g


Mother Earth (per 20g)

  • Source: New Zealand for Singapore
  • Energy: 518 kJ
  • Protein: 5.4g
  • Sugar: 1g

Jul 15, 2018

Ordering on Taobao, avoiding the scams

Wait ... how much is the shipping?!?!?!?!

We order all manner of things on Taobao, the online marketplace of choice in China. It’s a buyer beware situation, but mostly you’re going to get what you pay for: imitation Crocs, real Tabasco, Oscar Meyer ham, Swiss cheese. There’s a middle eastern deli — hello Voski! — that sells excellent flatbreads and hummus. And the Good Friends Store stocks a great selection of American condiments and spices. (Though I wish they’d get that dill relish back. I hate sweet relish.) We place a grocery order about once a month from various vendors on Taobao.

For big-ticket items, we usually order through 京东 — another online shopping platform that is a little more expensive but a lot more into genuine brand namery. But recently we’ve been plumbing Taobao for some pretty fun items. Peter collects Marvel Legends figures … and he doesn’t mind if the box has been opened, so he’s found some good deals on figures whose build-a-figure part has been harvested. And I’ve found some fun Korean stationery. I love stationery!

Sometimes there are hiccups, though. We talk about a clever scam we stumbled onto in the video above. So, be safe out there.