As we have settled in more to our place in Discovery Bay, it was time for us to get a new TV stand. I’ve mentioned before that we have a policy now of buying better pieces of furniture (and clothing, etc.) that will last longer, instead of buying cheap stuff with a “disposable” mindset. But also important is not to simply waste your money and buy things because they are expensive – sometimes you can find nice things at a good price, too, right?
My wife is a regular user of Taobao, a chinese website similar to Alibaba, where you can buy things directly from the factory. This site is in 100% Chinese characters, no tabs to select English, and no communication in English either. So, my wife uses google translate and the occasional help from her colleagues to buy little things that are lower risk (that said, there is still a high risk in general of using them – ex: sent money, but no product delivered).
She has gotten a bit more adventurous, and decided to look for our new TV stand there since we have not had any luck finding the right thing in Hong Kong. We found one that fit our taste, and then after communicating to make sure they deliver to Hong Kong, my wife and I talked about if we should take the risk. It looks nice on Taobao, but as we all know, the end product might always be a little different than what the picture shows when you order online, and/or we simply might never receive it. Including shipping, it was about 3000 HKD (3200 sek, 385 USD), and about 35% of that was the shipping charge. So we took the risk.
How did it work out? We were contacted yesterday morning that we would have the delivery in the afternoon, and sure enough, we had our TV stand delivered. It came in a huge wood crate, packed very well, and it was very heavy – a good sign with furniture. And sure enough, it is 100% solid oak. Even the inside and the back are oak – not one element of it is cheap. It is well made and I am pumped about this purchase, because it would have been x3 to x4 the cost if we had purchased it in Hong Kong from a store here. We just might buy a bunch of things from these guys before we go back to Sweden and leave them crated up for the journey in the 1/2 container we get to move back with. 😉