New Taobao Shop at Funan Mall — A Complete Walkthrough, with Pics
The new Taobao shop at Funan Mall is something of a mythical place. Most people I know want to go there… But no one has actually managed to find it.
So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the Taobao shop completely by accident the other day.
It was kind of like this quote from The Chronicles of Narnia:
“Yes, of course you’ll get back to Narnia again some day. Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia. But don’t go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don’t try to get there at all. It’ll happen when you’re not looking for it.” ~ The Professor in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
I wasn’t sure if I could ever find the Taobao shop again, so I made sure to take plenty of pictures. Enjoy!
How the heck does one get to the Taobao shop at Funan Mall?
The new Taobao store is located at B2-01 to 04 / B2-34 to 36 of Funan Mall according to Capitaland’s directory.
Despite its size (6,000 sq ft), the Taobao store at Funan Mall is extremely difficult to locate.
The best way to get there is to take the side entrance of Funan Mall along Coleman Street (facing Peninsula Plaza).
See that wee escalator heading down? Take it down 2 levels to B2, and you will find yourself practically in the Taobao store.
If you’re still lost in B2, look for Kopitech (the food court). The Taobao store is in the corner farthest away from the Kopitech.
So you found the Taobao shop at last! Now what?
First, take a photo of this hilarious “亲，Welcome” sign.
If you don’t get the reference, “亲” (“Dear”) is a common greeting among Taobao sellers when you try to communicate with them. Typically, you would be asking them things like how the bloody hell can shipping take 4 months, or asking for a refund for sending you the wrong item.
The Taobao “store” is actually an open-concept corner of Funan Mall’s basement. It’s big but quite sparse, so it’s not terribly complicated to find your way around. Nonetheless, there’s a helpful store map in case you get lost:
What’s at the entrance / “Instagram area”?
When you enter the Taobao store area, you immediately see a bunch of furniture along an “alley”. This is represented on the store map with an Instagram icon; I guess people like to take photos here?
They do have some pretty Instgrammable pieces of furniture, like this cool corrugated cardboard-looking bench. I think it’s collapsible, like an accordion. Unfortunately, this cardboard beauty has a $419 price tag, which is rather odd considering Taobao is known for cheap stuff.
The outdoor furniture section at the end is also very popular. I thought this cocoon swing was cute, and wanted to file away for when I finally own a landed home (in the afterlife, I guess). It costs a cool $486.
Oh well, I’ll just have to be content with these sub-$20 ornaments.
Mini Taobao shop #1: Linsy Home / Linshimuye 林氏木业
The “Instagram area” of the Taobao shop is flanked on both sides by miniature “stores”, some of which represent popular Taobao brands. Linshimuye 林氏木业 is one of them.
As I learnt during my previous Taobao NomadX pop-up visit, Linshimuye (anglicised as “Linsy Home”) is one of the most successful sellers on the platform — it’s now a premium furniture store in China.
You can check out their aesthetic at the Linshimuye mini-shop at the Taobao store. Some of their items have that Muji look and feel, while others are more trendy, along the lines of HipVan furniture. Generally the vibe is minimalist, and the workmanship looks fairly decent.
Unfortunately, Linshimuye is one of the more expensive furniture brands on Taobao, with most items costing a few hundred bucks before shipping. You can see more of their stuff on the Linshimuye website.
Mini Taobao shop #2: Virmall
Next to the 2 miniature shops for Linsy Home / Linshimuye is what looks like another furniture shop. This is the shop for Virmall, which is actually not a Taobao seller, but a logistics / e-commerce service that’s the Singapore partner of Taobao.
It’s Virmall that brought the Taobao shop to Funan, and I presume that the staff here work for Virmall.
Well, Virmall’s shop isn’t really as pretty as Linshimuye’s. There are a few pieces of large furniture (like the sofa and coffee tables) while the rest of the items are a mix of plastic organisation containers and home decor.
Not much to see here, to be honest.
Mini Taobao shop #3: Jiyoujia.com
Right at the end of the Funan Taobao alley is my favourite mini-store: Jiyoujia.com. Like Linshimuye, it’s an uber-successful Taobao seller-turned-premium furniture store in China.
Check out the Jiyoujia website — tons of beautiful Nordic / Japanese home stuff with a lot of options to custom-make your own cabinetry and flooring.
I am a complete sucker for the vintage, rattan-and-wood vibe here. But sadly, everything is out of my price range. This outdoor furniture set’s price tag was $327 for the chairs and table. :,(
I love love love these old-fashioned rattan cabinets — they looks like something out of a period drama or Baba House — but each one costs about $679. Yikes. Guess I’m sticking to IKEA.
In comparison, this $153 desk seems a lot more “reasonable”…
Why does this Taobao shop seem to have nothing but expensive stuff!? I thought Taobao was supposed to be cheap. This $34 tea set was the only thing I could afford.
Mini Taobao shop #4: Kitchen & Dining section
So that’s all the premium furniture at the Taobao shop covered. The remaining 2 “stores” are all dedicated to small items, and are split into Kitchen & Dining, and Home & Living.
As you’d expect, pretty “Nordic” tableware and kitchenware dominate the Kitchen & Dining section. This selection of bowls and spice organisers ranges from about $25 to $30.
The only truly cheap items I saw here were these $2 marble coasters.
By the way, not everything here can be purchased immediately because there is no ready stock for a lot of items. Only those whose tags do NOT say “Online Purchase Only” can be purchased and taken home. Otherwise you need to place an order via Taobao and wait for the stock to come in.
There are also some Bear brand kitchen appliances for sale here.
Mini Taobao shop #5: Home & Living section
The final pit stop at the Taobao shop is the Home & Living section, which looks like… Well, it looks like one of those power bank / USB diffuser shops at Sim Lim Square or Bugis+, mashed up with the forsaken back alley of Japan Home.
Working in a somewhat pet-crazed environment (4 cats and 3 dogs adopted in a matter of months), my eye was immediately drawn to the selection of super-chio PetKit products here.
Almost everything pictured here are super good deals, at least compared to Lazada (where my colleagues and I usually buy our pet supplies). The stainless steel weighing bowl is $19.80 on Taobao compared to $55.60 on Lazada, the water fountain is $39.80 here vs at least $65.40 on Lazada, and the feeding bowls here are $17.80 here vs $35 on Lazada.
That little stick at the bottom right is a “pet air purifier” — yes, a tiny air purifier which you can stick on top of your dog’s pee pad or cat litter box to eliminate odours — and it’s $19 here compared to $43.90 on Lazada.
The only bad thing is that all of them need to be ordered online so you can’t walk home with them.
Just when I thought you couldn’t get any more premium than a pet air purifier, I came across this Tiffany blue behemoth — an automatic smart pet feeder at $199. I do think automated feeders are great and actually dropped $60+ on one, but $199? That’s just silly.
Turns out, though, that $199 is actually a really good price — this particular PetKit feeder is $330(!) on Lazada.
How do you make purchases at the Taobao shop?
Just to be clear, the Taobao shop at Funan Mall isn’t quite a shop, it’s more like a showroom. About 80% to 90% of the items here cannot be purchased immediately because there is no stock.
You may come across the occasional small item, like this, which you can buy over the counter and take home right away. (Note that there is no QR code and it says “Please proceed to payment counter”.) But these are few and far between.
Most items in the store have a price tag with a QR code. Those are not available in stock and have to be ordered. To order it, just scan the QR code with your phone’s camera app and you’ll be directed to the Taobao listing.
If you cannot make sense of the Taobao listing, simply ask one of the shop staff for help. I was quite heartened to see some senior citizens shopping on Taobao for the first time under the staff’s guidance! Better than going for National Silver Academy course sia.
The staff here also told me that all shipping costs are factored into this listing, so the price you see on the QR-directed webpage is what you will pay.
Note: Prices are in renminbi and you will have to pay with your own credit card (the SGD price on the price tags are estimates after conversion). However, you can arrange for store pick-up or delivery in store.
You can also make use of the following promotion if you have a UOB card and $60 worth of things to buy from the Taobao shop:
Is the new Taobao shop at Funan worth buying from? Tell us what you think.