Saturday, June 9, 2012

Online Shop Review: ARTKA (TaoBao)

OK so this was a long time coming and I cannot apologize enough that I have promised some people that I would review Artka but it fell on the back burner. I've still been really busy even though I am out of college now, with my job! >__<;;

So yes. ARTKA. The glorious online shop that many have drooled over but few have actually ordered from. It's on the Chinese shopping website called which is sort of like a gigantic online mall/eBay for China. In order to place orders on this website you need a Chinese bank account to do the money transfer, and also some way of communicating. Google Translate isn't really enough. You need someone who lives in China who can order for you.

Personally, my boyfriend has a connection over there, so that is how I ordered. I e-mailed her and asked her if she could get certain items for me. I paid her with Paypal and she shipped me the stuff. I know the prices seem cheap in USD but the shipping is killer! It's around $25 ~ $40 depending on the weight of your package for EMS. So my 2-3 dresses ended up costing over $100! Still not a bad deal considering the quality and uniqueness of everything.

Anyway. Click the Jump below to read more!

I can't remember the exact dates I ordered and paid for stuff and because I have a middle(wo)man, it's kind of hard to give an accurate representation of things since she was busy with other stuff and had to wait a little while to get my stuff mailed to me. Plus we were still working out payments, so I can't give timeframes. But expect at least a couple of weeks to get your stuff! Especially if you are using a shopping service like but they have charts on there to guide you for reference in how long it will take to get your stuff so just refer to those or e-mail them about it.

Price wise, the dresses I bought were roughly $35 to $45 each.

Here are the stock photos of the ones I own:

My less-than-flattering photo (sorry, night time here!) It's actually navy blue, not black, hehe.

Here is a photo of me wearing this dress from a while ago:

My photo:

Chandelier Skirt. I love this thing. It has a huge pocket and the top black part zips off and can be worn as a separate belt!

This is so simple and yet lovely.

It looks better worn too, curse my terrible photography. X___x;


Quality wise, Artka makes VERY nice quality stuff. Seriously. Nothing about their clothing is cheap to me! It's all made with loving care. They claim each garment is handmade but I think there is some degree of automation to it. ;)

Also you may have noticed they have an shop. DO NOT. I mean, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to place an order with their Artfire site. First of all, the prices are like 75% more expensive on there than on Taobao! It's so weird. And I tried to place an order once and they basically never sent my stuff. So after about a month or so of waiting, I filed a Paypal claim. Luckily I got all my money back, but man, was it weird. They sent me only one confirmation e-mail saying they would mail my items soon, but I never got anything or heard anything back from them again even when I emailed them repeatedly and eventually threatened to do a claim! Yikes. Very scary.

If you want to order on Taobao use a shopping service like It's safe and you won't have to worry about dealing with foreign sellers and attempting to use google translate. ;)

If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask away! :D

I would love to order from Artka in the future, but the shipping is heavy on the wallet, for sure.


  1. I sure wish I had read your article BEFORE making my order on ArtFire! Ordered a beautiful blouse for an event in 5 weeks (their shipping is estimated at 3-4 weeks). Artka responded back saying that they only make this in the Summer and that they would send NEXT YEAR or I could cancel. So I cancelled and found something else. Then I get an email from them 2 days later stating they actually do have it in stock, could send it out, and to please provide my size. I immediately reply "I thought this was cancelled?". They reply "No, we shipped this out today. You can mail it back to us international though and we'll refund your purchase price (but not shipping)"! So I am now getting an overpriced blouse I no longer need and won't even get in time. So disappointed in their customer service and ordering process on ArtFire!

    1. Sorry for my late reply. That sucks! Did you ever get your items??

  2. Guys very recently we started a business called Chinabuy in Australia to help you purchase from Taobao and other Chinese websites (we're Chinese Australians, we speak both English and Chinese). In particular, our goal is to address most if not all issues of those Taobao agents out there. Here is how:

    * We're an English-speaking Australian business. Our team is 100% Australian-based. So it would be much easier to deal with us.

    * We bargain on your behalf and pass on the saving to you. We want to emphasise this is very common when it comes to shopping from online marketplaces such as Taobao in China. If you ask a Taobao agent out there for your transaction record on Taobao they'll probably refuse -- wonder why? They bargained and put the money in their pocket rather than yours!

    * We provide you the original Taobao transaction record. That means whatever price we've bargained, you get the same price. For example, if we have the domestic shipping cost waived, you will have it too.

    * All you pay is item costs + shipping. We don't charge a service fee. The service charge is notorious as it potentially involves a minimum charge, a cancellation fee, or a payment surcharge. So we've decided to remove it altogether and simplify the fee structure, to bring you an uncomplicated, transparent shopping experience.

    * We offer competitive exchange rate directly from Chinese Yuan to Australian Dollars, so No US dollars for Australian residents.

    * Our shipping rates are one the lowest in our industry if you'd take a little while to compare.

    Check out our website today and we're sure you'll love our service if you give us a chance to bring a smile on your face.

    1. I have a friend who lives in China who buys all my items for me... thanks anyway tho!

  3. Awesome! I really like what you've purchased. Packaging seems to be thoughtful.

    I would also vouch for and they don't charge a service fee if you're in Australia.

  4. Hey, I REALLY want to buy from Artka as I'm very petite and a UK size 8/10, sometimes a 6, but their sizes have me worried, I have a 93CM bust, which is their large, which will make the waist WAY too big for me! I looked at other sites I've bought from though and examined the clothes that fit me and they say they fit a bust smaller than mine too... really confused as they fit fine... So, what's Artka's clothing size like? Thanks!