At hackerfarm we have a limited shuttle service where we consolidate taobao orders and have them shipped from Shenzhen via our buyer out there. This service is not currently available to individuals outside hackerfarm, but the general information on purchasing from taobao might be of use.
There are a few restrictions: Firstly, nothing obviously dangerous. No un-installed batteries of any kind, no products containing large Li-ion batteries (possibly any li-ion so please check first). Any kind of liquid can not be shipped. This includes products containing liquids. All these items need to be sent via more extensive services, which we avoid on the shuttle.
Orders go out on the 20th. To submit orders individuals need to put them in out standard spreadsheet layout (shown below). The spreadsheet should be updated to show the current CNY->USD exchange rate, Akiba can provide a current version of the template. It also shows the reshipper fee (currently 20%) for your reference. For each item you need to add a taobao link, quantity, unit cost, and any notes required to specify the exact item type.
All sheets need to be submitted by 11:59pm on the 20th.
Akiba consolidates these sheets and sends them out to our shipper (and distributes a copy for reference, and to check for any errors). The shipper will then add domestic shipping to the total and sends Akiba an updated sheet. This gets re-circulated, but sign off is not required for the order to proceed. However if there are any clear red flags let Akiba know.
Orders are now submitted and everything gets consolidated. At this point you may discover that some items are not available. In general these will just get dropped from the shuttle. The package is then shipped to Akiba for local distribution. In general it will take 2 to 3 weeks for orders to arrive.
When the package is received, Akiba co-ordinates local distribution. Akiba also receives payment at this point for each individual’s part of the order (and pays the shipper). International shipping is split between individuals based on weight, Akiba also manages to calculation of this. It’s unfortunately not possible to calculate this in advance, so you need to agree to a degree of uncertainty here.