Saturday, February 8, 2014

"American Taobao": Maybe Not So Kuky After All!
Saturday, February 08, 2014

"American Taobao": Maybe Not So Kuky After All!

KuKy is the brainchild of Yale undergrad, Mavi Miller. Having grown up in different countries, she ended up enrolling in a local high school in Shanghai and fell in love with the city. Upon graduation she started working for a Shanghai trading company, before taking another leap by making her way to the United States and enrolling at Yale University. 

In Shanghai, Ms. Miller discovered her love for Taobao, the Chinese language online trillian dollar yuan shopping site. After arriving in the US, she sought ways to order her favorite things such as clothes, shoes, accessories and other items from her favorite Chinese language website.  

Mock Up of Kuky on-line service.  
Format and products are merely representative and subject to change.
Special acknowledgement to Patisco for providing the demo framework.

She was immediately faced with a few significant challenges: 1. Unless she could get together enough items in one order, the shipping costs were cost prohibitive; 2. The wait time for sea shipping was 4-6 weeks; 3. Without a tracking number on the Chinese side, Ms. Miller had no way of knowing what was happening to her packages.  Often times, items would be lost.

On a hunch, Ms. Miller sought out her fellow Yale students from China and found that many of them had a similar desire to order from Taobao, but couldn't figure out how to do so in an effective manner.  As a solution, Ms. Miller starting pooling together orders, which reduced shipping costs per item; sped up shipping times via air freight and leveraged a Shanghai forwarding company for tracking her packages.  The result was many satisfied friends and friends of friends getting their favorite items from Taobao within a week at prices (even with shipping costs) at a fraction of buying from popular American e-commerce sites.  In some cases, items bought off of Taobao are not even available on comparable American e-commerce sites.

Ms. Miller is now planning to expand her reach and solution to others at other University campuses by bringing her offline process, online.  "American Taobao" starting on a New Haven campus is kooky, you say?  No, its just Kuky!  Look forward to Kuky coming on-line in the near future.

In the meantime, Ms. Miller is still receiving her and her friends' favorite Taobao sourced items one package at a time.
Products from Taobao.
Note: Items are only representative and may not be final items to be provided by Kuky.