I’m actually thinking whether to buy Guo da Li items from taobao. I’ve search and calculated, it should be about $30-$80 cheaper, depending on what you choose.
I too bought a few of my wedding decor items like mason jars, fairy lights from taobao. But we decided not to use it and planning to rent it or sell it at Low cost.
I bought almost all the items needed for guo da li from taobao. It’s really way cheaper and I saw the exact same thing such as the sewing kit, the dragon and Phoenix candles, etc, in the exact packaging. Even things like the “上头” set cost like $15.90 locally for the female version but for the same price on taobao you can get for both male and female. And those “xi” stickers to be pasted on fruits or any other items, taobao sells one set of 10 sheets for $4. Each sheet has 49 stickers, more than enough! Whereas local shops cut the sheets to like 20+ stickers on one sheet and sell it for $1+. We made a trip down to shops in Chinatown and easily spent $70 for just a few items that we didn’t have time to find and ship over.
Having said that, it really depends on how much time you have because it can be a headache tracking the shipment of items and also to check on the state of the items. Quality wise for tea set, bowl set and chopsticks is not good, not that they came damaged but it’s e finishing. However, the ones I saw at Chinatown are of the same finishing so I guess they are really manufactured for one-time use. Another point to note is whether you need the items to be nicely packed and whether you have the time to pack all the stuff. I think if you get those guo da li packages from local shops, they usually wrap them up nicely for your convenience.