How to Buy from Taobao

How to Buy from Taobao: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

In this guide, I will show you how to buy from Taobao.

It covers everything, from signing up for account, choosing product, making payments, comparing Taobao with Alibaba, reviewing sellers, and many more.

So before you buy from Taobao, read this guide.

How does Taobao compare to Alibaba?

Taobao and Alibaba are both e-commerce platforms owned by the Alibaba Group that you find useful in online shopping activities.

With Taobao, you have a unilingual online store dedicated to Chinese-speaking populations.





Taobao allows inter-consumer trade enabling you to purchase from enterprises with small footprints, including individual sellers.

You can also start your store in Taobao and sell to other consumers.

While Alibaba is similar in activity to Taobao, you find the nature of the commercial activity is business to business.

As a supplier, you can establish a connection with producers of various products on Alibaba.

Is there a Difference Between Taobao and AliExpress?



AliExpress, like Taobao, is a prominent online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers alike.

However, there are many differences you observe between AliExpress and Taobao that influence their use.

Some of the main differences you find between Taobao and AliExpress are as follows:

  • You have the options of many languages when using AliExpress allowing wide usage across the globe.

Consequently, you can easily access products on AliExpress from almost anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, Taobao is only available in the Chinese language restricting use to Chinese-speaking populations.

Therefore, you find this market to be limited to reach in terms of area of coverage.

  • When using AliExpress, you have a comprehensive option of payment modes that are internationally accessible such as PayPal.

However, Taobao limits your payment options with PayPal not supported while having a complicated registration process for payment using Alipay.

  • While both platforms boast many product offerings, you find a significant difference in their sales volume.

Despite the broader coverage of AliExpress, Taobao records higher sales than AliExpress, ranging in the millions.

  • There is a significant price differential for the many products on AliExpress and Taobao. You can credit the higher sales recorded by Taobao to their lower prices for similar product offerings on AliExpress.
  • When you order from Taobao and AliExpress simultaneously, you can expect your Taobao order sooner.

You find these short delivery times make Taobao a more popular platform compared to AliExpress.

  • You can view pictures of the product you intend to purchase in the product details section on Taobao.

AliExpress lacks product illustrations in the form of photos, and your knowledge of the product is all you have.

  • You confirm your product’s quality on Taobao by examining for a sticker that ascertains it is tested.

Consequently, you are assured of procuring quality products on Taobao.

AliExpress lacks informative quality stickers you can use to evaluate the authenticity of products.

Accordingly, the chances of you obtaining low quality and even product imitations on the platform are high.

  • You can contact customer care agents at any time of day on the Taobao platform. Subsequently, you can make inquiries and obtain relevant information concerning a product you are interested in.
  • While Taobao prices are relatively lower, the transactional costs charged on you as a foreigner are relatively high.

For instance, you pay for shipping separately from the product price when buying from Taobao in another country.

  • You get free shipping when making select purchases from AliExpress, saving you extra shipping costs.

However, you observe the integration of Taobao shipping with products sourced from different manufacturers transported together.

Is Buying from Taobao Better than


1688 is an e-commerce platform where you can purchase various products at relatively low prices than many other online retailers.

You realize that the parent company of is Alibaba Group, which is also the owner of Taobao.

You cannot make a fair comparison between buying from Taobao and due to their business approach difference.

You find the following points of difference between Taobao and that distinguish their activities:

The Business Model

While both Taobao and are online retail platforms, their business models mainly contrast.

You note that seeks to link businesses to other businesses in a B2B model.

On the other hand, the business model you find used in Taobao is C2C, which links customers with each other.

You refer to the business as C2C due to the persons transacting on the platform, whether buying or selling, being individuals.

Method of Sales

The method of sale refers to the approach you use to disburse goods as the subject of a transaction.

You can only make bulk orders on, making it the go-to platform for commercial buyers and wholesalers.

Alternately, you can make unit purchases on Taobao, thus giving it a retail characteristic.

Subsequently, you don’t have to make wholesale purchases on Taobao as with


The prices you get charged on goods in are much lower than those for similar products on Taobao.

Since you make purchases on in wholesale, you find their unit prices lower than Taobao.

Furthermore, many sellers in Taobao purchase their products from to resale them to individual customers.

Buying from allows you to avoid paying the extra charge in profit for sellers on Taobao products.

Do you need Taobao Agent to buy from China?

When buying from Taobao, you can directly or use an agent to purchase on your behalf.

Consequently, you don’t need an agent to make purchases from Taobao if you can do it yourself.

However, using an agent can be advantageous, especially when you are new and not a resident of China.

The following are some of the reasons that will make you need an agent in Taobao:

1. Language Barrier

The Taobao e-commerce platform is provided in Chinese, restricting navigation when you do not understand the language.

Therefore, using an agent helps you avoid the difficulties in interpreting the information on the site.

Additionally, without a good command of the language, interacting with the sellers is difficult.

Many Taobao sellers have low or no knowledge of other widely spoken foreign languages such as English.

2. Payment

When buying on Taobao as a foreigner, you need to use Alipay as your mode of payment.

However, registering for Alipay when out of China is agonizing with a complicated verification process.

3. Quality Concerns

On the Taobao platform, you can find virtually any possible good you can think of.

Therefore, the chances of imitates and low-quality goods to exist within the high count product catalog is high.

When purchasing on online retail platforms, you may need to return a good for various reasons.

However, returning a good as a foreigner is bound to be problematic instead of when you use an agent.

4. Shipping Costs

When you directly purchase an item from Taobao as a foreigner, it has to be shipped to you.

Usually, you cover the cost of shipping to your location, which is ideally not cheap.

However, when you employ a Taobao agent, the cost of shipping reduces as agents typically consolidate shipping.

Consolidation saves you money as the agents will ship your item alongside those from other sellers destined for your location.

Should you Buy Directly from Taobao or use Taobao Agent?

The decision to buy directly from Taobao or employ an agent is dependent on two main factors.

Your location and understanding of Chinese have the most influence on whether you need an agent.

However, if you score unfavorably on the location and language markers, it is wise to use a Taobao agent.

You benefit from the knowledge of Taobao agents of the local sellers and consolidated shipping, which reduces your costs.

Some of the advantages you derive from employing a Taobao agent are as follows:

  • A Taobao agent makes orders for you.
  • Due to their command of the Chinese language, communication between the Taobao agent and the sellers is more effective.
  • Your item’s quality is assured when using a Taobao agent.
  • You can use a wide range of internationally accepted payment methods when you engage Taobao agents.
  • Consolidated shipping employed by Taobao agents earns you savings on shipping costs you’d incur individually.
  • Taobao agents offer you storage in their warehouses at no extra cost before shipping your product.
  • Additionally, when you use Taobao agents, you can get your products shipped through various modes.
  • The taxes you’re liable to when using a Taobao agent are lower than those you’d directly incur.
  • You can quickly address any complaints, returns, exchanges, and refunds when you employ a Taobao agent.

Is there Taobao English App for Shopping?

You find the Taobao platform is only available in the Chinese language.

Consequently, you need an understanding of Chinese to navigate the Taobao online marketplace effectively.

An English version of Taobao is not provided, making it difficult for customers whose only language is English to shop.

However, employing Taobao agents to make purchases on your behalf, simplifies the process.

You can attempt to translate the information on the Taobao page into English using Google Chrome.

However, you can encounter some inaccuracies that can distort the information displayed, resulting in error-prone decisions.

How do you Buy from Taobao?

Before purchasing on Taobao, there are steps you need to follow to make your transaction successful.

These steps include:

1) Translating Taobao to English

The Taobao e-commerce platform is provided in Chinese with no options for other languages.

If you have a poor command of the language, you can translate the page to English using Google Chrome.

2) Registration and Login

You have to register an account with Taobao to shop through their vast product catalog.

Usually, you will find the login area on the page’s right, which you can fill in English.

For the username and password, you can use English characters without having to change them into Chinese.

You also input a phone number to which you’ll receive a message with a code for verification.

Upon confirmation of the code, you successfully log in, ready to browse through the many product ranges available on the platform.

3) Product Search

When you are logged in on the Taobao platform, you can access thousands of products made available by various sellers.

You can easily navigate through the several products available by browsing by category.

Categories are classifications that lump the products into distinct groupings such as electronics, clothing, and kitchenware.

The Taobao platform has many categories that will help you quickly identify the product you need.

You can also use the search bar at the top of the page to find a desired product or item.

You can search for an item in English or translate your desired item to Chinese before inputting it in the search bar.

Additionally, you can carry out an image search using the camera image to upload your item’s picture.

When searching by image, you select the image of the item you want in the dialogue box that shows up.

You can make comparisons between similar items from different sellers to identify the item with the least price.

Guiding your mouse over the image allows you to view other offers available for the product.

4) Choosing Products

When you search for products, you are provided with a list of products bearing similarities to your search.

Therefore, you have to select the particular item you desire from the list of hits you receive from your search.

5) Checking Customer Reviews and Seller Ratings

When purchasing a product, you can always establish customers’ experiences with the product from their reviews.

Customer reviews help you ascertain the product’s usefulness and quality from people who’ve already bought the product.

When buyers make purchases from a seller, they can rate the seller depending on their perceived product and service.

You find seller ratings are made from one to five, one being the lowest and five the highest.

6) Check-out

After completing your shopping, carting all the items you wanted, you have to check out to complete the transaction.

For you to complete your shopping process on Taobao, you have to cross out the following steps:

  • Provide a shipping address.
  • Identify the items you’d like to pay for.
  • Address confirmation and shipping method selection.

7) Add Shipping

Shipping is essential for you to receive your product purchase, and Taobao requires you to select a shipping method.

You have the choice between direct or consolidated shipping, with some sellers limiting your option by offering only consolidated shipping.

With direct shipping, your package is directly sent to you from the warehouse in mainland China.

You pay for the product and shipping in a one-off payment and is preferred when buying from a single seller.

Consolidated shipping packs up your purchases in a single parcel before being delivered to you via a warehouse.

You pay an extra charge for the new package containing all your products based on the weight.

Consolidated shipping is an ideal choice when you make multiple purchases from Taobao but different sellers.

Otherwise, you will have to separately pay shipping for each package, making it a costly venture.

8) Making a Payment

Upon confirmation of the shipping details, you need to finalize your purchase by making your payment.

Alipay is used as the payment mode on Taobao, requiring you to provide a password for first-time use.

You also have the option of using bank cards, including debit and credit cards, alongside online transfer avenues.

Using transfer services attracts an additional fee of 1.5 %, which is incurred to complete the transaction.

Why should you Shop on Tmall?

Tmall is an online platform you find tailored for consumers in China to shop products from recognized and major brands.

You have a broad offering of branded goods available from both local and international companies.

You will find products on Tmall that are unavailable in the other conventional retail outlets.

Major brands also use Tmall to reach customers in areas where they have no physical presence.

Since only branded items are traded on Tmall, you find the customer base to consist of high-end clientele.

Therefore, when you get a store on Tmall, you attain a verified and enviable position in the retail market.

There are several reasons for deciding to shop on Tmall easier for you.

They include:



  • When you make purchases on Tmall, it is from legitimate and verified businesses with a considerable market presence.

Therefore, you are less likely to receive low quality and undesirable products when you make a buy.

  • The purchase process on Tmall is similar to Taobao, making it easier for you to make a purchase.

You use the Alipay payment system on Tmall just like on Taobao, and you don’t have to register a new account.

  • The tools of analysis used in Tmall are remarkable, allowing you as a trader to make a comparative analysis with competitors.

How do you use the Taobao Keyword Product Guide?

The Taobao keyword product guide allows you to make a purchase even without knowledge of Chinese easily.

You use these keywords to filter items in various categories helping you identify your desired product.

Common keywords you can use on Taobao for products include:

1. Sports Gear and Athletic Equipment

Ankle Guard                                        运动护踝

Knee Guar                                           运动护膝

Dry Fit Long Sleeved Tops                   速干长袖衣

Dry Fit Sleeveless Tops                       速干背心

Dry Fit Socks                                        袜子

Dry Fit T-Shirt                                      速干运动T恤

Sports Bra                                           运动胸罩

Sports Shoes                                        运动鞋

Sports Jacket                                       运动外套

Sports Hooded Jacket                          运动连帽衫

Sweatpants                                          运动裤

Tights                                                  运动紧身裤

Yoga Mat                                            瑜伽垫

Yoga Pants                                          瑜伽裤

2. Men’s Clothing

Since clothing pieces can be similar for both genders, you have to add the for men character [男]for specification purposes.

Other keywords include:

Short Sleeved                                      短袖

Long Sleeved                                       长袖

T-Shirt                                                   T恤

Casual Shirt                                         休闲衣

Polo Shirt                                             POLO衫

Dress Shirt                                           衬衫

Suit                                                      西装

Suit or Formal Pants                         西裤

Suit or Formal Jacket                      西装外套

Belt                                                      腰带

Shorts                                                  短裤

Long Pants                                           长裤

Jeans                                                   牛仔裤

Leather Shoes                                    皮鞋

Sneakers                                              休闲鞋

3. Women’s Clothing

Like with menswear, you have to indicate that you are searching for women’s clothing using the search word [女装].

Other keywords are:

European/American Style                   欧美风

Korean Style                                        韩版

Japanese Style                                     式风格

High Waisted                                      高腰

V-Neck                                                 V领

Round Neck                                         圆领

Off Shoulder                                        一字领露肩

Oversized                                            大码

Vintage                                                复古

Top                                                      上衣

Dress                                                   连衣裙

Skirt                                                     半身裙

Overcoat                                             大衣外套

(Low/ Medium/ High) Heeled Shoes (低/ 中/ 高)跟鞋

White Sneakers                                   小白鞋

Flats                                                     平底鞋

4. Home Supplies and Equipment

Furniture                                             家具

Home Deco                                         家居用品

Nordic Minimalist                               北欧简约

Modern Minimalist                             现代简约

Modern Classic                                     现代经典

Solid Wood                                          实木

Dining Table                                        餐桌

Dining Chair                                        餐椅

Sofa                                                     沙发

Sofa Chair                                           沙发椅

Double Bed                                         双人床

Bedside Table                                     床头柜

Bedroom Dresser                               卧室梳妆台

Coffee Table                                       茶几

Which Delivery Options should you Consider when you Buy from Taobao?

After purchasing from Taobao, you expect your product to be delivered to you via shipping.

There are several shipping options you can choose from.

However, other sellers might only offer a specific shipping method.

Four delivery options you can choose from include:

· Direct Shipping

In direct shipping, your package is delivered to you through a courier with an international footprint.

Direct shipping is useful when your parcel is small or when you are time-pressed to receive the product.

It will take between eight to twelve working days to receive your package via direct shipping.

You can have your parcel delivered to your home-delivered, or you can collect it at the courier offices.

The cost of direct shipping is dependent on the weight and size of the package.

Furthermore, your package can have maximum weight and size requirements, limiting the nature of your purchase.

· Consolidated Sea Shipping

Your purchases are consolidated into a single package and ferried to you on a cargo ship.

The delivery period for this approach is much longer, taking multiple working days.

Consolidated shipping via sea is convenient, especially where your package has large dimensions and/or is heavy.

Such items include furniture and heavy electronic equipment such as washing machines.

· Shipping via Personal Arrangement

After purchasing a Taobao product, you can communicate with the seller and arrange how to get it delivered.

The delivery period will depend on the shipping approach you settle on as the package size costs.

You can personally arrange for a product shipment when the product is fragile or requires specialized attention.

Additionally, such an arrangement can work where you need to monitor the progress of the shipment continually.

· Consolidated Air Shipping

In consolidated shipping that employs air freight, your consignment is assembled and delivered to you via air cargo.

You find Taobao works with a particular provider for such deliveries.

However, your country can be one where the delivery provider does not make shipments to.

Here, you use a freight forwarder to collect the item on your behalf and deliver it to you.

The freight forwarder will pick your item from the closest country the delivery provider delivers to.

After that, they will forward the package to you, charging based on the package’s size and weight.

Using consolidated shipping via air cargo provides you a shorter delivery period while simultaneously receiving multiple purchases.

You can get your consolidated air-shipped package delivered to your home or collect it from a designated point.

When you Buy from Taobao, Are you Guaranteed a Return Policy?

You note the terms guiding the return policy of Taobao are applied on a case basis.

For instance, Taobao doesn’t guarantee you the conduct of a seller on the platform.

Therefore, a seller can fail to deliver, delay delivery, and even misplace your package.

When this happens, though, Taobao can intervene in the following ways.

  1. When you receive a package with a different item from what you ordered, Taobao will make an exchange for it.

The seller covers the exchange’s delivery cost if responsible for the mistake.

Executing an exchange can take about seven days, with some even taking longer.

However, you might purchase from a seller who doesn’t accept exchanges or returns.

You are notified when you select an item from such a seller so you can cancel the purchase before paying.

  1. When you make a wrong order, Taobao can exchange the item at their own cost.
  2. After making an order, you can identify an item on your order list that you didn’t make. In such a case, you flag the item and request for an exchange or return, providing a reason.

Taobao communicates with the seller of the item to inquire whether you can return the product or exchange it.

The exchange or return is guided by the platform’s rules and the seller’s policy.

  1. You can make a return or exchange when you have a change of preference or prefer another offer.

The seller has to assent to the exchange or return while you have to meet the costs incurred.

When asking for a refund, you tender in a request to Taobao, providing a reason alongside pictorial evidence.

You expect a response from the seller in twenty-eight hours or make direct communication with them on AliWangWang.

How do you Verify the Quality of Product on Taobao?

Verifying the quality of products on Taobao can be quite tricky for you.

However, you can use the following hacks to help you:

  • You can view what other buyers post in the review section, where they accompany reviews with pictures of the product.

While you won’t find photos of some products, such as adult items, you will view many other products instead.

  • When browsing any item, you can search for similar products to make a price comparison.

When you highlight the image of the product you are searching for, you can observe similar products.

  • When you search for products using their images, you are more likely to get the product you want.

Searching by image gives you product hits that are similar to your search, assuring you of the quality.

Is it Safe to Buy from Taobao?

Generally, you find shopping on the Taobao e-commerce platform to be reasonably safe.

However, the extensive product catalog and footprint provides enough shelter for mischievous persons to try and pass off imitates and counterfeits.

You can use the following guidelines to safeguard yourself:

  • When making purchases, only buy from sellers with high ratings and many product reviews.
  • You should be careful with the reviews since there are possibilities of fake reviews, especially when they are all good.
  • Check for the buyer’s show where images of the product are uploaded alongside a review.
  • Interact with the seller on the messaging platform AliWangWang to inquire more about the product before deciding.

How do you Ship when you Buy from Taobao?

You can use one of four standard shipping methods when you purchase from Taobao.

Consolidated Shipping by Air

In consolidated shipping by air, your purchases are delivered to a warehouse where they are repackaged in a single parcel.

This is referred to as consolidation, and it is an optimal way to ship multiple items obtained from different sellers.

The package is weighed to determine the cost for shipping the package.

You get your deliveries faster with this form of shipping compared to by sea freight.

Consolidated Shipping by Sea

While the consolidation of items is similar to that by air freight, delivery is made by sea.

The shipping cost is determined similarly, by weight, but will cost a little lower.

Consolidated shipping by sea is useful for large and heavy packages such as furniture.

However, the delivery period is slightly longer.

Direct Shipping

In direct shipping, your purchase is released from the warehouse and directly sent to you by the courier service provider.

You are charged the cost of shipping alongside that of the item you purchase when you check-out.

You receive your package quicker this way with an option of collecting from the courier office or having it home delivered.

However, it costs slightly more than consolidated shipping.

Using Seller’s Shipping

You can undertake an agreement with the seller to have them ship directly to you.

Consequently, to make such an arrangement with the seller, you have to have a common communication language.

Additionally, the seller has to consent to your shipping request.

Furthermore, they will charge you as they see fit with no standard costing method.

Which Product can you Buy from Taobao?

There are many products you can purchase from Taobao.

You have products lumped together in categories to make your search easier.

However, some products cannot be shipped overseas for various reasons, such as safety and rights.

They include food products, batteries, very heavy items above the recommended weight, liquid products, and pastes.

Everyday products you can purchase on Taobao include:

  • Clothing items for men, women, and children.
  • Electronic products and accessories such as phone chargers, keyboards, and audio devices.
  • Kitchenware such as teacups and cooking pots.
  • Tools and equipment, including power tools and drawing set.
  • Home decorations and furniture.
  • Plumbing and lighting fixtures like showerheads and chandeliers.
  • Sports items like football cleats, balls, and wear.

Which Tools can you use to Translate Taobao Website?

Translated Taobao

Translated Taobao

The Taobao website is only available in the Chinese language.

This makes it difficult for you as a non-speaker to navigate the platform.

However, you find Google Chrome useful in ensuring your Taobao shopping experience is not a tall order.

With Google Chrome, you can translate the Taobao page into a language you understand, such as English.

You translate the Taobao website using Google Chrome.

You install the Chrome application and open the Taobao website on the Chrome extension.

You translate the Taobao page by right-clicking within the page and choosing the option for translating to English.

Can you Link Alipay to Taobao?



Yes, you can.

Alipay is a cashless money transfer system you link with your bank to pay for purchases on Taobao.

Setting up Alipay with your Taobao involves the following steps:

You first download the application for Alipay on your mobile phone and launch it.

As a new user, you have to register an account with Alipay by inputting your phone number.

You receive a code to verify your phone number and account through a short message.

You enter the code in the required field in the app and click to confirm.

You then add your bank cards in the field provided.

The credit and debit cards you add have to belong to Chinese banks.

Under the “My Account” section, you provide personal information to verify your identity.

You provide an image indicating your information on the passport and another showing a Chinese stamp of your latest visit.

The verification process typically occurs within a day upon which you get a notification of your verification status.

Upon successful verification, you get a notification or check your status under the Profile section.

A blue field with the characters “已实名” indicates your profile has been verified.

What are the Benefits of Taobao Consolidated Shipping?

Consolidated shipping allows you to get multiple purchases from different sellers as one shipment.

You have consolidated shipping via sea freight or air freight, with the former commonly employed for heavier packages.

When consolidating your shipment, you pay for the shipping separately from the purchase of the items.

Furthermore, the cost of shipping is determined by the weight of your package.

You find the following benefits in employing consolidated shipping:

  • With this approach, you optimize your shipping by having a single package sent to you when you purchase from different sellers.

This is instead of having different packages shipped individually from other sellers.

  • Consolidated shipping costs less than direct shipping, especially when you need many items delivered from different sellers.
  • You do not have to pay agency fees when using consolidated shipping, unlike direct shipping.
  • Consolidated shipping allows you to track your items as a single package without the hustle of following up on individual packages.

Which Payment Options can you use to Buy from Taobao?

When buying from Taobao, ensure you have the right item selected from the appropriate seller.

Additionally, you have to make payment through one of the required modes and provide shipping details.

You find the following payment options available when purchasing from Taobao:

i. You can use either Debit Cards or Credit Cards such as Visa and MasterCard.

Usually, you are charged a small transaction fee of about three percent of the value of the goods transacted.

Furthermore, when you make payments with credit cards, there is a limit to the amounts involved.

ii. Another option you can use on Taobao is Malaysia E-banking.

There are two ways in which you can use Malaysia E-banking as a payment method on Taobao.

You can be a resident of Malaysia or possess an account with a Malaysian bank.

You pay less in transactional fees (as little as 1.5 %) when using Malaysian E-banking on Taobao.

iii. You can use a Linked Account of a Chinese Bank.

You can use Alipay alongside a Chinese bank to facilitate Taobao payments both as a seller or buyer.

You have to open a bank account with a bank in China and link the account to Alipay.

When you use this form of payment on Taobao, you attract no transactional fee for every purchase or sale you make.

A bank account in China also allows you to launch a Taobao store, providing you access to the local market.

iv. Using a Gift Card from Alipay

Taobao accepts payments in the form of gift cards from Alipay that you can cash in, albeit with daily transaction limits.

The gift card limits are pegged on transaction value and the amount you can spend in a day.

However, you cannot globally use Alipay gift cards with their availability limited to select countries such as Singapore and Australia.

v. Using On-your-behalf Payment

When purchasing from Taobao, you can request another individual to make payments on your behalf.

You submit the individual’s Alipay account, and Taobao will respond by messaging him or her.

When assigning someone else the on-behalf payment role, you follow the following steps:

  • Step 1:

Browse the page for payment, and select the characterizations “找人代付”.

  • Step 2:

Key in the details required, including the Alipay account of whoever is paying on your behalf.

You need to enter other details alongside a code to verify your application before selecting “请他付款”.

The account holder will be notified with a message asking for the fulfillment of the payment.

Do Taobao Sellers offer Free shipping?

Not all sellers offer free shipping on Taobao.

You can expect free shipping when you are a resident of China in some but not all areas.

You find free shipping in China offered in major cities and urban areas in virtually all the provinces.

However, many sellers do not provide free shipping in far-flung regions and those with small populations.

Furthermore, locations outside mainland China are excluded from free shopping offers by sellers on Taobao.

Nevertheless, some sellers indicate unambiguously that they offer no free shipping for their products regardless of your location.

Does Taobao have a Secure Payment System?

Making payments on the Taobao platform requires you to have a Chinese bank account.

You can use the bank cards to make payments or use them to register an Alipay account.

Having no account with a bank in China means you can only make purchases through intermediaries.

You find these intermediaries accept a wider range of payments, including PayPal, Western Union, and other internationally accepted bank cards.

The safety of payment on Taobao is assured by the advanced technological payment system employed by the platform.

Furthermore, you can prevent your credit card information from being saved on Taobao by utilizing prepaid gift cards.

Moreover, you can also use virtual credit cards to shop and pay for items on the platform.

When you buy from Taobao, Can you Get a Refund?

Several reasons could lead you to request a refund when you purchase Taobao.

Some of the grounds for asking for a refund include when:

  • You receive a defective item.
  • What is delivered is not what you ordered.
  • You erroneously make a purchase.

To get a refund, you need to make a formal request for one.

There are two types of rebates: where you return goods and get a refund and a refund only.

In case of a return and refund, the item is usually already in transit or delivered to you.

Consequently, the seller’s item is sent back to them before your refund is processed.

A refund only is pursued when the seller fails to deliver.

Thus, no item has to be returned, and processing the refund can begin immediately.

In Which Currency should you Pay when you Buy from Taobao?

Direct payment on Taobao can only be made through a local Chinese bank card and/or Alipay.

You need a Chinese bank account to register with Alipay.

All payments on Taobao are made with the Chinese currency, the Renminbi (RMB).

While agents can take other currencies in payment, ultimately, the Renminbi is used when purchases are made on the platform.

How do you Track Orders from Taobao?

You can buy from Taobao from virtually anywhere on earth and have your item delivered to you.

Also, you may need to track your order to monitor its movement while in transit.

Besides, you can only track your package once you determine whether it has been registered or not.

You use a waybill number given to your package once payment is made and the delivery process began.

The following steps help track a Taobao order:

  • You visit the Taobao web page and sign in to your account.
  • Select 我的淘宝 which stands for (My Taobao) and go to “My Bought Products” designated as 已买到的宝贝.
  • Thereafter select 官方集运 to enter the “official consolidation”.
  • Go to the “Overseas Logistic Order” represented by the characters 海外物流订单. Selecting this option reveals your order count.
  • To “view logistics” particularly of the item you would like to track, go to 查看物流.
  • The item’s waybill number is located at the bottom of the page indicated by the characters 运单号码.
  • By entering this number in the status field, you get a tracking update for your purchase.

Are there Fake Products on Taobao?

Products on Taobao

Products on Taobao

You find millions of products on Taobao made available by millions of sellers on the platform.

Regulating these many sellers and checking for products’ quality is an undertaking that you find almost impossible.

Due to the size of the Taobao marketplace, the chances of you encountering fake products are high.

However, the Chinese regulators’ efforts to ensure you are not sold counterfeit goods on platforms like Taobao are ongoing.

However, you can protect yourself from purchasing fake products on Taobao by applying these useful tools:

  • Always check feedback provided about the seller. You can determine whether you can trust a seller by going through the feedback provided by other buyers.
  • Many unscrupulous sellers that sell fake products usually parody major brand items. Therefore, when shopping on Taobao, it is best to stay away from such brands to avoid obtaining knock-offs.
  • Evaluating the product images provided can help you ascertain their authenticity. Highly-filtered images are a siren-call for caution as they do not possibly reflect an item’s true nature.
  • You can make a comparison of an established brand item on Taobao with that on the official store.

By checking on certain subtle features of the item, you can identify inconsistencies and flaws for fake products.

  • Check for other products a seller offers to determine whether they are genuine.

For instance, a seller selling a particular brand of sneakers will usually stock more offerings from the same brand.

When you have a seller offering only a specific product from a particular brand, consider it a red flag.

  • Sometimes you have to trust your inner voice when purchasing on Taobao.

It is equally important to trust the adage of “when the deal is too good, think twice”.

What are Taobao Points?

Taobao points are a product of a Taobao platform’s reward system for every transaction you make.

A reward system is a marketing strategy you employ to retain customers and increase loyalty.

You earn Taobao points every time you make a transaction on Taobao with different classifications for shoppers.

You have V1-V3, V4-V5, and V6 members on Taobao, earning up to twenty, thirty, and forty coins, respectively.

You can redeem Taobao points for cash discounts of up to thirty percent in select stores on the platform.

For a hundred Taobao points, you have the redeemable cash equivalent of a single Yuan.

You can use the following steps to redeem your Taobao points when making a purchase:

  • On your page, go to the section allowing you to collect your points in exchange for a cash discount. You find the segment “My Taobao Points,” where your coin total is indicated.
  • You can only use Taobao points in Taobao stores; therefore, visit a store and select an item you’d like to purchase.
  • At the check-out section, check the box for “Use Taobao Points”. You can use as many points as you have to get a more considerable cash discount.
  • You can then submit your order and confirm the purchase.

Can you Link ShopBack to Taobao?

You can have your ShopBack account linked with Taobao for a shopping experience with more cost savings.

When you use ShopBack, you get reimbursed up to ten percent in cash for complete transactions.

You open a ShopBack account by visiting the ShopBack homepage and registering an account.

The account registration process is simple, requiring you to provide an email address and create a password.

A link is provided on the page to Taobao.

You follow the link, and on the Taobao page, sign in to link your ShopBack account with your Taobao account.

How do Prices on Taobao compare to other Chinese Online Marketplaces?

The Chinese e-commerce platform is enormous, with the presence of several online marketplaces jostling for a piece of the pie.

You find the Chinese e-commerce market to be the largest globally, making up 55% of the world’s total sales.

Peer Chinese online marketplaces to Taobao include Pinduoduo,, and Tmall.

The Alibaba Group owns both Taobao and Tmall with different marketing strategies.

Pinduoduo is a mobile app specific marketplace that gamifies shopping, offering you low-value offers. started as an electronics retailer before it rebranded, and thus you can purchase other products on the platform.

You find Taobao and Pinduoduo have the least order values among the four marketplaces as they offer the lowest prices.

The average value of orders on Pinduoduo is six dollars making it a go-to platform if you are a bargain hunter.

However, you find the orders on and Tmall have higher values compared to those of Taobao.

You have the highest product prices on Tmall as the majority of products offered are authentic branded items.

How do you Determine Shipping Cost when you Buy from Taobao?

When you buy from Taobao, you can ship the items directly, consolidate shipping, or work out an arrangement with the seller.

Shipping costs differ for domestic buyers to those located outside China, requiring international shipping.

While you can find some sellers offering free shipping, you find shipping cost is pegged on your package’s weight.

However, you note that consolidated shipping costs less than direct shipping on the overall scheme of things.

Furthermore, some sellers offer you a standard cost for shipping when you are located locally or internationally.

However, the cost of shipping is influenced by the following factors:

  • Weight of the item,
  • Method of shipping, and
  • Destination

How do you Check Taobao Order History?

You can check your Taobao history by visiting the Taobao homepage and signing into your account.

You then follow the link for “My Taobao” characterized “我的淘宝”.

Under this section, you can check your order history and the delivery status of items.

Symbols are used to inform you about the status of your orders.

When you find a gift box symbol, it means your ordered item is yet to be shipped by the seller.

On the other hand, a truck symbol suggests your item is in transit.

A checked box indicates your item has been conveyed.

You can confirm its successful arrival by clicking a button on the order’s extreme.

Is there an English Version of Taobao?

Taobao is a Chinese based online marketplace that allows you to shop through various product categories.

The Taobao platform is only provided in the Chinese language; thus, successful navigation is dependent on your command of the language.

However, you can use different online tools to translate the Taobao page into English, such as Google Chrome.

You download Chrome and open Taobao on the platform before right-clicking on the page and selecting “Translate to English”.

Taobao translated with Google Chrome

Taobao translated with Google Chrome

What are the Benefits of Buying from Taobao?

Shopping on Taobao has numerous benefits attached to it, including:

  • The prices on Taobao are impressively low compared to other marketplaces.

Also, the existence of many sellers on the platform breeds competition, offering you competitive prices.

  • You find many products on the Taobao platform, providing you with a wide option for choice. The diverse product catalog means you can virtually buy anything you want on Taobao.
  • When you are searching for unique products online, you are bound to encounter such items on Taobao. You find this to be especially useful when on the lookout for gifts.
  • On Taobao, you have access to exciting deals and sales events such as Singles Day that offer you great discounts. For instance, the Taobao points is a scheme that rewards you as you make more purchases on the platform.

What are the Limitations of Buying from Taobao?

While you enjoy several benefits from purchasing on the Taobao online marketplace, there are a few cons you encounter.

Some of the limitations of buying on Taobao include:

  • Since Taobao is only offered in the Chinese language, you find navigating the page extremely difficult for non-speakers.

While you can use online tools such as Google Translate, it doesn’t help when you have to talk to a seller.

  • Many sellers on the platform can only communicate in their native Chinese, making communication with them difficult.

It is especially a problem when you need to return or exchange an item or ask for a refund.

  • Taobao only accepts payments from Chinese bank accounts and the Alipay payment mode.

However, as a foreigner, you find it extremely difficult to register for these payment methods requiring you to employ agents.

  • Since Taobao consists of only local-based sellers, you know that shipping items across the border are deficient.

, you can encounter difficulties in acquiring a product when you make a purchase internationally.

  • The Taobao marketplace is enormous, with different products offered by millions of sellers. Such a massive platform is bound to attract unscrupulous individuals to scam you.

You need to protect yourself by always establishing the authenticity of a seller.

You can evaluate a seller’s truthfulness by checking their product reviews, their ratings, and feedback from other customers.

How do you Check Taobao Seller Rating?

You can check for a Taobao Seller’s rating by visiting the Taobao homepage.

If you can’t comprehend Chinese, opening Taobao and translating the page into a language you understand is helpful.

The following are some ways you can use to check the rating of a Taobao seller:

Product details on Taobao

Product details on Taobao

· Check for the Seller’s General Reputation in the Seller Segment.

The reputation of a seller is determined by buyers who have rated the store after dealing with them.

You can give a seller one of three ratings: Positive, Neutral, or Negative, with the rating contributing to a score.

A Positive rating gives the seller a point; a Neutral rating adds no point, while a Negative rating deducts a point.

You want a seller with a total positive score as it speaks to his popularity, longevity, and good service.

  • Check the seller’s score under the markers Description “(描述)”, Service “(服务)” and Logistics “(物流)”.

You determine a seller’s marker by providing a score on a scale of one to five.

A rating of one is the least score expressing dissatisfaction while a five is the highest indicating fulfillment.

· Check the Seller’s Duration of Existence on the Platform

You have to check when a store began transacting on Taobao.

The longer the period of existence, the better as it indicates the seller is established.

Additionally, you check for the number of transactions completed by the seller.

After a long period of existence, you have to see many successful transactions.

How do you Leave Review on Taobao?

Using the following steps, you can leave a review on an item on you purchase on Taobao:

  • Go to your Taobao page and scroll to your orders.
  • Identify the item you’d like to review and click on it.
  • On the item, select the “Give Review” option.
  • The field marked “a” write your review or paste it if you had it copied already.
  • In the “b” field, you can upload the item’s picture as well as a video in the field labeled “c”.
  • Click “Post” to submit your review when you are done.
  • You can write another review ninety days after making your first review.

Can you Interact with the Seller on Taobao?

Interacting with the seller on Taobao is useful when you need to seek clarification on a particular item.

You might also need to contact a seller when you have issues with your order requiring a return, exchange, or refund.

You can interact with Taobao sellers on the platform through the AliWangWang messaging feature.

However, many sellers are only proficient in the Chinese language posing a communication breakdown.

How can you Rate Product on Taobao?

When you rate a product, you indicate the seller and other buyers your view of the product.

A rating is an indicator of how satisfied you are with a product.

You can rate a product on Taobao in the following ways:

  • Select a product on your order list and select “Rate item”. A screen pops up where you can rate the product and leave a comment.
  • You see a triple flower display for the triple rating choice of Positive, Neutral, or Negative. You make a single flower selection to indicate your level of satisfaction with the product.
  • You can add a comment in the blank field provided or leave it empty. Furthermore, you can also accompany your rating with a picture of the item.
  • Upon completing your rating and writing your review, you submit your post by hitting the “Submit” tab.

Can you Trust Product Review on Taobao?

Product reviews are useful in helping you decide to buy an item on Taobao or any other marketplace.

You can also use product reviews to determine the authenticity of sellers and their products.

However, you hear cases of sellers nudging and enticing buyers to provide positive reviews.

You find those targeted to be buyers who leave negative reviews.

A common reason you find negative reviews is the purchasing of counterfeit products passed off as genuine.

In this case, you might be promised a replacement or a full refund in exchange for a retraction of your negative review.

Additionally, some sellers generate non-existent transactions leaving behind stellar reviews to hoodwink you as a buyer.

Another ploy you find employed is hiring persons to act as buyers with their reviews dictated by the sellers.

Therefore, blindly trusting reviews is unwise as you can fall victim to false reviews.

You should employ multiple hacks to determine the validity of products and sellers rather than just examining the reviews.

When you buy from Taobao, How can Seller and Buyer Solve Disputes?

When you purchase from Taobao, you cannot get the adequate satisfaction you expected from your product.

Usually, you reach out to the seller to request a refund or an exchange of the product.

However, sometimes the seller is unwilling to refund you or exchange your item resulting in a dispute.

For instance, a seller can ignore your pleas and not respond to your messages.

As any dispute requires a third party to mediate, this case is no different.

When you get into a dispute with a Taobao seller, it is best to involve Taobao to intercede.

When seeking recourse, visit the page for “Order Summary” prescribed as 已买到的宝贝.

On this page, identify the item you’d like to be refunded.

Upon locating it, select “Aftermarket Application” indicated as 申请售后.

You are provided with options inviting Taobao to mediate highlighted as (要求淘宝介入处理).

You have two options to choose from for Taobao mediation:

  • 绿色通道

Here, a team of about thirty one specialists go through your appeal.

They then make a decision typically within 24 hours though it can sometimes take longer.

  • 淘宝小二

With this choice, your fate is determined internally by Taobao.

You find the process is considerably tedious but handled directly by Taobao.

Taobao expects you to file an appeal form for a refund alongside providing accompanying evidence within three days.

You can also call the helpline on Taobao or chat with them if you are conversant with the Chinese language.

In Case you Buy from Taobao and Didn’t Receive the Item; What should you do?

When you buy from Taobao and don’t receive your item, you can claim a refund only.

The refund only is specified because you can claim a refund when you already received an item.

In this instance, you have to return the item you received before your refund is processed.

The following steps are useful in requesting a refund on Taobao.

  • Log into your Taobao account and the purchases section, select the item you’d like a refund on.
  • On the item, click and select the option for Refund/Return stylized (退款/退货). Since you didn’t receive the product, choose Refund Only (仅退款) on the following options.
  • You then have to fill a form for a refund only shown as (仅退款). Three fields show up, requiring you to fill them appropriately.
  • In the first field, you have two options provided. Either you have received the items (是否收到货) or Not Received (未收到货).
  • Select “Not Received”.
  • In the second field, you need to provide a reason why you are applying for the refund. For instance, if you had an empty parcel, you select (空包裹/少货).

If you had no delivery at all, you choose (快递一直未送到).

If you have another reason, you can indicate that by selecting (其它).

  • After filling out all the required fields, you can submit your application.

In short, buying from Taobao is a simple process if you have the right information.

However, if you have any question or inquiry on how to buy from Taobao, BanSar team is here to help – talk to us now.

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