We are aware of the difficulties involved in opening the Taobao website only to give up when you feel too overwhelmed by the amount of information to proceed with your purchase. You can basically buy everything on Taobao, including furniture, jewelry, snacks, all kinds of Chinese trinkets, and even items you didn’t even know you needed (or never knew existed). The disadvantage of that? For those who can’t read Chinese, it’s an impossible task because everything is written in that language.
You’re in the proper place if you are unable to understand Chinese but have always wanted to try buying on Taobao. With the help of our step-by-step cheatsheet, discover how to buy from Taobao.
Guide on How to Buy From Taobao
Unable to read Chinese? Utilize the Google Chrome page translation feature to translate the Taobao website! Simply click the translation button in the search box when you are on the and using Google Chrome as your browser.
If you don’t see the icon on your browser, follow these easy instructions to enable it in your settings.
- Open Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click the three dots > Settings button in the top right corner.
- Navigate to Advanced > Languages in the sidebar.
- Navigate to the Languages section.
- The option to “offer to translate pages that are not in a language you read” should be toggled or turned on.
After finishing, return to the Taobao website and reload it; the translation icon should now be visible. A flawless purchasing experience is provided via the Taobao mobile app, however the page translation feature is only accessible online. Consider shopping via the app if you can read Chinese instead!
2. Open A New Account
On Taobao, creating an account is rather simple. Just look for the sign-up icon in the top right corner of the website. Thankfully, you have the option of using the English registration page. To register a new account, you will need to enter your phone number and verification code; otherwise, everything else is very typical.
3. In your settings, enter your shipping address.
To access your account settings, click the icon on the homepage that has your Taobao account number (circled in the image above). Choose “shipping address” from the sidebar, then enter the delivery address you prefer. It’s ideal to finish this before you go shopping!
4. Go Shopping
It’s time to load your cart once you’ve checked in and set up your account. Use the search bar to seek for the things you want to buy, just like you would on other e-commerce websites. If you don’t know how to read Chinese, there are three methods you can search for what you want:
1. Use English when searching: the internet will still recognize your query even if you use English! However, compared to typing in Chinese, you might not obtain as many search results.
Google Translate is your closest friend if you want to search in Chinese! Even though it’s not entirely correct, it’s still incredibly useful. Copy the desired word’s Chinese equivalent, then paste it into the search box.
3. Search using images: This is a really great feature that is accessible on the Taobao website. By selecting the camera icon in the search box, you can upload a picture of a very specific product that you already have in mind. Stores that sell the goods will appear in search results as long as it is offered on Taobao.
Check out the category sidebar on the site if you just want to explore and don’t have any specific searches in mind. Even though the page translation is imperfect, it will give you an idea of what you can find on Taobao, including clothing, jewelry, furniture, household goods, shoes, and other accessories.
Once you click on a category, a plethora of shopping alternatives will be displayed to you. Use the filter system to find what you’re looking for more easily. The selection can be filtered by brand, style, size, place of origin, and other factors.
4. Review Products and Add To Cart
Every time you perform a product search, a wide range of options from various platform merchants will be shown to you. Click through for more details so you can decide which item to put in your shopping cart. You can view information about the product’s pricing, shipping area, available colors and sizes, previous purchasers’ numbers, and more.
In order to decide whether to place your order, we also advise looking at the seller’s rating and reading user reviews for similar products. You can get a summary of the seller’s reputation on the right tab and, if you’d like, send him or her a message. Keep in mind, though, that Taobao vendors primarily communicate in Chinese, so you can find it challenging to do so if you don’t speak the language.
5. Verify What’s in Your Cart
Go to your cart when you are ready to finish your transaction. The checkout process is rather simple; if you change your mind, you may choose to remove goods (clickable text is located to the right of each item box).
Check the boxes next to each item you want to buy. You can do this manually, one at a time, or you can use the checkbox at the bottom to choose everything at once. Click the orange “Check Out” button when finished! Please be aware that the advertised price is in Chinese Yuan (CNY) and excludes delivery charges.
6. Check Out
Once you reach the checkout page, you’ll need to provide some shipping and payment information. Choose the shipping address you previously entered in your account preferences (as guided in step 3 above).
The following step is to choose your desired delivery method from a list of three alternatives. If you’re buying little products (less than 25kg), we advise choosing “official consolidation – air freight,” and if you’re buying bulkier items like furniture, we advise choosing “official consolidation – sea freight.” These two options are more affordable and practical, but you’ll need to make a separate payment for the shipping price.
When you’ve finished filling everything out, just pay to finish. You must use Alipay to make purchases on Taobao; if you don’t already have an Alipay account, you will be asked to get one. It’s really simple and easy to register!
7. Shipping Fee Payment
Once your initial payment has been made, you may relax and wait for the items to be combined at the Taobao warehouse. When an item leaves the warehouse, you typically get an SMS message; if you order many items, you get multiple SMS messages. You can also check the status online.
Advice For New Taobao Buyers
- Don’t overspend on your initial purchase if you lack confidence! To test it out, pick possibly just a few things from one or two sellers. Ask a friend who can read Chinese for assistance if you run into any difficulties while making your purchase, especially when it comes to paying the shipping price!
- Even though the prices on Taobao are typically much lower than in Malaysia and the selection is incredible, use restraint when making your purchase because shipping expenses can be high, especially if you buy more than 20kg.
- Ensure you perform your due diligence and assess the vendor and the item you intend to buy (refer to evaluation tips in Step 4).
- Dislike complexity and stress? Book using a Taobao agent. You just need to copy the product link from the Taobao website and paste it onto an agent website to finish the payment process. Since the agent website is entirely in English, you don’t need to worry about anything going wrong.
Enjoy your shopping!