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How to Buy from Taobao

This is the quick and dirty guide – it presents the fastest, easiest way to buy stuff on Taobao. If you need more detail on any of these steps, links are provided to guides that go in depth into these points.

 

First things First

If you don’t live in China, you will need to check out our guide to buying on Taobao from overseas. If you do live in China, be sure to sign up for Taobao and add money to your account. When that is done, you are ready to start shopping with the guide below.

 

Step 1. Support the Field Guide

Have you found this guide helpful so far? Then we encourage you to make a habit of using the search box on our homepage (also available as a convenient bookmarklet) to search for stuff on Taobao. We get a small percentage Taobao when you do! Learn more.

Step 2. Search in English

Yes, just type in English! You will find the stuff you want 95% of the time.

 

More search tips:
Guide to Taobao Search
How to filter your results to find the right stuff

 

3. Check the Seller Feedback – and Talk to the Seller

Scroll down into your results and click on the products that look good. On the product page, look here and make sure that the Seller is highly rated. A good rule of thumb is at least 99% feedback on more than 500 transactions. (In the image below, the seller has 99.44% feedback on 716 transactions.) More on Evaluating a Seller.

 

It is also vital that you either – chat with a Seller on Wangwang chat first before you buy, or at least verify that they have made sales in the recent past to make sure that they have these items in stock. See our guides to chatting with Sellers and filtering to find in-stock items.


 

4. Click the Orange Buy It Now! Button

As seen below. There is now also a Blue Shopping Cart button which is useful if you are buying multiple things at once.

5. Add a Shipping Address

Click the button circled in green below to enter your shipping
address. Use Chinese for the street address if you can, but English (pinyin) is okay here too.

 

6. Choose Shipping method

Kuaidi 快递 is usually the preferred option — a delivery person will come to your door with the package. For details on the alternatives, check out our detailed guide to buying.

7. Submit your order

As seen above.

 

8. Enter your password to confirm payment

If you have a question about this step, check our guide to paying for your Taobao order.

 

You’re done!

Sit back and wait for your package to arrive. When it does, you should check out our Guide to Receiving Stuff. … if you’re not too busy playing with your new treasure.

180 Comments »

  • Laura said:

    Hi,

    I do live in china and do have chinese bank account (ICBC), but I want to buy some items to my family and send it to europe. Is it more resonable to buy it from taobao and ship it by myself through china post, or is it also possible that taobao sellers can send it directly to europe?

  • Shilpa said:

    First of all that’s for the detailed guide it is really useful. I have a problem though. one of my order is not yet delivered yet. and the transaction says its already finished. I tired calling the number of the seller. I pinged him but no reply. how do I get my money back? never faced such issue before. please help.

  • V said:

    I really want to shop at taobao.. minus all the extra charges that the agents take.. I am from India.. Is there a way?

  • Connie said:

    Can i check with you how to put singapore number in this
    Area Code – Phone Number – ext. i do not have ext number. 65-61234567-?
    Please help thank you

  • Anne Sophie said:

    Hello,
    Your guide is just great!
    Everything went fine till I came back from Post Office with my 200Y slip…
    It seems that the screeens changed a bit because I am unable to find the shortcut to enter the slip code!!!
    Can you please help?
    Thanks!

  • rena said:

    .hi!…im from philipines….anyone can recommend me a trustworthy taobao agent?…i already created an account on taobao

  • CatPlatt said:

    Hi I followed your instructions and input the money that I paid at the Post Office to my taobao account, but in order to make a purchase you have to set up a 支付宝 and to do that you need to enter a Chinese name and id number. They would not accept my English name and passport number and when I used their online help service they said no, they will not accept a British national’s id number and the only thing to do is go back to the Post Office and try to get my money back! My Chinese friend helped me so I don’t think I was doing anything wrong, but I don’t understand – how can other foreign nationals in China buy things on taobao – seems like it works for everyone else!

  • Free Trade said:

    It’s too bad China makes it so difficult for overseas companies to operate. I actually prefer eBay’s policies and interface over Taobao. Hopefully, there will be trade reform in the near future but I won’t hold my breathe. The same thing happened when Google tried to enter the market. Chinese government sponsored hackers stole Google’s intellectual property and that is how Baidu was born.

  • Shopaholicmin said:

    Hi there! I have a blog that reviews things that I purchase, many of which are from Taobao. If you would like any of the items I’ve reviewed, I can purchase for you too. All the sellers and items are tried and tested! You’re guarranteed that you would get what you wanted in the first place. Do check my blog out!

    http://www.shopaholicmin.wordpress.com 🙂

  • First-timer said:

    Hi,

    I happen to come across your guide for buying stuffs on taobao. Its super useful and has indeed help me out quite a lot. Thanks alot for the help give. 🙂

    But there were issues which I am uncertain of. Like for the “快递“, do I have to pay for every items I made purchase of from the seller? As I have accumulated a few items under the same seller. Another issue, how can I go about bargaining with the seller? I read a few people saying about it which surprise me.

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    thank you.

  • Dan said:

    I am new to Taobao. Just created an acct. Added my cart with few items from a single seller. When i try to pay the bill, it pops up this:

    Current Order Status: Transaction Close
    Close Type: Seller cancel orders
    Reason: Order Status error, please contact sales customer service
    If in doubt, please contact the seller.

    I am from Malaysia.

    Does it matter if I was going back and forth at “My Cart” to see what is the total charges of shipment fee.

    Please help!

  • Vivian said:

    hi, is there a filter to search for product that support international forwarding? cos i tried to checkout the items n it hv a message that say “this seller do not support international forwarding”

    its troublesome cos i hv to search all over again… tks

  • Sam said:

    Hi I want to open an account but before hand I have a taopao app in my phone and and I searched for something and they say快递100.00 what does it mean??

  • 卡米 said:

    Hi I want to open an account but before hand I have a taopao app in my phone and and I searched for something and they say快递100.00 what does it mean??

    hi sam,

    this kind of shops is not real shop. they post times from other ships with the same price but they make their profit from high express charges.
    if the product is not very valuable like jewelry or expensive bags where can reach up to 3000$, or big product that needs special way of delivery, then the express charges should not be more than 20 RMB which is about 3$.

    always look at tow things when buying from taobao. the shop rating. and the number of purchases made for this time.

  • IvanW said:

    it seems that your link to the ‘sign up for TaoBao’ is broken…

  • Olya said:

    How to register post code?
    I have 5-digit code, but system ask to write 6-digit…
    What need to do?

  • Anonymous said:

    I cannot make any payment 买家支付宝账号不存在. help!

  • Hmtara said:

    After i made the payment, and i recieved a message on my phone that the payment was success.. i opened my account in tao bao and it tells me “pending payment”.. is it that i have to do anything now?

  • Roy said:

    I live in USA. Is there any way to buy from USA and pay with credit card or PayPal? I typed in my credit card number but keep saying wrong credit card number.

  • Michelle said:

    I am international Tao Bao user, having my log in ID and password with TaoBao China.
    Do not have any China Bank account.
    I normally top up using Tao Bao Card and make my purchase from Tao Bao card.

    However, recently my Tao Bao account had been blocked due to security issue.
    I am not able to provide my bank account number thus not able to log in Tao Bao account, appreciate if you could advice any solution on this matter?

  • skysky said:

    Hi michelle,
    What is taobao card and how did you get it?
    So is it okay to buy from taobao without agent? And does the seller understand to ship overseas?

  • una said:

    hi

    I alway buy from taobao and its great..but recently i have problem cant click the item in to the shopoing cart…it shows no movement when i click the item to be buy..please helo..tq

  • Lea said:

    Hye. Im from malaysia. Im Trying to register in taobao.but it seems like my phone num is incorrect.any suggestion on this? Since last month ive tried,but it is always incorrect. Help me pls. Thanks 🙁

  • Rae said:

    Hi im planning to order something and trying to have it shipped to honkong.
    It asked me for the postal code which hk does not have
    What should i do?
    (My mom just wrote 000-000) haha

  • 戴斯 said:

    I live in china and I want to buy on taobao but I don’t have an chinese ID Card what should I do?

  • Alan said:

    What does it mean when it says 淘宝直送?

  • organo said:

    To communicate with seller i want to upload picture of item in chat box but i am unable to understand how it can be,,, plz help

  • inah said:

    Im from Singapore. How to order from taobao? Singapore agent is too expennsive. My stuff is only $4 but shipping plus agent total up to $30.

  • Odo Precious Chimezie said:

    Hi, I’m in Nigeria and I don’t understand any chinese, I’m finding it hard to add a shipping address on taobao.
    Pls can you help me out? I really need your help.

  • Anonymous said:

    Hi I’m from Cambodia how can I order from Taobao?

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