Home » What is Taobao?

What is Taobao?

taobao logo

Taobao is where China buys online

Taobao is the main place to buy stuff online in China. It’s like eBay, with many independent stores listing their products and shipping directly to you. But these are not bidding auctions. The prices are all fixed ‘Buy it Now’ prices.

What is the Taobao Field Guide?

This website is for people living in China, or anybody who is interested in the China’s largest online store. We offer Field Guides on how to get a Taobao account, and teach you how to get the most out of your online shopping.

Why shop Taobao?

China produces a lot of stuff, but most of the brick-and-mortar retail selections are pretty poor. Unless you need green tea or a DVD, you might be out of luck trying to find it in a store. So just Taobao it!

What does Taobao offer?

Cheap Stuff

If it’s produced here, it should be cheaper here right? Not always. Limited retail availability and lack of competition means that many products are actually more expensive in the store here than they are back home. Taobao lets you find the cheap stuff fast.


Sellers compete for your business much more clearly on Taobao because one search can show you all the price options right next to each other. And shipping is dirt-cheap too.

Local knowledge

Chinese people are quite thrifty. And they get some great deals.  On Taobao you know which deals are the most popular. You can benefit from the crowd’s research and find out how many people have voted yes on that particular product at that particular price.

Easy Shopping

Spending your Saturday at Carrefour is a terrible idea. Your free time shouldn’t be about fighting crowds to buy stuff. It should be about enjoying the stuff you buy. So start shopping while you’re still in the office on Tuesday morning, have it delivered by Thursday, and start enjoying it by the weekend.

Crazy stuff

China’s entreprenureal spirit has run wild. There are tons of creative ways people are using Taobao.

The Taobao Field Guide hopes to point you toward some of the best stuff Taobao has to offer.

Check out our Sweet Stuff to buy on Taobao

Or jump right into Getting Started on Taobao

Outside China? Check our Guide to Buying from Overseas

One Comment »