Taobao English. Wanting to shop on Taobao but finding the platform difficult to navigate?
Taobao, a popular Chinese online shopping platform, sells almost everything you could possibly think of. It is the world’s largest eCommerce website and a top choice for internet users, boasting over 200,000 brands in almost all categories starting from fashion, electronics, furniture, appliances, baby products, and so much more.
It is considered the most valuable brand in China and has experienced extraordinary growth since its inception and has outranked even the big players like Amazon in the shopping category as per Alexa’s rankings of the world’s top websites.
The best part about this platform is that you will find every item here that seemingly doesn’t exist anywhere in the world outside Taobao. However, the only thing which the platform lacks is an English version. So this blog will help you find out how to use Taobao English.
Ready to start accessing all the low-priced items that Taobao has to offer? We’re going to tell you how to buy things from Taobao, and we’ll cover the following topics:
- Is it worth the effort to learn how to navigate Taobao?
- The pros and cons of purchasing Taobao products via an agent
- Which Taobao agents we recommend
- The six key steps involved with ordering a particular item on Taobao
Should I bother to learn how to use Taobao English?
As we said above, while shopping on Taobao can save you loads of money, Taobao isn’t available in English, which means navigating the website can be difficult. However, shopping on Taobao gives you access to such low pricing that putting in the effort to learn how to navigate the platform is really worthwhile.
By learning a few simple steps, you can easily shop on Taobao in English. We strongly recommend you take the time to learn how to navigate Taobao in English, and if this isn’t for you, instead, try using an agent who will be able to order items on your behalf.
Purchasing Taobao products via an agent
Buying items on Taobao via an agent is one option, and many people use this option. So here, let’s talk about the benefits of buying products via an agent. The agent will assist you in every step of the way of ordering on Taobao online in English. Besides, the agent will:
- Order products on your behalf and receive them too
- Effectively communicate to the seller about the ordered items
- Checks the product quality and ensure conformity to specifications
- Keep you informed about every order detail
- Offer you a variety of payment options for your convenience
- Partner with reliable shippers to ensure complete product safety and security
In short, receiving help from an agent gives you the advantage of a convenient, safe, comfortable, stress-free, and money-saving shopping experience.
However, there are two disadvantages to buying items from Taobao via an agent. Firstly, if you buy directly from an agent, you will have to pay the agent a fee of up to 10% of the value of the orders placed.
Secondly, you will likely have to pay additional shipping charges. The additional shipping costs are to cover the shipping charges between the agent and yourself.
You should also know that there may be some hidden fees when you purchase Taobao items via an agent.
For example, some agents will quote themselves as not charging additional fees, but you will notice that the shipping fees are really jacked up if you look closer. Or perhaps they are hitting you on the currency rate.
Whatever the case, you can assume that there aren’t any agents out there taking the time to order your goods online free of charge. You must expect that agents will be receiving a fee in some form or other. But if you have done your homework and the pricing makes sense, and you want to make sure that buying items from Taobao is a smooth process, go right ahead.
Wanting to know which Taobao agents you should try?
- Love 2 Taobao. Check out this Facebook group. It’s a small company, they are super friendly, and offer great service. It’s also fun to be part of this Facebook group. It’s always interesting to see what people request the agents to find and what the agents themselves can uncover. We have recently seen requests for metallic Christmas trees, dining chairs, moon lamps, kiddie swings, and play parachutes. Yes, please!
- Superbuy, formerly known as Dotdotbuy, is a popular Taobao agent. The best thing about this company is that you can place Taobao orders via their app. They service both individuals and small business owners all over the world. This site is best for serious shoppers who know exactly what they want and are looking to shop with maximum ease (i.e., via an app).
- Cssbuy. This is also a large company, and they help global users to access China. They offer a wide range of shipping costs and appear to have lower shipping fees than many other similar large-sized Taobao agents.
But fear not, there are ways to navigate Taobao even without an English interface!
Here’s how to purchase from Taobao by yourself with ease and understanding:
Let’s walk through an example of buying an item from Taobao by yourself
Let’s imagine you are looking to buy high-quality white towels, similar to what you could expect to find in a 5-star hotel. Now we’ll walk through an example of how you might find these lovely, super fluffy towels on Taobao.
1. Set Taobao to “Translate to English”
Use a Google Chrome browser so that you can access the Google translate tool.
Right-click on the page and select the option “Translate to English.”
Keep in mind; you will likely end up having to re-select “Translate to English” many times while you are using Taobao. Just remember, every time the site reverts to Chinese, right-click and select “Translate to English” again.
In case you do not get an automatic translate option, add the Google Translate Extension for Taobao online shopping English version.
So, when planning to shop directly from the Taobao platform, do not attempt it without Google translate. It might not be perfect, but it is definitely a great start and will ease the process to some extent, giving you a general idea of the things you are looking to buy.
2. Register an account
Before searching for items on the Taobao platform, you will need to sign up for a Taobao account.
Click on “Register for an account.” You will then be redirected to a new page where you will need to input your name, address, and phone number. There’s an option for English too.
Once you’ve done this, Taobao will then send you a One Time Password to verify your details to complete the registration process. As soon as you get registered, you will get a message that now you are the proud owner of a Taobao account.
3. Start searching for items
You are now able to start searching for items on Taobao. As mentioned above, let’s say you want to buy hotel-grade bathroom towels, now type “hotel towel” into the search bar.
Google Chrome will do a pretty decent job translating and provide you with various search results. If you scan the search results, you should expect to see words like “5-star hotel”.
Though typing your search in English will give you options, you will be able to see a lot more options if you use the “translate to English” tool on Google Chrome. For instance, where English search results will get you six to seven options, searching in Chinese will bring you a hundred options to choose from, which means more variety and better choices. If you are looking for more specific ideas, search them accordingly by typing them in the search bar.
To make purchasing from Taobao as efficient as possible, we recommend you improve the quality of your search results by sorting via “Sales from high to low.” Selecting the “list” display also helps to make a better sense of the search results.
The higher the sales volume, the better. Checking the sales volume will also help you to determine if the seller is genuine.
So it’s all about planning your search to get the best deal on Taobao. Don’t waste your time trying to understand various translations; just look for common symbols for faster and efficient shopping.
For an item’s quality check, just look at the grey number on the right-hand side of the price that shows the number of recent transactions. The 7+ sign on the page indicates that the item can be returned in seven days for a full refund.
4. Time to checkout
Before you select your products, first, you need to set up your shipping address.
The easiest way to set up your shipping address is to first click on your username on the top left corner of the screen. You will then be redirected to your profile. Next, select the shipping address. The only tricky thing here is that you need to be sure to input your address in a single line.
To be clear (and to save you a lot of time), do NOT input your address as follows:
2C Smith Building
8 Ford Street
Instead, you need to input your address like this: 2C Smith Building, 8 Ford Street.
Make sure that you click on “Save” after you finalize your shipping address. This will ensure that you only have to fill out your address once. Ready to checkout? Select “Go to the cart settlement” to complete the transaction.
5. Select logistics
Now you should expect to see multiple logistics options, as per below.
You can either:
- Choose to have the seller directly send the items to you. This means your items will be sent to you immediately in individual packages. You will pay the shipping fee when you purchase the item.
- Select to have your items consolidated and sent via sea freight. This is the lowest cost option. If you select this option, your items will be sent to Taobao’s warehouse in China to be registered. They will then be consolidated into a single parcel (to minimize shipping costs) and then sent to you via sea freight.
- Or, choose to have your items consolidated but sent via SF Express. For this option, your items will be consolidated at the Taobao warehouse in China, and then they will quickly be sent to your home via SF express in one bundle.
We personally prefer the first option of having the seller ship the products directly to our homes. This is painless and doesn’t require you to log on again to confirm that you have completed your shopping and that you’re ready for your items to be consolidated.
But the choice of logistics is on you and how you want your product to be shipped. Find the option that suits your own needs.
The final step is to pay for your items. If it’s your first time purchasing an item on Taobao, you will need to set up a six-digit “payment password.”
Next, you will need to input your credit card details. This is a simple process. Your card details will likely pre-populate, and if they don’t, then just use the google translate function.
Once your payment is confirmed, you will receive an email confirmation so that you can follow up in case anything goes wrong. Enjoy your luxurious bath towels!
We are committed to helping you improve your quality of living in Hong Kong without having to overpay. And, with Taobao, you can have just about anything within a click. You just need to follow the right procedures to access Taobao online shopping in English easily. Pro tip: don’t forget to check the “item reviews” before placing your order.
If you feel like we have missed a tip on Taobao English, please let us know in the comments below. We would love to learn from your experiences.
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