6 taobao hacks every S’porean needs to know


Last Updated on 2016-06-01 , 5:27 pm

Taobao is a veritable treasure trove, and you can find pretty much anything you want on it, from clothes to quirky items that no one sane would sell online.

So, why the need for this article then? Well, you’d have realised that for most Singaporeans, most of our grasp on Mandarin is a bit iffy. Give us a paragraph of Mandarin characters in big fonts and we should be able to read through it in about fifteen minutes, with heavy usage of the Google translate function, but give us chunks of Mandarin characters on Taobao, and we’d most likely raise the white flag and run back to Qoo10 with our metaphorical tails between our legs.

Here are a couple of hacks you can use for the average Chinese-challenged Singaporean.

Use Google Chrome
Google Chrome is a lifesaver if you’re interested in shopping on Taobao even though you don’t really understand Mandarin. It’s said to be able to auto-translate the page to English, although that hadn’t happened for me; but, I’ve tried out the translation function from Chrome and boy, it turned out great!

Of course, ad posters and all will still remain in Chinese, but the most important things like sections and navigation links are translated, and that’s all that matters actually.

Upload picture onto search bar
Of course, translation doesn’t mean 100%, and sometimes you might be searching for ¾ pants, search pants and you’d be given results of all pants that are sold in various length.


To tackle this problem, you could either A) scroll through the entire list of results (which can be pretty long – treasure trove remember?), or B) go crazy trying to find the exact Chinese words for, e.g. ¾ pants, or C) just upload a picture of a similar product that you want in the search bar, and the website will deliver results of items that looks similar.

Filter search result
As mentioned above, the results that you’d get from a single search can be pretty humongous; to narrow it down, filter your results. In fact, there’s even an option for you to view only results of sellers that are verified by Taobao itself; these sellers are generally more legit and trustworthy.

Look for ways to get discounts
What’s better than getting cheap stuff online? Well, that’s getting cheaper stuff online, of course! Collect 淘金币 and look out for store coupons to offset your purchases. If you’re inclined, lookout for cash back sites like Shopback which gives you up to 10% cashback for shopping on Taobao.

Defective items
One thing people hate about online shopping is that it can be troublesome if you’ve gotten defective items. One thing to do is to make sure to contact the seller via Aliwangwang (Taobao’s chat service); send pictures or videos of the defective items to them as proof and nine times out of ten, they will agree to refund you your hard-earned money.


In fact, if you received an item in a different colour, try your luck and see if they’re able to refund you half the amount.

All sellers have a rating on Taobao, which shows how trustworthy the sellers are; you should also know that as a buyer, you have a rating as well, so watch how you behave in the Taobao marketplace.

Sellers might choose not to sell to you because you have a very bad rating and hence, reputation on the site. You wouldn’t want to be blacklisted, would you?

Worker’s Party just agree with PAP on something, but there’s another reason why they did that. Watch this to the end and you’ll understand:

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