Ultimate Guide to Buying from Taobao: Direct Shipping, Agents and Lazada Taobao

In case you are living under a rock and have no idea what Taobao is, it’s the gateway to a whole new world. Need some new clothes? Taobao it! Feeling adventurous? Taobao a scorpion! Getting sick of your partner? Taobao a new one! (no, seriously, they have boyfriends for hire)

Earn Taobao cashback through Shopback's browser extension

What is Taobao, really?

It’s a Chinese online shopping website that provides a treasure trove of items that you can purchase from the comfort of your room. However, many non-Chinese speakers are deterred by the fact that the whole website is in Chinese!

To help you jump on the bandwagon and get your Taobao adventure started, we have compiled an EASY and comprehensive guide on how to shop (in English!) on Taobao. And now with Taobao available on Lazada, shopping from Taobao is THAT MUCH EASIER!

This 11.11 Singles’ Day Sale, earn up to 22% cash rewards on Taobao and upsized Cashback on Lazada!

1. How to Buy from Taobao

Taobao Global Direct Shipping

Even if you don’t speak or understand a word of Chinese, you can shop directly on Taobao’s site with just a few handy tools!

Use Google Chrome to access the site

When you access Taobao on Google Chrome, you should be prompted to translate the entire page into English. Although some of the translation may appear weird or incorrect, it’s by far much more understandable than the Chinese version.

Google Translate

If your Chinese reading ability isn’t too shabby but you’re unsure of what some items are called in Chinese, you can consider using Google Translate instead.

Google translate of jeans (english to chinese)

Then copy and paste the Chinese characters into the search bar for some new jeans!

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Currency Converter

As the currency displayed on Taobao’s site is all in Chinese Yuan, you may want to have a currency converter opened on another tab to check the price of the items

Taobao Agents

If all that is too troublesome for you, you may want to shop through a Taobao Agent. Taobao Agents are middlemen that can help  you to shop, liaise, pay and ship your items on your behalf, for a small fee.

Some popular agents include ezbuy and SGshop. Their sites are entirely in English and you can search and shop for Taobao items directly on their site.

Pro-tip 1: Singsaver.com has a comprehensive comparison list between the different Taobao agents in Singapore. Go check it out to find out which is the agent for you!

Lazada Taobao

Alternatively, if you do not wish to pay for agent fees, Lazada has just recently released their Taobao Collection with 639153 items to choose from! Lazada Taobao provides the best of both worlds, where you can shop in English, save on agent fees, and be sure your items are in safe hands!

Like some Taobao agents, the items are displayed in English on Lazada’s website itself:

lazada taobao product page

2. Creating an account

Taobao (Direct)

If you wish to shop directly on Taobao, you will need to create an account.

After you have translated the page into English, it should look something like this:

Taobao homepage
Click on free (next to Login), or 免费注册.

You will then be redirected to their registration page, where there is an option to translate the page into English at the top right-hand corner.

taobao registration page
Click on it, and viola! Register away!

Taobao Agents

If you choose to shop on Taobao using Taobao agents, do note that the respective agents also require you to create an account with them. It should be relatively intuitive since their sites are in English.

Lazada Taobao

Differing from the aforementioned, it is NOT necessary to create an account with Lazada. You can still purchase from them without an account. Simply enter your E-mail address after checking out and select “continue without password”

3. You’re ready to Shop on Taobao!

Taobao (Direct)

You can search for products in English, or to get more accurate results, translate it into Chinese, then simply paste it into the search bar. Make sure you look at the reviews and ratings of a product before purchasing!

If you see an item you like, and want to find something similar or exactly the same, scrolling over the picture will show two options: “Find the same” and “Find similar”.

Clicking on either one lets you filter through all available jeans on Taobao to find the one for YOU.

taobao products page

Taobao Agents

Shopping through agent sites simplifies the search process without any need for Google Translate. Take note that if you do shop through agents, they do not have functions such as “find similar” and “find the same”. This means that your choices could possibly be more limited than shopping on Taobao itself.

Furthermore, agent sites do not have as many product ratings and reviews as on the Taobao website.  If you are someone who relies heavily on reviews and ratings, perhaps going through some extra steps and shopping on Taobao is the way to go.

Lazada Taobao

That said, most agents and Lazada typically include more reliable and trustworthy sellers from Taobao, ensuring that your purchases will reach you safely and true to its descriptions.

Prices on Lazada are also shown in SGD with no agent fees (and as cheap as Taobao!), saving you the trouble of converting currencies and calculating the shipping and handling fees.

lazada product page

4. Order/Payment

Taobao (Direct)

Ordering on Taobao is a little more tricky as Google Translate does not translate the order form.

But not to worry, here we have it translated for YOU.

taobao shipping information page

Under “所在地区 ”, the first dropdown refers to the region. Select “海外其他” (others) and then select your country in the next drop down. (in this case, Singapore, 新加坡)

Fill in the rest accordingly, then hit the orange button at the bottom.

You will be redirected and shown your cart details. Make sure you select all the items you wish to purchase then click the orange button, “settlement” or “结算”.

taobao cart details

Then select your preferred shipping method and check the details of your order:

taobao shipping method form
1) For “Taobao Global Direct Shipping“, the items are shipped directly to you and you pay a standard fee, in this case, 35 RMB.  Final payment will include the items and shipping cost.

2) For “Global Consolidate and Shipping“, you can buy from several different sellers and consolidate your items in a warehouse before shipping it to your address in ONE PACKAGE. Shipping cost will be calculated according to the weight of your total package.

If you choose to ship via method 2, you will be prompted to select a forwarder to repackage and ship your items to you from the warehouse.

Pro-tip 2: Choose a forwarder with higher ratings or “praise” rating to ensure your items arrive safely!

shipping options

Note that for shipping method 2, there will be 2 payments. The first payment is made for the items only, while the second payment will be made after the items arrive at the warehouse and are weighed for shipping.

To confirm and pay, hit the orange button at the bottom of the page.

Pro-tip 3: To save more money, purchase your items on through Shopback’s browser extension to earn up to 22% in cash rewards this Singles’ Day 11.11 Sale!

Taobao Agents

Payment with other agents is less tricky. Simply click “checkout”, fill in your address details, choose your preferred shipping method, and pay all at once.

Lazada Taobao

After adding your items to cart, proceed to checkout, enter your E-mail address or log in to your Lazada account, fill in your address details and pay!

Here’s a summary of how to order with Lazada:

Image Credit: lazada.com 

Pro-tip 4: Earn up to 11.0% cashback when you purchase items from Lazada!

How to get Taobao Cashback through Shopback

Taobao (Direct)

You need to have an account for BOTH Taobao and ShopBack. If you don’t have them, create them first.

1) Download the ShopBack Cashback Button browser extension

2) Browse on Taobao/Tmall as usual. Click on the cashback buddy icon to search for you item and click “Activate”

3) If your item appears, check out as usual and earn cashback!

Taobao cashback

The ShopBack Cashback Button notifies you when cashback is available on the store you’re browsing on, let’s you know of all the available discounts and voucher codes and shows you when cashback is available in the search results.

Lazada Taobao

If you choose to purchase your Taobao items via Lazada, fret not! You can still get up to 11.0% cashback from ShopBack!
Visit Lazada’s website through ShopBack. (Note: It is not necessary for you to have a Lazada account, but necessary for you to have a ShopBack account)

Shopback lazada clickthrough
Simply click through from the Lazada ShopBack page, shop away and purchase as per normal!

Note: To ensure you receive your cashback, use promo codes from ShopBack ONLY. If there are any errors or new transactions, Click through ShopBack again

Congratulations, you have successfully made your first purchase from Taobao and earned cashback!

Now, just sit and wait for your Taobao items to arrive!

Shopping on Taobao is daunting but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be shopping like a Taobao pro! Shopping on Taobao has never been easier!

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