How to buy from taobao


Learn how to buy from Taobao directly and shop as an international buyer easily without agents in this Taobao English guide!

We understand the struggle when it comes to deciphering all the chim Mandarin words and figuring out how to buy from Taobao, so the Taobao Queen (aka me) is here to give you an extremely detailed step-by-step guide on how to buy from Taobao and shop wherever you go. As the saying goes, “If something exists, it’s probably on Taobao!”

Part 1: How to Buy From Taobao 2019 Guide
Part 2: How to Navigate Taobao 2019 Keywords Guide
Part 3: How to Ship From Taobao 2019 Guide
Part 4: How to Refund on Taobao 2019 Guide

1. Register

Download the Taobao app and agree to the terms & conditions by tapping “同意” (Agree). You’ll be prompted to grant the app permission to access your camera, gallery and location. Register for an account by tapping “注册/登录” (Register / Login).

Tap on “注册” (Register). Enter your mobile number and tap “获取验证码” (Request for OTP) on the right side of the second field. You will receive a 6-digit OTP via SMS. Enter the OTP in the second field and tap the orange bar.

2. Choose a Product

Now that you’ve set up your Taobao account, we can begin the fun part: Shopping! 

To search for items, enter keywords into the white search bar located at the top of the home page. Scroll through the wide selection of items and select the one that catches your eye. To filter your search results, tap “筛选” (Filter). You can filter results according to price range, brand, etc.

Tap on the desired product and you’ll see its product page. To check the reviews, scroll down and look under “宝贝评价” (Reviews), where buyers upload their feedback and images of the item. To read more reviews, press on “查看全部” (View All). The number of hearts next to the user’s name are their ratings for the product.

Press the speech bubble icon “客服” (Customer Service) to chat with the seller if you have queries. The seller may use “宝贝” (precious item) to refer to the item and “亲”  (dear) to address you, as these are amicable terms frequently used in China’s Internet age. To add an item to cart, tap on the light orange “加入购物车” (Add to Cart).

Select the colour or style you want and press “确定” (Confirm). Once you’ve added an item to your cart, you will receive a notification which translates to “Added to cart successfully, your item is waiting for you in your cart~”.

3. Checkout

Once you’re ready to checkout, go back to the home page and tap the shopping cart icon “购物车” (Shopping Cart).  Select the items that you want to checkout and tap 结算 (Payment).

You’ll be prompted to add your shipping address. Tap 确定 (Confirm) on the right and fill up the form. Enter your name, phone number, block number, street name, unit number and postal code. You can tag your address e.g. home or office, and make it your default address.

Select 去支付 (Go Payment) to finalise your payment. Add your credit or debit card by selecting Credit / Debit Card.

Fill your card details accordingly and confirm. Remember to use your YouTrip card to avoid currency conversion fees! 

Protip: If it prompts you to pay in SGD, log in to Taobao’s desktop site to pay in RMB.

Bonus: Taobao Keywords

To enhance your shopping experience, here’s a list of common keywords to help you search for the items you want! Click here for the full list of keywords and categories.

Taobao Keywords
Pants  (knee length / calf length / ankle length)长裤  (五分长 / 七分长 / 九分长)
Sneakers / White Sneakers球鞋 / 小白鞋 
Sports shoes运动鞋 
Active wear运动服 
Off shoulder一字领 
Korean style韩版 / 韩风 
Slimming effect显瘦  

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