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Monday, May 11, 2015

Taobao - A Comprehensive Buying Guide

In 2014, Taobao became one of the worlds biggest e-Commerce website. Boasting an average of 100 million pageviews and more than 60 million dollars worth of transactions per day. Being the most popular platform for small businesses in china to sell their wares, it is no wonder you can practically find anything and everything from Taobao or Tmall.

Buying from Taobao can either be really easy or extremely frustrating. Knowing how to pick the right seller is the key to having a frustration free shopping experience. This guide will teach you various ways to pick the best seller of your items.


Search for the product that interests you


In this example, I want to buy an aromatherapy diffuser. Since everything is listed in Chinese, it is recommended to look up the Chinese name for whatever you need. English search terms might work, but Chinese will get you better results.

If you are not particularly conversant in Chinese, use the google translate tool to make translations during your searches. The tool does literal translations which may or may not yield the right results. You may need to trial on error before getting the right results.


Pick a seller that has successful transactions


I normally source my products from sellers with a reasonable amount of successful transactions. Aside from the product descriptions, User reviews are the best way to determine the quality of the products sold. Bear in mind that although there maybe paid reviews, buying from a seller with a substantial amount of sales reduces that risk.

I try to pick sellers with crowns or at least those with a 4 Diamond rating. (Take a look at the glossary below). To obtain a 4 Diamond rating, the seller would have to make at least 5000 successful and positive transactions.


Shopping Guide

Read reviews from other buyers


Scroll down a bit further and you will see a number of tabs. The first tab gives you the product description, followed by the user reviews, number of users who bought this product and finally the services provided by the seller ( 专享服务). 

Although i recommend using the reviews to help with your decision, take the reviews you read with a pinch of salt, as there is no way to determine if the reviews written for the product is legitimate.

Shopping Guide, Comments

Look out for pictures and good comments


More often than not, products with good reviews have a high chance of turning out great. Look out for user comments and reviews with attached pictures (图片). Filtering the comments by checking the radio button will show you user submitted pictures of the product. This is my favourite way of determining how the final product will look like.

Shopping Guide, Comments and Pictures


Taobao Glossary


Taobao Glossary Icon Meanings

Remember, picking established sellers with a higher rating, will almost always guarantee that you will receive your product in good order! Hope you enjoyed the article and our infographic.

If you liked our infographic, check out our 4PX, Peeka and 65Daigou shootout