What is the Site Taobao? Cheap, Replicated and Pirated Clothes? And How Do I Buy?
Taobao is one of the largest Chinese e-commerce platforms where you can purchase a wide variety of products at cheap prices. You can choose from a large number of products such as clothes, household products, accessories, electronic gadgets and the like to suit your specific needs. You can even find companies that sell cheap yet high quality products in bulk so that you can sell them to your customers in turn.
For us foreigners its known for its counterfeit products, but it’s just like eBay.
Although at the time of its launch, eBay had the head start in China via Eachnet, Taobao used its ‘free to charge’ strategy and was able to win the battle to compete with listing fee model of Eachnet. Today it owns over 80% of the online retail market share of China. Most of the products available on Taobao are sold at fixed prices. You can check and verify the backgrounds of sellers by viewing the information on the site i.e. ratings, complaints, and comments.
Taobao currently has over 1 billion product listings and receives more than 580 million visitors each month. These statistics are quite impressive and are a proof that the e-commerce giant has certainly come a long way to reach today’s success.
How to Buy from Taobao?
As the site is in Chinese language, it may be challenging for you to find something that you would like to buy. We’ve got a simple guide for those looking to order but don’t know how.
What’s a Taobao agent?
And unless your know Chinese and have a Chinese bank account you will need to take the help of a Taobao agent. A Taobao agent is a middleman who purchases the item you are interested in on your behalf and then ships it to you. You pay the agent his commission when you get the item. How much commission you will have to pay depends on the agent. Generally, it is between 8-10% of the cost of the product.
In order to buy a product with the help of a Taobao agent, you will first need to select the item on the platform that you wish to buy and place the order on the website. Once your order gets confirmed, the Taobao agent will begin confirming with sellers about the availability of the item as well as the delivery charges. This entire process may take a few hours or even a few days. It depends on the availability of the sellers and your agent.
Patience – You’ve got to have a lot of it.
Once everything is confirmed, your agent will send you an email for the initial payment for items available. You will need to make the payment. Once you have paid, the agent will go ahead and buy the item from Taobao. They will perform quality checks as well as take photos before packing the item. At this point, you will need to make the second payment so that the product is shipped to you. The order system of Taobao will generate a tracking number which will allow you to track your shipment anytime you want until the product finally reaches you.