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Top 5 Best Taobao Agent of 2021 (with Pros and Cons)

Updated on July 5, 2021

Taobao is incredible.

Apart from its Chinese-only interface.

If you can read and write Chinese, then you’ll probably be OK.

If not, then ordering directly on Taobao can be a pain.

That’s where Taobao agents come in.

In this post, we’re going to talk about what Taobao agents do and why you might want to use one.

Then we’ll introduce you to 5 of the most popular options, and compare them to help you pick the right one.

Let’s get started!

Note: I updated this article in March 2021. Because Taobaotrends closed its business(very sad! ), I added another old agent – 42agent.

At the same time, I also updated the exchange rates they are using this year and marked the difference between their rates and the current rates.

1. Top 5 best Taobao agent compared (in a nutshell)

In the following table, I’ll give you a quick snapshot of each of the agents I looked at.

I thought this would be ideal not just for those of you who are short of time, but also for people who already have an idea of what they’re looking for.

However, there’s a lot more to each of these agents than a simple chart can convey, so we recommend you take the time to go through our full reviews below.

Basetao Cssbuy Superbuy Ytaopal 42agent
Image
Service Fee 5%-0% 6%-3%
  • no service fee for taobao order
  • expert service fee :10%
0%
  • 6-12% Service Fees
  • The minimum service fee is 30 RMB
Payment
  • Giropay fee: 3.3% + 0.35 €
  • POLi fee: 2.75% + 0.5 AUD
  • iDEAL fee: 2% + 0.7 €
  • Paypal: unknown
  • eNets:SGD fee: 3.2% + 1.8 SGD
  • Bancontact fee: 2.2% + 0.45 €
  • PayPal fee: 3% + 0.3 USD
  • Creditcard fee: 4%+0.3
  • Alipay fee: 1%
  • Wechatpay fee: 1.5%
  • bitcoin fee: 1%
  • Paypal: 2.9% + US $0.3
  • Credit Card: 2.9% + US $0.3
  • Giropay: 2.9% + US $0.3
  • Credit/Debit Card: 4.4%+0.3
  • bitcoin fee: 1.5%
  • iDEAL fee: 3.3% + 0.35 €
  • Paypal : unknown
  • PayPal fee: 4.4% + 0.3 USD
  • Credit card fee: 4.4% + 0.3 USD
Exchange Rate Loss(Fee) 1 RMB = 0.162 USD(5.56%) 1 RMB = 0.158 USD(3.16%) 1 RMB = 0.164 USD(6.71%) 1 RMB = 0.165 USD(7.27%) 1 RMB = 0.162 USD(5.56%)
Shippping Fee calculator here calculator here calculator here calculator here calculator here
QC Picture
  • Insurance fee: 2% of total cost(optional)
  • QC picture: Free
  • QC picture: 1.5 RMB per item
  • MEASURE SIZE: 4 RMB per item
  • Rehearsal packaging: 20 RMB per parcel
  • QC picture: 5 RMB per item
  • No Picture Preview Fees
  • Insurance fee: 5% of total cost(optional)
No Picture Preview Fees
Customer Service good ,friendly ok,but response slower friendly and professional fast and personal friendly and fast
Total Rating 4.6/5 4.7/5 4.8/5 4.6/5 4.5/5

Note: The exchange rates listed in the table above are what I found on their official website, and the percentage loss is based on the current exchange rate of the day, which is 1 RMB = 0.153 USD (as of April 19, 2021, on xe.com).

2. What Taobao agent is (and why you might need one)

Taobao Agent is the middle man between the Taobao seller and the international buyer.

They will buy Taobao items on your behalf, package everything and deliver it to you.

Some of the key services a Taobao agent usually offer:

  • negotiates with the seller and buys the product for you
  • Product Quality Check
  • return and refund
  • Storage, Packaging,and Order Consolidation
  • international shipping with ePacket,ems,ups,DHL etc..

Taobao agent makes it easier for you as a foreigner to buy from Taobao, by:

  • Providing an English website and English customer service support.
  • Convenient Payment Method
  • Enabling you to preview how your item looks before it ships out to you.

3. What to Look for When Choosing a Taobao agent

When it comes to choosing a Taobao agent, there are a ton of options to choose from.

So, how do you choose the best one? In this part, I will go over 5 things you should consider when selecting a Taobao agent to use:

  1. Website Interface – how does the interface work and does it make it easy to navigate and place an order?
  2. Service – what shipping options do you get and if they provide value-added service like QC photos, insurance, measure size, etc.
  3. Customer support – what contact methods they offer and if their support is fast and helpful.
  4. Price – how high is their service fee, shipping rate, and the most easily overlooked cost-the exchange rate.
  5. Online Reputation – How is their feedback on the Internet, any reviews on Trustpilot, Reddit? Also, try to avoid paid reviews that only say goods things about that agent.

With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at the best agents with their Pros and Cons.

Note: Unlike many other articles which are biased in favor of one particular agent, we’ve reviewed each of the agents totally independently and are happy to answer any questions you might have.

4. reviews of The 5 Best Taobao agent

Now that you have a solid understanding of Taobao agents and how to choose them, let’s introduce the specific agents we’ll be comparing in this post.

Here are the brave candidates:

I’ll talk about each of them in-depth, but if you’d like to try them out right away, feel free to click through the list above.

Superbuy

Superbuy, formerly known as Dotdotbuy, is the strongest Taobao agent currently available. They offer professional, reliable Taobao proxy shopping services to individuals and small business owners all over the world.

They’re also one of the few Taobao agents that provides a free mobile app that lets you place an order inside your smartphone.

You’ll also get access to their bilingual customer service and exclusive direct CEO email. Their support staff is very helpful and responsive and will help you work through your issues very quickly.

If I were to start to shop on Taobao today, Superbuy would be the agent that I would choose.

Pros:

No service fee for Taobao order

Unlike other agents, Superbuy will not charge any service fee for your Taobao orders. You will save some bucks.

Simple and easy to use interface

You don’t need to spend hours of searching and reading to learn how to use their service, their website is clear and easy to use, you will be able to create your new orders in a few clicks.

The shipping fee is refundable

Their Rehearsal Packaging service can give you accurate billable weight, thus paying less shipping fee. They will also refund you the excess shipping fee after your parcel leaves the warehouse.

Customer service

Support from Superbuy was superb, extremely friendly, and professional. In fact, I think customer support is one of superbuy’s core advantages over its competitors.

Cons:

Expensive shipping fee

Superbuy’s shipping fee is not cheap in general, especially for some postal service like EMS,ePacket.

High currency exchange fees

According to our calculation, nearly 7% hidden exchange fee is charged whenever you top up your money on their website.

10% expert service fee

The industry standard of the service fee is 5% – 8% of total order value, much lower than what superbuy charges.

Our Grade: 4.8/5

Cssbuy

Cssbuy is an arguably popular and cheap Taobao agent. They have been making a name for themselves in the Reddit replica community for a while now.

Cssbuy is one of the cheapest agents we tested. That benefit, combined with their wide range of shipping methods, makes them a good choice for anyone that’s looking for a cheap but reliable Taobao agent service.

Pros:

Offers a lot of shipping methods

they offered various shipping methods like China postal, the preferential line, and some tax-free lines.

Cheap shipping rate

their shipping rate is generally the cheapest among the popular agents I tested. for hot shipping methods like ePacket,SF-express, DHL,they have a better price.

Cheap currency exchange fee

It seems every agent charges a hidden exchange fee, Cssbuy charges approximately 3% of the money you top up,this is the lowest I can find till now.

Mobile app to use

their mobile app is buggy, not as good as superbuy, but it is one of few agents that have this feature, so better have it than nothing, right?

Cons:

They don’t have 24/7 support service

you have to contact them during their working hours and their response may be a bit slower than the other agents.

Slow delivery and process time

parcels usually take a very long time to be “accepted” by the shipping companies.

Cssbuy is located in Hangzhou, but the major shipping agents are operated in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen. so shipping agents need several days to receive the parcels.

Many complaints about missing or wrong parcels

Cssbuy gets parcels mixed up from time to time, if you search, you can easily find many threads talking about this issue.

Our Grade: 4.7/5

Basetao

Founded in 2015, Basetao is a Guangzhou-based Taobao agent that offers Chinese website shopping, repacking, and shipping services to customers around the world.

Pros:

Low service fee

their service fee is only 5%, and when you apply for their VIP Promotion plan, the fee can be reduced to 3%.

Free QC photos

When your items reach their warehouse, they will take pictures of items for you to preview, and according to user’s feedback, their QC pictures are very clear and high quality, and it is totally free.

Good , friendly customer service

I did not see too many complaints about their customer service. and if you order on WeChat or weidian, they will not add any extra fee, I know some other agents add some additional fee if you order there. They don’t accept orders from WeChat anymore.

Cons:

High currency exchange fee

they use a high exchange rate, which results in paying around 6% more than the real exchange rate.

Hard to use website

Basetao’s website is slightly difficult to use than others. Using it for the first time, it took quite a while to find what I was looking for.

No apps for smartphone

Basetao does not have an app, considering the popularity of smart devices and the number of time people spends with mobile apps, they really should build an app to allow their customers to place orders on their phones.

Our Grade: 4.7/5

42agent

42agent, formerly known as taobaoring, was founded in 2011 and is one of the first companies to do tao agent, its company and warehouse are in Beijing.

When it was taobaoring, I had a very good impression of it, because it was one of the few companies that could provide a transparent list of fees on their website. It also had a good reputation among its users.

After changing their name to 42agent, their website has undergone a major change and their core business is clearly listed on the website: Ship For Me,Shop For Me, and Dropshipping.

Pros

Transparent and clear fee structure

What impressed me most about this agent is its transparency and honesty. Its website clearly lists the services, fees, payments, shipping, etc.
I have reviewed a lot of agent websites and few of them are as clear as this one.

Customer service

they have friendly and fast customer service, usually, reply within 24 hours, and also support Email, Support Ticket, WeChat, Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook, etc.

unboxing video service

They provide a free unboxing service, which is very good and very useful in some cases, for example, some OWhat sellers require you to provide an unboxing video
in order to provide after-sales service. In this case, you can ask them to record an unboxing video for you.

Cons

High exchange rate loss

Like many other agents, 42agent also charges a very high exchange rate loss – 5%!

Outdated website design

Their website is too basic, it looks like a website from 10 years ago.

I believe if they put some effort into the design of the website, it will greatly improve the first impression of the user.

Limited shipping options

They are a company from Beijing, in the north of China. the cross-border e-commerce and international shipping there is not as developed as in the south of China, such as Yiwu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen.

So the shipping solutions and prices they offer are not very competitive, especially in some popular countries.

And they are not as tolerant of restricted products(like branded or replicas) as other companies.

Our Grade: 4.7/5

Ytaopal

Yaopal is a relatively new player for us when looking for the best Taobao agent. The company has been making a name for itself in the Reddit community lately thanks to its affordable prices and very good customer service.

Pros:

Customer service

They respond very fast, very helpful. if you have a big issue, you can contact one of their workers on Wechat instead of living chat.

QC photos

they provide good photos for you to have a general look at your item and they do take additional pictures and even measure the items if you ask for them.

Cons:

Lack of shipping methods

They only have three options – epacket, EMS, and DHL. Cheaper options like SF-express, airmail, ups, or FedEx are not provided.

High exchange rate

as far as I know, their exchange fee loss is the highest,7.27%! you can see the comparison here, I guess this explains why they have such a low service fee.

Our Grade: 4.7/5

5. Which Agent has the cheapest shipping rate

Shipping cost is a very huge topic. I have already explained and compared it from 7 popular agents in another post. Here I will only outline the conclusion from that post:

USA Shipping cost summary

In general, the cheapest taobao agent for USA is Cssbuy. They offer a competitive price for most of the shipping methods.

For small parcels under 2kg, you can use EUB(epacket), the rate is cheapest and you can usually receive your parcel within 2 weeks.

For medium parcels, SF-EXPRESS and China Post SAL are good options.

SF-EXPRESS is faster and China Post SAL does not charge the volumetric weight which is good for large but lightweight parcels.

For heavy parcels(>30kg), SF-EXPRESS and DHL are both acceptable.

UK Shipping cost summary

The cheapest Taobao agents for the UK are Cssbuy and 42agent.

Cssby is cheap for small parcels and 42agent has a better rate for large parcels.

Tax-free lines and E-express are two of the low-cost shipping method to the UK.

Canada Shipping cost summary

Bhiner,Cssbuy, and 42agent have a good price for various shipping methods to Canada.

Bhiner is cheap for China post-SAL.

Cssbuy is cheap for EMS and DHL

42agent has a lower price for FedEx for large parcels.

Australia Shipping cost summary

Superbuy offers the cheapest shipping rate for most of the shipping methods.

Ytaopal also has a good price for EUB and EMS.

42agent provides a reasonable price for DHL for big parcels.

Philippines Shipping cost summary

42agent has a lower shipping rate in general.

Cssbuy has a better price for small parcels.

And for big parcels, both Basetao and Bhiner offers a cheaper rate for FedEx and DHL.

6. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH TAOBAO AGENT?

You saw my analysis. Now, what about you?

What are your own experiences with Taobao agents?

Your feedback and reviews are more than welcome in the comments section here!

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55 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Taobao Agent of 2021 (with Pros and Cons)”

  1. Hi Eric,
    thanks for your reviews if taobao agents and your expert advice.
    Is it possible to use an agent to search for items and have them delivered to my freight forwarder in China?
    To avoid exhange fees, can you transfer directly in RMB? ( for example using transferwise)

    1. HI,Willem

      Yes, there are several agents that provide domestic transportation services, but I checked their price list and their domestic freight prices are not low.

      Many people use transferwise to transfer money to small suppliers in China, but only personal bank accounts can receive money, and corporate accounts don’t seem to work.

  2. I just stumbled across your page. It is very helpful, but a bit overwhelming since I am new to taobao.
    I am from Europe and trying to decide on my first proxy, I have experience with using proxys in general though (Japanese ones to order from yahoo.jp)
    It seem you are very educated in this matter, can you maybe recommend me proxys for Europe?
    Someone recommended me spreenow, but the 10% fee seems a lot.
    Also I wonder, is the fee always per item or order? If I order products from the same seller or even the same product in different colors I will always have the whole fee? (I mean for those proxys that have a fixed minimum fee, like for example 6cny+ 5%fee. If I buy shoes in 3 colors from the same seller-> will that be 1x 6cny +5% on everything, or 3x 6cny +5%? )

    1. The agents I’ve listed are trustworthy, but the shipping costs are different for each agent.

      If this is your first time using a Taobao agent, I think the two most important things to do are

      1. compare each of them to find agents offer cheap shipping rate to your country.
      2. pay attention to their exchange rates.

      In the Taobao agent industry, they charge a service fee based on the total value of your order.

      in your case,it is 1x 6cny +5% on everything.

  3. Hello, i live in philippines. I saw some of the comment and you replied if we live in SEAsia we better find for the freight forwarder. Do you have the list of them?

  4. hello. after reading your article I decided to use cssbuy. Now that they’ve received my items they want me to pay the shipping cost which is the double of the items price ( I live in Vietnam). Thats far too expensive for me so I asked them to cancel my order and give me my money back. They haven’t replied yet. I googled the company and almost all reviews say its a scam and the shipping costs and fees are very high:

    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.cssbuy.com

    Since reading the reviews I’ve been very worried that I won’t get my money back. Do you know what I can do:(?

    1. Hi there,
      the things here is that they have ALREADY received all of your items. This means that from now it is NOT depend on the agent to decide whether they can refund you or not. They have to contact the sellers from Taobao that they bought items from for you, and ask the sellers if they are happy to accept the refund/ returns. And the sellers have the rights to say no for that.
      Another thing is that, buying items from Taobao is very cheap, but you always have to expect that the international shipping fee will be almost the same or even more than the total cost that you paid for the items. and THIS IS VERY NORMAL.
      You should contact their customer service and ask them if they can contact the sellers to ask for the refunds. But don’t expect that 100% you can get refunds back as some sellers won’t accept refunds.

      hope that helps

  5. Hello,

    I would like to say I have used yobuy for many items, their service is ok
    but they do add fees like lol and I just realised the hidden exchange fee but it seems they all do that,

    their shipping can be cheap with their on the line of shipping however it can take ages!

    thanks for this I need a few sites to compare prices with I shall investigate.
    one thing would like to add be wary of the quality of these sites its not west standard unless you specfily with as much detail as possible.

    1. If you are from Southeast Asian countries, the cheapest way is to find freight forwarders who can provide a dedicated line from China to your country.
      Their prices are usually cheaper, and they can ship many prohibited items to you.
      You can find such a freight forwarder on Taobao or 1688.com.

  6. From my very first experience this is so-called big company – YUYBUY turns out to be a single person fraud business. Let me demonstrate it step by step. I have made two orders under my YUYBUY account and paid for them via Paypal. In the same evening I got an email from YUYBUY that my account is locked and if I want to proceed my order further I have to pay 50% more via Western union, Web money ,QIWI or TT (bank transfer), alipay or wechat. During the process of clarifying the issue with the agent via chat I realized that this so-called company does not have live money to redeem the items ordered by customer. In my case the budget of two orders was less than 600 USD ))). I did not agree to pay any extras in order “to establish a trustworthy relationship with YOYBUY” and as alternate option the agent offered a refund procedure where a buyer losses money on exchange rates. Eventually I have opened a dispute at Paypal and guess what?! Right, the agent does not respond on it despite the fact that he/she has viewed the dispute.
    Choose your business partners wisely and pass by those like YUYBUY.

  7. Hello!

    I have a question.

    An item I’d like to buy requires quite a long time to make (like 6 months)

    They require you to “Confirm Receipt” in advance

    For Taobao consolidated shipping, can I still track the item to the Taobao warehouse even if I have “Confirmed Receipt”?

    Thank you!

    1. yes, if it is a trusted seller, you can “Confirm Receipt” in advance.
      but you need to ask the seller for the tracking number.
      for pre-orders like this, it is better to use an agent.it will save you time and avoid unnecessary trouble.

  8. Hi Eric!
    I am curious if you know of taobao jewellery safety? I understand it’s probably relative to the shop but I am concerned about lead in products, are there any agents that check for this?

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