How to Buy Directly from Taobao

Shopping directly at is an intriguing experience. While more faint-hearted shoppers may never leave the comfort of a taobao agent’s website, adventurous e-consumers will jump at the chance to shop direct.

Direct shopping will save you money. You’ll avoid agent’s fees of up to 10% and you’ll save the domestic Chinese postage for shipment between a seller’s warehouse and your agent’s place. But extra bucks in your pocket isn’t even the best part: a healthy feeling of accomplishment will grow as you maneuver the Chinese e-commerce system.

What you will learn on this page

1. Preparation

1.1 Can I buy from Taobao/Tmall internationally without agent?

Taobao has launched its overseas market website ( and official forwarding Services(Taobao cargo) specially for  international buyers.This service includes Taobao Global Direct Shipping and Taobao Global Consolidation and Shipping. It currently supports the following areas:

Shipping Methods Supported Countries
Taobao Global Direct Shipping Singapore,Malaysia,HongKong,Taiwan
Taobao Global Consolidation and Shipping USA,Canada, Australia,New Zealand,Singapore,Malaysia,Taiwan,Macao,Japan(new)

1.2 Translate Chinese Taobao to English Taobao

the one of the major difficulty you are facing to shop on taobao is the Chinese language. In order to solve this obstacle, you need the Google Chrome to get the single page or the whole website translated into your onw language. Get started now:

1) Install Google Chrome. This browser enables instant webpage translation into English, a prerequisite for comfortable shopping. (Unless, of course, you are fluent in reading Chinese.)

This method is far preferable to individual-word translating because you get the big picture. Sure, some of the text may look weird or seem poorly translated, but it’s sufficient to allow you to shop.

2) Open Google Chrome’s settings and search for “translate”. Make sure on the Language Input settings that Chinese (Simplified) is checked for “Offer to translate pages in this language”.


Google Chrome-taobao


Now, any pages you open will automatically be translated into English. Yay! Too easy. (When you mouse-over a translated word, the original Chinese-character set appears. Nice way to learn a new language.)

If you get stuck at a non-translatable section, a good source for instant translation from Chinese -> English is Just cut and paste the characters into the box.

If you cannot copy & paste to translate, you can install the google translate app on your phone,use your camera to translate text instantly.
or try screenshotting text that was not translated and use to translate the actual image.

2. Creating Your Account

Open an account on taobao is very easy because it provides English version of sign up now.I have written another post on how to register a taobao account.just follow the steps you will be able to get your taobao account.

It is advised to to download aliwangwang to communicate directly with the seller and is the download page.

3. Product Search

you can use product image and English keywords to search on is the guide.

Browse and shop in the translated site to your heart’s content.Click on a category or an item, and you’ll see a page lay-out similar to this one. Look familiar? taobao item page

Clicking “Buy Now” will take you directly to checkout. If you’re filling a shopping cart, you will need to add a check (√) by your confirmed item(s) to activate the orange “Submit” field.

Some important shopping tips:

  • Refresh your knowledge of the metric system or use a converter to ensure you choose the correct size
  • Before you fall irreversibly in love with an item, check the seller’s rating,you can learn more about seller rating and buyer feedback from this post.
  • Estimated shipping costs from the seller to your address can be viewed on this page by “Freight’ (the Chinese yuan (¥) is worth about $0.16, or  ¥6 to one US$).

If you see the following information:

  • sorry, this item can’t be shipped to your selected address.
  • 該寶貝不支持國際轉運服務,如果您需要購買,請取消國際轉運
  • 该宝贝不支持国际转运服务,如果您需要购买,请取消国际转运

that means Taobao cargo can not ship this item to need to find a taobao agent or your own forwarder.

If you see information like this:

  • 根據所在國法律法規或平臺政策 此項商品限制下單購買
  • 根据所在国法律法规或平台政策 此项商品限制下单购买。

that means you can not buy this item from has a system to filter products that they think is inappropriate for international buyers to purchase from.if you still want to buy this item,you should try to:

  • Contact the seller,copy the error info to them,ask the seller to give you a new item link with no brand name or minimal product info.
  • Find a taobao agent to buy it for you.

4. Placing Your Order

4.1 Input Your Shipping Address

A weak point in the purchase path is the Chinese-language-only, non Google-translatable screen to enter Shipping/Delivery Information.


The option “所在地区 ” has two dropdown menus.the first  is Region list,the second one is country list.If you are from Malaysia,you can choose “马来西亚” from the first menu,then your city from second menu.others should  海外其他 from the first dropdown,then choose your country.

For example, you are from USA,Reference the image above to choose the characters for the region “Overseas(海外其他)” and the country “USA(美国)” from the drop downs.

List of country names in Chinese:

  • USA – 美国
  • Canada – 加拿大
  • Australia – 澳大利亚
  • New Zealand – 新西兰
  • Singapore – 新加坡
  • Malaysia – 马来西亚
  • Japan – 日本

The option “手机号码 ” is your mobile phone number,and “电话号码” is your landline number.If you don’t have landline number,you can input a fake one,it is not important.Make sure you input the real and correct mobile phone number.

4.2 Choose Shipping Method

After hitting the orange “Submit” field, you’ll see your delivery details. Choose here between the default shipping method “Taobao Cargo(淘宝集运)” or an individual arrangement with the seller:


Taobao Cargo: Taobao Cargo,also called Taobao Global Consolidation and Shipping, is Taobao’s official forwarding service.the process is very need to make two payments just as using the taobao agent.

First payment: Product cost + Domestic shipping fee (to forwarder warehouse)

if you choose Taobao Cargo while check out in taobao,Forwarder warehouse address will be shown as the receiver address,seller will automatically send your order to that address,You don’t need to let the seller know warehouse address privately.

Second payment: International shipping fee (to destination)

Once all the parcels you bought has arrived at the forwarder warehouse,you can log in your taobao account to consolidate items and pay for the International shipping fee (from forwarder’s warehouse to your destination address)

Note: you must register and purchase from to use “Taobao Cargo”,you won’t see this option if you order from

Taobao Cargo currently only support USA,Canada, Australia,New Zealand,Singapore and Malaysia,Japan.if you are not from these countries,you won’t see this option.

Contact Seller Shipping: Seller Supported Countries,you need to contact the seller personally before select this option.Most of taobao sellers do not ship internationally or the shipping fee can be extremely high,so I do not recommend this option.

4.3 Choose the Forwarder

For USA,The default forwarder is JCEX-ups,click “modify(修改)“,you will see more options:


NOTE: you should remember the name of the forwarder,once your parcel has problem or you want to track your order,you can contact them on live chat and aliwangwang.

Items the carrier do not ship internationally:Battery,Liquid,Electric products,Powder,Lighter,Magnet,Tea,Food.

High risk items: replicas and counterfeit items,it will bring high risk to pass customs if your parcel contains fake items or anything that infringe an intellectual property right.

Zhongshan courier can ship the high risk items.

JCEX Jiacheng is stricter,if they found your package includes high risk items,they will hold them in their warehouse,you should either pay to return the items or pay to get them shipped with a higher shipping rate.

4.4 Confirm order details and submmit your order


find somebody to pay(找人代付) means you can ask someone with an Alipay account to pay for your item(s).

anonymous purchase(匿名购买):check this if you do not want people to look up what you purchase, when, from whom, etc.

大陆段运费:means domestic shipping fee.

海外段运费:means international shipping will be caculated when reaching the warehouse.

Note: even if an item shows to be in stock and a payment could be made, this doesn’t mean that the seller actually has the stock. Thus, it is recommended that, after payment, you send the purchase order number and warehouse address to the seller to verify if they could send out the goods on time.

5. First Payment: Product cost + Domestic shipping fee (to forwarder warehouse)

On the next screen you will be on the Alipay account platform. There you’ll see your own User Name assigned to an Alipay account.

If it is your first purchase using Alipay,you will be required to create an Alipay payment password (6 numerical digits, non-repeating). This password is a unique one, and will NOT be the same as your password.

Then you will be able to choose payment method as shown below:

Credit Card/Debit Card:

  • Visa,MasterCard,JCB
  • 3% service fee
  • Sellers with credit card payment gateway :per transaction limit: 10000 CNY,per day limit: 10000 CNY
  • Sellers without credit card payment gateway :per transaction limit: 6000 CNY,per day limit:6000 CNY

Malaysia eBanking : 1.5% service fee

Singapore eNets :1.00 SGD service fee

eNets is not supported by Taobao since September 26, 2016

Alipay purchase card(支付宝购物卡):

  • 2% service fee
  • Australians can buy it from local post offices
  • per transaction limit: 4500 CNY,per day limit: 5000 CNY

6. Consolidation &Second payment: International shipping fee (to your address)

After making the first payment, you may go to “Purchased Items(已购买的宝贝)” to check the order info.


Label can click this blue icon to chat with the seller.

Label 2.退款/退货 this is where to request return and refund.

Label 3.退运保险 if seller has bought domestic shipping insurance for you,you will be would be compensated when you return items from warehouse to the seller.

Label 4. this filed displays the delivery status for demestic shipping period,I will talk more about this label later.

Label 5.order details page

Label 6.logistic details page

Label 7.countdown timer, when this countdown timer expired,your payment will be released to the seller.It is not the time left to pay the freight forwarding fees.

Label 8.确认收货(confirm recepit).you don’t have to click this to pay for international shipping.this confirmation is telling seller you have received the item,when that countdown timer expired,it will auto confirm.Just ignore this filed.

6.1 Check order status(Label 4)

Label 4 shows the delivery status of your order:

—- 买家已付款 means you have successfully made the payment.

—- 卖家已发货 means seller has sent your items to the warehouse.

The seller usually ship out your items within 1-3 days,if you do not see”卖家已发货” within 3 days after you make the payment,you should contact the seller for can send this message to him-“老板,我的订单为什么没有发货”

If the item you want is out of stock or does not have your preferred size, color, etc. the seller will send a notification to you via aliwangwang. So, if you found out that your item was not in the warehouse where it was supposed to be, you should check your aliwangwang immediately for any notification.

—- 物流派件中 means the domestic courier is delivering this shipment.

—- when you see ” 快件已签收” and hopefully a red button “支付转运费” on the right like picture below,it means the warehouse get your items and you need to pay for the international shipping fee to get your items.

When all your orders reach the warehouse,Click the “Pay for international shipping(支付转运费)” button,you will then be able to select the orders that you want to consolidate and pay the international shipping for them.Click here to see the step-by-step guide on how to do this.


  • The free storage time in the warehouse is 20 days,so you can consolidate all orders from different sellers within that period.
  • you will be charged 1 CNY per parcel per day for extra days.
  • You can only consolidate up to 20 parcels/orders,if you have more than 20 orders,you’d need to consolidate your orders into 2 packages as each package can only have 20 orders.
  • There is a weight and size limit by the forwarder,Make sure your package does not exceed the limit.

—- when you see “快件已签收” but no “Pay for international shipping(支付转运费)” button or only button like”处理转运”,this is not good because there might be something wrong with your items.

Here, I would like to remind you that in average,your purchased items should reach the warehouse in 3-5 days from the date when order status changed to “卖家已发货” (which means that your items are shipped by sellers). If the “Pay for international shipping(支付转运费)” button does not appear after 5 days, it simply means there’s something wrong with the items. You should then check it with your forwarder and the seller immediately for clarification.

This is very important. I have received emails from many readers saying that they have waited for days for the button to appear. Little did they know that there was something wrong with their items.

And They won’t send you emails or SMS when items reach the warehouse,so You are advised to download “Taobao Global App” from App Store or Google Play. The “Logistics Helper(国际物流助手)” in the app will automatically send you the notification.

6.2 Check order details page(Label 5)

if you want to know where the warehouse address is just in case,click Label 5 after your payment,find “收货地址”,that address is the warehouse address.”转运至” means your address(see screenshot below).


6.3 logistic details page(Label 6)

Click Label 6 to go to logistics info page.then on the left bottom of the page,you will see the following info:


  • 国内段运输 means domestic shipping
  • 海外段运输 means internatioanl shipping
  • 运单号码 means your waybill number
  • 物流公司 means your courier/forwarder
  • 发货地址 means seller address
  • 集运仓地址 means forwarder warehouse address
  • 收货地址 means your address

7. Tracking &Receving

Don’t forget to check the delivery status very closely to track your order!

7.1 How long does it take to receive my Taobao order?

Below is the average delivery time provided by the forwarder:

  • USA: JCEX UPS 5-7 business days,JCEX USPS 7-9 business days,Zhongshan EMS/DHL 9 business days
  • Canada: UPS 5-7 business days,EMS/DHL 9 business days
  • Australia: JCEX 5 business days,ZTO 秀驿物流 6 business days,4px 7 business days
  • New Zealand: 7 business days
  • Singapore: 5 business days
  • Malaysia: West Malaysia 5 business days,East Malaysia 7 business days
  • Japan: 4PX 5 business days,PRouter 4-8 business days.

The speed of the local customs clearance and local postal services will affect the delivery time.

7.2 How can I track my orders?

Note: for some countries,Waybill number for international shipping can only be trackable after your country’s Customs will find no tracking information before that.

— Track it via courier’s website

for example,if you use EMS or DHL,you should go to the following site to track the shipment.

— Track it via contacting the forwarder

You can provide your waybill number and ask them where your items are now(我的货现在在哪里),they will tell you the shipping status.

7.3 Avoid Customs import duties

The forwarder will modify your package to pass through Customs, they’re very smart at this so you shouldn’t have a problem.for example,Zhongshan courier will declare a lower price on the package or use EMS to avoid getting taxed with customs when shipping parcels to Canada.

If you are worried about this,you can get the forwarder to declare a lower value or marked as a gift etc by aliwangwang the forwarder right after your payment for international shipping.

From many buyers’ personal experience,EMS is the best shipping method when you want easiest clearance through customs since most of their parcels don’t have to go through the hassle of opening and inspecting.

7.4 What if I get seized by Customs

If you are using UPS or DHL then they will email you invoice of custom and collect money at your doorstep at the time of delivery.

If you choose EMS then once your courier reaches your local post office,you will receive a call from post office and you will need to go there and pay.

8. After Sale

8.1 Refund

After the seller has sent out the goods, you may request for a refund within 25 days.

    1. Within the first 10 days, you may request for a refund by clicking the “Refund” button.
    2. Within the subsequent 15 days, you may request for a refund via “After-sales application”.

If there is a refund,Money will return to your credit card within 7 business days.Service fee will return to you if the refund is initiated within 30 calendar days from the time you make payment. After 30 days, no return for service fee.

8.2 Return

You can return the goods from the warehouse to the sellers,but the return shipping address is needed,you have to contact the seller to ask for is the step by step guide.

9. Resolving Issues

Enjoy Your Taobao.Com Shopping!

Trust me, once you get the hang of buying directly from Taobao, It will always be your No.1 source when buy inexpensive and amazing stuff online.

Taobao Global Consolidation and Shipping

Taobao Global Consolidation and Shipping,also called Taobao Cargo,Taobao CSCL,is a Taobao official forwarding service for international buyers.It currently supports six countries which are USA,Canada, Australia,New Zealand,Singapore and Malaysia.

How much does the shipping cost

Country Forwarder Local Courier First kg(RMB) Next 0.5kg(RMB) Size Limit Weight Limit
USA JCEX Jiacheng International UPS 110 26 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤150cm
JCEX Jiacheng International USPS 82 22 Single Side: ≤152cm
Total: ≤274cm
Zhongshan courier EMS/DHL 105 25 Single Side: ≤120cm
Total: ≤200cm
Canada JCEX Jiacheng International UPS 112 26 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤150cm
Zhongshan courier USPS/DHL 115 26 Single Side: ≤150cm
Total: ≤300cm
Australia ZTO/COE/秀驿物流/中通 Toll 85 26 Single Side: ≤150cm
Total: ≤220cm
4PX Toll 85 28 Single Side: ≤105cm
Total: ≤185cm
佳成JCEX Jiacheng International Toll 75 20 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤150cm
New Zealand ZTO/COE/秀驿物流/中通 Toll 106 29.5 Single Side: ≤150cm 30kg
4PX Toll 110 30 Single Side: ≤120cm
Total: ≤200cm
Singapore 4PX Singapore post 43 12 Single Side: ≤120cm
Total: ≤200cm
popstation 43 12 ≤37*42*61cm 30kg
PRouter PRT Express 27 10 Single Side: ≤120cm
Total: ≤300cm
中通DPEX DPEX 39 11 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤120cm
递壹时DEX MSC Delivery 28 11 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤150cm
West Malaysia PRouter PRT Express 23 10 Single Side: ≤150cm 80kg
DEX MSC Delivery 24 10 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤150cm
4PX Airpak Express 35 14 Single Side: ≤120cm
Total: ≤200cm
ZTO/COE/中通秀驿 SKYNET 32 11.5 Single Side: ≤150cm
Total: ≤220cm
East Malaysia PRouter PRT Express 35 16 Single Side: ≤150cm 80kg
DEX MSC Delivery 34 15 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤150cm
4PX Airpak Express 43 21 Single Side: ≤120cm
Total: ≤200cm
ZTO/COE/中通秀驿 SKYNET 41 18 Single Side: ≤80cm
Total: ≤120cm
Sources: ,Data is current as of May 11, 2016.


1.  If the actual weight or size of your package exceeds the permissible limit as stated in the form, it will likely be rejected at the warehouse, resulting in a delayed shipment. Therefore, prior to making an order it is suggested that you check the package weight and size with the seller or forwarder via aliwangwang, so that a smooth shipping process can be ensured.

2.  If this is the first time you are using the shipping service, or should you encounter any problems during your use of the service, please consult with the forwarder’s customer service via aliwangwang by clicking on the forwarder’s name in the form below.

3.  If you are unable open the aliwangwang after clicking on the forwarder’s name, please click here to download aliwangwang and login using your Taobao ID. You can then connect instantly with the forwarder’s customer service.

How Taobao Consolidated Shipping Works

“Taobao Consolidated Shipping” is a two-stage shipping process, whereby the shipping fee is to be paid by two steps.

  • Stage 1: From seller to China forwarder’s warehouse
  • Stage 2: From China forwarder’s warehouse to buyer

the following is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use Taobao Global Consolidation and Shipping:

Stage 1: From seller to China forwarder’s warehouse

Step 1: When making an order, please select or add a new address at the shipping address section, and then choose “Taobao Cargo”.

taobao cargo

Step 2: Click “modify” to  choose your preferred forwarder based on their pricing and service standards.



Step 3: After confirming your selection, proceed to payment and complete your order.

Stage 2: From China forwarder’s warehouse to buyer

Step 1: After settling the payment, check the shipping status from “Purchased Items(已购买的宝贝)”. When the “Pay for international shipping(支付转运费)” button appears, click it.


Step 2: Click “Orders to be consolidated(添加合并)” to select products that you want to consolidate.You’d see the number of days of  free storage(仓库免租还剩) you have left for each package.


The system will automatically calculate total weight(总重量) and the shipping fee(预计运费) of the consolidated goods, from the warehouse in China to your place. After confirmation, click “Consolidate Items(合并订单)”.


Step 3: After consolidating your orders, check the shipping method and delivery address. Then click “Checkout(提交并支付)”.You will then be prompted to make the second payment.

Step 4: Now Stage 2 shipping fee payment settled. Check the status closely and wait for your parcels.


The official holding time in the warehouse is 20 days. If your parcels stay in the warehouse for not more than 20 days, you won’t need to pay for any extra detention charges. Else, you will be charged RMB1 per parcel per day.

Taobao Consolidated Shipping allows consolidation of up to 20 orders! If you have more than 20 orders, it is recommended that you split them into different batches of consolidation and make payment accordingly.

Frequently asked questions

1) I have made my orders through consolidated shipping, but why have I not received my parcel?

After making your orders, and when the products have reached the forwarder, you’ll need to make a payment to the forwarder before the goods can be delivered to you. You can track your parcels at “Manage Consolidated Shipping” on the right of Taobao homepage, consolidate your orders and pay for the shipping fee.

2) Will I receive any notification when my parcel reaches the forwarder’s warehouse?

Yes. You are advised to download “Taobao Global App” from App Store or Google Play. The “Logistics Helper” in the app will automatically send you the notification.

3) How can I contact the forwarder?

here is the list of their contact information.

Online Chat
Zhongshan courier
JCEX Jiacheng International

Best TaoBao Agent Recommendation And Reviews 2017

Since you are reading this post, I think it’s safe to hazard a guess that you are looking to choose a taobao agent. Whether you are a complete novice or a pro, there is plenty of useful information here that will get you off to a proper start. I have compare taobao agent ratings,looked at the feedback, reviews and comments from people who have actually used the taobao shopping service. I tell you pros and cons of each taobao agent and give you my recommendations. So, now you can find the best taobao agent that you need quickly and easily.

1. Top 5 Taobao Agents 2017

Time is precious, if you are in a rush there’s no need to worry because I have compiled a comparison table which lists top 5 taobao agents, as well as their key characteristics. 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.

YoyBuy TaobaoRing TaobaoSpree Bhiner Spreenow (TaobaoNow)
Service Fees 10% (minimum $5.74) 8% (minimum ¥30) 6%-3%(minimum ¥20) 5% (minimum ¥15) 10% (minimum ¥50)
Domestic Shipping 10 to 30 CNY per kg 15 CNY for the 1st kg,
10 CNY for each additional kg
free or minimum 5 CNY Minimum 3.32 USD (unless item has free shipping) flat 15 CNY per store
Payment Western Union, WebMoney, QIWI,Wire transfer ,credit/debit card into account through alipay (3.5% fee) Paypal (4.4% + 0.3 USD fee), Western Union (7% SS fee if order >2000 USD ),
MoneyGram, Bank Transfer(T/T),
Credit Card, Bank Transfer,
Western Union
Trustpay,POLi Payments
Paypal (4% fee), Western Union, wire/bank transfer Paypal, Western Union, Direct TT, Credit Card processors
Exchange Rate 1 CNY = 0.163 USD 1 CNY = 0.167 USD 1 CNY = 0.15 USD ——- 1 CNY = 0.1749 USD
Shippping EMS (45% off), DHL,E-express,Russian Post, Aramex,China Post: Air parcel, SAL parcel EMS (40%-45% off),Airmail,Air,Surface,
EMS (40% off), China Post (Airmail, SAL),DHL, Fedex, UPS, TNT, HKEMS EMS (40% off), Air Mail, Fedex, DHL,UPS,Airmail (HK, China),Aramex EMS (40% off), Airmail (HK, China)
Pre-Packing Photo $2 per item Yes Free Yes Yes if you ask them
Contact live chat, email, phone insite messaging, email, Skype, QQ livechat,whatsapp,Email, MSN, fb, skype Skype, email insite messaging, email
Rating 4.7/5 4.9/5 4.9/5 4.8/5 4.7/5

2. Taobao Agent Recommentations

For those of you looking for a specific taobao agent, you may find it helpful to jump to my recommendations. Here’s the shortlist of those:

Best Taobao Agent for European and American shoppers

TaobaoRingEnglish speaking newbies to overseas China shopping who are keen to have a smooth, familiar experience should check out Taobaoring. Free QC photos, and fast email response, the agent also boasts a “Quick Order” procedure featuring auto-fill within the order form.

Best Taobao Agent for Singapore and Malaysia Shoppers

sgshopIn addition to a relatively low service charge of just 4-8% for full agent service, SGshop offers a couple of ways to economize: a “ship only” service for customers happy to complete the purchasing process at themselves and a self-pickup option for anyone preferring to pick up their package.

Best Taobao Agent for Russian shoppers

buychinaAnother recommended agent that is bound to please Russian-speaking shoppers is BuyChina.The website offers team-wide customer service and lots of nifty tools spotlighting sizing, color and weight details within the catalogue, auto-calculation of shipping costs, real-time transaction status updating the agent’s purchasing and processing steps, and direct links to shipment tracking.

3. Check Out Other Taobao Agent Reviews

I’ve listed the top 5 taobao agents, but that isn’t to say that some of the other taobao buying agents aren’t just as good. the main goal of this section is to shorten the amount of time you spend researching, and to narrow down the vast selection of taobao agents available online.

4. All The Costs Of Using A Taobao Agent

Whenever you are thinking about using taobao agent, you should be prepared to spend more than just the calculated price. Some Taobao proxy claim to be the cheapest taobao agent,but they aren’t transparent with a number of hidden fees, beyond just your items’ costs, which you’ll need to take into account.

To help, I summarized all the fees I could think of( let me know if you hear of others!), explained each, and provided advice and tips.Make sure you have included all of the costs below in your overall buying budget before you spend a dime. Fees vary by different agents, value of your purchase and country.

Fees Note
Item fee The item price is shown on the product page.
Domestic shipping fee The fees of items are transported from Taobao seller’s location to agent’s warehouse.
Domestic shipping fee vary by courier, parcel weight and the distance between seller and agent’s locations. But this fee won’t cost you a lot because shipping within China is cheap! And from the feedbacks I’ve learnt before with the customers, even big orders (10+ wigs/shoes/bags) were only 10yuan~20yuan for each seller, since 98% of Taobao sellers combine shipping.
Buying multiple items from the same seller will save you a lot on domestic shipping.
Some sellers may offer free shipping and if you find any sellers offer free shipping, you can notify the agent before making the first payment.then they will remove the domestic shipping fee for you manually.
Service fee Service fee,some agents call it the commission,is the money you need to pay for using their service.
Usually,agents take certain percentage of the total items cost and domestic shipping fee as the service fee,the rate is between 5%-10%.
Some agents offer vip program,you can get points every time you order from them, get upgraded to VIP and the service fee will be discounted. This a pretty good deal for those who plan to make more Taobao orders in the future
Some agents have a minimum service fee.
International delivery fee International shipping costs are based on a combination of the following:
Weight and dimensions of package.
Method of shipment such as EMS or DHL.
The location you are in(also called the destination country).
Most of agents provide many international shipping methods, such as EMS, DHL, airmail etc.
EMS is highly recommended by them for its safe and reliable advantages.and some of them offer a huge discount up to 50% off if you use EMS.
Handling charges Paypal transaction fee:4.4%+0.3 of total payment will be charged when order is paid via PayPal.
Storage fee
Agents start to calculate the storage time when your items arrived in their have a free storage time. If your free storage time has run out and you still haven’t shipped your items, they will begin to charge you a storage fee.
Most of the agents don’t have a clear statement about this fee.Yoybuy,Rorbuy and Cssbuy have a free storage time of 90 days.
Customs fee
This fee vary by local Customs policies. In countries with high rate of Customs clearance, you don’t have to pay any fees. However, in countries with low rate of Customs clearance such as Argentina, you may be required to pay tariffs.
To avoid the Customs fee,you can request your agent to declare your package as a gift with a lower price.If you’re buying a brand name items or a large quantity, you might have to pay them anyway.
if your package weighs more than 10kg,you can request them to package your items into several small parcels,this will increase the chance of Customs clearance.
Insurance fee
They charge certain percentage of the total price as the insurcanse fee.
Total price=Items fee + Domestic shipping fee + International delivery fee + Service fee + Customs fee
To take insurance, the insured value should be declared, which increases the value of item at your local customs.


5. The Process and How to Choose Taobao Agent

Whatever has prompted your search for a taobao agent, you need to choose a taobao agent you can trust to buy the items for you.However, who you choose is a big decision and therefore you need to know how a taobao agent workds carefully.The following steps will show you the shopping process you go through when you order on a taobao agent. Using this information could make your choosing process quicker and enjoyable.

There are five steps(5.1-5.5) to using a taobao shopping agent,As you go through this process there are a range of criteria to consider – there’s probably more to think about than you may at first believe. In fact when I sat down to write this I didn’t expect to have to divide the post into several parts to make it more easily digestible! However, I didn’t want to miss anything out so that you can choose a taobao agent wisely.

5.1. Shopping

you simply go on whatever taobao/Tmll store or other chinese online store you want to purchase from (provided that a taobao agent can actually purchase from there) and look for things you want to buy!

Once you have the link, paste it into the input box/space provided on the agent’s website and it will take you to the item’s page, this time the page is already translated into English.Place your order, i.e. click ‘Add to cart’ button and the item will be placed in your shopping cart.

What You Need to Consider In This Phase?

Is Their Website Support multiple Languages?

Beware of websites with poorly edited, hard-to-read English texts. Some nasty communication issues are bound to arise with agents whose English skills are spotty.If you’d prefer to trade in Russian, there are plenty of taobao agents in your language. Spanish, French, Italian, German and Polish customers can also find agents with websites in their language, although you’ll have to search a bit harder to find these guys.

Is their website easy to use and navigate?

Check out the website navigation. I find the best method is to be (pretend or real) a completely uninitiated Chinese online shopper. Your first look should be for a section describing the ordering procedure. If you struggle to follow the instructions for using the website, that website is most likely not for you.

Can This Agent Buy This Item For Me?

If any of your desired items falls into the below categories, you’ll need to read the Terms and Condition carefully on the agent’s website or make an enquiry to the agent prior to making an order.

  • Restricted items
  • Branded goods
  • Bulky and heavy items
  • Virtual goods

5.2. First payment

when you have all the items you want in your cart, you’ll add the amount of money you need into your account, and then pay for your items. This is the first payment, which includes the cost of your items and the shipping to the taobao agent.

What You Need to Consider In This Phase?

Real-time exchange rate or fixed?

Some agents are using a fixed exchange rate, while some others are using the real-time exchange rate. Since the CNY exchange rate is fluctuating greatly nowadays, it is recommended that you choose an agent that is using the best rate.

Paypal or credit card?

Payment options range broadly from PayPal to bank transfer, Western Union to WebMoney. Most users will find PayPal the most convenient, familiar and secure payment method and will therewith be prepared to swallow the 3% service fee.

For you, determining the optimal payment method may be a matter of trial and error. So it could be wise to choose an agent who offers as many options as possible.

Personally I would recommend you to use PayPal if it is your first time of using the proxy’s service. This is because PayPal has a Buyer Protection policy that allows you to file a dispute and request for a refund within 180 days of purchase. Buyer protections offered by other payment systems are less than satisfactory.

Nevertheless, PayPal charges a very high transaction fee. Therefore, when you later find that the agent can be trusted, you may switch to using other payment methods, such as Western Union or bank transfer. This can save you lots of money.

5.3. Warehouse and Storage

Once your first payment is done, the taobao agent will buy the items from the seller. Usually the items arrive at their warehouse in 2-5 days.This is where communication is important; you can request to have your items de-boxed if you think this will make parcel lighter (and thus make the international shipping fee go down).

What You Need to Consider In This Phase?

Does the agent provide QC pictures?

QC pics is important for some items like shoes,watches etc.the purpose of QC pic is identifying any serious flaws in the item,thus ensuring that you are getting the right item you expect.Some agents are willing to take the time to individually inspect, and photograph items for you for free.some are not,they charge a fee for this do make sure the agent can do this for free if you need QC pics.

Does the agent offer free storage time?

If you want to consolidate items that being bought from different dates,then this is an important factor you need to take into account.Not all agents offer free storage,some only offer 7 days free storage time.I do suggest you choose agents that can offer at least 30 days free storage time so that you have enough time to consolidate multiple parcels.

5.4. Second Payment and International Shipping

When they have arrived, The agent will check the items and email you requesting the second payment (international shipping fee).you’ll add money to your account again and pay for your items. This is the second and last payment.

Once the second payment is done, The agent will send out your parcel and provide you the tracking number.

What You Need to Consider In This Phase?

Is the shipping fee reasonable?

International shipping fee is the main cost to consider. Therefore, you should choose a agent that charges a reasonable shipping fee. Each agent provides its shipping rate calculator in which you can estimate the shipping cost to your country, and make comparisons to see which is more affordable.

In addition, some agents provide a reweigh feature. If you believe that your parcel does not weigh as much as it is charged, you can request for a reweigh. This is a great way to avoid fraudulent shipping charges.

Smart agents provide online shipping calculators to figure your estimated costs based on purchase weight, shipping method and destination country.

which shipping method should I choose?

There are three factors to be considered while choosing a shipping method:

Time: With a plethora of methods to choose from, including the old standbys DHL and UPS, as well as EMS (Chinese express service, often at discount rates), various postal and SAL (sea-and-land) routes, the customer’s big deciding factor may be delivery time – anywhere from around 5 days to several weeks, depending on which method you choose.

Price: If you wish to receive your goods as soon as possible and be able to track the parcel all the way, then you’ll have to choose the more expensive option, such as UPS or DHL. Otherwise, you may choose the more affordable EMS. And of course, if you don’t need it urgently and want to save more money, you can choose other land-and-sea shipping methods, such as SAL.

Customs Clearance Difficulties: There is yet another problem to consider, i.e. customs clearance difficulties. For instance, in Canada and certain European countries, you will more likely to be taxed if you are using DHL.

5.5. Receive your items

In 5-20 days, your items will be shipped to your home. Anyhow, the international shipping time depends on what methods of shipment you use and where you have your parcels sent.

What You Need to Consider In This Phase?

Does the agent provide a tracking number?

Once your order is shipped out, the agent will provide you with the tracking number and website URL. However, some sellers might either not provide this information at all, or only provide it when you request for it. You should verify this with the agent.

How to clear customs if your parcel is being held?

Only a small number of parcels might be held for clearance. However, if your parcel is held you will have to pay for the customs duties. Some agentss can arrange a customs broker to pay the necessary duties on your behalf, and you’ll just have to pay them on delivery. In some instances, you might need to pay it at a local post office.

5.6. After Sales

If you are not satisfied with the goods you received, you can return the goods to the seller via the agent. However, not all agents are willing to do so. Some may require a service charge, while some may charge you a very high shipping fee. Therefore, it is advised that you read their return policy carefully.

5.7. Customer service

Customer service is a big deal in today’s complex world of commercialism. When dealing with a foreign culture and language, it’s an even bigger deal for the international shopper.The entire buying process is as described above. As you can see, in the entire process, there are many instances where you need to communicate with the agent.This is why having a good customer service is of paramount importance.

What You Need to Consider In This Phase?

Customer Service hours of operation

Each agent has its own customer service operating hours. Some provide a 24/7 service, while some are only available for 6-8 hours, in Beijing time. This can be very inconvenient as it may take up to one whole day to receive an email reply.

A local clock ticking away on the homepage is a welcome sight, as are details of operating (or “online”) hours.

Customer Service tools

It is necessary to provide a multi-channel customer service, so that all enquiries can be communicated in a real-time manner.

Given a 12-hour time difference between Beijing and, say, Boston, I as a customer want as many methods as possible to communicate with my service provider. I’d like to be able to email at 5pm before leaving work, but I’d also like the option of phoning an agent at a decent hour of the evening if there’s an issue that needs discussion. Phone/Skype, email, online chat, maybe even that old-fashioned fax are the media to look for.

Responsiveness and attitude

These are two very important attributes to have. Along the shopping process, it is inevitable that we might encounter all sorts of problems. If the agent that we have chosen always respond slowly to our requests or show a negative attitude, our problems could never be solved. It will also greatly affect our mood.

Look for an agent that has a sufficiently large staff and a good network server on hand so that you’re not glued to one dedicated representative. A list of team members on an agent’s website signals accountability and bumps the level of trust up yet another step.

How to Place an Order on Taobao Global App (with Pictures)

Taobao released a new app called “Taobao global.” this is a international verison of taobao app tailored for overseas mobile consumers.It supports international logistics and credit card payments.but it is still in Chinese which is a headache for most international in this post,I will teach you how to order on this app step by global app

Part 1 – Placing an order

Step 1:

Select the items that you would like to purchase, click “立即购买(Buy Now)”.

Step 2:

You will be led to the Order Page. If there is no record of your shipping address, you will be prompted to add a new one. Otherwise, you may skip to selecting the delivery options.For overseas shipping, there are currently three shipping methods available – direct delivery by the seller, Ta-Q-Bin direct shipment (for Taiwan areas), Taobao direct shipment (for Singapore and Malaysia) or consolidated shipment – depending on the types of product being ordered.

If you already have a preset address but would like to change the delivery option, you may click on the address and edit the delivery option. After that, choose the shipping method.

Step 3:

Verify your order information. Click “Confirm(确认)” to enter the payment page.

Part 2 – Paying for Shipment

Step 1:

Look for your purchase order in “My Taobao(我的淘宝)” or click on “International Logistics Helper(国际物流助手)”.

Step 2:

A. You will find your purchase order in “Manage Order(订单管理)”. Click “Consolidate Shipment(合并转运)”.

B. Click “International Logistics Helper(国际物流助手)”. If your ordered goods are arrived in the forwarder warehouse, please click on the “Consolidate Now(处理集运)” button.

Step 3:

Select the items to be consolidated. After verifying the item weight and shipment cost, click “Confirm Consolidation(确认合并)”.

Step 4:

Confirmation Page, where selections will be based on either door-to-door delivery or pickup from a chain store. You will be prompted to enter your identity card number, and to verify your order information and weight.

After you have chosen the delivery option, the shipping fee calculations will be shown at the bottom of the page. Click “Verify Order” to confirm.

Step 5:

If you would like to check the status of the forwarder, you may go to “My Taobao” and find your order either in “waiting to be delivered” or “waiting to be collected”.

Tips: Taobao Global app can now support forwarder order “Refund” process (available for both Ta-Q-Bin and consolidated shipment). The detailed procedures are as follow:

1.Click the “Refund(退款)” button

2. After clicking on it you will be led to a Refund Page. Select the reason you are requesting a refund.

If you would like to check the refund status, you may go to “My Taobao” and find your order in the process of refund, either under the tab “waiting to be delivered” or “waiting to be collected”. Click on “Refunding” (or perhaps it may appear as some other words like “Rejected by Seller” etc.)

After clicking on it, you will see the message from the seller or the status of refund. Here, you can either “Edit Application(修改申请)”, “Cancel Application(撤销申请)” or “Leave a Message(留言)”.