All that fabulous stuff you can find shopping in China with taobao is so tempting.
Gorgeous photos of hip fashion, unbelievably low prices, and reliable local agents to process and ship your order. That sounds irresistible – so get out the credit card!
Whoa, stop just a moment and remember that a Taobao website is a framework for thousands of different sellers hawking their goods.
Imagine the disappointment of opening a long-anticipated parcel and finding that your new dress is more orange than the strawberry-pink you saw on the website. Or that the tablet announced as “new” at Taobao.com has scratches on it, a clear sign that it’s been used.
And when you request an exchange or refund, the transaction is a nightmare?
Or what if your package never arrives at all, even though your credit card has been charged?
Your best chances of avoiding such scenarios is to do your homework and make sure a seller is trustworthy before you push “BUY”.
Understand Taobao Seller Rating System
Taobao’s rating system is not hard to understand,they use any or all of the following factors to evaluate a seller. Some follow the 1 to 5 scale based on customer feedback, and some are just straight data.
- How well pictures and descriptions match the actual product?
- How is the service?
- Is the length of time taken to deliver the items satisfactory?
- How long has the seller been trading?
- How many people have bought from the shop?
- What percentage of clients have submitted ratings?
- What percentage of his deals have been successful (look for 90% or better)?
Now it’s time to drill down and check some live examples.
If you are shopping at an taobao agent’s website, be sure to go to the original Chinese-Taobao page presentation. (Browse in Google Chrome and use TRANSLATE. This will make the process easy, in your own language.)
Checking A Seller’s Overall Reputation(Marked 2)
Previous buyers have left ratings for each shop with whom they make a transaction.
- A POSITIVE rating gives a seller 1 point.
- A NEUTRAL rating gives him no points.
- A NEGATIVE rating takes 1 point away from a seller’s reputation.
The more positive transactions a seller has, the better. A high number of points indicates not only lots of happy customers, but also a seller who has either been in business for a long time, or is very popular. That’s a good sign.
As you can see, this seller has 1 blue crown (marked 2) which is quite a good rating.
The following picture shows a seller’s points total (left-hand column) translated into a heart, diamond, silver and gold crown key on Taobao product pages. Most Taobao agents also show these rating results.
Check “Service”, “Description” and “Logistics” Score (Marked 3).
Find the seller’s name or logo on the product page. Next to that will be words like “Description(描述)” ,”Service(服务)”and “Logistics(物流)”.
You can see an example from the above picture(marked 3):
This seller received 4.8 points for logistics, based on customer feedback, is an indicator (in this case, speed of shipping items) on a scale of 1 to 5.
Any seller meeting performance criteria of 4.5 or more may be considered reliable and trustworthy.
Check When The Store Was Opened (Marked 1)
Here is a notation that this seller registered his business 8 years ago(marked 1) – a good long time ago – so he should have a large number of transactions and rank at least in the diamond category.
Just because a seller has only one or two hearts doesn’t mean that you need steer clear of their amazing fur boots!
Remember, some sellers are new and are just building up their reputation. Perhaps they’ve had only 35 sales but every one of those sales has been POSITIVE.
A Final Word On Buyer Feedback
sometimes buyers’ individual evaluations are posted online. In many cases they are negative.
Consumers are much more likely to take the time to complain than to praise. While such feedback can illuminate a buyer’s negative experience with a seller, it should be by no means taken as a conclusive review.
Always check the more subjective, scaled details and data as described above to get a complete picture of a seller’s trustworthiness.
And conversely, if you ever encounter an issue with a seller, do your best to work out the problem rather than immediately spout off in a negative review.
Most taobao sellers work diligently to deliver as promised, and a negative review can be reputation-damaging!