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3 Tips to Save Shipping Costs When Buying From Taobao

Updated on July 30, 2019

Your shipping expense is an essential part of the total cost when buying from China online. Thus, it is important for you to know how the fees are charged and how to save the shipping cost.

Understanding the shipping fee

There are two types of shipping fees:

Domestic shipping

This is the shipping cost from the seller to the forwarder’s warehouse.

Most of the sellers are offering free shipping on a certain order value,Therefore, it would be more cost-effective if you can exceed the minimum order value, or else you will have to pay for the shipping fee.

International shipping

The fee charged for shipping the items from the forwarder to your house.

The international shipping fee is not decided by Taobao, but by the forwarder.

When your purchased goods have reached the forwarder, they will pack them up and send it to you. While the box by itself has a weight, you’ll have to pay for it!

For example, if your purchased items weigh 0.9 kg, and the box weighs 0.2 kg, they’ll add up to a total of 1.1 kg and you’ll have to pay for 1.5 kg!

Why? Because that’s how they calculate – the decimals will always round up rather than down!

Three Tips to save the shipping cost

Now let’s see how to save the shipping cost! This would require some small tricks.

Tip 1: it is recommended that you ship your items in mixed parcel!

What’s that? It means mix up everything while you pack! Try not to have all clothes or all shoes in the same parcel.

Of all items, baby products such as baby bottles, cups, bowls and spoons, are least likely to be taxed.

Therefore, it is advised that you mix the items into different parcels to reduce the cost by eliminating the possibility to be taxed!

If you have too few items to mix, it is advised that you limit the weight of cosmetic items within 1-3 kg, and clothes within 5 kg! This could reduce the chance of being taxed!

Tip 2: you can save more by having the total weight of your parcel exceeding 1kg!

Why? Let’s take the US as an example:

The first kg would cost you $15 while each subsequent 0.5kg is $4.

So, for a parcel of 1.5 kg, it would be 15 + 4, equivalent to $12.67 per kg.

On the other hand, for a 6 kg parcel it would be 15 + 4*10.

That’s equivalent to $9.16 per kg and that’s more cost-effective!

So, when you have several parcels and want to save the shipping cost, the best way would be to consolidate the items.

For instance, if you have a parcel of 1.1 kg and another of 0.3 kg, it would cost you a shipping fee of 1.5 kg + 0.5 kg = 2kg.

But if you choose to consolidate, the forwarder will split the items and repackage them into one parcel.

Then, you’ll only have to pay for 1.5kg.

Tip 3: Don’t forget DIM weight.

Please remember that the forwarder charge by the weight of your parcel or the size of your parcel, whichever is greater.

If possible, it’s not suggested to purchase bulky items like pillows and chairs as they tend to be expensive to ship based on their large size.

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15 thoughts on “3 Tips to Save Shipping Costs When Buying From Taobao”

  1. Hello, if my orders (from different shops) arrive at different warehouses, will TIP 2 still apply? How do I ensure that the orders all arrive at the same warehouse?

  2. Hello. I’ve purchased several items and they are in the warehouse. Does the person packing them automatically remove any unnecessary packing to try and reduce the weight or do I have to ask? Could you tell me any steps there are if I need to click on things? Thank you

  3. Buying from taobao isn’t cheap anymore as they are using their own shipping forwarder. Their cainiao sea shipping is ridiculously expensive. for smaller items they also charge dimension weight instead of volumetric weight. (LXHXW)/6000. For bigger dimension item such as furniture it would cost u a bomb for shipment .

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