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Taobao Agent 101: The Basics and Beyond

Updated on July 13, 2016

taobao-agent-101This post has been written as a beginner’s guide to taobao agents.The basics will be covered looking into what taobao agents are,services they offer and how much they cost.If you are new to taobao agent,this article should be very useful to you.Happy reading!

1. What is Taobao Agent?

Taobao Agent is your virtual assistant helping you shoppping from Chinese online website-Taobao.Regard your taobao agent as your on-site expert, a native within the culture of taobao, familiar with local purchasing and documentation practices, and your partner for packing and Shipping items.

2.What Kind of Service Does a Taobao Agent Offer?


As its most significant feature, a taobao agent provides a website in the language the international customer understands. A good agent also offers English-language customer service and mediation with the merchant.

Recognizable Purchase

Convenient online shopping is only as convenient as its operational system. Taobao agents understand the importance of offering an easily recognizable, secure purchase path.Agents’ websites mirror the most well accepted American platforms like, e.g. Amazon. Registration, log-in, promo code entry, shopping cart usage, check-out and even review submission procedures are based on intuitive user actions. When you use a taobao agent, you can forget about staring at a screen and not knowing where to go next to complete an order!

Packing and International Shipping

You’ll leave all the details of packing and international shipping to a taobao agent.A designated agent receives your orders from the merchants, and, with their extensive experience of shipping and handling, ensures that purchases will be packed securely for the overseas journey and an appropriate dispatch method is implemented. An efficient customer service will advise clearly about what items pack well, withstand long travel times under fluctuating temperature and humidity conditions, glide smoothly through national customs, and, in the case of counterfeit items, are most likely to be confiscated before ever reaching the customer.

In a stroke of genius, agents offer the option of consolidating purchases from various online stores into one shipment. So you can hop from one online store to another, so to speak carrying only one bag, and pay for just one shipment to arrive at your doorstep.

3.What Does a Taobao Agent Cost?

OK, you might say, the idea of shopping online in China has always been an idea kicking around in the back of your mind, and now, knowing that taobao agents can make the experience so simple, you’re almost ready to start. But there’s a gnawing question: what does a taobao agent cost? Won’t the charge for services offset any savings made by shopping in China in the first place?

Surprisingly, no. Taobao agents’ service charges range from 4% to 10% of the sum of the purchase(s) price plus the domestic mailing charges from the online retailer’s warehouse to your agent. That’s about the equivalent of a U.S. state’s sales tax, and lower than other countries’ VAT!

A good rule of thumb is that the higher the volume purchased, the lower the % charge. (Wholesalers, you’re happy!)  However, keep in mind that the greater the number of Chinese retailers involved in one taobao order, the more individual domestic mailing needed, so the higher the service fees will be.

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