October 20, 2012


If you haven't been exposed to the wonderful world of Taobao, here's my recent Taobao haul that will definitely pique your interest.

While I've been asked many times on how to exactly shop on Taobao, I've been trying to put this post off for ages because I'm sure it'd be pretty tedious to draft. I'll try to explain it in the simplest way possible and I hope this tutorial will help you guys in shopping on Taobao, especially those who don't understand Chinese.

Before I start rambling on anything, I would like to say that I'm not sponsored by Taobao or 65daigou. Both are just really good shopping platforms and services that I would like to share with everybody.

Firstly, if you don't understand what Taobao is, it's basically China eBay and you can find practically anything and everything there, including a lot of designer dupes, as well as those popular Korea/ASOS Spree items that local blog shops hold all the time. Taobao is, in fact, one of the largest e-commerce market in the world.

Taobao is divided into two groups of sellers:
  1. Consumer-to-consumer: Generally the same idea as eBay, where individual sellers or small retailers list their products for sale.
  2. Taobao Mall: A newer platform that functions like an e-Mall and they generally have better quality control and guarantee genuine products. 
However, because most of us don't exactly have a China bank account and neither do they accept Paypal nor credit card payment, the only way we can purchase from Taobao is through an agent. These agents are basically people or companies who help you buy whatever you want from Taobao for a small fee. If you do a quick Google search, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of local agents who help you to purchase from Taobao.

The agent that I've been using for all my Taobao purchases is 65daigou. They are really efficient and the purchasing system is relatively simple to use. The agent fee is slightly higher at 8% compared to other agents but I feel much more easy shopping at 65daigou, which I will talk more about later in the post.

I'm sure many will be turned off the moment they arrive at Taobao's main page, due to all the large chunks of Chinese text all around the entire webpage. Finally, for once, I felt that my 12 years of learning Chinese in school didn't go to waste. Knowing how to search in Mandarin will obviously be a great advantage, however, you can always choose to search in English first. Of course, you can always choose to use Google Translate to help you in your search, but I often find that their direct translations simply... suck. It would be a good head start for your search though.

I'm going to do a search for Jeffrey Campbell shoes as an example.

After your search term is entered, you will usually arrive at this page.

You will find that the same shoe may appear multiple times but yet may be priced differently. That is because they are from different sellers, just like eBay.

There will be one small search header on top of your searches, which will be useful in your searches if you know what it means.

Whenever my searches come out, I would always select 销量, which refers to popularity in terms of the number of times a particular item has been sold in the last 30 days. Another option I would select sometimes would be 价格, which will list all the items under your search results in order of pricing, usually starting from the lowest amount. 总价 here refers to the total price, inclusive of domestic shipping to your agent's warehouse.

Refer to my Epic Taobao Search Guide to maximize your Taobao search results!


The total cost of your item would usually be Item Price + Domestic Shipping Charges. Sometimes, sellers would give a limited time promotion, such as a weekend promotion in this case. Therefore, the total charges of these shoes would be 100 + 10 = 110RMB. The cost of your item would be around SGD$22, depending on the exchange rates of your agent.

Domestic shipping charges are necessary as the sellers need to ship the items to your agent's warehouse in China. Think of it as Singpost delivery fees. However, some sellers may provide free domestic shipping like the one below and therefore, you need not calculate the domestic shipping fees for cases like these.

So now that you've basically covered the searching part of the process, it's crucial to take note of a few pointers before deciding on your purchase.

Seller Ratings: 
Sellers on Taobao are graded according to the symbols beside their names.
Gold crowns rank the highest among the four and you will often find that items sold by these sellers often receive high popularity as well. However, it does not mean that sellers with hearts are not credible because I have bought from them before and my items arrived in pristine condition, some even better than those with crowns. My guess is that some of these sellers with hearts are probably new and haven't built up their credibility yet.

Another important thing to note would be reviews. This would be a bonus if you are able to read Mandarin, because it's these user reviews that will tell you if a particular sizing runs large or if the items are true to photos. The "Reviews" tab is right beside 宝贝详情 (Product Description). The last tab is simply a record of the number of times the item had been sold and to whom it was sold to, which is rather irrelevant to us.

Likewise, you can copy and paste some of these reviews and use Google Translate to help you get a rough idea of how the item is in real life. Especially when it comes to buying shoes, it would be good to glance through a few user reviews, in case the sizing runs large. Of course, the greater the number of reviews, the safer it is to buy the particular item. However, it does not mean that items with no reviews are potential dangerous purchases. For cases like these, I would say trust your gut feelings and probably look at the seller's rating, as some of these items may be recently added to the market.

Especially when it comes to buying replicas or dupes of certain brands, it's important to look for sellers with the term "实拍" in the title, which refers to real product photos of items the seller has taken himself. This is because brand replicas photos can be easily stolen from the Internet and you wouldn't know how similar these dupes are in comparison to the real deals. It is safer to purchase items where by the seller takes his initiative and puts up real product photos.

Copy & Paste Tip:
This is just a bonus tip which may help you to save some money. As we know, a particular item may appear multiple times in the same listing because they are sold by different sellers.

What I would do is to copy the name/title of the item and paste it in the search box to do a quick search.

You may need to delete a few redundant words in the title to maximize the search results. Of course, if you're happy with the price and seller, just skip this step!

Firstly, if you don't have an account on 65daigou, it is time to create one! Like I've mentioned earlier, 65daigou is simply one of the many agents that help you purchase from Taobao.

There are a total of two payments to be made. The first payment is when you purchase the item, which is inclusive of the item price and domestic shipping charges. The second payment consists of the shipping fees and the agent fees, as well as delivery fees (if any).

Although 65daigou makes the whole purchasing process so hassle-free, it is important to know the anatomy of the item listing on Taobao.

  1. Item URL
  2. Name and rating of seller
  3. Item name
  4. Item price
  5. Domestic shipping charges
  6. Size
  7. Colour
Purchasing from Taobao had never been easier. Simply copy and paste your item's URL into the EZ-BUY box on the website and 65daigou's purchasing system will automatically key in all the information. 

As you can see, it is really hassle-free. However, do note that the purchasing system only captures the highest price, which means to say, if your item is discounted, you will need to key in the discounted price and other adjustments manually. The domestic shipping charges are in reference to the shipping charges of the items from the seller to their Shanghai warehouse. All you need to do is to key in your size and preferred colour, if any. 

You will also be prompted to select a shipping method. I've set Economy Air as my default shipping method as I find it the most reasonably priced. Do refer to their different modes of shipping methods and prices before submitting any orders.

After you have keyed in all the products you want to buy, the next step is to check out.

After you click "Submit", you will be prompted to make your first payment and directed to the Pre-Pay page.

Pre-pay is simply an 65daigou account you put in money into and they will deduct your order payment from the balance you have in your account. To put money into that account, simply do a fund transfer. They have many options available, such as ATM Transfer, i-Banking and even Paypal (additional charges).

Fill in the relevant details of your transaction and just wait for a few hours for the verification of the transaction. Once the payment is confirmed, your pre-pay will be automatically deducted to pay for your order.

One of the reasons I like using 65daigou is because of their real-time updates on my orders' statuses.
Throughout the whole waiting and shopping experience, your orders will be updated individually so you can keep track of which item has already arrived at the warehouse etc. Of course, you can even add new purchases to your orders at anytime and your orders will be consolidated.

Some items may be out of stock, to which 65daigou will first cancel your order, refund you the balance and then send you an email to prompt you for an action. The whole service is rather professional and user-friendly, in my opinion.

I would usually "Hold" all my items until everything has arrived at the Shanghai warehouse, where by I "Submit To Ship" everything.

It usually takes around 4-6 days for Economy Air shipments to arrive in Singapore. When your parcel finally arrives in Singapore, you will be prompted to make the second payment, which will be deducted from your pre-pay once again. The items are individually weighed twice, once at the Shanghai warehouse, and once when they have arrived in Singapore to ensure the international shipping costs are accurate. You can then opt for self-collection or have 65daigou deliver the package to you at a small fee ($5/$8, depending on your parcel's weight).

If you are still unclear about using 65daigou, do visit their Quick Guide page for more information.

I generally like to calculate the total cost before purchasing any items to prevent the shock of having unexpected and expensive shipping fees. Below is a rough guide of the weight of certain items, which you might find useful in estimating the total cost.

NOTE: This is only a rough estimate that I've gathered from previous experiences and it is not to be taken as the item's actual weight. Items will differ in weight due to the material and extra embellishments.

  • Flats: 0.50kg
  • Wedges: 1.00kg
  • Platforms: 0.80kg
  • Heels: 0.80kg
  • Tee-shirt: 0.15kg
  • Tank-top: 0.10kg
  • Blouse: 0.12kg
  • Sweater: 0.30kg
  • Dress: 0.20kg
  • Short skirts: 0.15kg
  • Jeans: 0.60kg
  • Leggings: 0.10kg
  • Socks: 0.05kg
  • Bag: 0.50kg
  • Shades: 0.06kg
  • Bracelet: 0.05kg
  • Necklace: 0.10kg
Do note that the items you receive may differ from the stock photos and some may have drastic differences, although I haven't experienced receiving any products that look too different and unexpected from the stock photos. Just remember that you'd always get what you pay for! I hope that the tutorial is helpful!

Happy shopping, everyone!


  1. probably the most informative (and appreciated) shopping post! THANK YOUUUU XXX

    1. Nice and informative information shared by your blog on China Products. I really appreciate it.
      English Taobao Agent

      Electronics Components Store Taobao


    2. Hi,shopattao is a great taobao agent that can help you solve all of the problem buy from china,and the price will surprise you,it has the lowest fee and the best rate..what is more,it is safe,it is a good choice for you,if you want to buy cheap chinese stuff,have a look at Web:www.shopattao.com

  2. hi Gwen!
    thank you for the tutorial, it is very helpful.
    I have a question about the 2 group sellers:
    what is the differences between "Consumer-to-consumer" and e-Mall groups? and where can I find it on the web?
    THANK YOU!!!

  3. Hihi, Gwen,

    We love your post, can we use it for our customers?
    It will be a big help for those Taobao shoppers.

    65daigou Team

    1. Hi 65 daigou Team, sure you can use my blog post. Apologies for the late reply as I've not been blogging. Do email me at gwensies@live.com if you have other enquiries. :)

  4. Hi 65 Daigou Team

    You actually cancel my order before me verifying!

  5. Hi Gwen, I just want to ask something. I'm living in Malaysia. Can I used 65 Daigou Team too? It is just the same like living in Singapore?

    1. Hi Fairuz, I believe you can. They have a website for Malaysia too: http://www.65daigou.com.my :) Happy shopping!

  6. All the taobao agents will charge for at least twice nowadays, but I have notice that @ www.hoyoyo.com you can only pay once and the shipping fee is quite low. Do you guys know that site?

  7. i have personally use this for Singapore..just copy and paste the links in taobao and give them (You have to know Chinese) , they will order for you and ship direct to your house (Very good customer service)
    More for entertaining business customer that want to import more items to Singapore and sell(Bulk purchase)..they will quote me different shipping options and price after receiving at their warehouse (the shipping is very affordable compare to other agent i used before)

    For me, i buy over $1000sgd every month ..
    If i pay by posb credit card and buy myself, it will cost more service charge about 8% including exchange rate and i need alot of effort to communicate with seller in chinese)
    Their charge 5% is very reasonable for large orders

    Their facebook below

    Hope it helps [​IMG]

  8. Hi,
    I purchased my items thru 65daigou app. However, after making payment, my items appear under 'order pending purchase, can you advise me what to do next?

  9. hello it is cheaper to us 4PX or 65daigou?

  10. Hi, we made this Youtube Taobao Tutorial and we hope that your viewers will like as well. It's a playlist of videos covering everything from Account Creation to Taobao Global Direct Shipping in Step-by-step form. Btw, we should talk how to work together! :) http://bit.ly/taobaoguidefb

  11. Is there any way I can check weight of an item? Example, a dog wooden house. How do i know how much it weighed?

  12. If we see how most of the times during buying something online the concerns we develop and to compare international shipping rate we need a right source because that's how usually things gets right for our uses and its impact helps us with saving a lot of money.

  13. yes definitely this type of blogs are really help for people great job.
    forwarding service

  14. Very nice and helpful information has been given in this article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting.Thanks for sharing.
    taobao shopping

  15. Hi

    Do tabao have any other method of paying other then using credit card?


  16. Hi

    Do tabao have any other method of paying other then using credit card?