How to Save Money While Taobao Shopping – Hacks You Need to Know!
Online shopping has reinvented how we shop nowadays. We are no strangers when it comes to making our purchases online. If you were to see something that entices you and you could find a use for it with an affordable or cheap price point, it would be a no brainer to hit the “add to cart” button. With so many sites in the realm of e-commerce. One website that stood out the most would be Taobao.com. With its extensive range of goods that eliminates the retailers, prices most of the time are inexpensive and considered to be cheap, which fosters impulse buying all the time.
Taobao Shopping Hacks
Here are some Taobao shopping hacks that everyone who shops there or wishes to make any purchases from them ought to know!
1. Combine orders with your friends
There are several different modes of transport when it comes to receiving your online purchases made from Taobao. You are able to ship by air or sea, and after deciding between air or sea, you are also able to choose between express shipping or economy shipping where prices vary between each shipping method. Hence, if there are a few of you who are looking to get stuff from Taobao, it would make financial sense to combine all your orders and ship everyone’s item all at once to save on the shipping fee.
2. Surf Taobao on Google Chrome
As we all know, Taobao is only available in Mandarin and only those who are proficient in their mandarin would have no problems when it comes to navigating and interpreting this site. But for those who know nuts about mandarin or recognizing Chinese characters, they would have a hard time navigating their way or even understanding what the seller is selling.
Fret not, with Google Chrome, you will be able to leverage on Google translate to make Taobao readable in your preferred language.
3. Shop during festive seasons
Taobao is a big fan of festive seasons. They would always introduce sales and promotions when it comes to special occasions. Here are some of the dates that you, as a Taobao shopper SHOULD take note of to save up on those online purchases. These dates are mostly catered towards China and their citizens as the people there are given holidays and these are the festivals that they are of importance to them.
- New Year’s day (1st January)
- May day (1st May)
- Dragon Boat Festival also is known as 端午节 (5th May; 5th day of the 5th lunar calendar month)
- Children’s day (1st June)
- 18 Mid-year sale day (18th June)
- Mid-autumn Festival also known as 中秋节 (15th August; 15th day of the 8th lunar calendar month)
- China’s National day (1st October)
- 11 Singles day (11th November)
- 12-year-end sale (12th December)
- Spring Festival; Chinese New Year is also known as 春节 (Falls around January – February)
During the above sales period, Taobao has teamed up with all its sellers to provide more promotional offers to encourage purchases during holidays. Be sure to keep a look out for discount coupons, shopping vouchers, in-store vouchers and preferred payment discounts given to shoppers!
4. Rank by Price, Filter by Reviews
For every item, there would be multiple sellers selling the same exact item. To make your Taobao shopping economical and cost-saving, filter your items by price and you will be presented with your desired item, at the cheapest price point that is available from individual sellers available. This would make your shopping experience much better while perusing among similar items among different sellers.
By also filtering by customer reviews, you are able to gauge the authenticity of the seller, especially those with picture reviews. The more review a seller has, you would feel safe to make your online purchase from him/her. Ascertain product description provided by the Taobao seller would be insufficient or they would have their product professionally shot, it is relatively hard to tell how it looks realistically. By taking a look at the customer review section with photos, you are able to get a better gauge at how it looks in real life.
5. Favourite your items/shops
With a vast amount of countless products available on their e-commerce site, Taobao integrated this useful feature for shoppers to take advantage of. The favourite button would allow browsers to “save” their favourite shops or items in the event they were to forget their names. This function is especially useful for people who are not able to recognize Chinese characters and you no longer need to open multiple endless tabs just to jump into them after you think that your shopping is done.
Save an item into your favourites by clicking onto the 收藏宝贝 (SAVE ITEM) right below the item image. You are also able to see how many people have “favourited” this particular item by the count beside 人气 (POPULARITY). If you wish to favourite the whole shop instead, click on the 收藏店铺 (SAVE SHOP) which can be located in the box which is situated on the right side of the listing. 进入店铺 (ENTER SHOP) allows you to view all products that are being sold under the same shop itself.
After “favouriting” all your products and shops that you would potentially make your purchases with, you are able to view your saved favourite products or shops by mousing over at their top navigation bar and hovering on the 收藏夹 (FAVORITES). There would be a drop down activated where you are able to view your 藏的宝贝 (FAVORITE PRODUCTS) or 收藏的店铺 (FAVORITE SHOP).
6. Refund products you have not received or were wrongly delivered
You are able to apply for a refund under if you have been notified by the seller that your product is OUT OF STOCK after placing an order with them. Simply by hovering onto 我的淘宝 (MY PRODUCTS) at the top navigation bar menu, 已买到的宝贝 (ALREADY PURCHASED PRODUCTS). The refund is only applicable for 10 days or so. Taobao will only release the payment you have made upon confirmation of your item or if the 10 days is up, whichever comes first. In the event, if you were to make multiple purchases at one go, and a seller might have forgotten to include any products which you have paid for, you are also able to apply for a refund which would take approximately 3 – 5 days for it to come in.
In the event, if you were to receive a product of the wrong colour or totally wrong at all, you have to send the item back to the seller before able to apply for the refund. There will not be any refund for the international return shipping fees and most of the time, the return shipping fees would cost much more than the product itself or not worth it at all.
7. Ship through a Forwarder
It is economical to ship through a forwarder instead of shipping directly from Taobao as it will be quite costly in terms of shipping fees.
Make sure you check the box 国际转运服务 (Global freight forwarder/shipping service) so that Taobao will know that you are making use of a forwarder to ship over your products.
Do also take into consideration that every seller on Taobao would have a different time/schedule to ship out their products to the china forwarder warehouse > waiting time to consolidate orders from your designated china warehouse if you order more than 1 item > depending on your shipping method if it is via air or sea > your doorstep. (It is best to allow a few days of buffer time in between when the seller ships your product out to the warehouse) Shipping commences on the day when it leaves the china warehouse till the day it reaches you.
With the above tips and tricks provided in hopes of make your shopping journey on Taobao to be a more cost-effective one, even though it is not that hard to purchase anything online, one should also still spend within your limits and learn how to curb your spending behaviours. If you know that it is contagious to be scrolling through the endless amount of items available, simply remove the site from your favourites or clear your browsing history and cookies to NOT allow any remarketing ads to follow you along while browsing through your social media. These ads would only encourage you to make further rash purchases.