6 Best Taobao Shopping Hacks That Even Pros Do Not Know


“Okay I’ve learnt how to use Taobao from reading Part 1: How to Taobao for Dummies 2018, so now what?” Shopping online on Taobao can save you money, but what if there are even more tips to save money?

A sneak preview of what the other parts will touch on:
Part 1: How to Taobao for Dummies 2018|Perfect for the English Speakers
Part 3: What are the best buys on Taobao?
Part 4: Don’ts on Taobao!

Here’s Part II of the Taobao Guide to declassify the complicated e-commerce giant and teach users more tips how to shop more efficiently!

Part 2: Hacking your Way Through Taobao!

Here is a short breakdown of Part 2 of the guide!
A. Check the Seller’s Ratings
B. Tips on packaging
C. Freight forwarders
D. Cheaper Payment Method
E. Favoriting
F. Taobao’s Cheatsheet of Keywords

A. Check seller ratings

Tip #1: Check the seller’s ratings as they could be a reflection of the quality of the products that you want to buy. If the seller’s ratings are high, the quality of products sold will likely be high too.

The screenshot below shows the reliability of the Taobao merchants as reviewed by their customers.

Taobao tips online shopping-merchant's rating
Taobao Merchant’s Rating

1. Reputation of the Taobao Merchant
The more points the merchant accumulates, the more legit they are! It shows 2 crowns for this seller, this means that this Taobao merchant is already quite reputable and reliable. For more information, you may refer to the table below.

Taobao Merchant Ratings

Customers Rating of the Logistics of the Merchant
Description: Product description matching the actual product once received by the customers.
Service: Customer service provided by the Taobao merchant.
Logistics: Time taken for delivery of goods.

2. Checking out other users reviews

If you scroll down a little more, under the “Accumulated Comments” section, click on “Wearing the beauty” to see the other customers’ review of the item with photos of the actual product that had been sent to them.

This review section will further show whether the Taobao merchant guarantees the quality of their products.

Taobao tips Online shopping Customer Review of Product
Customer’s Review and Actual Pictures of the Product

Remember to find merchants with good ratings to avoid getting low-quality items. However, this rule of thumb does not apply to new merchants. A quick scan through the comments to see whether there are any reviews or if they have sold other items before on their profile can give you some inkling. Shop with your own discretion!

Alternatively, you can always shop on tmall.com, which is a spin off of Taobao. The stores on tmall are carefully curated to cater towards foreign shoppers outside of China based on popularity of products. You can catch free shipping offers for shipment of your products to Singapore during promotions periods too. The layout and purchase processes are even the same as Taobao’s! Tmall is the site for you if you are looking for guaranteed quality of products and free local returns!

B. Tips on Packaging

Tip #2: Request for your merchant to package your items properly to avoid damagaes upon arrival.

In order to make sure that your items do not get damaged during the shipping process – from China to Singapore, here’s a few messages you might want to leave in the “Message to seller” field:

  1. Use wooden boxes for shipment of heavier or fragile items.
  2. Refrain from using damaged boxes or containers.
  3. Use cushioning materials such as bubble wrap to prevent loose or fragile contents from being damaged.
  4. 保持项目尽可能紧凑 (Keep the parcel as compact as possible).
Taobao tips online shopping-leave a message to Taobao merchant
Leave a Message to the Merchant

C. Freight Forwarders

Tip #3: Always choose your own freight forwarder if you want to save every cent.

The table below shows the prices for different Freight Forwarders Providers that supports Taobao.

Comparison table: Freight forwarder

To choose your own freight forwarder, choose the option in the green box as shown. Afterwards, remember to select which freight forwarder you want to use by clicking “Modify Service Provider”  in the orange box as shown in the screenshot below.

Taobao tips Online Shopping-Choosing Freight Forwarder Service
Choosing Freight Forwarder Service

Once done, head over to “Bought Babys” and look for your recently purchased goods. 

How can you get your goods from a Freight Forwarder’s Warehouse to Singapore?
  1. Check for your purchased goods, once “Handling transs” appears, this means that they have received the goods and you can now begin shipping it from the freight forwarder’s warehouse to your address. The timing above “Handling transs” indicates the number of days of free storage left.

    Taobao Online Shopping-Consolidated shipping
    Number of days left in free storage
  2. Check the box on the left side of the products to select products that you want to consolidate. Next to weight, you will also be able to see how many days are chargeable for excess storage time at the freight forwarders warehouse.

    Taobao Online Shopping-Days stored in warehouse
    Consolidate your items for shipping
  3. The total weight will be calculated by the system and the total cost of the shipping fee of the consolidated goods, from the freight forwarder’s warehouse in to your address. After confirmation, and double checking of the total cost, click on “Freight Settlement”.

    Taobao Online Shopping-Settling your Freight Forwarding
    Settle your Freight Forwarding
  4. After consolidating your orders, make sure your shipping method and your shipping address are correct. You will then be prompted to finalize the payment for your consolidated shipping towards your own address.

    All you have to do now is to monitor your packages and wait patiently until it arrives!

D. Cheaper Payment Method

Tip #4: Using alternative payment methods such as RateX when checking out will help you save money on both your products and shipping fees.

As you are paying for your orders in CNY, extra hidden costs such as insurance fees, shipping of selected items, additional bank transaction fees and commissions may also be incurred and will only be reflected on your bank statement.

Taobao tips Online Shopping-Paying with RateX
Paying with RateX

With RateX, what you see at the checkout page is what will appear on your bank statement without any hidden fees or processing fees! We are here to help you to make the checkout process easier and help our customers save money so that they can shop more!

Remember! Minimum transaction limit when paying with RateX: CNY 100.00

E. Favoriting

Tip #5: Bookmark your favorite merchants or products that you like to quickly revisit them in the future!

It is not uncommon for shoppers to be indecisive about their purchases. With this quick tip, you can now favourite your products and decide on what to buy after browsing on Taobao.

  1. Click on “Favorite” to favourite your product of interest.

    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your items
    Favorite Your Items
  2. You will see a pop-up window “Successfully added to favourites”. Congratulations – you have successfully favourited your product.

    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your items
    Successfully Favorited your Items
  3. View your favorited products by clicking on “Favorites” which is located at the top right hand corner. From there, you’d be able to view the products that you have favourited and then take your time to consider!

    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your items
    Check out your other Favorited Items
  4. See the “Store Collection” beside the “Baby Collection” and you may also favourite your preferred merchants on Taobao as well!

    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your items
    Check out your Favorited Items

    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your items
    Checking out other Favorited Items
  5. Just hover your cursor over the tiny arrow beside “Logistics” and click on “Add to my favourites”. Then confirm it by clicking on “确认”.
    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your items
    Adding Merchants to your Favorite Lists


  6. Your preferred merchant will then be successfully favorited when the small window which says “成功收入收藏夹” pops up.
    Taobao tips online shopping-Favoriting your itemsSuccessfully Added Merchants to Favorite Lists 

You no longer have to keep searching or keep tabs open for the items that you want to buy!

F. The 淘宝 Cheat Sheet

Tip #6: Key in the correct terms in mandarin to get better and cheaper search result. To make this easier, we have compiled a table below for you to refer to for various styles and clothing!
[table “10” not found /]


English KeywordsChinese Translation
Summer (more applicable to Singapore)夏季

English KeywordsChinese Translation

English KeywordsChinese Translation
Baroque (Versace style)

English KeywordsChinese Translation
Korean Ulzzang原宿

English KeywordsChinese Translation
Cami Tops

English KeywordsChinese Translation
Short Skirt半身裙短
Midi Skirt7分/中长半身裙
Maxi Skirt

Short Pants
Bermudas Pants

Mid-length Pants
Cropped Pants
9 分裤
Full-length Pants

English KeywordsChinese Translation
Down Jacket棉衣

Full Body
English KeywordsChinese Translation
Romper / Playsuit连体裤

Top Designs
English KeywordsChinese Translation
Cropped短款 / 露脐
Spaghetti strap吊带

Bottom Designs
English KeywordsChinese Translation

English KeywordsChinese Translation
休闲鞋 / 运动鞋 / 帆布鞋

Women’s Heels
English KeywordsChinese Translation
Heel height
Low / Middle / High
低跟 / 中跟 /高 跟
Heel size
thin / middle / thick
细/中/粗 跟
Ankle strap一字扣
Platform (pumps)防水台
Strap across一字带

Hope part 2 of this Taobao guide has shown you new Hacks and Tips that made your Taobao shopping even easier and helped you to save more money to shop more! Stay tune for part 3 to know what are the best and most popular items on Taobao!

Insert: When is the best time to shop for tech, clothes and home appliances?

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