Taobao. A guide to China’s most popular online shopping website

Taobao is a Chinese online shopping website, headquartered in Hangzhou, China, and is a subsidiary of Alibaba group.

In 2003, the Alibaba group founded it. Its marketplace facilitates consumer to consumer retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions and also abroad. Most of their products are new merchandise sold at fixed prices. One can easily assess seller backgrounds by information available on the site, including ratings, comments and complains. In the next chapter, I am going to show you the steps that will guide you in having an account in Tao bao and how to shop.

How to register for an account in

When registering an account in, some of the things that you need are:
i) An email address
ii) Phone number

Now follow the following simple steps and create your own account:-

  1. Go to (if using Google Chrome on the upper right side of your desktop an icon as the one illustrated below will appear. Click on translate



     2. Click on the free registration icon ( Highlighted in yellow)



3. Click on the English icon, choose the country code, enter your phone number, slide the two arrows to verify, agree to the user agreements of Taobao and click next.



4. Enter the verification code sent on your phone and click on confirm.



5. Enter your account and fill in the details that are needed there and submit.



6. Congratulations you have set up your account successfully.



7) Now you need to set up the shipping details so that whenever you shop, your goods can be easily delivered to you. To set up the shipping details

  1. (If you are using your phone) log into your account and scan the QR code using your phone, this will lead you to the next pages that will help you in setting up the shipping details.




  1. 2) (If you are using your computer) Go to your profile and click on the account management



8. It will bring you to a page like the one below, select shipping 



9. In the next page fill in the details of the place that you are in such as Country, city, county, street, then fill in the detailed address, zip code, name, cell phone number etc. and ensure that you save so that your goods can be delivered at the right place whenever you shop. (It is also recommended that you look for a person to help you set your address in Chinese if possible).



10. After login, the Taobao shop has its goods under different categories, select a certain category and the item that you need to shop for in searching for items, you can search through names of the items or use the pictures.



11. For a better understanding of the Chinese words, you can use some helpful packages like the one shown below



b) You will get this online tool type your English words in icon 1 and the press 2 in order for your words to be translated


c) Copy paste the Chinese characters into your search box on Taobao home page to get your results.


12. For pricing select the prices in a way that the goods are arranged from those of low prices to the ones of higher prices so that you can be able to easily select according to how much you want to spend. (you can also order the product from most popular and the one with a cheaper price)



13. When choosing which shop to buy from, ensure that the shop has got a rating of 4hearts or above and check the reviews from other customers so that you can avoid fraudsters.



14. If you want to shop for more than one item, ensure that after selecting each item, you add it to your shopping cart, this way you can order and pay for the things you need at the same time.

15. When you have selected everything that you want to buy, click on the icon that says “buy” and it will show you; your address, the shipping cost and the total cost. Click the orange icon at the bottom left and submit the order


16. For payments, you need to use a bank card that allows you to purchase things online.

17. Go to the payment page and select the international credit card and enter the number, then press ok.

18. A card information page will come up and after you have entered your card details you should click on the “confirm the payment” icon.

19. NB: If you have the 3D secure feature, you need to put the personal security code and allow the transaction and if not you will be taken directly to the payment page.


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