How to buy stuff on Taobao as the New Year sales approach

Shopping sales are not over in China. In case you missed the Singles Day, get yourself ready for round two. Or if you can get the hang of Taobao, it’ll make your life in China a lot easier and you’ll be able to get anything your heart desires shipped right to your door! Of course you can always get a Chinese friend to help you order stuff, but if you get addicted (and there’s a good chance you will!), your friends might get a little tired of all your demands. No worries – here’s a basic guide to get you started on Taobao.

*You’ll need to have Alipay set up for this. Check out our Alipay tutorial here.

1. First, you’ll need to sign up for an account. This is easy, though it includes many steps. Click on this button in the top left corner. This will take you to the registration page. 

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2. Yay, the registration process is in English! First, you’ll need to input your email. Then, Taobao will make you verify with a text sent to your cell phone. Now input your password twice and a username of your choice. Your account is now set up!

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 3.26.11 PM3. Search for whatever you’re looking for. The English pinyin also works!

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4. Voila! Your results. You can sort them by all the criteria put together, popularity, sales amount, reputation, or price using these buttons.

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5. Once you’ve found a product you want to buy, click the pale orange button on the left to purchase or click the bright orange button on the right to add it to your shopping cart.

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6. If you’ve added the item to your cart, you’ll be directed to this page. You can click the white button to continue shopping, or the orange button to go to your shopping cart and check out.

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7. On this page, choose the items in the cart you want to purchase and click the orange button to check out.

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8. Here’s the check out page. To add an address, click the grey box with the green plus sign.

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9. That will take you to this form. The fields are, from top to bottom: country/province; address; postal code; name; cell phone number; phone number. You can choose to use your cell phone number or a landline, but you must fill in one of these. Check the box at the bottom to use as your default address and hit the orange button to save.

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10. Now that you’ve got your address, you can leave a comment for the seller, choose a shipping method and add optional shipping insurance. When you’re done, click the orange button to place your order.

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11. This will take you to the Alipay page. Simply select your payment method, input your 6-digit Alipay passcode and click the blue button on the bottom. Congratulations, you just made your first purchase on Taobao!

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