You might know Amazon and eBay since years ago. However, did you heard about Taobao before?
* A true shopaholic will never stop himself or herself from getting to know about Taobao! It is similar to Amazon and eBay actually.
What is Taobao?
Taobao.com (淘宝网), the largest online shopping website in China which aggressively expanding market in Asia so as to provide an online shopping platform for people to shop seamless and globally. It was founded by Alibaba Group on May 10, 2003. With facilitating consumer-to-consumer (C2C) system, Taobao is a virtual marketplace which furnishes a platform for many small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores. This system allows people to sell goods and services directly between themselves. Subsequently Taobao had developed another business-to-consumer (B2C) platform, Tmall, to further ensure product quality in Taobao platform by bringing more Brands and Businesses as sellers. With around 760 million product listings as of March 2013, Taobao Marketplace is one of the world’s top 10 most visited websites according to Alexa. Today, Taobao is the global leader of e-commerce with 80% of the Chinese market shares!
*Tipsy: Instead of Taobao and Tmall, there are still many others China online shopping website such as Amazon.cn, JD.com, 1688.com and so on.
Why should Taobao become your favorite online shopping site?
A very concrete reason, CHEAP! One of the key-success of the ecommerce in China is the fact that products are generally less expensive than in physical stores and in other countries. Sellers are able to generate more margin with selling in lower prices due to less party in supply chain and no physical stores required. That’s why you are able to get the cheaper from Taobao! Other than that, the wide range of products also one the fascinating key to touch off the purchasing desire of buyers. You are also able to search for unique, creative and handmade product via Taobao. This has resulted that people are tend to use Taobao as their shopping way instead of travel a distance journey just for a single item.
*Tipsy: Assess the seller’s backgrounds by information available on Taobao original site, including ratings, comments and complaints.
How to purchase from Taobao?
Buyers can purchase directly from Taobao or through third party who are commonly referred as Taobao Agent. The employ of Taobao Agent is highly encouraged for buyers outside of China, especially in South East Asia. Taobao Agent is a third party who is authorized by buyer to represent them in purchasing goods from Taobao.com. The role of Taobao Agent is to serve as a middleman between you and the Taobao seller. In general, a reliable Taobao Agent will provide professional logistic service and deliver internationally to your doorstep. Looking for a Taobao Agent also means that you’ll save on shipping fee because the Taobao Agent will have the seller send items to their location first before forwarding it to you. Other than shopping and shipping on your behalf, they also provide local accessible payment method, goods inspection service and high efficient customer service.
*Tipsy: Get yourself a reliable and legitimate Taobao Agent like SGshop for a much better shopping experience, especially when you need help in Common Taobao Issues such as not able to read Chinese, wrong item sent out by Taobao seller, or sensitive item being detained by Royal Malaysian Custom Department, etc.
When to Taobao?
First, make your mind clear and keep your eye on the Taobao seasonal promotion. The biggest promotional event of Taobao is called Single’s Day Promotion (Double-11) which was launched since 2009 and fall on every 11th November. Single’s Day is an online shopping festival where online sellers and shoppers shall all join and celebrate together, because sellers are gonna clear stock with crazy discount and shoppers are gonna seize and bleed (referring to their wallet, of course 😉) for great deals until the very last piece of stock. On this day, many sellers will gear up for the huge traffic who love to join and get the promotional items on that day. Taobao also will roll out a series of promotion to drum up the excitement for the crazy Double-11 deals! This extravagant event had hit the record of 120.7 billion yuan sale during Double-11 in 2016! Thus, pay close attention to Taobao promotion before hunting your preference products!
*Tipsy: Think twice before purchasing so you wouldn’t overspend during the promotional event. Nah… maybe a little overspending is acceptable…
To sum up, Taobao is not just an online shopping platform for us but it has changed our lifestyle though. It brings us closer to brands and businesses. It improves our life to be more convenient and borderless. It changes our purchasing behavior from physical to virtual. Taobao, a place to shop, a place to hunt.