Taobao is the perfect online shopping haven for lazy shopaholics like me. Have you seen the queue at H&M at the weekends? Why join other shoppers in a long line waiting to try on clothes when you could simply shop online (whilst seated, no less) at your own time?

I haven’t always been one to shop on Taobao because, let’s be honest, my Mandarin is pretty bad; the barrage of hieroglyphic-like Chinese characters on Taobao scares me. I remember a time when I once had to flip through a physical copy of a Chinese dictionary to search for the meaning of a word. Those days are gone. Now, translating a word or a phrase requires just a few quick clicks.

If you sometimes struggle to find the correct words in Chinese to find a product, this article is for you. Find out below the easiest way to find your favourite items on Taobao even if you don’t know a word in Chinese. (Pssst… We create a cheat sheet just for you!)

1.11 is here and we have a new treat for you. Redeem this Treasure Chest code until 13 Nov: SFGOBLG (And stay tuned for a new code on 11 Nov!) And, if you enjoy our shopping tips and deals, follow us on our Telegram channel for even more shopping-related goodness!


  1. Translate English to Chinese

Image Credit: https://dict.naver.com/linedict/zhendict/dict.html#/cnen/home

Apart from Google Translate, there’s this other website that offers a free English to Chinese translation service: https://dict.naver.com/linedict/zhendict/#/cnen/home

What’s different about this is that it also doubles up as a dictionary and if you’re keen about learning Mandarin, there’s a section that introduces a new phrase/quote every day.

  1. Translate Page to Chinese

Image Credit: Taobao

This hack is a life saver. Simply right-click on anywhere on Taobao’s homepage and select “Translate to English” to – yes – translate the entire page. Even thogh the translation might not be complete, you get a sense of what is going on on the page.

  1. Search for Item Using Image

Saw an item that you like online but it’s sold at an exorbitant price? Or perhaps you’re out and about and come across someone wearing a cute outfit. You then begin to wonder where you might find something similar. Here’s a solution for you.

Snap a picture of it and upload into Taobao’s search engine by clicking on the camera icon like so:

Image Credit: Taobao

You can also use the marquee tool (框选主题) to search for a particular item in the image.

Image Credit: Taobao

For more accurate search results, set a filter by selecting a product category.

Image Credit: Taobao
  1. Taobao Dictionary: Cheat Sheet with the words you need

But what if you’re looking for something more specific? Say, you’re on the hunt for a two-piece swimsuit for your beach vacation or some biodegradable disposable cutlery for a party that you’ll be hosting. Sure, you can Google translate these to Chinese. But you’ll soon realise that when it becomes too specific, Google will regurgitate a jumble of Chinese characters that won’t help you find what you need when you key it into the Taobao search engine.

Lucky for you, I’ve done the very tedious (but also very gratifying) task of translating a long list of keywords that you might find useful for when you’d like to search for a particular item on Taobao.

>> DOWNLOAD Our Cheatsheet HERE: ShopBack Taobao Dictionary

To use it more effectively, CTRL + F in the document to search for an item that you’re looking for.


Be a Taobao Pro

Taobao isn’t that complicated to navigate with all these tools at your disposable. If someone like me can shop on Taobao with relative ease, you can too! But if you do need the extra help, check out our Taobao Buying Guide here and find the best brands and Fashion shops here.

And with Taobao’s massive 11.11 sales just around the corner, it is the opportune time to master your Taobao-ing skills. Be sure to keep a lookout for Taobao 11.11 vouchers as you do so!


*Featured Image Credit: Dylan Gillis | Unsplash

This article was first published at the ShopBack Malaysia blog in November 2018.

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