From electronics to cosmetics, to the cheapest wedding gowns and even Scandinavian furniture that will make your home look like a designer hotel room, Taobao has everything that you have ever wished for. Follow our top tips to navigate Taobao like a pro.

Ready to save good money? Let’s Taobao.

Top Tips You Need to Know to Navigate Taobao and Get the Best Deals

1. Use the ShopBack Button – The easiest way to get cashback while you shop on Taobao

The ShopBack button (via Chrome/Firefox extension) is the simplest yet most powerful feature when it comes to getting Cashback while shopping at Taobao. 

  1. Install the ShopBack Cashback Button here
  2. Link your Taobao account
  3. Browse on Taobao as usual
  4. Be notified when the item has Cashback
  5. Activate Cashback and check out within 12 hours


Do note that not all items are eligible for Cashback. While checking out, you will be able to see which items have the Cashback activated and voila, you will be shopping and earning Cashback at the same time! It is that simple and all you need is a ShopBack account.

2. Shop easily even when you don’t know Chinese

Language can be a barrier but not in this case. Even if you can’t understand Chinese these two simple tips will help you navigate Taobao and find the exact product you want.

  • Use Google translate in the page so you can identify all the menus, categories and main buttons.
  • Download our Taobao dictionary guide to search for the most common items. All you need to do is to find the correct word on the file, copy the desired word on Chinese and paste it on the search bar.

This will allow you to find the best products and shops easily.

3. Filter the results to find the best items

When you search for a product such as “summer dresses”, for example, you will get millions of results. To get the results that really matter to you, you can sort the list by “销量” (sales volume), “信用” (credibility) and “价格” (price). That way, you’ll get the best search results catering to your requirements.

From there, we recommend looking for the results that meet these three criteria:

  • The highest number of positive reviews with images
  • Most responsive sellers that answer customers’ questions or feedback

From these results, it will be easier to choose the one which gives you the best discount or bundle deal.

4. Search with images

Taobao's image search bar

One of the most useful features of Taobao, the image search function allows you to find similar items to the object in your image. This helps you to find all offers related to your item and most importantly, eliminates the need to know the Chinese term in order to search for your desired product.

To use it, you need to change the location of your page to “Mainland China”. Then you just upload the photo you want to use for the search. You can then filter the shopping list based on your preferences.

5. Always check the comments

Image credit: Taobao

Comments and reviews will give you a more accurate description of the item. Some reviewers include real photos of the products received which are crucial to help you check if the item is true to life. 

You may even find some hilarious “product fails” on some of these reviews but rest assured that the majority of the items are actually legit.

6. Claim all coupons

After you add all your Taobao products to cart and before you hit the checkout, redeem or claim (领取) all the coupons available on your shopping car and your order confirmation page. This can give you a good discount on your total cart amount.

These coupons might have some minimum order value rule to be redeemed, but in any case, just claim them and then confirm if they can be applied to your most recent order.

7. 3rd party shipping platforms

In order to save some money on shipping, we recommend using a trusted 3rd party shipping platform such as Oops Singapore. Simply follow the four steps below and you will be on your way to greater savings and more reliable shipping services!

  1. Sign up for a free Oops account and receive a free warehouse address with unique mailbox number just for you.
  2. Shop online and fill in your assigned warehouse address at the checkout page.
  3. Submit and pay for your shipping order only when all packages have been consolidated.
  4. Choose the shipping method that you prefer.

3rd party shipping platforms usually offer cheaper shipping services to you and have wider limitations than on Taobao. The only downside is that you will need to declare and make shipping payment from your end after all packages have arrived – and you will need to constantly check on that. But we don’t think that will be much of an issue especially when it is cheaper and more reliable!

8. Wait for the big campaigns to get epic discounts and cashback

Taobao’s 11.11 Singles Day is their biggest annual sale event and is jam-packed with crazy discounts and an endless amount of goodies. I’d say wait for the festive seasons and major yearly campaigns to make big purchases so that you can save big. 

Otherwise, there are also great deals and purchases happening periodically such as their Members’ Day or the Mid-Autumn Festival Sales, for example.

Stay tuned this 11 November for the biggest one-day sale on Taobao and get up to 10% cashback when you shop through ShopBack.

Meantime, find some inspiration for your new home with our Taobao Furniture Guide!

This article was originally published on 18 April 2019.

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