6 Taobao Tips To Help You Save Money, Find Reputable Sellers & Search For Items More Easily

6 Taobao Tips To Help You Save Money, Find Reputable Sellers & Search For Items More Easily

Lifestyle Shopping
By Rachel Yohannan on 05 Sep 2020
Senior Digital Editor

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would be familiar with the name Taobao, a Chinese shopping platform with an endless list of products at affordable prices. And if you’ve caught wind of their upcoming 99 Mega Sale, you’re probably scanning their site to shortlist items for your shopping spree as we speak.

Understandably, shopping on Taobao can be challenging for many of us Singaporeans who aren’t well-versed in Mandarin, and it’s also daunting trying to sift out reputable sellers among the thousands. To help you along in time for the Taobao 99 Mega Sale, here are 6 Taobao shopping tips to help you save money, find reputable sellers, and search for items more easily.

- Taobao shopping tips for Singaporeans -

#1: There is a reverse image search function to help you find specific items

Taobao tips and hacks Singapore

If you’re looking for a certain type of item but don’t have the right keywords or Chinese vocabulary to describe it with, make use of Taobao’s reverse image search function.

See that camera icon right next to the search bar? Click on it, and the in-app camera will open, allowing you to snap a photo of any item you wish, as shown below.

Taobao app image search functionPhoto from Taobao

From there, their very clever algorithm will match the image to similar or identical ones on their site, and give you a whole slew of search results.

Taobao app image search functionPhoto from Taobao

You can also use a saved image in your gallery and upload it straight into the app - this works just like Google’s image search function. Certainly a handy trick to use if you’re searching for cheap dupes of an expensive product ?

#2: Filter out buyer reviews with real photos attached

Taobao tips and hacks SingaporePhoto from Taobao

As with many other online shopping platforms, there’s always the danger of receiving items that aren’t true to their photos - no thanks to heavily Photoshopped listing pics.

Taobao photo reviews SingaporePhoto from Taobao

This is why it’s always a good idea to check out reviews before committing to a purchase. Don’t just scroll through the text reviews - you can go a step further by specifically filtering out the reviews with user photos attached by clicking on the “图片” (tu pian) tab. You will then be able to see real-life photos and make your decision from there.

#3: Use this handy rating chart to determine a seller’s reputability

Taobao seller rating chartPhoto from BaoHero

Not all users who buy items may leave reviews, but you can further determine whether a seller is reputable simply by checking out their ratings. Generally, anything with a couple of diamonds and above should be safe enough, but if you want to be extra cautious, look out specifically for the ones with crown ratings.

#4: Make use of Taobao’s consolidated shipment service for easier and cheaper shipping

Instead of getting your order settled in bit and pieces, tap on Taobao’s official consolidated shipping service (官方集运). It allows you to order from different sellers and have everything sent to a consolidation warehouse before shipment to Singapore is arranged.

This way, the process will be less messy and you’ll get to save on shipping costs, since only one shipment will be required for multiple items.

#5: Find the same item sold at cheaper prices by different merchants

Taobao tips and hacks SingaporePhoto from Taobao

There are hundreds and thousands of merchants on Taobao, and many are selling the same stuff - you just have to suss them out. Instead of scrolling endlessly or struggling with keywords in Chinese, you can simply hover over a picture and click the “找同款” (zhao tong kuan) button on the left to find sellers with the same item.

Taobao tips and hacks SingaporePhoto from Taobao

This makes comparing prices and ratings much easier, allowing you to make a better-informed choice on where to purchase.

Note: This function only works on desktop.

#6: Look out for Taobao’s seasonal promotions for free delivery and slashed prices

Stay ahead of the curve by looking out for Taobao’s seasonal promotions, with massively slashed prices and free delivery. These can often be predicted around special occasions like the Great Singapore Sale, Summer Sale, 99 Mega Sale, and 11/11, among many others.

Taobao 99 Mega Sale on 9 to 11 September 2020 is right around the corner, and with it comes tons of special deals and discounts for all you shopaholics - whether you’re into fashion, electronics, or general lifestyle items. The sale preview is happening from 5 to 8 September.

On top of plenty of price reductions - where you’ll get a discount of CNY300 (~S$59.59) on selected Tmall products and CNY15 (~S$2.98) off every CNY200 (~S$39.58) spend on selected Taobao products. There will also be over a million popular products with free international shipping to Singapore* with a minimum purchase of CNY299 (~S$59.18)! 

*Applicable in-app only. Find out more here.

You’ll want to set your alarm for 12AM and 12PM from 9 to 11 September, because there will be “red packets” of CNY99 (~S$19.65) up for grabs daily, which you can use to offset your purchases. Users can also snatch shipping “red packets” worth CNY230 (~S$45.68) to offset their first 0.5cbm using Official Sea Shipping (Limited quantities, applicable to Taobao official shipping with Singapore addresses only).

Good news if you’re paying via a local debit or credit card, as you will be able to redeem a 3% service fee waiver voucher - 1 per day from 5 to 11 September. On top of that, you will also get to enjoy these card discounts:

  • Citibank Debit/Credit Cards - $12 off with min. spend of $100 (first 500 daily)
  • Standard Chartered Credit Cards - $12 off with min. Spend of $100 (first 300 daily)
  • UOB Debit/Credit Cards - $9 off with min. spend of $90 (first 200 daily)
  • DBS Debit/Credit Cards - $6 off with Min. Spend of $100 (first 200 daily)

If you’ve been holding out for a shopping spree, well, this is the best time to go crazy! Want to get inspiration for upcoming weekend stay home activities with your besties? Below are our activities + product recommendations for you!:

tmall mooncake bff

Stay home baking party】for the foodies:

Try your hand at making your own mooncakes with these mooncake moulds (from CNY8.80, ~S$1.74). From traditional patterns to Japanese-style sakura ones and images of cartoon characters like Hello Kitty and Winnie the Pooh, these will add a fine finishing touch to your confections.

tmall mooncake

Every baker needs some good tools, so invest in rolling pins (from CNY4.90, ~S$0.97) of different sizes and flexible silicone spatulas (from CNY6.90, ~S$1.37) that will help you scrape and spread with ease.

tmall egg

tmall movie bff

【Movie marathon sleepover】for Netflix fans

You don’t need fancy equipment for a fun night at home - simply get a compact smartphone projector (from CNY389, ~S$76.99) to display any video or mobile game from your mini screen onto your TV.

tmall projector

Complete the cosy night in with a breezy nightgown (from CNY27.80, ~S$5.50), and get matching hair scrunchies (from CNY6.80, ~S$1.35 for 2) to share with your girl squad!

tmall pj bff

tmall fitness bff

【Fitness with besties】for fitness enthusiasts:

Looking to get fit and fab from the comfort of your home? Don’t forget to get a yoga mat (from CNY79, ~S$15.64) for good support. These come in pretty colours including pink, lilac, and blue.

tmall leggings tmall massage

While you’re at it, dress the part with these dual-layered fitness tights with shorts (from CNY89, ~S$17.62). These allow for good movement while keeping your modesty well-protected.

After that, soothe those aching muscles using a handy massage gun (from CNY279, ~S$55.22) so you’ll be up and raring for the next day’s workout.

tmall make up bff

【Make up party】for beauty junkies:

If your favourite pastime with your babes is to test out new makeup looks, get this LED mirror (from CNY44, ~S$8.71) that lights up so you can see better in dim lighting. And instead of the regular comb, make use of a heated styling brush (from CNY259, ~S$51.26) that tames unruly tresses in minutes.

tmall mirror

Remember to mark your calendar and get ready for Taobao 99 Mega Sale so as not to miss out on these special promotions and discounts! Start shopping on Taobao here.

tmall hair

Enjoy free shipping from Taobao to your doorstep for orders above CNY299 (~S$59.18) on over a million popular items! Grab limited free shipping hongbaos worth up to CNY20 (~S$3.98), on top of the waived international shipping fees and GST this 99 Mega Sale!

  • Free shipping applicable in-app only. 
  • Free shipping promotion stackable with shop vouchers, hongbao, promo code and payment offers. 
  • Free shipping hongbao applicable to participating free shipping deals only.
  • Shipping fees apply if your minimum purchase falls below ¥299 after discounts such as promo code, payment offers and shop vouchers are applied.
  • Official consolidate shipping option (官方集运) to be selected to enjoy offer. 
  • Singapore address must be used at checkout. 

This post is brought to you by Taobao Singapore.

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Text by: GirlStyle SG