Have you always wanted to try shopping on Taobao, but find it difficult to get started due to the perceived technical difficulty in navigating a China web service?

Fret not, we are here to provide you with a Taobao beginner’s guide, specifically written for Singapore new users.

Here’s how you can start:

1. Signing up as a Singapore Taobao user

A. Download the 淘宝 (Taobao) App 

The app is available on both iOS and Android. Key in Taobao or 淘宝 to search for the app.

B. Register as a new user 

To register yourself as a new user, tap on 注册/登录 (register/login) using your local contact number. You will get a text message with a unique verification code. Enter the code to proceed.

C. Get the latest local offers and deals 

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To receive the latest local offers and deals from Taobao that is relevant for Singapore users, click on 地区 (location) and set the location to 新加坡 (Singapore).

2. Start Shopping – Choosing Products

A. Navigating the home page

For new users, you can start by checking out the “Singaporean’s Choices” and “Trending Now” tabs for general trends and top selling products for Singapore users on the home page.

For existing or repeat users, try checking out “猜你喜欢” (Guess what I like) for items similar to your previous searches.

B. Searching for key words

If you already have a specific item in mind, the best option for your search is to directly enter the term in the search engine.

Fret not if you are not good at typing in Chinese. Usually when you enter the name of the product in English, you will still be able to get a few results. However, for a wider selection, it is still best to search in Chinese. Consider using Google Translate to get the Chinese terms for the products you want to input into the search.

To filter your search results, tap 筛选. This will allow you to filter according to price range, brand, sales and other search criteria.

C. Searching by photographs

There’s something that you want to buy but don’t know its name? Take a picture of it, go to the top left corner 扫一扫 (scan) on the homepage and do an image search.

D. Assess sellers and check reviews

Pick an experienced seller who is trustworthy by checking how many transactions they have processed and successfully delivered for each item.

To check the reviews, scroll down and look under 宝贝评价 (reviews), where buyers upload their feedback and images of the item. To read more reviews, press on 查看全部 (View All).

3. Add to Cart and Payment

A. Add Item to Cart

To add an item to cart, tap on the light orange 加入购物车 (add to cart) and select the colour or style you want and press 确定 (confirm) to confirm. Your items will be waiting for you in your cart!

B. Payment

Once you’re ready to checkout, go back to the home page and tap the shopping cart icon 购物车 (shopping cart). Select the items that you want to checkout and tap 结算( payment). Select 去支付 (go to payment) to finalise your payment.

Note that Singapore Taobao users can make payment using our local credit or debit card. Add your credit or debit card by selecting Credit / Debit Card.

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4. Checkout

A. Shipping Address

You’ll be prompted to add your shipping address. Tap 确定 (confirm) on the right
and fill up the form. Enter your name, phone number, block number, street name,
unit number and postal code. You can tag your address e.g. home or office, and
make it your default address.

B. Shipping Methods

After filling in your Taobao shipping address, select 物流方式 (shipping methods) to select your preferred shipping method.

C. Which is the Best Shipping Method?

官方物流 - 集运 (consolidated shipping) is the best method, because it’s more convenient to consolidate all your orders from different sellers into one package for optimal shipping. Consolidated shipping is also slightly cheaper than direct shipping. However, you will have an extra step to do, as you need to manually consolidate your items and pay for shipping separately.

D. Shipping Methods – Track and Consolidate

Go to the homepage and tap on the icon 我的货leh? and you can  track your order under 物流订单. You may see that the final shipping address is in China. Don’t worry as that’s just Taobao’s warehouse address and your items will be shipped to Singapore upon arrival and consolidation.

You will also get notified via Push Notification or SMS when your items are ready for consolidation. Tap on 待集运 and you will be able to see all your orders waiting to be consolidated. Select 官方空运 (shipping by air) or 官方海运 (shipping by sea for selected products) , tap all your items and select 运费结算(shipping payment).

Tap on 下一步 (next step) and double check your items before tapping on 提交支付 (submit payment).

New User Offer:

For new users buying on Taobao, remember to enter the promo code SGNEW20 to enjoy 20RMB OFF (~SGD3.95) with minimum spend of 21RMB (~SGD4.15). This is applicable to your first in-app order only and a Singapore address must be used at check out. Valid from 13 – 18 June 2019. Other T&Cs apply.

Alvinology Exclusive Promo Code

Already an avid Taobao user? Save more with our exclusive promo code ALVINOLOGY to get an additional 45RMB OFF (~SGD8.90) your in-app purchases this GSS with just minimum spend of 299RMB (~SGD59.10). There are limited redemptions for this, so use the code early to avoid disappointment. Also, note that this is for one-time use only and a Singapore address must be used at check out. Valid from 16 – 18 June 2019. Other T&Cs apply.

Taobao Great Singapore Sale 2019

Taobao Great Singapore Sale 2019 just round the corner. The actual sale is taking place from 16 to 18 June 2019, but you can start shopping and adding items into your shopping cart from 13 to 15 June.

For those who have not yet realised the incredible cost-savings you can enjoy on Taobao yet, it’s a good time to start shopping with Taobao from this sale. Because it’s better late than never “TO TAOBAO”!

That’s it!

Happy shopping!