Taobao is the biggest online shopping marketplace in China, founded in May 10, 2003 by the Alibaba Group. Just like the meaning of its name, which means “searching for treasures”, Taobao is where you can find great quality items at extremely low prices.
It’s a Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) platform offering high visibility for products and services. It is so huge that its gross merchandise volume reached 508 Billion Yuan or 76 Billion USD for the 2nd quarter of 2016, up by 19 percent compared to the same period in 2015.
Online shoppers can definitely benefit in buying from Taobao because of high competition among sellers. There are over hundreds of millions of product and service listings in Taobao. In a highly competitive marketplace, sellers have less leverage over the price. This is the reason why you can buy dirt-cheap stuff at very low prices. Aside from that, there’s no denying the fact that in the global market, China has significant price advantage particularly driven by cheap labor in the country. That being said, Taobao is gaining popularity among consumers and merchants overseas. However, being a 100% Chinese website, it poses difficulty for international customers to interact within the platform.
If you are from another country, you may use translation tools like Google Translate, to translate Chinese to English or your local language. Just install Google Translate extension to your browser. For straightforward translation, we recommend that you use Chrome as your main browser as it translates the whole webpage without the need of installing an extension. Just open taobao.com and click “Translate” at the top of the page, if you are using Desktop Computer or at the bottom of the page if you are using Mobile. Afterwhich, Chrome translates the entire webpage at one time. For more information on how to translate webpages using Chrome, use this link: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/173424?hl=en. Most of the time, translations are not that accurate but it offers the best option to understand Taobao better. It will then be much easier to go around Taobao website and find the best deals for the items that you want to buy.