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A guide to no more faulty Taobao products (hopefully)

Vetting sellers to find the right product for you

10·25·2016

Previously at TWOC, we’ve talked some of the best websites for your online consumer needs as well as how to get started on the most popular platform, Taobao.

However, due to the linguistic hurdles of Taobao, many people may struggle when it comes to the deciphering the inner workings. Sure, it may be simple enough to search for a product with a low price and head straight for the checkout, but in doing so, you are leaving yourself at risk due to the varying reliability of sellers.

Fortunately, figuring out the optimal purchase is relatively easy, even for those with very limited Chinese language abilities.

Here’s how to make sure you get the best deal possible.

 

STEP 1

Get yourself onto Taobao and search for whatever it is you want to buy.

tao-1

 

STEP 2

Order the results by “trustworthiness (信用)”.

tao-2

 

STEP 3

Go down the list and find the product you want to buy. Keep in mind that the ones earlier in the list are generally more reliable.

tao-3

 

STEP 4

From the product page, there are two parts to look out for.

Firstly, have a look at the product reviews.

tao-4

As you can see, there is information on how past buyers have reviewed this item.

tao-5

Pay particular attention to the “Picture (图片)” option as it allows you to filter the reviews to see photos of the actual product after arriving in the buyer’s hands.

tao-6

Secondly, look for this panel.

tao-7

This contains information on the seller.

tao-8

The prestige (信誉) gives us an idea of how long the account has been around and how much product they have sold.

tao-10

Sellers on the right, buyers on the left [Baidu Baike]

The numbers below represent the scores given by successful buyers. They are for how accurately the product was described in the product page, the quality of the service given by the seller, and how smooth/efficient the delivery process was. Numbers in red mean that the score is above average and green means below.

Using these pieces of information, you can decide whether or not you should buy your item from this particular seller, but for the lazy among you, here is a simple rule of thumb:

The seller should have a prestige of at least 2 blue crowns, and their review scores should be all red.

 

STEP 5

After confirming both the buyer and the product, the final task is to make the purchase.

tao-9

 

A final note—some sellers may have a small logo with a cat next to their icon.

This means that they are part of Tmall, making them somewhat “official”. They will not have a prestige value, but will still have review scores.

 

Cover image from pclady.com.cn

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