A guide to Taobao
☆ Basics before you start:
1. Find a good shopping service.
I can highly recommend kinalink.se. They're extremely helpful, very polite, and just overall the best Taobao agent you can find. You can send them an email to help you understand their order process and order form* if you don't understand it - which you of course can even if you go with another Taobao agent.
* Like with any shopping service, or in this case Taobao agent, you fill out this form so that your agent can order your things for you. You usually fill out things like product name, product link... the things that the agent can help you understand. I didn't understand it the first time, so don't feel bad if you're a little confused.
2. Understand the value of google translate
Many people have asked me "do you understand chinese? How do you find things on Taobao when it's in Chinese?" and the answer is simple - google translate, or any other translating program. If you're looking for a dress, translate it to chinese. As simple as that.
Scroll down a bit to "useful keywords" in the Search guide-part.
☆ Search guide:
First of all, this is the search field, in case that isn't clear.
Now, how do you find things? It's exactly the same as ebay, but with google translate, so here's a little searching-for-dummies in case it's your first time. Or just in case you're looking for some tips.
1. Combine your keywords
Type of clothing, or item, or brand. Color. It can be anything from one word to five, or more. Translate these words to chinese and press the orange button. If it's a brand or well-known word spelled with our roman letters, however, like for example Candy Stripper or Rilakkuma - you don't have to translate.
Combine the Chinese words with the English words when necessary. It can look like this "COSPLAY 假发" - "Cosplay wig".
2. Useful keywords
KERA is a good searchword if you want to find creepers and nice, punk-y shoes - you can combine it with the Chinese word for shoes too, but just KERA is fine. LOLITA is also a good searchword for shoes and other things. Definitely combine it with "shoes", though, a lot of dresses. Also good for nice wigs. COSPLAY is always good to find wigs. CANDY STRIPPER, other brands you like, Rilakkuma, and so on. And if you search for COSBUS you can find great, cheap kigurumis.
3. Once you find a product you like, you'll see this right next to the picture.
Price: It's pretty obvious, isn't it? The big orange numbers! Use a converter to see how much it is in your currency.
Shipping within China: Right under the price, 18 or 25.
Size: You see the part where it says "S" and "M"? There it is. It looks different from item to item, but it usually says S, M or L. Sometimes clothes are sized after how tall you are, which is weird, but heads up.
Color: You see all the little jackets? Yup, there it is. It's not always pictures, most often it's the Chinese words for different colors. Your browser should have a tool to translate the page, use this - or copy paste the words into google translate - to figure out which colors are which.
Just like with ebay, there are shops on Taobao. It's a little tricky once you visit one, since it's all in Chinese, but click around until you get the hang of it. Here's a great list with lots and lots of links to some different Taobao shops → Click me please.
☆ Purchase guide:
Go to your Taobao agent's homepage
Look for an "ordering procedure" page
Read it carefully
If there's something you don't understand, look up the address and send an email to support
Here's how the ordering process usually goes:
Find the order form and download it
Fill out the order form
Save it under a new name
Use the email listed in the ordering process explanaition and send the new, filled out order form
Wait for a reply, and your agent will take it from there and update you as they move along
☆ General tips:
1. Seriously, don't be afraid to ask your agent for help.
2. Google. Look up guides and shop lists, link lists and anything you can think of. Really helpful.
3. I just have to say this as well: please don't ask me for links to things I've bought, because I don't have them. They're gone as soon as I've sent my order form. Sorry, but that's how it is ( ; ´ ω ` )
There ya go!
Easy, right? I hope this was a little bit helpful. Taobao is a cheap world of wonders (and fashion) and once you get the hang of it, it really is very simple. Take your time and you'll see.
Hugs and kisses, I hope you're having a great post-apocalypse day ♥