Taobao international shipping from China to Indonesia

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Global e-commerce continues to change as big players in the B2B, B2C, and C2C industries strengthen their grip on the marketplace, offering ample products and services to consumers. Due to the competitiveness of this market, consumers have the liberty to assess various products and purchase the ones that offer the best value for money. One of the growing e-commerce markets that has taken the world by storm is Taobao. 

Taobao is one of the biggest Chinese online shopping platforms that offers a wide variety of cheap, yet quality products. Founded in 2003 by Alibaba, it has been dubbed the “Amazon of China.” Today, it is the largest consumer-to-consumer marketplace in the region. According to Statista, Taobao’s gross merchandise volume in 2022 amounted to CN¥8.32 trillion, cementing its position as a huge market for wholesalers, retailers and shoppers.

Taobao is also rated among the top 10 online marketplaces worldwide according to an analysis by Webretailer. It’s no surprise then that Indonesians will look to the platform to source for goods at more affordable prices than their go-to retailers. 

However, its increased popularity has led it to become a target for scammers who engage in a range of unethical activities. Scams on Taobao include:

  • Stealing valuable customer information by hacking
  • Charging exorbitant fees as fake Taobao agents when facilitating non-Chinese speaking foreign customers make payments
  • Selling counterfeit products disguised as originals
  • Deceiving customers with product images sourced from other retailer sites
  • Requesting for bank account details as customer service representative for refunds not originally communicated by the seller

While these scams may deter you from purchasing from Taobao, rest assured that you can still have a fulfilling shopping experience, as long as you remain aware and vigilant. 

How to order and ship from Taobao to Indonesia safely?

1. Register your account

To order a product from Taobao, you need to be a registered user. But before you can figure out how to do that, you’ll need to translate the webpage from Chinese to English. 

You may use Google Translate or open the website using Google Chrome, the latter being the most convenient as it automatically presents the option for English translation. 

Once translated, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the button “dear, please log in” at the top left corner of your browser, located on the topmost bar of the site. 
  2. You will be navigated to a login page. Look for “免费注册” at the bottom right corner of the login box. This will bring you to a new page.
  3. Click on “English” at the top right corner of the page, just below the topmost bar of the site. You will then be able to create your account in English.
  4. Provide your Indonesian mobile number and click “Get Verification Code”.
  5. Wait for a verification code to be sent to you via SMS and key in the code into the field when the message arrives.

You can now start shopping.

2. Select your products

Once registered, you may access Taobao’s marketplace and search for products. Both keyword and reverse image searches are available. You may add various filters to your searches, such as category, popularity, price, cash-on-delivery, and many others. Since all content is written in Chinese, and auto-translations don’t always provide the best results, it’s not uncommon for many to fall into scams when shopping on Taobao. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Assess the seller: A good seller is one that has high ratings accompanied by plenty of reviews. Look out for reviews with images of products to view them from the user’s perspective. The reviews tab can be found next to the description tab – “评价” (Evaluation)
  • Speak with the seller directly: If you need more information from the seller, you can chat with them to have your questions answered. However, if you are contacted on your phone by any individual on behalf of the seller, avoid sharing any personal information such as your bank account details or shipping address. Only chat with the seller directly via the chat function on Taobao.

Once you’ve decided to proceed with a product, add it into your cart. Here, you may either complete the order by clicking “立即购买” (Buy now) or continue shopping.

Do note that due to China’s export regulations and carrier restrictions, some items are prohibited from being shipped internationally from Taobao to Indonesia. Products not allowed for import into Indonesia will not be shipped as well.

3. Engage a Taobao agent

While we can rely on the auto-translated copies on Google, it can be challenging to fully comprehend what your product is exactly about. Plus, you may need to communicate with the seller who may not converse in English effectively, leaving you in a difficult situation. After all, you won’t want to purchase a product until you fully understand where you’re putting your money. Don’t worry! There are Taobao agents to help you.

A Taobao agent acts as a middleman between you and the online platform. They help purchase and consolidate products, and manage the packaging and delivery for you. Among their responsibilities include negotiation with sellers, payment, quality checks of products, returns and refunds processing, as well as international shipping fulfilment. Their services can be accessed through established websites, such as Superbuy, 42agent and Basetao. Since the mode of communication is in English, you can depend on them for a seamless shopping experience on Taobao.

However, overseas shoppers have been charged with high agent and international shipping fees before, which means looking for a reliable agent requires more effort. To avoid being scammed on Taobao, consider:

  • Looking for organic positive and negative reviews online: Some Taobao agents publish paid positive reviews to increase leads, while others create reviews to enhance brand reputation. Pay attention to how reviews are crafted and where they are published. Google Reviews and feedback published on Facebook will offer you the authenticity you need.
  • Checking with your social circle: The best Taobao agent is one whom a friend, relative or reliable acquaintance has used before and can vouch for. It’s no surprise that many shoppers prefer looking for a Taobao agent via word of mouth for that reliability. 

3. Check out your items

When you decide to checkout, review your cart by clicking on “购物车” (Shopping cart) located on the topmost bar of the page. Ensure the correct products are selected, and then hit “结算” (Payment) at the bottom corner below your cart information. 

You’ll be prompted to provide your delivery address, alongside your name and mobile number. Once you have keyed in your information, you can click on “设置为默认收货地址” (Make Default) if you’d like to stick to this information for all future deliveries.

You will also be requested to choose your method of shipping your products to Indonesia, ranging from direct and consolidated shipments to economic, standard and express delivery. 

However, if you work with a Taobao agent, they may provide alternative delivery options, including express shipping such as through DHL Express. You may learn more about shipping with DHL Express Indonesia here.

Either way, you should select the shipping method best suited to the size, weight, and contents of your order. 

Do remember that you would need to pay the Taobao international shipping fee for your products to reach a warehouse, as well as an additional fee should you be shipping via your agent. As it is, not every product can be shipped by Taobao directly to Indonesia. In such cases, you would require the services of a Taobao agent in Indonesia. 

4. Make your payment

If you’re carting out on Taobao, you will be directed to China’s popular gateway – Alipay. First-time shoppers in Indonesia will be prompted to create an Alipay payment password which comprises six numerical digits. You are advised to use a combination that is unique, such that it is not similar to your birthday, bank and card pin numbers. This is to enhance the security of your payment profile against potential fraudulent activities. 

Once you have created your password, hit “确定” (Confirm). 

Next, you’ll need to input your credit card details. Click “下一步“(Continue) once you’re done. Thereafter, you will be prompted to verify your payment details according to the processes set by your bank. 

If you’re purchasing Taobao products via an agent, you may have a different payment gateway depending on your choice of agent.

Once payment is made, you can sit back and wait for your shipments to arrive.

Stay vigilant and enjoy Taobao shopping online

With the convenience of online shopping today, platforms like Taobao will continue to occupy a huge share in the market, especially for their affordability. China, as the future of e-commerce, will remain a strong player in the market, providing consumers like yourself with greater options than before.

However, as consumers, shopping diligently is key to avoid being embroiled in scams. 

Should you suspect any fraudulent activity on Taobao, you may reach out to the customer service team to report the issue. 

Happy shopping! 

If you’re an Indonesian business looking to be a reseller of Taobao goods, you may create a DHL Express account and learn how we can help your customers enjoy a fuss-free express delivery experience. Being an experienced international delivery provider in Indonesia and worldwide, we understand what’s required for a smooth last mile experience. Customer experience is important when it comes to online shopping – trust DHL Express to deliver just that. Our suite of delivery options provide your customers with the flexibility they desire. Whether they wish for the parcel to arrive at a specific time and day or request to pick up the parcel at the nearest DHL Express Service Point, they’ll have the options they’re after. In addition, our intuitive MyDHL+ platform makes shipment preparation, management and tracking a breeze. Easily create invoices and shipment labels with pre-filled information based on customer history. Track all your shipments along the supply chain and act immediately upon being notified of any anomalies. For more information, reach out to our specialists at our DHL call centres for assistance.