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Foreigners can buy from Taobao without an agent

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More and more people from overseas China find that Taobao is a fantastic website for shopaholics, nothing you are not able to buy from it, except for illegal items. However most of non-Chinese people might face problems while shopping on Taobao, the most biggest problem might be the language barrier, then shipping and payment settlement are the next. Then it comes up various of taobao agents.

Frankly speaking, a taobao agent does really help a lot, however, each of the taobao helping sections might be charged a service fee. It is supposed to save money finding good deals on Taobao, but as a result of using a Taobao agent, the money you save on Taobao cannot cover the service fee.

taobao agent service

Then what’s the service fees of a Taobao agent?

A percentage fee of total Tabao items and China domestic shipping:

Most of the Taobao agents follow this rule to charge service fee. The total amount of the products you buy and the shipping fees the Taobao sellers send the items to the agents’ warehouse, these two fees are the original basic cost when you buy from Taobao directly by yourselves. A Taobao agent will add a percentage fee of the basic cost as its service fee. For example, if the percentage is 10%, then service fee=(items fee+ items domestic shipping fee)*10%.

A minimum service fee: several Taobao agent require a minimum service fee.

Let’s to say the minimum service fee is 10 dollars, if the service fee counted as above is lower than 10 dollars, buyers still need to pay 10 dollars as the service fee.

International shipping fee.

most of the Taobao agent just provide 2 or 3 shipping methods, and the fee rate depends on different shipping methods and different Taobao agent.

Other additional charges.

Taobao translation, items comparison, quality control photos, items return, and so on.

Actually, using a Taobao agent still require you choosing products by yourselves, it cannot solve the essential language issues when search and compare items on Taobao, communicate with the sellers is also a difficulty.

How do you solve the problems when you buy on Taobao directly?

Languages barriers: make good use of translation tools, although online translation dictionary isn’t so accurate, it still can make you understand a rough meaning of a product. Find some product keywords in Chinese for you to search on Taobao. Please refer to this article for Taobao product keywords:

Besides, you can install the Google Chrome, there is a whole webpage translation tool for you to translate the Taobao page.

Payment settlement problem: Taobao requires buyers to use Alipay as the payment tool, sign up an Alipay account, and upload relevant ID verification documents, then you can bind your credit card so that you can pay for Taobao orders. There is an useful tip to solve the language problem when you scan Download Alipay App on your phone, if the language is English on your phone, the Alipay App will be shown in English.


International shipping issue: Find a reliable freight forwarder which provide QC(Quality Control) pictures. As you can’t receive the products by your hand in a shot time, you have to know if the products quality are good or not. If you find quality problems you can apply for refund in time. A Reliable freight forwarder also help you repack your parcels, as you buy many things on Taobao from several Taobao stores, there are many outer packing which take a lot of space. Then repacking is a good way to safe shipping space and save shipping fee in the meantime. A good freight forwarder has a competitive shipping rate, and it can provide many shipping method for you to choose, and give you suggestions that reduce tariffs. Sometimes there would be a small part of items just only can be shipped by a specific shipping way, which costs much expensive than a normal shipping way. A reliable freight forwarder will let you know and give solution to separate the items in different shipping ways, in order to save your money as far as possible. While a Taobao agent, just provide one shipping way to ship your products, if ship all the products by the specific way, it would cost a lot, but if ship them by normal shipping way without separate the sensitive item, the whole parcel would be detained or confiscated by the customs.

Take some time to solve these 3 major problems above can help you buy things from Taobao directly by yourselves without a Taobao agent. Of course, there still are many issues, TaobaoGuides is always here to answer your each questions about Taobao shopping and don’t charge any service fees.


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  • abbu

    can a person from Maldives buy from Taobao directly without using a middle agent?

    • admin

      You can apply a taobao alipay account directly if you have a visa or mastercard credit card. However, Taobao doesnt support ship to Maldives directly, you need to find a shipping agent to help you receive goods and consolidate to ship to you. For more tips please check TaobaoGuides tutorials.

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