Online shopping in China

Hello everyone,

Shopping online can be far more convenient and offer greater choice than going into shops, be it grocery shopping or retail.

Are there options for online shopping in China? Which sites or apps do you use most frequently and are these local or international?

Are there particular products that are cheaper to buy online or that are perhaps not available in China?

What is the delivery process like — is it easy to receive deliveries and what are the costs of shipping? Are there any taxes to pay upon receipt?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Hey there,

I mostly shop on Taobao, for cheap households stuff or TMall for cellphones  or electronic goods,for real ones and no fakes, the brand's own websites. The latter usually offer fast service but no special gifts like some of other private sellers. I experience recently a headphone sellers, selling the same item as official, with 50 RMB discount ! out of 199 that was 149 for an original items that I am more than happy with.
However for households stuff, beware of photos and text below. Often you see 2 or 3 pcs and the shipment is.... 1 only :)

Then so far, so good

Online shopping in China is very mature.  I believe it was first implemented over a decade ago. China is fully and completely wired. I would dare say that China is about 1.5 decades more advanced than the USA in on line commerce.

Want some food delivered to your door.  Use Er La Ma.

Want to buy some product directly from the factory?  Use Albaba, or tao bao.

Want to get groceries delivered, bills paid, disputes resolved, meet people, conduct business, and perform transactions?  It's all on line.

You cannot do t from the USA though.  The great USA firewall will block most Chinese applications. This problem can best be resolved using VPN or TOR browsers.  Never the less, American users will still run the risk of violating some obscure American law.  When it goes though American customs. Sorry.  Americans are set at a distinct disadvantage in this regard.

You can download an aap for onlin shopping (taobao , Tmall and as for taobao stuff below than 10 rmb will cost shipping charge . I recommend you to use Tmall and jd.Com as these two site you can trust .

Yes it's difficult to find what you need in China. Online shopping is a great way. But sometimes Taobao is difficult because searching requires using the right terminology. I used to use a WeChat service to do the ordering, but they don't seem to be in business anymore. They were great because they would find the right products, order it and accept my payment with a small service charge from WeChat Wallet.

But with them out of the picture, I asked for convenient online shopping sites for expats in one of my online groups and was referred to I was surprised that this site is completely in English, you can enter your own address into memory for delivery, pay by WeChat and accept the order from the courier. They are slightly more expensive than Taobao but you never have to ask a Chinese friend to order for you again!!! What an amazing invention!!! Sometimes I search Taobao and when I find a suitable product, I enter the URL into Baopals, and - Voila! It's done.

Every parcel has been sent by courier with efficiency. And the best part is that the customer service by email is just as amazing. I have even received a phone call from them once. They handle any issues for you!

I highly recommend this service to solve all your shopping needs.

Then there's WeChat Wallet that helps you pay for everything -- your phone bill, electric bill, water bill,  pay at a restaurant or when out shopping, sent or receive money, everything. It's connected to your China bank account and has it's own balance too. This is so totally hooked up for all you money never have to carry around a wad of those pink bills again!

hi  Priscilla,

try this website it is widely used in China the delivery fee varies but always

very little, and when you are shipping within China you don't need to pay tax I believe. hope this helps.:)


The best thing in China is Taobao and JD.  You can buy anything you want on those sites. 

I find Taobao particularly useful because I can buy American beer at reasonable prices.  Every month, I buy one case of an American IPA, and although more expensive than the US, the prices are reasonable. I also purchase "large" items from TaoBao and JD, prices always beat the stores.

For most other goods though I still prefer to purchase at the stores.  I pay a little more, but I get to get it  instantly.

The problem of Chinese ecommerce they don't have English language as options so consumer can buy it easily

my friend, is an English language platform to buy things from Taobao. If you read my post it gives you the information.

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