Tips of Taobao Ship to the US: Ways, The Specific Process

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Are you interested in shopping from Taobao and getting your items shipped directly to the United States? In this article, you will get all the information you need to get started with Taobao direct shipping to the USA.


What is Taobao?


Taobao is one of the largest e-commerce sites in China. It is run by the Alibaba Group and is the world’s largest online retailer. It is similar to Amazon, but it has a wider variety of products for sale. The website offers many different kinds of items, including clothing, electronics, toys, home decor, and much more.


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Ways for Taobao to Ship To The US


Two primary ways exist to ship Taobao products from China to the US. You either go through Taobao’s official shipping route or use third-party shipping companies.


Taobao Official Shipping


If you want to shop safely on Taobao, their official shipping method is a good choice, although it can be a bit complex. When it comes to shipping from Taobao, there are only two options: air and sea. 


To use Taobao’s official shipping, you’ll need to first add your US shipping address to your Taobao account.


Here’s how:


  1. Go to Taobao’s homepage.
  2. Look for “shipping address” on the left sidebar.
  3. Click on it and add your address.
  4. Make sure to save it.


Now that Taobao has your address, you will next need to add the items you want to buy to your cart. 


When you’re all set to checkout on Taobao, they’ll guide you to the payment page. For international users like you, payments will be divided into two parts.


The first payment includes:


  1. The cost of your products.
  2. The domestic shipping fee to the warehouse.


This payment covers half of the shipping process and is separate from what comes next. Once your products arrive at the warehouse, you’ll get a confirmation text on your phone.


Next, your products will be shipped internationally from the warehouse. Remember, they can stay at the warehouse for free for up to 20 days.


Taobao’s shipping agent will then ask for your second payment to ship your products internationally.


Once the payment is done, all you have to do is wait for your products to arrive.


Pros of  Taobao Official Shipping


  1. Safety: Taobao’s own official shipping procedure is the safest method to buy products from the platform. It helps you significantly minimize the chances of encountering shipping scams or fraudulent transactions.


  1. Taobao’s official shipping procedure always offers clear and straightforward steps and directions you can follow.


  1. You also receive confirmation messages at various stages of the shipping process, such as when products reach the warehouse, enabling you to track your orders with peace of mind.


Cons Of Taobao Official Shipping


  1. While it is safer, Taobao’s official shipping procedure may not be the simplest option. You will need to go through a bunch of extra steps such as making separate payments, shipping your products to an initial location first and then coordinating with a forwarder.


Third-party transportation


If you prefer, you can also use third-party freight forwarders to ship your items from Taobao. These companies are easy to find, reliable, and trustworthy for shipping from China to the US.


To use their services, you’ll need to sign up on their website and take note of the address they give you. After you have their warehouse address, simply set it as your default shipping address on Taobao.


From now on, whenever you make purchases on Taobao, your items will be sent to the freight forwarder’s warehouse first, and then forwarded to you. 


This process works similarly to Taobao’s official shipping method, but with a third party handling the shipping, and there will be a fee for their service.


Pros of using Third-party transportation


  1. Using third-party transportation gives you the user more flexibility in choosing your preferred shipping method and service provider.


  1. Once you are signed up with a third-party freight company and set their warehouse address as the default shipping address for your Taobao product it removes the need for you to work with the Taobao forwarder thereby avoiding the second payment from Taobao.


Cons of using Third-party transportation


  1. Dealing with a third-party company may introduce communication challenges or delays compared to using Taobao’s official shipping procedure.


Now, you might be thinking that finding a transportation company you can trust to move your goods from China to your country will require you to go to China. Well not really, except you want to. 


A simple Google Search on “Third party transportation companies from China to [Your Country] can help you uncover great options. As a bonus, I’d even recommend a safe and reliable option you can use — Globallyfulfill. 


Globallyfulfill is a Chinese based company that provides a variety of  services directed at ecommerce stores like yours. One of such services is transportation and freight services from China. Check out their services here


How to Judge If A Transport Company Is Reliable?


1. Business Experience


Check the company’s background and how long they’ve been in the transportation industry. Older companies with a solid track record are often more dependable because they’ve likely dealt with various challenges and developed effective solutions.


This is especially important when it comes to dealing with customs. You will want your transport company to be knowledgeable in the processes required to safely import your products into a new country so they can advise you.


A bonus will be if the company has connections they can work with if any issues arise. 


2. Customer Service Attitude


A reliable transportation company should prioritize customer satisfaction and be responsive to inquiries, concerns, and complaints. Good customer service shows a commitment to meeting customer needs and addressing issues promptly.


Make sure to look into the customer service track record of each potential partner and pick one known for satisfying customers.


Whoever you choose as a partner should provide dedicated support, including live chat, phone assistance, and email services. How quickly do they respond? In shipping, fast responses are essential.


3. User Reviews


Take the time to review feedback from previous customers who have utilized the company’s services. These reviews can provide valuable insights into the company’s reliability, covering aspects such as timeliness of deliveries, communication effectiveness, handling of goods, and overall satisfaction. 


The Specific Process of Taobao Shipping to the US


1. Accessing The Correct Website & Creating Your Account


Taobao can be used in two ways: through its website or its smartphone app.


However, neither the app nor the website is available in English. But don’t worry, there are ways to translate Taobao into English. 


But before we talk about that, let’s first discuss how to access the correct website because Taobao has a variety of websites targeted at certain groups.


Taobao offers two main platforms for users: the primary website and the international website. The primary site is or the Taobao app. This is built for domestic users and has a wide range of products and features. 


The international platform is reachable through or the Taobao Lite app and is designed for foreign buyers, although some items or categories might be restricted.


Apart from Taobao, there’s Tmall, or the Tmall app. Tmall is like a curated version of Taobao, featuring flagship stores of famous brands such as Nike, Adidas, Samsung, and Apple. 


While Tmall offers a top shelf selection, its products are usually more expensive than those on Taobao due to higher seller commissions.


For this article, we’ll be using 




To use the webpage translation feature, make sure you’re using Google Chrome. Then, simply visit the website and click on “English” from the translation popup.


webpage translation


Creating an account on Taobao is just as easy as signing up for any other platform. When you visit the website, simply click on the “Register” button, and Taobao will walk you through the process step by step.




You’ll need to provide your mobile phone number. I understand if you’re hesitant to share your real phone number with a foreign website but it’s best to use a phone number that you’ll have for a while when signing up for Taobao. 


This is because Taobao will occasionally send you text messages to verify your account. Using a valid number ensures you can receive these messages and keep your account secure.


Using a valid number


After entering your number, you’ll encounter a dialog box with a simple puzzle to solve before Taobao sends you the verification code. 


Next, you’ll need to provide Taobao with your delivery address. Once you’ve done that, your account is all set up and ready to use!


2. Finding Products & Seller


Now that you’re signed in and all set to browse the marketplace, it’s time to start searching for products. 


Just like other online shopping platforms, Taobao has a search bar where you can look for products by name. 


For instance, if you’re searching for “wireless earphones,” the site will show you numerous relevant listings to explore.


Finding a specific product on Taobao using English keywords can be challenging, as the search engine primarily caters to Chinese language queries. 


While it’s decent at showing relevant results, searching with English keywords might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.


For more specific searches, Taobao offers an image search feature. This allows you to search for products using images, often yielding accurate results.


image search feature


3.  Review 


Simply keep an eye out for products with good reviews.


Be cautious of products that are extremely low-priced and have minimal reviews, as these can be red flags. While products on Taobao are often affordable, it’s important to distinguish between a good deal and something that’s suspiciously cheap.


Before making a purchase, take the time to thoroughly check the product’s reviews, images, and descriptions to assess its quality.


Typically, a product with a rating of 4.0 or higher and at least 20 reviews should provide enough evidence that it’s legitimate.


Before ordering, make sure the product you choose isn’t listed among Taobao’s sensitive items such as foods, chemicals, liquids, magnetic items amongst others. Otherwise, it may get seized at the port.


Once you’ve decided on a product, the next step is to order a sample.


4. Making the Order & Shipping


add multiple items to your cart


After selecting your item on Taobao, you’ll be asked to choose its variations like color, size (if applicable), and quantity. You can then add multiple items to your cart or go straight to checkout.


Once your order is placed, you’ll see a confirmation page. Here, you can pick the delivery address, select the shipping method, and review your order details before finalizing your purchase.


confirmation page


Regrettably, Taobao does not currently accept payments via PayPal. However, you can use your Visa or MasterCard to make payments instead.


The shipping costs for a Taobao order can vary based on different factors. For third-party freight forwarding companies, the charges depend on their specific standards, which can differ from one company to another. With Taobao, the shipping cost is calculated when you’re ready to make the payment.


Taobao’s official shipping cost calculation is determined by the weight or volume of the items being shipped.


Taobao provides two options for consolidated shipping: air shipping and freight shipping.


Freight shipping is the option I will strongly recommend for you because the restrictions and costs associated with air shipping are usually really high.


Taobao offers two primary methods for international shipping to foreign customers. 


The first method involves Taobao’s official logistics, where your package is forwarded to Taobao’s warehouse upon order confirmation. 


Upon arrival at the warehouse, Taobao requests a second payment for international shipping costs. To track your package’s journey, you can access the “cross-border logistics management” section on Taobao.


cross-border logistics management


The second shipping option is to select a third-party freight forwarding company. With this method, the third party manages the shipping process for you. 


Taobao will send the package to the third party’s warehouse in China, and then it will be shipped internationally from there.


Both methods are dependable and usually cost about the same for shipping. However, I will recommend you use Taobao’s official logistics for safety reasons.




Taobao direct shipping to the USA is possible, and it is a great way to get items delivered directly to your door. All you need to do is register for a Taobao account, choose a shipping agent, fill out the shipping form, and pay for your order. Once you have done all of this, you can sit back and wait for your package to arrive in the USA.




What Items Can Be Shipped To The Us?


You can find and buy nearly anything on Taobao, from famous brands to one-of-a-kind handmade items that you won’t find anywhere else. However, there are certain things considered sensitive and can’t be shipped e.g. Magnetic items, food, batteries & items with batteries.


What Are The Precautions For Shipping To The US?


Be aware of any restrictions on certain products or materials when shipping to the US. Certain items may be prohibited or require special handling due to customs regulations. Make sure to accurately and fully complete all required customs declarations and documentation.


How Long Does It Take To Ship To The US?


The duration of shipping from China to the US can vary based on your chosen shipping option. Opting for air shipping could result in delivery around seven days.


What is the cheapest way to ship items from Taobao to the USA?


The cheapest way to ship items from Taobao to the USA is through ePacket, which is a discounted shipping service that Taobao offers for international orders. It usually takes 7-14 days for packages to arrive, and usually costs around $10-$20 depending on the size and weight of the package.


What are the customs fees for shipping items from Taobao to the USA?


Customs fees for shipping items from Taobao to the USA depend on a variety of factors, including the item’s value, its category, and the location of the seller. It is not possible to provide an exact figure for customs fees, but generally, the cost of customs fees is typically between 10% and 20% of the item’s value.


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