Unleash Your Potential with Taobao Dropshipping

Unleash Your Potential with Taobao Dropshipping

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Taobao?
  3. Can You Use Taobao for Drop Shipping?
  4. Pros of Drop Shipping with Taobao
    • High Profit Margin
    • High Quality Products
    • Variety of Goods
    • Fantastic Rating System
  5. Cons of Drop Shipping with Taobao
    • Higher Shipping Costs
    • Limited Shipping Countries
    • Language Barrier
    • Limited Payment Methods
  6. The Difference Between Taobao and AliExpress
  7. Product Quality and Pricing
  8. Shipping Methods and Refunds
  9. Customer Support
  10. Finding the Right Drop Shipping Supplier on Taobao
  11. Recommended Taobao Agents
  12. Conclusion

Can You Drop Ship with Taobao?

When it comes to drop shipping, most people think of AliExpress or Alibaba. But have you ever considered drop shipping with Taobao? In this article, we will walk you through the process of drop shipping with Taobao, from the basics to the pros and cons.


Taobao is often referred to as the "Chinese eBay" and is ranked as the largest online shopping mall in China. With over 1 billion products listed and millions of buyers making purchases every day, Taobao is a well-known e-commerce site owned by the Alibaba group. Taobao, alongside AliExpress and 1688, operates as an online marketplace. While each platform has its own identity and marketing strategy, they function similarly. If you are familiar with AliExpress, you will find Taobao easy to navigate.

What is Taobao?

Taobao was founded in 2003 and offers consumers from large cities to less developed areas a personalized shopping experience enhanced by data analytics and technology. It is the go-to e-commerce site for Chinese domestic market purchases. With a wide range of products and sellers, Taobao provides an extensive selection for buyers.

Can You Use Taobao for Drop Shipping?

The answer is yes, you can use Taobao for drop shipping. However, it comes with a few considerations. Firstly, you need to find the right product and contact a Taobao drop shipping agent or supplier. Next, market your product and share customer details with your supplier. While drop shipping on Taobao is possible, it requires more effort compared to AliExpress, which follows a different business model. Despite the additional steps, many western drop shippers have found success using Taobao.

Pros of Drop Shipping with Taobao

  • High Profit Margin: Taobao offers lower product pricing compared to AliExpress, resulting in higher profit margins for drop shipping stores.
  • High-Quality Products: Many products on Taobao are designed for the Chinese market, ensuring high quality.
  • Variety of Goods: With over 1 billion products listed, Taobao provides a vast range of options, including new and unique products.
  • Fantastic Rating System: Taobao's vendor rating system is based on customer feedback, helping you avoid untrustworthy sellers.

Cons of Drop Shipping with Taobao

  • Higher Shipping Costs: While product prices are generally low on Taobao, shipping can be expensive, impacting your overall profit margin.
  • Limited Shipping Countries: Currently, Taobao only ships to 15 specific countries outside of China. If your target market is not in one of these countries, drop shipping with Taobao may not be suitable.
  • Language Barrier: Taobao's website is primarily in Mandarin, so if you do not speak Chinese, it can be challenging to navigate. However, browser extensions like Google Translate can help bridge the language gap.
  • Limited Payment Methods: Taobao primarily uses Alipay as its official payment method, which may pose difficulties for foreign buyers. The payment process is not always smooth, even for those with an account.

The Difference Between Taobao and AliExpress

Although both Taobao and AliExpress are owned by the same company, they are distinct platforms with different purposes and operating methods.


AliExpress supports multiple languages, making it easy for drop shippers to browse and search for products. In contrast, Taobao only offers Chinese Mandarin as its primary language, which can be a barrier for non-Chinese speakers. However, Google Chrome's translation extension can help with translation on the Taobao website.

Product Quality and Pricing:

While Taobao and AliExpress both offer Chinese-made products, the quality can vary. In general, higher-priced items tend to have better quality on both platforms. Taobao sellers have closer contact with their customers, resulting in better product quality. On AliExpress, communication between buyers and sellers, especially those outside of China, may be limited, potentially leading to counterfeit products.

Shipping Methods and Refunds:

AliExpress ships worldwide using various shipping methods, including e-packet, China Post, FedEx, and DHL. Delivery times range from 20 to 30 days, depending on the method chosen. Taobao also offers international shipping options but at a higher cost, making it less ideal for some drop shippers. Refunds on AliExpress may take longer to process compared to Taobao, typically within 5 to 10 days.

Customer Support:

AliExpress provides comprehensive customer support through their ticket-based mechanism, addressing refund and return issues promptly. It is available in multiple languages, including English, offering convenience to international buyers. Taobao, on the other hand, only provides customer support via phone and is primarily in Mandarin.

Finding the Right Drop Shipping Supplier on Taobao

Finding a reliable drop shipping supplier on Taobao requires attention to several factors. It is crucial to consider customer ratings, loyalty, and reviews, as well as product quality and pricing. Taobao's extensive merchant feedback and review system can help you identify trustworthy sellers. Additionally, consider using a Taobao agent if you face language barriers or need assistance with product sourcing.

Recommended Taobao Agents

If you require assistance in navigating Taobao and finding the right products, several Taobao agents can help. Leadsourcing, BowHero, and Shipends are three highly recommended Taobao agents. These agents offer services such as product sourcing, purchasing, warehousing, and fulfillment. They ensure a smooth and reliable drop shipping experience for international buyers.


In conclusion, drop shipping with Taobao is possible and can be a lucrative option for your business. While there are pros and cons to consider, such as higher shipping costs and language barriers, Taobao offers high-profit margins, a variety of high-quality products, and extensive product selection. By following the steps, finding a reliable supplier, and utilizing Taobao agents, you can successfully drop ship with Taobao. Remember to do your research and choose trustworthy suppliers to ensure a successful drop shipping business on Taobao.