Owned by Alibaba Group and launching over 13 years ago, www.Taobao.com is an online shopping website in China that has comparisons to Amazon and eBay. Whereas most online stores are business to consumer, Taobao is consumer to consumer which gives individual sellers and small businesses a chance to sell their own products. The site mainly targets Chinese-speaking countries, such as Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan and Macau, but does also do business elsewhere. As of 2013, Taobao.com was in the top 10 sites in the world when it comes to ‘most-visited’ with over 750 million listings for products.
Much like eBay, sellers have the choice to set up an auction for their products or a simple fixed price. Although auctions do take place, a fixed price is the most common way to go because they are sold by merchandisers and small businesses. In terms of the actual products themselves, everything from drum kits to clothing can be found. Clothing, shoes, bags, and just generally ‘fashion’ is one of the most popular industries on the site and take up a large percentage but overall, it is a fantastic marketplace to find an array of products that may not be found anywhere else. While the site is also mainly used by Asians the site translated to English and the majority of popular languages making it because for anybody worldwide to use the website.
Taobao now has over 5 million users and is extremely busy every single day; however, perhaps none more so than on ‘Chinese Singles Day’. This day on the calendar, 11th November, is normally larger than even Cyber Monday in the USA and rakes in millions each year. In 2011, Taobao hit a transaction volume of $16 million in just eight minutes.
As a whole, Taobao.com is a fantastic site for picking up all sorts of items whether new clothing is needed, a phone case, a musical instrument, or anything else. Furthermore, the site is also incredibly easy to use!