One of my favorite places to buy items for my coordinates is Taobao. My favorite shopping service to use for buying things on Taobao is Bhiner. They offer a low service fee (only 5% of your total purchase) and have many flexible shipping options. They also have a super nifty points system which allows you to earn discounts on your service fee.
This is the current Bhiner homepage as well as the login page where you can register:
Once you’ve made an account it’s time to find things to buy on Taobao! One of my favorite features to use on Taobao is the item image search. You can upload an image from your computer and it will search for similar items that are for sale on Taobao (please note: this feature only works on the original Taobao site, not the world Taobao site. If you are having trouble getting to the original site, try switching the language for the site from global to Chinese and refreshing if it doesn’t automatically).
Here is a quick example of how I would use the image search:
upload an image from your computer that you would like to find. In this example I’m looking for this shoe or a similar style in yellow:
After I’ve selected the image it will search Taobao for anything that resembles that image (please note: the image you upload must be a medium to larger size image for it to work). This is what my search result looked like:Alright! Now that I’ve found the shoes I’m looking for, I’m going to take the item URL and paste it into the Bhiner search bar.
The item page will show up in Bhiner like so:
From this page it’s pretty straight forward. You will select the color, size and add to cart. After the item is added, you can select to either go to your cart or continue shopping. Another helpful thing you can do on this page is “Enter Store”. This will load the shop where this item is being sold and you can view other products the shop is selling directly in Bhiner.
Once you’ve added items to your cart and go to it, it should look something like this:
Sometimes you will be required to have your items quoted before you can proceed to the checkout. This generally will take around 12 hours depending on when you submit the order for a quote. Once your items have been quoted, or if they don’t need to be quoted you can click the checkout button.
The checkout is like any regular online shopping checkout. You’ll view your order, select/register your shipping address, but then you will need to choose the method of shipping you want.
It defaults to Bhiner economy which is usually a good option if you’re not in a hurry to get your items. I usually always select Bhiner Economy, but if I’m in a hurry I would select DHL. If you’re in a hurry and have larger items it would be best to select EMS because the weight is actual weight and not volume weight. Volume weight is based on of the size of the box they will use to ship your items. If you are getting a lot of LARGER but LIGHT WEIGHT items: you do NOT want to select volume weight but instead you will want actual weight. In most cases you will want to use a shipping method that is for actual weight unless you are purchasing something very small and heavy.
The beauty of Bhiner though is if you select one option, and when you’re ready to make your 2nd payment you decide you want to switch to another shipping option you can message them and they will change it for you!
When you’re ready to pay, you will need to “top up” your account. You will need to enter the amount you need to top up in the next page so remember to save it! In this case, I need top up $12.35.
You have several payment options you can choose from on the left hand side. Paypal is easiest for me and most convenient. This is where I’m going to enter in the $12.35 I needed to remember (because it’s not shown anywhere on this page). I will submit that amount and it will take me to Paypal to pay.
Once you’ve paid on Paypal, go back to your wallet balance and refresh the amount! You will be able to complete the first step to your order now!
Your items will take a few days until they arrive to the Bhiner warehouse. Once they arrive the Bhiner staff will update your order with pictures of the item you purchased to ensure everything is correct! Once all of your items arrive it will take them 24-48 hours to prepare your 2nd payment which will be the cost of shipping. You will top up like you did before and complete your 2nd payment.
Finally all that’s left is to wait until your goodies arrive! Hurray! I hope this guide has been helpful for you. If you are interested in wanting to know any other information, please feel free to comment!