Shopping in China

Where to buy cheap and reasonable quality stuff in China through the internet? Check out the following online shopping websites recommended by Rong.

Everyone in China knows Taobao and it sells everything.
"Chinese eBay" Set up in 2003, Taobao is the biggest online shopping platform in China, accounting for over 80% of domestic online business. Most shop owners are individuals, however, more and more big-brands are opening their official shops on Taobao Mall (Tmall).
The nasty part is everything is in Chinese and most of the owners can't chat with you in other language than Chinese. Maybe this could be a motivation for some of you to learn Chinese .Or you can view online shopping taobao english-Agreetao.

How to use taobao?
1. Set up an account. An email address would be required.
2. Search items. Type in things you want to buy in the searching bar either in characters or pinyin (yes, you can use pinyin as well!!!).
You can set some search requirements as well, such as arrange the items bases on price or popularity, choose the places where the shop is located ( this affects the delivery time)
3. Purchase. You don't have to bargain over Taobao. Once you see something you want, just click the "buy" button.Then you need to fill in your address and contacts.
4. Pay. The payment part is the most complicated: you need to have a Chinese bank account and make sure it has the online payment service. Then you need to set up an Alipay account (like "paypal", but completely FREE!!! So much better). The fascinating part is almost all the online shopping websites can be paid through Alipay afterwards.

If u want to buy books...
1. Dangdang is "Chinese version of Amazon" .You can find almost every book published within 30 years in Mainland China on Dangdang and with a discount. The best part is no delivery fee is charged once your purchase is over 29 RMB(4.75USD) and also you can choose to pay when goods are delivered.

2. Kongfuzi
As the biggest second-hand Chinese book online platform, it's the best place for you to find an ancient or limited-edition book. Most of the bookstores are owned by private owners, therefore sometimes the delivery fee can be a bit expensive.

3. Taobao
You can find a lot of Ebooks (especially English ones or acedemic ones ) on Taobao for about 5 RMB (82cents) per one. I don't think they have the digital copyrights, but it is so cheap that it's hard not to be tempted. And sometime it's the only fast way you can get a book for your thesis.
  1. 2016/02/17(水) 17:00:43|
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How To Choose Your Running Shoes

Whether you're an Olympic competitor or an occasional asphalt pounder, happy feet can make a huge difference. For most runners, choosing the right running shoes is similar to acquiring a house or a car; you're going to invest a ton of time in them, so you need something you truly like. In addition to a comfortable ride, shoes can play a huge role in keeping you strong and healthy.
My Story With Running Shoes

The first time I searched for a pair of running shoes for my first halfmarathon I failed to make the right decision. I’m a slight over pronator and I bought a pair of running shoes for supinators. I didn’t know “the theory” and, most importantly, I didn’t know how to choose the right running shoes for me.

You are most likely to be like me. I’m the kind of guy who wants everything to be just fine and can’t sit and relax until he knows everything is in order. So I did some research.

Running shoes are, without a doubt, the foremost vital piece of kit that any runner - whether or not they are simply taking their first steps into the sport or whether they are seasoned athletes - can buy. Choosing the proper running shoes can make the difference between having a great experience or a crappy one.

Shoe technology has changed and improved dramatically during the last decades: nowadays, there are taobao sports shoes for every foot type, every running style and every environment. There are women-specific shoes, shoes for incresing the pace - there are even shoes specific to different kinds of pavements/bitumen.

Pronation Explained

The term 'pronation‘ is pretty talked over in any conversation about buying running shoes. Pronation is the rolling of the foot from heel to toe through the foot strike. Pronation is actually a good thing because it helps your feet absorb the shock. But the excessive pronation can cause increased injury risks. That's called over-pronation, and the answer to it is choosing a running shoe with gomotion/move control.
Supination Explained

A much less frequent problem is supination. Runners who do this tend to have inflexible feet (and, often, high arches, too) and when they land, their feet don't make much of a turning-in move. The result is a lot of pounding force and they need a shoe with plenty of cushioning or support in order to absorb the shock.

Once you've established what type of shoe you'll need, it all gets to choosing a brand. You may have a personal favourite, but it‘s worth keeping an open mind about your shoe choice because there are different technologies and they just fit differently on your feet. You have to be open minded to make the right decision.

You Have to Experiment

Many runners experiment with different brands and models until they find just the light ?t. Ultimately, a proper ?t is the most important step in finding the right running shoe. A shoe that fits is going to protect enough, but it won’t be too tight.

Enough with the talking, let’s see which are the most important parts in choosing the perfect running shoes.

How Much Should You Expect To Pay for Running Shoes?

Only a few runners need the most expensive running shoes available on the market – the pros. But I have good news for you. The more efficient a runner you are, the less probable you may to need all the sustain and guidance features of the trendy new shoes.

At the highest end of the pyramid, shoes are probable to be within the $200-400 group; a mid-price shoe will be $100-200; and therefore the cheapest, under $80 - of course, if you don't necessarily want this season's colours and trends. If you’re willing to wear last year's model, there are a number of retailers who sell discounted versions of what is, essentially, the same shoe.

Companies tend to tweak their shoe ranges twice a year. It's actually a bit like buying a car or smartphone - if you want the most recent model, you'll pay the highest price; if you're willing to go for something that's been available for longer, you could get a true discount.
  1. 2016/02/02(火) 12:41:59|
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Agreetao, the English taobao agent

Confused by Taobao and Alipay? You’re in luck. Agreetao is the Alibaba Group’s gift to foreigners who don’t understand complicated payment processes. The wholesale website features clean lines, neatly-categorized products, and relatively intuitive design completely in English as a taobao english.

The removal of the language barrier makes browsing the sea of clothes, bags, stationery, makeup, gadgets, home items, and more much easier than before. The days of translating keywords on Google Translate, plugging them into Taobao, and hoping to turn up a gem are over.

However, it’s obvious from the product names, descriptions, and tags that English isn’t the sellers’ first language. Many item names are simply strings of search engine tags, such as “free shipping unicorn designer laser silver horse clutch bag HARAJUKU unicorn woman handbag horse bag.” But the same is true of Taobao, so at least on Agreetao you can understand the tags and change your search accordingly.

Despite the broken English and tag overload, the sellers all understand English to some degree. Agreetao doesn’t allow Chinese input in its messaging fields, which means communication between buyer and seller (private messaging, feedback, and additional comments) must take place in English. The sellers I have communicated with had no problems understanding me and telling me my order was “OK.”

Personally, I found my orders more than “OK.” I’ve bought necklaces for USD 3 each, a lifetime supply of cute sticky notes from Korea for USD 7, and the aforementioned unicorn clutch (don't ask) for USD 10. I don't doubt I would have been able to find slightly better deals on Taobao, but it would have required more hours and patience, both of which are often in short supply.

To sweeten the deal even further, most sellers offer free international shipping, making Agreetao a viable competitor to Amazon – even if you enjoy free shipping with Amazon Prime.

Despite Agreetao being a “wholesale” website, single units are also available for purchase. You may get more of a discount if you buy in bulk, but they’re often negligible. Some items are subject to a minimum order, but you can filter your search results to show only products available for single-item purchases. In my experience, most are.

I thought Agreetao was perfect right until I got to the part of the purchase where I typed in my shipping details; I was shocked to find that China wasn’t an option on the dropdown menu. However, I wasn't deterred because if there’s one thing that living in China has taught me, it’s that anything is possible as long as you ask. I asked the seller over private messaging if he’d mind shipping to Beijing, and he was happy to accommodate me.

Problem solved, I thought, and wrote a fake address in the online form. I was going to leave him my Beijing address in the additional comments, but came up against another problem: the system didn’t let me input messages in Chinese characters.

I found a solution by chatting with the seller about my dilemma: Agreetao supports the WebATM instant messaging system that Taobao uses and integrates it into the website. Buyers can use their Agreetao ID to log in and chat with sellers in real time. Chinese is supported by the instant messaging system (different from private messaging), so I sent the seller my details there. While it was a little complicated, the time and money I saved using Agreetao was worth it.

To top it off, all major foreign credit cards are accepted so you don’t have to have a Chinese bank account or navigate confusing banking and validation systems.

Shopping should be a fun activity, and online shopping in particular shouldn’t be complicated. Agreetao offers the affordability of Taobao and the usability of Amazon, resulting in an ideal platform for shopaholics all over the world.
  1. 2016/01/15(金) 11:39:24|
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What is Taobao’s Tmall?

Tmall, also known as the the Taobao Mall, is China’s largest platform for B2C shopping and belongs to (which was founded as a C2C platform similar to Ebay).

On January 11th, 2012, Taobao Mall changed its name to Tmall.

On Tmall you can find especially well-known brand flagship stores and authorized stores for selling famous brand’s products.

Currently, Taobao Mall presents more than 30,000 local and global brands products of multiple different industries. This “vertical mall” includes for example the “Electric City”, “Shoes Collection” and “Home Improvement Exhibition”. In future the Tamll will be enhanced with by adding further vertical industry markets.

The main differences between Taobao and Tmall (Taobao Mall)

Tmall is a split-off of
While on Taobao private people can sell (like on Ebay), the sellers on Tmall must be China-registered companies
In Novem-ber 2010, Tmall, launched an autonomous web domain called as “” in order to dis-tin-guish the list-ings made by Taobao Mall mer-chants, who were autho-rized dis-trib-u-tors or brand own-ers, from Taobao’s Consumer-To-Consumer (C2C) platform.
The prod-uct list-ings on Tmall are much stricter when com-pared to Taobao.
Unlike Taobao, Tmall requires a refund-able secu-rity deposit from com-pa-nies to list/market their products.
Normally, the Tmall stores display on top of the search result page when people search on Taobao.

Taobao FOCUS is not only a Taobao agent for your online shopping in China, but a friend indeed. Our mission is to help and let more international buyers enjoy shopping on Taobao – amazing China’s largest online marketplace. We help you in these ways:

Language: if you do not know Chinese or have difficulties with Taobao English translation, such as we search your desired items, talk with the Taobao seller and provide you as much detailed information as possible.

Shopping: We advise you regarding the product from our own experience. Is the seller reliable? Is the item of good quality? Is it good or not to buy the item at all? We tell you everything.

Minimizing the risk: We make sure that Taobao seller really sends out the items, we check the items for visual defects in our warehouse, provide you the photo of purchased items and repack them to ensure safe shipment to your address.

Online Shopping Taobao English
  1. 2016/01/08(金) 10:14:04|
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Tips to ensure safe online shopping

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