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Aliexpress vs Taobao: Which is CHEAPER?

which is better aliexpress or taobao

A newer introduction into the most preferred E-commerce giants of China, is giving some serious competition to the existing leaders including Aliexpress due to the large variety of products that are available for the customers and that too at attractive prices.

This is an online platform where sellers, in fact, millions and millions of them, come together to sell their products. Mostly referred to as the eBay of China, Taobao helps in the retail amount selling of products.

However, this site is focussed towards the domestic market of China rather than shifting to international orders.

Aliexpress sellers can come from different countries to sell their products and the customers get the products at very cheap and exciting prices. On the contrary, Aliexpress is a place where no buying agents are involved and the customer can make the payment very easily using his or her own credit or debit card or Paypal.

In the case of Aliexpress everything is made available in English language for the customers. 

Which is Better: Aliexpress or Taobao?

aliexpress vs taobao


The major competitors in the segment include eBay, Alibaba and Aliexpress. For a better comparison, the competitors should have similar terms and conditions which can be used as a basis for deciding on the winner.

Alibaba is an ecommerce giant which aims in wholesale marketing which is not the major concern of Taobao. Hence Alibaba can’t be the best competitor for Taobao. Again, taking China as the base country eliminates the option of eBay from the contenders list. This implies that the best contender for Taobao would be Aliexpress.

We also know that Aliexpress and Taobao are the preferred sites for wholesale and retail marketing.

Related: Chinese Wholesale Sites for Clothing

Some of the basic differences that Taobao and Aliexpress have between them are

  • Aliexpress can be operated by users all across the world since it supports different languages whereas Taobao only supports the Chinese language. This justifies the fact that Taobao is primarily concerned about the domestic market only. On the contrary, Aliexpress also deals with foreign trade as well.
  • Aliexpress supports payments from sites like PayPal whereas it is a bit more complicated to make payments on the Taobao which uses Alipay. The verification and registration process is a bit lengthy.
  • Aliexpress has a lower count of 0.3 million sellers whereas Taobao has a whopping 8 million sellers count. Taobao has also 1 billion products listed on the site and the same products of Aliexpress are available at cheaper prices on Taobao. However, the key point lies in the fact that how good at Chinese you are. Owing to all these Taobao sales volumes is accounted to be at least 10 times as compared to that of Aliexpress.
  • The shipping duration of Taobao is very less as compared to that of Aliexpress.
  • The products at Taobao have the product pictures in the description and come with a quality check tag as well. On the other hand, one cannot find the product picture in the description in case of Aliexpress. Thus Taobao has higher quality products whereas Aliexpress might have low-quality products as well.

Read more about Aliexpress vs DHgate

PRODUCT WISE PRICE COMPARISON - Which is a cheaper option?

To get better results on the decision of the better E-commerce site in between Taobao and Aliexpress a few products were chosen that are available on both the E-commerce sites. Basing upon the prices that the products are made available to the customers including the base price and shipping cost to India, a conclusive decision can be reached.

aliexpress vs taobao

Case Study 1

The first product chosen for comparison is the Skmei digital men’s watch. On Taobao Focus the price of the watch is found to be 39.00 Chinese Yuans which comes to be around 5.80 US dollars as per the general current conversion rate of 1 CNY=0.15 US dollars. However, the additional shipping cost that is levied on the 100 grams package to US, an additional charge of 26 Chinese Yuans or 3.98 US dollars is added to the base price of the product.

taobao vs aliexpress

On the other hand, the same model of Skmei Men’s digital swimming watch on Aliexpress is found to be 9.3 US dollars including the shipping cost to US with  E-packet.

However, a discount of 15 % can be availed as well if the purchase is made using the app. So the effective price come to be a lot lower than that on the Taobao site i.e. 7.90 US dollars approximately.

aliexpress taobao price comparison

Thus the winner in this context is Aliexpress.

Check out our review on Best Chinese Smartwatches on Aliexpress

Case Study 2

As per the order placed by a customer at Taobao, a consolidated products shipment of the below products cost the person 39 dollars with shipping charges where Aliexpress provided the net amount at a higher value since it covers FREE shipping per product basis.

taobao bulk shipping

When we order these items in bulk from Taobao, I can ship back to US via a consolidate shipper. This drives down my cost by a lot as compared with separate orders at Aliexpress.

Bulk Order

Although some goods are available at much lower prices on Taobao, the shipping cost when added to them gives the price a boost which exceeds that of the Aliexpress price.

This price of the products varies on the order quantity.

If order quantity is higher, then there are chances that the price would be lower. This could also be higher since the weight of the package increases as well. But the products generally come at lower prices if the order is made in bulk.

In the Skmei watch case study that is mentioned above, a discount of 15 % is provided if the customer orders the product in bulk on Taobao.

So which is really better: Aliexpress of Taobao

Both Taobao and Aliexpress offers a large variety of shopping options for customers worldwide.

With the large number of items available at exciting prices on Taobao, the site has become one of the most preferred sites for purchase. Also, the Taobao agents are available for customer service all round the clock and all the products from different manufacturers are packaged into a single shipment which is also called consolidated shipping.

Some of the drawbacks include high service charges, the Chinese interface and some limitations on the return policy. On the contrary, Aliexpress provides free shipping on many products and the site is available in different languages making it convenient to be used by people worldwide.

The prices on Aliexpress are a bit higher and there is no facility for consolidated shipping. Thus these sites cater to different needs of the customers as per their preferences.

While Taobao has been the widely used one, Aliexpress is the new contender and deserves a try as well.

Our pick: Aliexpress

If you have never purchased a thing on AliExpress or not done it for some time, you need to learn a few steps before doing that. First of all, you search and find your desired product but at the same time don’t forget to check the rating of the product and the comments done by the people who bought it. It will help you to get clarity about the quality of the product. After that, you must check the specifications of the product.

You can contact the seller directly if you have any confusion.


New people need to open an account in AliExpress first. You can also login through Facebook. Payment option is easy here as you can pay using all popular methods like Mastercard, Visa, or Western Union. You can check the product details you have purchased in the option ‘order data’.

Purchase protection for the buyers:

Privacy Protection: If you pay online in AliExpress, there is no risk of exposing your bank information on any of the other public sites. AliExpress is completely trustworthy in this matter.

Payment Protection: The payment you did is only sent to the seller after your confirmation which includes that you have got the product successfully and are pretty happy with what you got. But one thing you need to do is you have to click on the ‘confirm product is received’ option within the delivery time. If you don’t do that, AliExpress will assume that you got the product and are happy with it. So, they will clear the payment to the seller. You can always check the status of your product after ordering it and the delivery time it will take to reach you.

Shipment Protection: The estimated delivery time for any product in AliExpress is 60 days. If did not receive the product within the estimated time, you will get a complete refund from AliExpress. But there are certain cases like if you are liable for the late by not receiving the product or it is not caused by the platform, then the refund will not happen. If the product is being rejected by the customer or any other natural disaster, you will not get the refund as it is beyond the buyer or seller jurisdiction. If there are some exceptional circumstances which are really hard to handle then AliExpress can demand a few more days for delivering the product to you.

Authenticity Guaranteed: There is a Guaranteed Genuine program in AliExpress and a lot of the sellers take part in the program gleefully. They give some extra insurance if the product they are selling is proved fake. If any buyer can prove that the product he received from the seller is not genuine, the seller will pay him up to double the price which the buyer has paid. The same guarantee also applies to the wholesale buyers. So, if you see that the product you bought has the ‘Guaranteed Genuine’ in it. You can be sure that the product is original. Though you can check that personally and if some problem is there just contact AliExpress.

Refund Protection: If you bought a product and you are not happy with the product or it is different from what you have seen in the website. AliExpress certainly gives you the option of getting a refund from the buyer.

Claiming Process on AliExpress:

Aliexpress buyer protection period
This is another thing which people ask all the time. If you don’t know the claiming process from AliExpress then we will certainly show you here. After checking the details here, you will have no other question for sure.

First of all, you have to contact the seller from whom you have bought the product and open a dispute. If you see that within 15 days you have not reached an agreement with the seller then you can certainly make a claim as that is the time when AliExpress comes forward to solve the matter.
To start the claiming process, first of all, you need to go to the website and open your AliExpress account.

There on the homepage, you will see the option called ‘My Orders’, you just have to click on that. Next, you will see another option over there, ‘Escalate Dispute’. You will get a form there. You have to fill the form as much as possible with correct details. Then just send the form.

The Case Management Team of AliExpress will now look into the matter of your claim. After that, you can start your session at Claim Center. There you will find the option ‘See Details’.

Click on it.

You will be able to see a detailed page with every detail regarding your claim. At the time settlement, you will receive many calls from AliExpress until the case is solved completely and your claim is settled.

Also read:

Best Things to Buy on Aliexpress

Aliexpress Vs Amazon – an Overview

Wish vs Aliexpress

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