Taobao, AliExpress, and 1688 are all online marketplaces owned by the Alibaba Group. They each have a unique identity and market approach but their e-commerce websites work in similar ways.
Subsequently, if you run a dropshipping store and have used any of the other platforms, dropshipping from Taobao will be a familiar experience.
Nevertheless, it is always a great idea to begin your dropshipping journey well-prepared. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to dropship products from Taobao to your Shopee store.
Step 1: Identify a Market and Choose a Niche
Begin by clearly defining your dropshipping business plan. This entails addressing fundamental concerns such as:
- What would you like to sell?
- Who would you like to sell it to?
- Is there demand for the kind of products you would like to sell?
As you make these decisions, it would be prudent to also consider:
1.Things that Interest You
Sourcing products, marketing them, and coordinating dropshipping orders can be much easier for you if you venture into a niche that you are interested in.
For example, if you are a car enthusiast, you likely understand auto parts or car maintenance accessories. You can, therefore, choose to start dropshipping either of these products and use your knowledge to market and entice customers to buy from your store.
2.Social Media Engagement
Social media engagements can help you identify products that people in your target market need or are interested in. Ring lights and selfie sticks, for instance, became highly sought after because most people on social media were using them and talking about them.
You can gather great feedback by paying attention to trending topics or engaging your social media followers on topics surrounding your target niche.
3.Findings from Competition Research
Competitor research gives you a chance to learn:
- Whether a dropshipping niche is saturated
- The type of products that your competitors are selling
- The price points your competitors are selling at
These tidbits of information could guide you in deciding whether or not a potential niche is a viable option for you. Understanding what your competitors offer can also help you discover gaps in the market that you could fill or how to offer your customers better options and win them over.
Compare the wholesale prices of the products in your target niche versus the prices set by your competitors. This will give you a reasonable estimate of the kind of profit margins you may earn.
Further, take a look at demand for the products in your niche. If the demand is high, it means that you are likely to regularly sell a worthwhile number of products and make fair profits. On the other hand, if demand for products in that niche is low or seasonal, your profits could equally q end up being low.
In a nutshell, aim for good margins and high to average demand rates.
Step 2: Set Up Your Shopee Store
If you do not have a store on the Shopee platform you can learn how to properly set one up on this blog.
It is, however, a quick and easy process. Simply visit the Shopee website or download the Shopee app and select the ‘Sign Up’ option. You will be redirected to a form where you can fill in your details to set up your account. Be sure to verify your details when prompted so that your sign-up is completed.
Step 3: Find the Right Taobao Dropshipping Supplier
Finding a suitable dropshipping supplier on Taobao works a little differently compared to platforms like AliExpress. Here is how to navigate the process.
Find a Taobao Supplier By Yourself
1.Translate the Taobao Website Page into English
All content on the Taobao website is written in Chinese. Consequently, you may have a hard time navigating the platform if you do not speak Chinese.
On the upside, you can access the Taobao website on Google Chrome and use its translation feature to view the page in English. You can learn more about this and other translation options here.
2.Set Your Location to Mainland China
Sellers offer great products at amazing prices and would be a great boost to dropshipping business. However, most of them only speak Chinese and target customers in Mainland China because they have not honed their capabilities to trade with international customers.
Adjusting your location settings to Mainland China would make it possible for you to access such vendors. This is because, once you change your browser location settings, the Taobao website will not just show you international vendors but local ones too.
3.Use Keywords to Search for Suppliers on Taobao
Using keywords enables the Taobao search engine to give you accurate search results.
Take, for instance, that you need a dropship supplier for women’s sneakers. If you use ‘shoes’ as your search term, you will likely get a mixed bunch of shoe options and suppliers in your search results. In contrast, if you use a specific keyword like ‘women’s sneakers’, you would get more refined results.
4.Identify a Reliable Taobao Supplier
There are thousands of suppliers on Taobao which is a good thing because it means you will have access to lots of products. On the downside, such abundance makes It hard to comb through all the options and find a reliable supplier that you can work with.
Nevertheless, you could make good use of this Taobao rating system. It is meticulous and it allows buyers to give feedback based on their experience with a seller. A positive review earns a seller 1 point while a negative review earns them -1 point.
These points are added up and awarded to a seller as to their “Reputation”. When you click on an item, you will see a section outlining the seller’s details including their ‘Reputation’. Suffice to say, the higher the ranking a seller has the better. Aim for 4.5 or higher.
Work with a professional Taobao Agent
Taobao dropshipping is arguably less popular than dropshipping on platforms like AliExpress that have a more international outlook. This is not because Taobao does not have much to offer. Rather it is because of challenges such as:
- Language barrier- while it is possible to translate web pages on Taobao, most sellers on the platform are not fluent in English and have a hard time communicating with international buyers.
- Limited experience in international logistics– for a long time, most Taobao sellers have focused their sights on customers in China. They have, therefore, not had a chance to gain experience in handling international shipping and other logistics.
Working with a professional Taobao agent could help you overcome such shortcomings among Taobao suppliers. A Taobao agent is an alternative dropshipping partner that would:
- Source the goods you need
- Collect them from the Taobao supplier
- Store the goods in their warehouse
- Pack and ship the goods to customers of your dropship store when they place an order
There are numerous Taobao agents that you can choose from like Bestfulfill, CJ Dropshipping, or Wiio Dropshipping. The trick here is to find one that offers you good service that is value for money.
For example, at Bestfulfill, we offer all the services listed above but also include other value-adding services that most agents tend not to offer. They include performing quality inspections on the products you order and free product photography to make it easy for you to create dropshipping ads for your Shopee dropship store.
Step 4: Fulfill the Order and Update the Tracking Number in Your Store
Once you have found a reliable Taobao supplier and agreed on terms, you can list the products in your Shopee dropship store. Feel free to edit their descriptions and phrase them in a way that your customers can relate to. However, keep your descriptions honest and precise.
When customers begin to place orders, you can share them with your supplier who will then pack them and ship them to fulfill the order. Once an order is shipped, the shipping company will provide the supplier with a tracking number for the package. They can share it with you so that you can update it in your Shopee store for buyers to track the delivery process.
Taobao has immense untapped potential due to it being perceived as a China-focused e-commerce platform. However, once you know how to dropship from it, you can begin to enjoy its wide selection of products including some from niche suppliers that you may not find on other platforms.
Have you had time finding suppliers or specific items on Taobao? Or are you uncertain about how to coordinate shipping or order fulfillment? Reach out to us at Bestfulfill. We are an outstanding team of Taobao agents that will ensure all your needs are met.
FAQs on Dropshipping from Taobao
1.Are there any sensitive items that I should avoid when sourcing goods on Taobao?
Most products listed on Taobao are already approved by the platform. However, products like wine and other forms of alcohol can be a bit of a grey area.
If you are uncertain about whether a Taobao agent can deliver a certain product, contact their customer care team and seek clarification.
2.What are the prohibited products on Shopee?
The following products can not be sold in any Shopee stores no matter the country you are accessing Shopee from:
- Animal and wildlife products (including, without limitation, wild animals)
- Artifacts and antiquities
- Used cosmetics
- Counterfeit currency and stamps
- Credit and debit cards
- Currency or credits including, without limitation, digital currency or credits, and stored value cards
- Drugs, medicines (prescribed or non-prescribed), and drug-like substances
- Embargoed goods
- Firearms, weapons, replicas, and stun guns, and more
- Alcohol [Valid license to be submitted and approved by Shopee]