If you are completely new to this and don’t know what Taobao, Weidian or Yupoo are, this guide narrows everything down to a 1 minute read! This is the revised 2022 version.

Everything you need to know to get started

Reading time: 1 minute

Who are you?

RepArchive is your partner on your China shopping journey. And no, we don’t want any money from you! We offer free web services to make your life easier.

RepArchive TOP/LIVEShipping CalculatorTaobotGlfinder
List of the best selling items.Compare agents and shipping services & get the best priceChat bot to answer your questions. Especially for beginners!Reddit-based platform for real pictures from real customers

What are we doing?

We’re buying from Chinese shopping sites, because these sites offer products you probably can’t get at home at great prices.

To do that, we need a way to find items and then we use a shopping agent to handle the actual purchase and shipping for you, because the sites themselves don’t ship internationally.

What sites do I need to know?

PurposeChinese marketplaceBudget MarketplaceImage board, used as a shopping album
How to buyShopping agentShopping AgentThrough Taobao or directly from the seller
AdvantageTaobao doesn’t allow sellers to make mistakesCheap pricesClear and uncensored pictures,
DisadvantageYou need to login; it’s hard to get an account.Mixed quality. Need to login too, but it’s easier.No shopping on-site
RiskNo risk, agent covers itNo risk, agent covers itSafe with agent, direct shopping can be risky

Login restrictions can be circumvented by using an agent website!

What even is a shopping agent?

Shopping agents are freight forwarders. The idea is that they ship your parcel internationally when the site you’re buying from doesn’t do it.

To give you more reasons to use their service, they cover the risks, send you pictures of your items before international shipping, allow you to return them and much more.

What shopping agent should I choose?

Analyzing for the cheapest price is easy: Just check the price for your country on the RepArchive Shipping Calculator.

But you probably don’t want the cheapest shipping service and in a similar fashion, price isn’t everything for agents. We recommend Wegobuy and Pandabuy for their service and good prices. They have proven to be the best.

How do I buy?

Buying is a 3 step process.

The 3 step process, finding, buying, shipping from Taobao

How to find items

  • Reddit. Check out the “All Reps”-Feed
  • RepArchive TOP: The most popular items. Listed in a simple way. (link)
  • RepArchive Live: If you aren’t a fan of mainstream opinions (link)
  • Glfinder.com: A frontend for reddit, with a focus on QC pics. You’ll like it (link)

How to buy

We 100% recommend to use a reliable shopping agent.

In the 1 minute guide we will not explain how to place an order. For most, it’s self-explanatory. For any remaining questions, ask Taobot.

Many beginners can’t grasp the concept of domestic and international shipping. Domestic shipping is from the seller to the agent’s warehouse. It’s nothing to worry about. International shipping is where things get trickier.

How international shipping works

Before you ship you should always do a rehearsal packaging. That can safe you up to 40% cost up front and unlock more shipping services. (this video explains how)

The agent lets you choose a shipping line. They all have advantages in terms of cost/quickness/safety so make sure you choose one that fits your needs.

There’s a variety of added services available. You should always get the “moist barrier bag” or another form of plastic wrapping.


The next aspect of shipping is something I hope you can skip: customs. How strict they are and how to deal with them depends so much on your country, that we can’t include it in this guide. All we can say is, if they contact you, take your time, don’t confirm anything and take your time and do research on reddit.

You’re good to go!

Watch this guide as a video on our YouTube Channel

RepArchive is not affiliated with Taobao or Alibaba Group.