Shopping online in China
Taobao is the Chinese eBay. It's said that literally everything is for sale (authentic and not so authentic) on Taobao. To shop on Taobao you'll need to also register with Ailpay (Chinese paypal). Basically, to protect you, when you purchase something on Taobao, you pay through Alipay. Alipay then holds the money, informs the seller that you've paid and your goods are shipped. When you receive your package and confirm on Taobao, Alipay transfers the amount to the seller. See below for step by step sign up details.
If Taobao seem complicated, you can use the Epermarket English-language* online shopping service to help you get the best deals on the Chinese internet. Check out http://www.epermarket.com/
*service also available in German, Chinese and French
2. Enter your Chinese mobile number and the CAPTCHA. Hit the big orange button that says "下一步" which means "Next step".
3. Enter the verification code that is sent to your phone.
4. Enter your email address and hit the big orange button.
5. Go to your e-mail inbox to verify your e-mail.
6. Enter your sign-in password twice. And in the last box, set up your user name.
7. Voila! You are good to go. Be sure to remember your sign-in email and password.
8. Along with the Taobao account, you'll need to get an Alipay account. When you're ready to make a purchase, Alipay will automatically ask you to set up a payment password. The payment password has to be different from the sign-in password.
9. After setting the password, choose your payment options. The easiest way for foreigners is through the online banking, assuming you have already set up your online banking. In order to pay using online banking choose the 'debit card option' which is basically the one in the red box below. Then choose your bank. If you can't spot your bank right away click the link in the green box to display more banks. Then click the big orange "下一步" button and Alipay will take you directly to your online bank to finish the transaction.
10. After the payment is completed, Taobao will send a notification to the seller. The seller will mail your goods. When you receive you're goods you can then go back to your Taobao and confirm receipt. Alipay will then transfer the money to the seller.