Aliexpress vs Taobao

Nowadays, international customers buy Chinese branded products from online shopping platforms. The e-Commerce platforms from China like Taobao and Aliexpress sell quality goods at the cheapest prices. But, buyers are curious about the differences between Aliexpress vs Taobao.

Based on our ten years of product sourcing experience, we’ve handled issues for orders from Aliexpress and Aliexpress alternatives like Taobao. Both AliExpress and Taobao have a fair competition in attracting customers. They are not the same despite being owned by the same company. 

We will share about both Taobao and Aliexpress in this article. Let’s dive deep.

aliexpress vs taobao

What is Aliexpress?

AliExpress is a popular and reliable online shopping platform in China. It was founded in 2010 and is owned by the Alibaba group. The Aliexpress website is available in more than 10 languages to reach customers worldwide. 

Aliexpress is a cheaper option for customers compared to Amazon. Although it currently has about 80% of the Chinese market, it is aimed at the international market. 

Suggested reading: Aliexpress Reviews


  • Lower Prices: Aliexpress sellers sell the same products cheaper.  I have purchased the products at lower costs. Aliexpress has the pricing even less than 1 USD. Can you believe it? Quality of product justifies the pricing.
  • No Language Barrier: AliExpress offers different language choices besides the Chinese language.
  • Secure Payment Methods: You can use PayPal, credit, or debit cards for payment.


  • Delivery Time: Aliexpress has no guarantee for international shipping time.
  • Product Quality: The product quality is not guaranteed with its lowest prices.
Suggested reading: Dhgate Shipping Time

What is Taobao?

Taobao is the biggest online shopping platform based in China. It is registered and owned by the Alibaba group. Most sellers in China can post new and used goods on Taobao. 

Taobao has become mainland China’s market leader within a few years. You can get products like clothes, accessories, and gadgets on Taobao at low prices. 


  • Better Deal: Countless Taobao agents offer huge discounts than other websites. There are many sections in the TaoBao. I scroll them to find the BEST deals with the higher discounts. Overall profits increase this way.
  • Unique Products: Taobao offers many creative, unique, and quality products.
  • Attractive Prices: Taobao agents sell cheap due to the low costs of materials and labor.


  • No International Shipping: Many Taobao sellers are less experienced with international shipping.
  • Language Barrier: International buyers might have language barriers with a Chinese-speaking Taobao agent.

If you hard to negotiate with suppliers and pay on ?

LeelineSourcing is ready to help you buy from low cost and efficiently.

The main difference between Aliexpress and Taobao

AliExpress vs Taobao: Shipping Methods & Time

taobao shipping cost

AliExpress ships products to almost all countries. It offers a variety of shipping options based on your budget and location. For instance, standard shipping, ePacket, China Post, FedEx, and DHL. The AliExpress delivery times range from 20 to 30 days. It depends on your location and shipping method. The delivery time can be lower, from 7 to 20 days, with ePacket and Express deliveries.

I love the delivery from Aliexpress. It ships faster than the estimated time. For example, if the time of delivery is 20 days, it can ship within 15 days many times. That is too fast.

Taobao supports both mainland and international shipping. It has a specialized warehouse. Sellers on Taobao are often required to ship international orders from this warehouse. Due to its high shipping costs, Taobao is not ideal for importing fewer items in a single shipment.

AliExpress vs Taobao: Payment Methods


AliExpress sells to international buyers. Many people uesd to ask: Is Aliexpress safely? So, it offers a variety of payment methods and currencies. You can use credit or debit cards, PayPal, and Alipay on the AliExpress website.

Taobao focuses mainly on customers in China. So, it does not accept as many payment methods as AliExpress. You cannot use PayPal and Alipay Balance payments on Taobao. Yet, Taobao still accepts several credit or debit cards and Malaysian bank payments.

Suggested reading: Dhgate Paypal

AliExpress vs Taobao: Main products

AliExpress and Taobao sell products that are almost the same. It is because they share many wholesale suppliers in China. AliExpress is well known for tech products, while Taobao is famous for other consumer goods.

AliExpress has a limited product category selection than Taobao. Still, they have a good selection of things ranging from home appliances to food and health products.

Taobao has a wide selection of products across all categories. It ranges from clothing and apparel to home décor and tech products.

Suggested reading: Best 30 items on Dhgate

AliExpress vs Taobao: Price Range

Both AliExpress and Taobao are under the Alibaba Group. The prices of both e-commerce platforms are almost the same. Sometimes, Taobao offers cheaper prices compared to AliExpress. But, with the use of AliExpress discount vouchers on the AliExpress website, the prices will be almost the same as Taobao. 

Aliexpress has brand stores. They have discounts offered up to 50%. Therefore, I often use the ALIEXPRESS to get better deals with the affordable prices. It is good for a new business.

Taobao is known for having low prices than AliExpress. Yet, you can notice their deals and discounts if you keep an eye out. You might be able to find a better deal on these shopping websites.

Both AliExpress and Taobao ship their products from China. So, their international shipping costs should be the same.

AliExpress vs Taobao: Dropshipping

taobao dropshipping

Both Taobao and AliExpress are great platforms for sourcing goods for dropshipping. You can find a supplier and start dropshipping on both e-commerce platforms easily.  There are many useful dropshipping tools available for you. For instance, BestFullfill, Shopify, WooCommerce, AutoDS, Oberlo, Ali Insider, and Ali2Woo. 

AliExpress dropshipping has more affordable prices and is inclusive of shipping. It is accessible to find products easily. You can also perform payments conveniently with PayPal and credit or debit cards. However, AliExpress takes a longer delivery time and always has product quality issues.

I have been using Aliexpress for more than a YEAR. The dropshipping is smooth and efficient. Transit times are longer but it compensates with the FAST shipping services that deliver orders before time.

Taobao dropshipping has an outstanding variety of goods. Most of the products are of good quality. They have an excellent rating system that is based on customers’ experiences. It can help to avoid unreliable vendors. But, it will become challenging to drop shipping if you do not speak Chinese. The AliPay payment method is also less convenient for international buyers. Note that the shipping cost is often high while the prices of goods on Taobao are low.

AliExpress vs Taobao: Return and Refund Policy

AliExpress refunds take an average of 5 – 10 days to process. But, refunds on Taobao take no more than 48 hours once a customer requests a refund for a product. Thus, the Taobao system is more beneficial to customers. 

Suggested reading: Alibaba Refund Experience
Suggested reading: How to apply for a refund on Dhgate?

AliExpress vs Taobao Customer service

Both Taobao and AliExpress allow users to chat with sellers for support and help. You can find out more about product specifications or even settle disputes.

AliExpress has a more comprehensive dispute system. It is designed to protect both the customers and sellers. The system handles all returns, refunds, and requests via a ticket system. 

Taobao customer service is only available through a phone call. The customer care representative at Taobao is available from Monday to Sunday during office hours in China.

The platform and mobile app both have a seller contact option on AliExpress. But, you have to download a separate app to contact sellers on Taobao.

AliExpress vs Taobao Buyer Protection

aliexpress buyer protection

AliExpress has a complete buyer protection program. This program requires participating sellers to sell genuine goods only. The dispute system on AliExpress effectively manages refunds and returns. It makes AliExpress one of the best and safest places to shop online.

Taobao does not have the same measure of buyer protection for its customers. Yet, its standard buyer protection policies on Taobao also protect customers safe from scams and non-genuine products.

TaoBao product selling ensures there is no COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. You can find the original products or ask the supplier to offer you customized inventory. 

Suggested reading: Best 30 Sourcing Websites
Suggested reading: Best 20 China Online Shopping Sites to Buy Wholesale

SAFE + EASY Importing from Aliexpress

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Suggested reading: Alibaba vs Dhgate
Suggested reading: 1688 vs Taobao
Suggested reading: 1688 dropshipping

FAQs About Aliexpress vs Taobao

Is Taobao better than AliExpress?

Both platforms offer low prices, international shipping, and quality products. If you do not speak Chinese, AliExpress is the better choice. If you require faster shipping, then Taobao will be your first choice.

Why is AliExpress so cheap?

AliExpress is a platform where no buying agents are involved. International buyers can make the payment easily using a debit or credit card or PayPal. In addition, AliExpress products are sourced from wholesale suppliers in China.

Is it safe to buy from Taobao?

Yes. It is safe to buy from Taobao. But, there could be dishonest sellers who may be selling fake goods. Thus, you are encouraged to purchase from shops and sellers with many reviews.

Does Taobao have an English version?

No, Taobao does not has an English version. But, you can download and install google chrome and then open the Taobao website. You can use the Google translate feature to translate the website to English.

What’s Next

Both AliExpress and Taobao are subsidiaries of the Alibaba group. Your preferences and shopping needs are the most important factors to consider between these two platforms.

Note that international buyers could find the returns and exchanges troublesome and expensive. You might need to spend a lot of time waiting for the shipping back to China. But, the advantages like cheap prices and unique item selection can outweigh the cons. 

I hope this article shares all you need to know about AliExpress vs Taobao. Feel free to talk to us for inquiries regarding product sourcing services.

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Article by:

Sharline Shaw

Hey I'm Sharline, the founder of Leeline Sourcing. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing in China, we help 2000+ clients import from China,Alibaba,1688 to Amazon FBA or shopify. If you have any questions about sourcing , pls feel free to contact us.

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Victor Gomez
Victor Gomez
April 18, 2024 9:25 am

Super helpful comparison of AliExpress vs Taobao. The insights on product variety and user experience on each platform are exactly what I needed to know. Thanks!

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson
April 16, 2024 9:32 am

Your breakdown of AliExpress vs Taobao was very helpful. For someone not fluent in Chinese, which platform would you recommend and why?

Leo G.
Leo G.
April 9, 2024 9:25 am

Fantastic breakdown! Navigating AliExpress and Taobao for dropshipping just got easier. Taobao’s unique finds are tempting, but the language barrier is real. Any hacks for non-Mandarin speakers?

Anthony Martinez
Anthony Martinez
April 3, 2024 9:23 am

The AliExpress vs. Taobao analysis is insightful for understanding their target markets. It’s interesting to consider the best fit for different buyer needs.

Anna Lee
Anna Lee
April 2, 2024 7:36 am

Understanding the differences between AliExpress and Taobao is crucial for international buyers, and this article does a great job of highlighting those distinctions.

Ryan Wilson
Ryan Wilson
April 1, 2024 6:07 am

Understanding the differences between AliExpress and Taobao is crucial for sourcing. This article offers clear insights. Any personal experiences with both platforms?

Jamie Kim
Jamie Kim
March 29, 2024 7:12 am

Understanding the differences between these platforms is key for international buyers. Any insights on navigating Taobao for non-Chinese speakers?

Ava Smith
Ava Smith
March 27, 2024 9:56 am

Your comparison sheds light on unique aspects of both platforms. Which do you find more accessible for non-Chinese speakers?

Ava Garcia
Ava Garcia
March 26, 2024 7:56 am

Understanding the differences between AliExpress and Taobao can be tricky. Your comparative analysis, Ava, is a fantastic resource for international buyers like myself. Cheers!

Mia Wang
Mia Wang
March 25, 2024 9:26 am

Excellent comparison between AliExpress and Taobao! This article really helps in understanding the nuances of each platform, especially for dropshippers looking to source products efficiently. I found the section on payment methods and buyer protection particularly enlightening. Would love to hear from anyone who’s juggled between these platforms for their dropshipping business. Any tips?

March 23, 2024 2:13 am

Understanding the nuances between AliExpress and Taobao can be tricky for those of us outside China. Your article sheds light on important differences. Which platform do you recommend for non-Chinese speakers?

Michael Lee
Michael Lee
March 22, 2024 8:42 am

Thanks for this insightful comparison! Are there product categories where Taobao offers a significantly wider range or better prices compared to AliExpress?

Liam Patel
Liam Patel
March 21, 2024 8:49 am

This article on AliExpress vs. Taobao is a must-read for international buyers. When it comes to customer support and dispute resolution, how do the two platforms compare?

Jason Li
Jason Li
March 20, 2024 9:06 am

This comparison is super helpful for newcomers! Anyone else find Taobao’s variety overwhelming compared to AliExpress?

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