How To Customise Items On Taobao

How to customise everything from bags to bolsters (because, why not?) on Taobao.

What To Know

Customisation options on Taobao can vary widely, from simple engraving to printing your own design on a customised tote bag. It all really depends on the seller, but here is a brief guide on what to expect.

Process

There are generally two different types of customisation options on Taobao:

1. Ready-made items with customisation options: These are usually simple customisation services, like adding a photo or logo to an item that is already for sale. You will probably see a lot of colour and size options in the listing, as well as ‘定制(请联系客服)’, which you should select if you want to customise the item.

2. Fully-customised items: With this option, you can usually choose the colour, size and print you want on the item (i.e. customised tote bags or pouches). In most cases, you have to chat with the seller to discuss customisation options and the respective prices. The store might sometimes list the item as ¥1, which is mainly for payment purposes. After confirming the final total with the seller, you’ll need to select the ¥1 item and change the quantity to match the final total (i.e. If your item is ¥100, you’ll need to put ‘100’ in the quantity field.). Alternatively, the seller might ask you to submit your order through Taobao first, then change the final total before you pay.

Graphics Resolution

If you are sending the seller graphics (which is usually required for customised prints), be sure to check what their resolution specifications are (像素要求). If it’s not stated in the listing, just ask the seller for the 宽 (width) and 像素 (pixels, i.e. 1280×720 px).

Measurements

Most sellers on Taobao use 尺 (ruler) for measurements, so just note that you might need to convert the measurement numbers (1 尺 = 32cm) for your own reference.

Payment

Most sellers usually require payment in full. Customisation fees vary based on the seller and available options, but it will probably be cheaper if you order a larger quantity (i.e. above 100 pieces).

Lead Time

Customised items usually take about 3 – 5 days to be completed, but more complicated options may take longer. Check with the seller for the expected lead time, as this may vary from store to store.

Peak periods (such as Chinese New Year or the Taobao 11/11 sale) may cause delays though, so it’s best to avoid placing custom orders during those times. Some sellers are also closed during festive periods like Chinese New Year.

Order Quantities

Some sellers may have a minimum order quantity for customised items, and they will usually state ‘批发’ (wholesale) in the item listing. However, if the seller states ‘ 一个起定制’ (able to customise 1 item), it means that they don’t have a minimum order quantity. If the seller doesn’t state anything in the listing, chat with them to ask about the minimum order quantity.

Delivery

Delivery options are generally the same as standard Taobao orders. You can opt to use the Taobao-appointed forwarders, or local options like ezbuy and SGshop.

However, if you are in a rush, you can consider using Shunfeng Express (it will be listed in the delivery options when you check out), which ships directly to Singapore. It’s much pricer than using a shipping forwarder though, at about $20 per kg and part thereof. Plus, they don’t ship electronics or restricted items like liquids and powder. Direct shipping to Singapore usually takes about 3 – 5 days, from the time the seller ships out your order.

Packaging

This is more for corporate gifts/orders, but some sellers offer packaging options (i.e. a plastic cover for each notebook/pen/T-shirt etc.) so that the items will look more professional. Ask the seller about 包装 (packaging) or 透明塑料包装 (clear plastic packaging) for your order.

Free Samples

Some sellers may offer a free sample of the item you want to customise (i.e. a tote bag), so you can see the actual item before customising it. These sellers will usually put ‘免费拿样’ (free sample) in the item listing. No minimum purchase is required in most cases, and some sellers offer free domestic shipping for the sample.

Helpful Phrases

I would like to customize this [insert item URL].
我想要定制这款 [insert item URL].
How much would it cost to print a graphic/text on this item?
请问印 图案/文字 多少钱?(The seller will usually ask you to send them the graphic/text file that you want to print, as charges vary by size and the number of colours you want to print.)
How long will customisation take, before it is ready for dispatch?
请问多久可以发货?(Some sellers may have separate locations for their printing factory and warehouse, so they might tell you that it takes however many days to print, then another number of days to pack and mail the item out.)
How much will customisation cost for __ pieces of this item?
请问定制 __个多少钱?(Prices may vary depending on the quantity that you want to order.)
Can I have a sample? How much is postage?
可以拿样吗?运费多少?(If the seller says “包邮”, it means that domestic shipping is free. Otherwise, they will tell you how much the shipping fee is for the sample.)

Tote Bags

A simple and sturdy tote bag for corporate gifts. Available in a range of colours, shapes and styles.

(Source: 顾品旗舰店)

Tote Bags (Cloth)

A cloth tote bag which can be customised with graphics or text. Besides the size and colour (only beige and black, it seems), you can also opt for a zipper closure, inner pocket and strap.

(Source: 君威箱包)

Useful Keywords

环保袋 Carrier Bags/Eco-Friendly Bags
无纺布 Non-woven Fabric
帆布袋 Canvas Tote
来图定制 Submit a photo/design for customisation
束口 Drawstring
拉链 Zip
扣纽 Button
纵向/竖款 Vertical
横向 Horizontal
米色 Off-white
丝网印刷 Silkscreen Printing (no colour gradient, lasts longer)
热转印 Heat Transfer Printing (able to print any colour and design, but less durable)

Drawstring Pouches

Simple cloth pouches which are perfect for wrapping wedding favours or gifts. You can customise the print on the pouch, type of drawstring, size and colour of the pouch. Contact the seller for more options.

(Source: 百顺定制)

Zip Pouch

A (*cough* Longchamp-lookalike) pouch which can be customised with a logo or simple graphic. Choose from a selection of colours and sizes.

(Source: 礼艺礼品定制批发)

Useful Keywords

小布袋 Small Pouch
化妆包 Makeup Pouch
束口 Drawstring
防水 Waterproof
尼龙 Nylon

T-Shirts

Plain T-shirts which can be customised with a print or logo. Available in a variety of colours and sizes.

(Source: 中之昊定制工厂店)

Polo Shirt

Smart polo shirts which can be personalised with a print or embroidered logo. Available in a range of colours and size options.

(Source:巴巴变旗舰店)

Useful Keywords

T恤 T-shirt
纯棉 Pure Cotton
圆领 Round Neck
V领 V-neck
男款 Men’s Cut (Straight Cut)
女款 Women’s Cut (Smaller sizing, slender waist design)

Phone Case

Print anything from a customised design to a photo of yourself (or favourite Korean actor, we won’t judge) on these plain phone cases.

 

(Source: 小壳饰界)

Transparent Phone Case

A transparent phone case, which can be personalised with your name (up to 9 letters). The seller takes about 7 – 15 days to do the customisation, and they have phone cases for both iPhone and Android models.

(Source: 小野马手作)

Useful Keywords

软壳 Soft/Jelly Case
硬壳 Hard Case
安卓 Android
来图定制 Order your own print
任意机型 Any phone model (Most samples shown are made for iPhones, but if the listing has this phrase in the description, it means that they offer cases for other phone models too. Chat with the seller to find out more.)
照片 Photo
刻字 Engraving Text
透明 Transparent
半透明 Semi-Transparent
定制 Customised (Item listing will usually have a green label.)
刻字 Engraving service

Bolster

Ever wanted your very own life-sized Song Joong-Ki bolster? This seller allows you to customise bolsters with either a full-size print (high resolution photo required) or a print with a standard body template (yes, you can have one of a buff guy with abs, we checked) and a picture of your face (or bae’s?). If you want to save on shipping fees, request for just the printed cover (without the stuffing).

(Source: 尚品 卖萌神店)

Useful Keywords

身枕/抱枕 Bolster
枕头 Pillow

Card Case

A simple card case which can be engraved with text. A practical (and safe) option for corporate gifts.

(Source: 镀梦工场)

Useful Keywords

名片夹 Namecard Holder
不锈钢 Stainless Steel

Engraved Rings

Sterling silver rings which can be engraved with words. The rings (strangely) also come with string/a chain, so you can wear it as a necklace if you so wish.

(Source: 卡思蒂珠宝)

Useful Keywords

纯银 Pure Silver
金 Gold
玫瑰金 Rose Gold
吊坠 Pendant
戒指 Ring

Men’s Wallet

A simple leather wallet which can be engraved with a name or graphic.

(Source: 梵卡尼洛旗舰店)

Useful Keywords

皮夹 Wallet
男款 Men’s
真皮 Real Leather
短款 Bi-fold Wallet
长款 Long Wallet
牛皮 Cow Hide

Pen and Thumb Drive Set

A pen and thumb drive set, which comes with gift packaging. The items can also be engraved for free.

(Source: 悦雅堂旗舰店)

Useful Keywords

水晶笔 Crystal Pen
U盘 Thumb Drive
套装 Package
内存 Storage Capacity

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

Taobao Guide To Home Organisation

Taobao Gift Guide

Taobao Guide To Menswear

Taobao Party Guide

FavoriteLoadingSave Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *