How To Shop The Taobao 11/11 Sale (And Survive)

Yup, it’s that time of the year again. Here’s how to shop smart during the Taobao 11/11 Sale.

So…what exactly is the Taobao 11/11 Sale and why is it such a big deal?

Gasp. How dare you even ask that? Just kidding. The annual Taobao 11/11 Sale is essentially like the Black Friday of the Chinese e-commerce world, so it’s the one time you can get truly fabulous deals across the site.

As you can expect from any big sale, there will be plenty of shoppers vying for the same deals. Luckily for you, you don’t actually have to battle it out in person…but it’s fastest (or smartest) fingers first.

(Source: 泊物馆imuseart设计师品牌)

What should I take note of during the sale?

You can expect slight delays in processing and shipment times, as most sellers might receive more orders than usual. Certain Taobao agents, such as SGShop, also allow you to submit your orders before D-day, so you can leave the quick clicking to them instead.

Many Taobao stores also have pre-order sales/(订金限时疯狂翻倍) (until 10 November), where you can secure your items before the actual sale day. You typically have to make two payments – one as a deposit to secure your order and the remaining balance on the actual day (11 November).

Pre-Order Perks

One of the perks of pre-orders is that some stores offer extra order credit when you place a deposit (read: you pay less for your order). When you put down a deposit, the seller might give you up to 10 times the deposit amount as order credit, to be applied on the final total of that order. Confusing? Here’s an example.

Say your order total is 800 yuan, and a deposit of 100 yuan is required. The seller offers order credit 3 times the amount of your deposit (300 yuan), so the remaining balance due on 11 November is 500 yuan (800 yuan – 300 yuan). Capisce? Good, that was enough math for today.

Oh, and to find out how much order credit sellers are offering, look out for the “___抵___” phrase in the listing. It usually denotes the actual deposit amount due and the order credit value.

(Source: 波黎大方家居专营店)

So how do I score some good deals on Taobao?

Glad you asked. Taobao can get pretty confusing as it is, but their promotions and discounts can be even more of an enigma. Below are a couple of ways to score some good deals, discounts and promotions during the Taobao 11/11 Sale.

1. Filter Search Results

First things first, you’ll want to filter out the stores that aren’t taking part in the sale (I know right, blasphemous). To get the best search results, add keywords like the ones below to your search terms.

双11 – Double 11
预售双11 – Double 11 Pre-Order Items
双11红包 – Double 11 Coupons

2. Store Coupons (Available until 10 November)

Every seller has different coupons available, which you can claim when you click onto the store’s main page.

Every Taobao and Tmall store offers different coupons, which you can claim when you click onto their shop front. The coupon section is usually at the top or top right of the page.

Types Of Coupons

  • 无门槛券: coupon with no minimum spend required
  • 满___券: coupon with a minimum spend of ___
  • 关注/收藏即领: receive a coupon if you save the store to your favourites
  • 跨店券: coupon is valid across different stores
  • 仅限1111: coupon is only valid when you check out on 11 November

To keep track of your coupons, log into your Taobao account and go to 我的淘宝 > 我的优惠信息 > 优惠卡券. You can also check each coupon’s terms and conditions, as well as sort them by expiry date there.

3. 11.11 Red Packets

Even if you’ve already claimed your coupons in advance, don’t click off Taobao just yet. There is usually an extra wave of coupons and discounts that will be distributed at 2pm (Singapore time) on 11 November. It’s not known (yet) how Taobao will be distributing these coupons, but hey, we’re all about surprises if it involves discounts.

4. 11/11 Centre Stage (Until 10 November)

11/11 Centre Stage features the best stores and deals on Taobao, across all departments. Here are some featured sections that might interest you:

  • Taobao Top 100
    The top 100 women’s fashion stores on Taobao.
  • Home and Lifestyle Killer Sales (1元快乐秒杀)
    Selected items on sale at 1 yuan (yes, really!) but in limited quantities. The offer usually begins at 9pm daily, everyday until 10 November.
  • Tmall Daily Specials
    Special coupons for discounts and double deposit value deals.
  • Best Furniture and Decor Stores
    Furniture and decor stores which have high ratings – so you can buy big ticket items from this section with better peace of mind.
  • Taobao Celebrities
    Stores owned by celebrities, such as actresses and fashion influencers. These stores are best for scoring original on-trend pieces that aren’t poorly-made knock-offs.

(Source: 大喜自制独立复古女装)

5. Taobao Carnival

The second biggest event during the 11/11 Sale is the Taobao Carnival, where you can score tiered discounts (¥20 off ¥200, ¥20 off¥300, ¥50 off¥1000) across participating stores on 11 November. Store coupons can usually be combined with these tiered discounts, so woohoo (!) more discounts.

6. Tmall Credit

If you have Tmall credit accumulated from previous purchases, now’s the time to exchange them for rebates. Tmall credit can be exchanged for rebate vouchers, to use on purchases with selected stores. You can also check out this list of sale items for further discounts.

(Source: 泊物馆imuseart设计师品牌)

7. Taobao Red Packet Ninja Game (Until 7 November)

Are you a pro at Fruit Ninja? Here’s your chance to put your skills to good use. Enter any of these stores, click on the orange/pink banner at the bottom of the page (see below for reference) and slash the red packets to score coupons and rewards. You’ll also be entered for the Grand Lucky Draw once you’ve visited 9 stores on the list.

8. Live Telecast Sale (淘宝直播)

Yup, sellers actually hold sales through live telecasts on Taobao. There are two main types of Live Telecast Sales:

Official Taobao Telecast

Log onto Taobao on 10 November at 7.40pm (Singapore time) to live stream a fashion show and telecast of promotions held by big brands and celebrities. More details will be released on Taobao closer to the date.

Sellers/Taobao Celebrities Telecasts

The Taobao homepage will feature different sellers or celebrities daily, so you can click to watch their Live Telecast Sales where they will offer previews of new or limited edition items from an upcoming launch. You can also get further discounts by scanning the telecast QR code to watch it on your phone. The best selling items and deals will usually also be featured on the right column of the telecast page.

Note that you have to be able to (adequately) read and type in Chinese to participate in these Live Telecast Sales though, so please only attempt to do so if you’re a Taobao pro.

9. All-Day Limited Sales

If you need even more reasons to browse Taobao all day long (work? who needs to work? pfft), check out the All-Day Limited Sales page for timed sales and discounts, which are launched around the clock all the way until 11 November. The deals usually end when the quantity sold is met or when time is up, whichever comes first.

10. Wangxin Sales Alarm

Not that you need a reminder to shop (am I right?), but you can download Taobao’s chat software to get reminders on the different Double 11 sales going on. Just log into your account, and go to 我的焦点 > 今日活动 to view all ongoing sales and set an alarm for when each respective sale starts.

11. International Shipping Forwarders

Many international shipping forwarders on Taobao offer lower shipping fees during the Double 11 sale, so be sure to check out their rates on their respective websites (or chat with their customer service agents). You can also check the shipping rates by logging into your Taobao account, checking out your order (结算 > Under 官方物流, select 修改服务商) and you should be able to see the shipping rates and tax surcharges (if any).

Some forwarders only offer discounts on international shipping if you arrange for shipping on 11 November, while others have promotions valid until the end of November. Your parcels may take longer than usual to reach the respective forwarder’s warehouse though, so you might want to co-ordinate all of your orders to avoid any additional warehouse storage fees.

(Source: 懒角落创意家居生活馆)

Still want more? Check out these other articles:

Taobao Guide To Home Organisation

Taobao Gift Guide

More Shopping Sites From China (To Feed Your Taobao Addiction)

Guide To Taobao Forwarders and Agents