Alipay- OK, you’ve found what you want and are ready to take the punch! Here’s a step to step guide to buy your first ‘treasure’ from Taobao:
Check yourself in at Taobao.com, select the item (and it’s color, size, etc), talk to the seller (via Wangwang) and confirm the delivery charge. This is a common problem as what they say onsite e.g. for HK delivery charge is mostly incorrect (info such as free delivery is only valid for within mainland). Once satisfied, click confirm and “Place to cart”. You also have the choice of placing your selected item and save it in your favorite chest)
You can continue to browse and select and repeat the above and place more items to your cart (up to about 99)
when ready to pay, you go to your Cart, select the items you really want to buy and click “Calculate”
If you’ve not yet input any delivery address, you have to input at this stage in a new page. Tips: for HK, select down to district, make sure you input your address in one single row, input post code in 6 digits (000000 for HK).
Click “Submit Order”-提交订单, and you’d be shown the total amounts including delivery. Once you submit the order, Taobao would put these items under “Items you’ve bought” in the top menu, but of course, you don’t actually dish out your money until you pay, and yet only to Alipay platform which would not release it until 2 weeks later and without any objection from you OR you click online to confirm receipt of the goods in good order.
If you have not set up/pay before using Alipay (logo above) which is the payment platform for Alibaba, then you’d be directed to log into their site. You can do that via your Taobao account (select the left option from below the input box). You can of course register with Alipay and use your alipay credentials too.
Once log in, you’d be presented with items you’ve selected and there are “Pay” buttons to the right of them.
Click the “Pay” button and you’d be directed to the payment page with payment choices – Alipay credit, Credit cards, PPS, Octopus, etc. For simplicity and good exchange rates, I use PPS. Credit cards is easy too but have commissions of either 1.5% or 3%, Alipay credits need going to 711 with cash or buying RMB via agents (several in HK and some have better rates than others- changing daily).
Paying through PPS is simple if you have an online account with them, just make sure you have your mobile phone with you to receive their code.
That’s it, easy! In forthcoming blogs, I’d share how to cut down further the delivery costs via midway postbox in Guangdong to exploit the “Free delivery”.