Taobao or Tmall: where to shop?

The most well-known Chinese online shopping websites are Taobao and Tmall. They are strong competitors for Amazon and eBay as they offer very competitive deals on pretty much everything. This article will tell you briefly about the differences and advantages of both Taobao and Tmall, so that you can better decide to choose one or another or both while shopping through Parcel Up (Taobao FOCUS).

Tmall and Taobao are owned by the same parent company Alibaba. They are not competitors, and they fulfill different consumer needs.


This is the largest Asian online retail shopping website, similar to eBay. Taobao has millions of sellers and shops, operating on a C2C system (consumer-to-consumer), which means that Taobao acts as an intermediary in sales between private parties (the seller as an individual and the buyer/consumer). As sellers on Taobao are mostly individual persons or small companies, depending on their sources of goods, many of them can offer lower prices on same or similar products compared to big brands as they have lower operating costs.

How is it safe to shop on Taobao when anyone can be a seller there? All sellers are required to make a deposit to open a shop on Taobao, and in case of misconduct, they could lose their deposits. Taobao verifies all sellers’ identities, and imposes very strict rules to ensure sellers operate honestly along with a reliable rating systems. Hence, it is usually safe to shop on Taobao. This is not to say that all sellers are reliable on Taobao, so to be even more sure, you should learn how to find good Taobao sellers.


Tmall (Taobao mall) originates from Tаоbао, and it distinguishes itself from Taobao by operating on B2C system (business-to-consumer). Tmall is the platform where legally registered organizations, companies, manufacturers, and brands can set up official stores to sell their own products. Therefore, Tmall is absolutely the place when you are searching for genuine branded products without concerns about product quality. You can find brands like Ray-Ban, P&G, Adidas, GAP, Huawei, Samsung, and many others. Products sold on Tmall are not only genuine, but sometimes they could be much cheaper than in traditional stores.


Is this system also safe? Absolutely safe, as only registered companies can open a Tmall shop, and that eliminates the risk that an unscrupulous seller with dubious quality products could operate on Tmall. Certificates of quality and compliance are listed on each seller page.


If you need authentic goods with various guarantees from official sellers, then we strongly advise you shop on Tmall, though prices are usually higher than on Taobao.

Taobao sellers offer much more choices of goods. However, you should review all information about sellers carefully to avoid goods inconsistent with images or product descriptions provided by sellers. Some sellers could sell secondhand goods, which is risky and difficult to control product quality.

We hope that this article is helpful and we want you to enjoy your shopping with Parcel Up (Taobao FOCUS) whether buying from Taobao or Tmall. For more details, you could check out the article about difference between Taobao and Tmall in our blog. If you still have any questions or concerns, you are always welcome to contact our online support!