Easiest Way To Dropshipping From Taobao/1688/Tmall

This post will show you a step-by-step guide on how to start dropshipping from Taobao/1688/Tmall without having to deal with payment issues or communication.

Let’s dive right in!

What Are Taobao, 1688, & Tmall?

Taobao, 1688, and Tmall are the three cheap shopping websites operated by the renowned Alibaba Group that mainly caters to Chinese-speaking regions. However, their target clients are different.

Regarding Taobao alone, it’s a C2C (Customer To Customer) platform, meaning that the transactions on here are between individuals or small companies and customers.

On the other hand, 1688 is B2B (Business To Business), which deals with transactions between one company and another, such as a wholesaler and retailer.

Finally, Tmall operates under the B2C (Business To Customers) model, processing transactions between companies and customers. You can think of it as the Amazon of China.

Pros & Cons Of Dropshipping From Taobao/1688/Tmall

The obvious advantage and probably the only one that makes you want to dropship from Taobao, 1688, or Tmall is that they offer very cheap products.

However, we don’t recommend you to do so (at least directly) even though it’s the main topic of this post. The reason is that the risks and drawbacks significantly outweigh the advantages.

Here’re the cons when dropshipping from Taobao, 1688, and Tmall:

  • Language Barriers: It’s difficult to communicate with sellers on Taobao, 1688, or Tmall since the majority of them don’t know English.
  • Inexperience sellers: Sellers don’t have much experience delivering goods to other countries. Even if they do, the shipping times are usually long, and the fees are often high.
  • Payment Issues: Taobao, 1688, and Tmall don’t support common payment methods, like Paypal or international credit cards (only accept domestic credit cards).
  • Inconsistent Product Quality: This is a common problem when buying products online. But, it’s harder to control when purchasing goods from these Chinese websites.
  • Better Alternative Platforms: AliExpress, Banggood, or DHgate are just about as cheap and far easier to work with. They also provide much better service for international customers.

How To Start Taobao/1688/Tmall Dropshipping The Easiest Way

If you still want to dropship from these Chinese platforms, here’s the solution.

The easiest method to dropshipping from Taobao/1688/Tmall is to use a reliable agent or supplier that will help you source products from those platforms for you to sell. In this way, you won’t have to worry about creating an Alipay account to make payment, overcoming the language barrier, quality checking, or shipping because your agent will take care of all of that.

Our recommendation is CJDropshipping, a one-stop Chinese dropshipping supplier for product sourcing, global warehousing, printing on demand, inventory management, quality control, fulfillment, custom packaging to worldwide shipping.

The best part is sourcing Taobao/1688/Tmall products with CJDropshipping is completely free and available for even new registers. It means you don’t have to buy goods in bulk, which kind of defeats the spirit of dropshipping.

Below are the 8 easy steps to source Taobao/1688/Tmall products with CJDropshipping to start dropshipping:

  1. Log in to CJDropshipping. If you don’t have an account, just create one.
  2. Click Sourcing on the top navigation bar.
  3. Click Post Sourcing Requests.
  4. Select Individual Product.
  5. Upload the image and input the URL of the Taobao/1688/Tmall dropshipping product you want to source.
  6. Fill in the product title, tag, description, and target price.
  7. Change Purchasing Type to Dropshipping.
  8. Click Submit to post the sourcing request.

It usually takes 24-48 hours for CJDropshipping to get back to you. If your Tabao/1688/Tmall product is successfully sourced, you can import it to your online store and start dropshipping.

Another way is to use CJ Chrome Extension. For more information, check out the video below.

CJDropshipping is compatible with Shopify, WooCommerce, Shopee, Lazada, and eBay, so you can start dropshipping Tabao/1688/Tmall products on these eCommerce platforms easily.

Similar suppliers to CJDropshipping are EPROLO, Wiio, and Yakkyofy.

How To Search For Similar Taobao/1688/Tmall Products On AliExpress

Another indirect method to dropshipping from Taobao/1688/Tmall is to use Alitools Shopping Assistant. It’s a dropshipping Chrome Extension that allows you to search for similar products on AliExpress just by their pictures.

After installing the tool, right-click on an image, and click “Find on AliExpress.” If there’s a similar item, the tool will show it to you on the left side of your screen.

Find similar products from Taobao/1688/Tmall on AliExpress by pictures with Alitools Shopping Asistant.

Now, instead of dropshipping from Taobao/1688/Tmall, you can just import the product from AliExpress and start selling like normal.


With the help of CJDropshipping, you can easily start dropshipping Taobao/1688/Tmall products without having to worry about language barriers or payment issues.

Another method is to search for similar dropshipping products on AliExpress using Alitools Shopping Assistant.

It’s important to note that picking a good and low-cost product is just the first step. Store optimization, email marketing, branding, and customer service are just a few other essential factors to build a successful dropshipping business.

To learn more about making money dropshipping, check out our complete dropshipping checklist.

Cohee Truong
Blogger | Website

The rightful owner of The Clever Business. I review & curate the leading suppliers so you don't waste time scouring the internet.