Where is it better to order goods: 1688 or Taobao?

Where is it more profitable to buy from Taobao or 1688?

Where is it more profitable to buy from Taobao or 1688?

You have a need for purchasing goods? China successfully copes with the task of producing a huge assortment of products for the whole world. There is a whole system in place, from enterprises to logistics. The main question is whom to start cooperation with. When talking about the largest trading platforms, we are interested in the difference between Taobao and 1688. Let's try to understand this question in more detail.

Who is who?

What exactly are the trading platforms that have attracted our interest? Both organizations deserve special attention.

Taobao is one of the largest Chinese online markets for consumer goods. It was created by the Alibaba Group in 2003. The company provides the opportunity for millions of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, as well as individuals, to sell their products online. It was originally intended for the Chinese market, and the main language of the platform is Chinese.

1688 is a major online marketplace in China owned by the Alibaba Group. The name comes from the date of the market's founding, which was chosen in honor of the Chinese calendar. 1688 features thousands of Chinese manufacturers and wholesale suppliers offering a wide range of products in large volumes. Here you can find products from various industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear, electronics, accessories, building materials, household goods, and much more.

At first glance, the difference between Taobao and 1688 is insignificant, but it all depends on your needs. It is important to consider your own requirements before making a choice.

The difference between Taobao and 1688

Let's take a closer look at the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each platform. To do this, we will consider the main aspects of cooperation and purchases.


This is a key factor that distinguishes Taobao and 1688. The former involves trade between individuals (C2C), while the latter involves trade between companies (B2B). Taobao is an online market for selling directly to end consumers. This allows sellers to offer a wide range of products and sell them retail. 1688 is a wholesale platform for manufacturers and sellers (including those on Taobao).

Minimum order

When it comes to Taobao, there are almost always limitations on the quantity of goods that can be purchased. Typically, it ranges from 100 to 1000 units. 1688 stores offer the opportunity for individual orders.

Price level

This factor is considered key for many buyers. When people ask if Taobao or 1688 is more profitable, the volume of the order should be taken into account. Taobao offers low prices for retail purchases. If the minimum price of a product is of interest among all Chinese platforms, 1688 comes first. This is because the sellers are direct manufacturers. However, this is specifically about large quantities. We hope this will settle the question of whether Taobao or 1688 is cheaper.


The websites of the trading platforms are very similar. They have practically identical interfaces, with many options being the same. Both resources are in Chinese and do not have a built-in translation system. This requires the use of third-party tools. Communication with sellers takes place in Chinese.

Assortment of goods

There are no differences here, and it cannot be said that 1688 or Taobao is better. Both platforms offer a wide range of products in various categories - from electronics to clothing or footwear.

Delivery geography

In any case, it is only possible to purchase goods with shipment to warehouses within China. Direct shipments abroad are not provided for. This requires considering the moment of renting premises and solving other tasks. Another way involves using intermediary services. This aspect is discussed in more detail in the article on how to order goods from 1688 to Russia.


In both cases, it is necessary to use Chinese payment systems. This is another obstacle that many buyers resort to using intermediary services for.


Transferring money to a seller's account from another country is always associated with risks. Trading platforms carefully monitor the protection of both parties. A rating and reputation system has been introduced. Feedback with the administration has a number of problems but it works. It is also worth noting the low likelihood of fraud. This is an important difference from Alibaba, where users often face problems.


There is a difference between Taobao and 1688 here. In the first case, such services are not provided. Since manufacturers of products are presented on 1688, they consider the possibility of applying logos or other branding options (but only in the case of wholesale orders).

Other features

Experience of purchasing on trading platforms shows that the goods will be shipped within 1-7 days. As for product stock, there is very little chance of shortages, even with wholesale orders.


When you are looking for where to order goods - 1688 or Taobao, many aspects are similar. The answer to the question will vary depending on the client's status. If you need to order a large batch at the minimum price, it is logical to choose the 1688 platform. It is designed for B2B and B2C business types. Taobao is more oriented towards small and medium batches, and the majority of transactions fall into the C2C category. It is suitable for novice entrepreneurs.

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Marina Ivanova
Author: Marina Ivanova

She is a keen observer of the IT landscape, writing extensively about innovations and cybersecurity trends. Her articles help demystify complex technologies for her readers, establishing her as a reliable source for tech enthusiasts and professionals alike.