If you’re reading this, you probably already know about Taobao. If you don’t, it's the internet’s mightiest marketplace, with over 800 million products in stock — some of them totally bizarre. And we gather that if unless you’re Chinese or otherwise fluent in Mandarin, you’re generally daunted by this immense and dense domain, and might struggle to navigate its not-so-straightforward interface. It’s not uncommon to hear fellow laowai saying they just relied on a Chinese friend to make a purchase.
Well worry no more, because Baopals was tailor-made for you.
Is it Taobao translated into English? Well, yes, but you could just as easily do that on your browser. What Baopals does instead is reconfigure the interface, making it sleek and approachable, and compartmentalizing all that miscellanea into 16 categories. Game status: changed.
But all the regular search tools are still at your disposal, and prices are updated in real time. The payment and delivery are still the same — no need to sign up for additional third-party whatevers, and payments can be made on WeChat Wallet, UnionPay or Alipay.
Baopals is still in beta, but you can already do a lot, and their team is readily available to assist with your queries.
In the words of Baopals: “We want our Christopher Walken masks for 49 Yuan and we don’t want to have to go through hell and high water to get it.” You’re goddamn right we don’t.
[Image via Webpresence]