Like most Chinese, I am a big Taobao fan – but a little known secret is that it’s not that hard to buy on Taobao even if you can’t read Chinese. And if there’s one thing that Taobao has plenty of, it’s Halloween costumes.
Next week is the big occasion and there’s at least 19 family-friendly Halloween events in Beijing this year, so that means you have time to browse, order and have shipped all manner of get-ups for infants, adults and everyone inbetween.
Get started now on ordering your Halloween costumes: open Taobao, type in “Halloween” in English (or alternately the Chinese for Halloween 万圣节) and you’ll immediately get tons of results, presented visually. You can search by tons of other keywords as well, and you’ll be surprised how many English terms can be used to generate meaningful results.
For those who are worried about the quality on Taobao, I was not too much different before I started, but actually returning items is easy (most merchants accept returns, though you will need to pay the return postage). If you are still worried, only pay attention to the results with mark, which means that merchandise can be returned within 7 days for any reason.
Of course having a Chinese-reading friend nearby is your best bet for painless shopping, as much of the critical details will require reading the “fine print” – aka costume sizes, shipping details and the like. Speaking of shipping, a lot of merchants will deliver in 2 to 3 days, but be sure to check as All Hallow’s Eve is just over a week away.
For a great English-language DIY guide to shopping on Taobao, visit the Taobao Field Guide here. That site walks you through the Taobao shopping experience and even recommends Taobao agents that will make your order for you (for a small additional fee).
Here are just a few of the hundreds of costumes you can find for sale now — click on the pics to go to the seller’s page for each particular outfit. Happy Halloween!