If there’s one thing I got really good at doing in 2020 it’s online shopping. (And I'm not alone, as more than half of all transactions in China are now online.) Not even a language barrier could stop me! There’s baopals, which is basically an English version of Taobao but with fewer choices. Then there’s JD.com, a service so fast I’ve received purchases on the same day. And of course, there’s Taobao, everyone’s favorite go-to place for basically anything you could ever need.
But one of my favorites, if for no other reason than that I can find stuff that I need (and a few things that I don't really need) on the super-cheap, is Pinduoduo (拼多多).
Pinduoduo is an app that was created a few years back and unlike its competitors who spend time, money, and energy marketing themselves as a platform specializing in quality high-end products, Pinduoduo went in the other direction. It targeted second and third-tier cities in China and became known as the platform where you go to buy everyday goods for insanely cheap prices.
And with that business strategy, Pinduoduo has launched itself to the top of China’s list of online shopping heavy hitters.
Its interface is almost identical to that of Taobao, except in red. The app offers an easy registration option by linking to your WeChat account so the only step that you’d need to fill in is confirmation and then input your address for delivery.
To search for an item you can either type in the Chinese characters at the top of the search bar, use the voice search function, or (my personal favorite) use the photo search function by literally taking a picture of what you want and then just wait for Pinduoduo to search its database for items that resemble the photo. This comes in handy when you don’t know what something is called.
Since discovering Pinduoduo, most of my basic household supplies have come from this platform. Laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, etc. It’s where you go when you want simple things for cheap, but as my local friends recommend, don’t purchase anything expensive from Pinduoduo since sellers are not verified like some on JD.com.
So go forth and put your online shopping habit to work and scroll through hundreds of thousands of gadgets for the price of a Starbucks coffee.
ERAD MORE: How to make your online shopping safer?
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