The Alibaba Alternative: How to Shop On JD, No Credit Card Required

The Alibaba Alternative: How to Shop On JD, No Credit Card Required
Aug 13, 2015 By August Hatch ,

Alibaba might be the undisputed king of online shopping in China with its Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, but it’s far from the only contender. JD, also called Jingdong in China and formerly known as 360 Buy, is the country’s second-largest ecommerce portal. JD’s business model differs from Taobao and Tmall’s in that it relies mostly on direct sales rather than a marketplace of independent vendors.

The Advantages of JD

JD doesn’t offer the massive selection and dirt cheap prices of Taobao and Tmall, but it does have a few perks. First off, products sold on JD are almost always genuine. Alibaba has come under fire in recent months for its merchants peddling fake or counterfeit goods. In one infamous case, a woman was actually buying designer shoes and handbags from both websites- fake goods from Alibaba and real goods from JD. She then returned the fake goods to JD for a refund, meanwhile pocketing the genuine designer products.

Which brings us to the next perk of shopping on JD: a generous refund policy. Because JD owns its own inventory, returns much less of a hassle than on Taobao. They’re also much quicker.

Shipping is faster, too. JD owns one of the most robust warehouse and logistics infrastructures in China. That means next- or same-day delivery in most major cities. All shipping on orders over 59 Yuan for items that come direct from JD (as opposed to third-party merchants... more on that later) is free.

And finally, JD offers cash-on-delivery on most of its products. For expats, especially, this is indispensable. On Taobao and Tmall, a resident ID number is required to pay with a local card, and the only foreign credit card accepted is Visa. Even if you have a Visa card, setting it up on Alipay can be a pain. Very few merchants on Taobao offer cash-on-delivery, which allows the customer to pay the delivery person in cash when he or she shows up at your door.

How to Use JD

The home page looks pretty similar to any other general ecommerce site. Search bar at the top, promotion banner in the middle, categories on the left. We’re going to assume you have an idea what you’re looking for. While you might get a few results if you type in your query in English, it’s best to search in Chinese. In the screenshots below, I’m going to go through the process of buying a tennis racket as an example.

Hit enter and you’ll see all the products relevant to your search. Listed at the top are a few different filters to narrow down your search. In this case, I can view by brand, material, and whether the racket comes with strings or not. You can filter down however much you like.

Below those filters are a few checkboxes that you need to be aware of. Keep in mind that while everything JD sells directly can be bought with the cash-on-delivery method, some products come from third-party merchants who might only accept credit card or other online payment. Check the box that says 货到付款  (“huodaofukuan”, or “cash-on-delivery”) to filter out the merchants who don’t offer it. If you only want to see items JD sells directly, check 京东配送 (“Jingdong Peisong”, or Jingdong Distribution). Jingdong Distribution means your products arrive faster and returns are easier, and are available with free shipping for orders over 59 Yuan.

Once on the product page, you can select which variation of the product you want and specify things like colors and sizes. Be wary that different configurations can have different prices. Scroll down further to see the full product description and user reviews. Whether on JD or Taobao, however, customer reviews in China are in general not to be trusted.

Click the red box next to the quantity selection to add the item to your cart. You’ll be automatically directed to a page that will allow you to either continue shopping or checkout. For brevity’s sake, we’re going to head straight to checkout. If for some reason the item didn’t get added to your cart, try turning off the VPN and trying again. For the remainder of this tutorial, it’s suggested that you keep VPNs switched off else risk wreaking havoc on the checkout process.

This means that you've successfully added the item to your cart. Click the red button to check out or continue shopping for more items. When you click the red button you’ll be brought to a page showing all the items in your cart. Check the items you want to buy and hit the big red button in the bottom right hand corner to proceed to checkout.

Now you’ll be prompted to log in. If this is your first time using JD, click the link that says 注册 (“Register”). You’ll be brought to a page where you need to set up an account.  Enter and re-enter your password. As with most online Chinese services these days, you must enter a valid phone number to receive a text with a pin number to verify your identity. Note that there is a tab for international customers, but if you are shopping from within China, then this does not apply to you.

Once you’re back on the checkout page, you need to add an address. For the receiver’s name, you might have to make up a Chinese name if you don’t have one already, as JD for some reason doesn’t accept English names. Enter your address in Chinese along with a phone number and email.

On the next section of the page, make sure you have cash-on-delivery (货到付款) selected. At this stage, you can set a time for when you prefer the delivery person to arrive, and whether or not you want a phone call before he or she shows up. Below that, use Jingdong Distribution (京东配送) if that’s an option. Double-check the details of your order and hit the big red button on the bottom right hand corner. You can also choose whether you want a fapiao invoice, in case you’re buying on behalf of a company and need to be compensated.

Congratulations! You just bought your first item on JD. You should see a purchase confirmation page.

If for some reason you need to cancel it, click the order number or go to 我的订单 (“My Orders”) at the top of the page. Find your order, and click the link on the far right to cancel (取消订单). You’ll be asked to give a reason for the return, then click the left button to confirm.

Thanks to new regulations regarding ecommerce in China, JD offers a 7-day return policy. If the items ships before you can cancel the order, just refuse to take the items when they show up at your door. That’s the beauty of cash-on-delivery for customers, and the risk for retailers.

And if you prefer to shop on mobile, JD also has a mobile app. You can even use your WeChat account to register.

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Keywords: How to use JD JD shop in English


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It's educative.

Jun 01, 2020 17:08 Report Abuse



One of the most useful articles I have read on e chinacities. com. Thanks for your posting.

Jun 01, 2016 10:51 Report Abuse



Nice article. Good tutorial for non-Chinese speakers. Now do a similar on Taobao. Coz that's where all the gooddies are! :D

Aug 19, 2015 13:45 Report Abuse



Aug 20, 2015 06:22 Report Abuse



Thanks mate. Appreciate it :)

Aug 21, 2015 01:39 Report Abuse



The Party commands you to spend more! The economy does not grow as expected!

Aug 13, 2015 17:18 Report Abuse



I command you to act like a grown up and cut the silly jokes.

Aug 16, 2015 19:58 Report Abuse



I like JD, but I like Amazon.CN better.

Aug 13, 2015 13:21 Report Abuse



1. "On Taobao and Tmall, a resident ID number is required to pay with a local card, and the only foreign credit card accepted is Visa".. that's not correct. been shopping on taobao for 3 years using ABC debit card and been 6 months since started using alipay.. all without a Chinese ID number... 2. JD does accept English names. Been using it for 3 years as well. but very informative and useful for beginners.

Aug 13, 2015 09:37 Report Abuse



please how did you register for ALIPAY, i have tried registering severally it failed because the ID number required is much more than my passport number

Aug 17, 2015 16:16 Report Abuse



when you register try to register from the English website.. when they ask for ID number leave it blank.

Aug 18, 2015 10:12 Report Abuse




Aug 13, 2015 05:42 Report Abuse