eBay Taiwan: 2nd-Hand Foreign-Language Books

Hello friends,

Please do us all a favor and spread this around to other people who like to read, OK? This can only work when there are enough people participating. The more the merrier!! :laughing:

We just got a call from a woman at eBay (Taiwan) and she said that they will try to find a way to make it easier for people who can’t read or write Chinese to buy & sell things there. :slight_smile: So, go on and try to sell some of your old books there. I’ll try to bid for them. If you can’t do it because of <^%%#@> language problems, maybe you can ask one of your assistants/secretaries/friends/… to do it for you?

I was thinking along the lines of a virtual second-hand bookstore at eBay. I read a lot and having boxes of books shipped by priority mail from Amazon.com to Taiwan gets a little expensive after a while.

The Chinese is only at the top of the page - when you click on the item the description should show at the middle or bottom of the page and in English. Give it a whirl at www.ebay.com.tw and search for “English Books” , “English Novels” or some such. You should end up with a page like this:

(“English Books” gives about 31 hits right now).

If you click on one of the items, e.g. English Books Novels Crime , you will see lots of Chinese at the top, but you’ll find the English description below that and a picture of the cover again below that. Prices are as low as NT$ 1!

I am not particularly interested in the selling part - but I would very much like to get to the buying part. :slight_smile: For that, though, there would have to be more participants who are willing to sell their old second-hand books or novels in foreign languages.


                    Holg   [holger@wownet.net](mailto:holger@wownet.net)

It would have been helpful to put the title of the book in the header so we didn’t have to click on each one to see what we wanted. Just an idea.


I was trying to do that, but you can put in only 30 characters max. I guess that is to make the work for the eBay search engines feasible…

But if I don’t put in the words “English Books Novels” or something similar in the header, one would have to search for that particular book in order to have a hit with the search engine at all.

If you have any suggestions, I would certainly like to hear them. :slight_smile:


        Holg           [holger@wownet.net](mailto:holger@wownet.net)

What if we came up with some kind of “secret codeword” like “Engbk” for the headers, allowing at least some space aftewards for the title? Just a thought…

As to the codeword… If we did that, how are we going to let people outside of this forum know about it? I like the idea, but how to get around this one?



Hi guys,
I talked to Holg’s wife last week and she explained to me what the group wants to do. I think it would be great if foreigners in Taiwan can use eBay to do some trading. I can think of 2 ways people w/o too much knowledge of Chinese can browse on eBay Taiwan:

  1. For people who need the English interface: Go through ebay.com and use advance search pages.ebay.com/search/items/search_adv.html
    type in “book” for keyword (or any other ones that make sense) to search for BOTH title and description for books LOCATED in Taiwan. Btw, you can save this search result.

This way anyone who lists items in English can also put the relevant key words in the description and not be limited by the 30-letter title. Of course, you’ll probably find books that contain Chinese but at least you’ll see a wider selection of books that do match.

  1. For people who can somewhat live w/ Chinese interface: I opened a category on the eBay.com.tw under Books for “original language texts”, or “yuan wen shu,” which is meant for people to post books in English and other foreign languages. Here’s the link. listings.tw.ebay.com/aw/plisting … ml?from=R4
    You can add this link to your favorite bookmark.

As for people who want to list items, you’d probably do need to read Chinese.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you guys have more questions.


www.yesasia.com sounds like a better deal than Amazon and has a large variety of books on offer. The website has an English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean interface (choose from the top left corner). If you’re only interested in English books, be sure to click the brown “Western” tab in the middle of the screen - otherwise you end up going round and round on the Chinese items.

I am not sure yet if my order was successful. I have had problems with a US online bookstore which rejected my credit card some days later, probably because my address wasn’t given as exactly on my credit card bill, or my name on credit card doesn’t fit their ‘first name/last name’ sequence. So I can’t confirm how useful Yes Asia is just yet. Amazon, by the way, doesn’t have such a problem.

Other websites which sell both Chinese and English books:
www.cp1897.com - Chinese interface
www.cavesbooks.com.tw - Chinese interface; mostly ESL books, some in other foreign languages like French, Korean or Indonesian.

None of these places have much in their inventory - when you order something, they’ll get it from their suppliers so there’s a delay. Yes Asia even separates out books which are in stock and which will ship immediately. My order is going to ship on 23 June.