How to Book/FAQ

1- When shall I make the booking?
Ideally 1 to 2 weeks before you plan to start lessons. Note we only handle bookings with a minimum of 40 tutoring hours that start within 30 days (you need to start lessons within 30 days at longest after the booking).

2- What’s the booking process?
Choose tutor among three categories based on qualifications: amateur/novice tutors, certified/professional tutors and star tutors. Compare profiles, rates, reviews and credentials of tutors and check their availability by timetable. Select the best fit.

Step 2. BOOK
Book through If you cannot decide on your best fit on our website, contact us for our recommendations. We have many more great tutors that don't like online presence, therefore not listed publicly on the website.

Within a maximum of 48 hours (if we receive your request during office hours), we will put you in touch with the tutor. Discuss and fix tutoring details with the tutor over the phone or in person. Pay a one-time service fee with full tuition fee, based on total booking hours, upfront to start learning. (no charge will occur until the point you start lessons)

3- How long shall I wait for your reply?
Under normal conditions, we reply to requests within 48 hours if we receive them during working hours. We respond to every request and email. To avoid our emails from getting moved to your spam folder, make sure to add to your “approved sender list” or “white list”. You can also add us to your “address book”. If you do not get a reply from us within 2 working days, we may not have been able to reach you, so contact us again.

4- Who are the tutors? What are their qualifications and experience?
We have an unrivaled network of independent Chinese/Mandarin tutors. Only the best are included in our community (about 20% of the applicants). Each of them goes through credentials verification, resume evaluation, interview screening process and meets our criteria. They are of all kinds of backgrounds: professional Mandarin teachers from universities, international schools, Mandarin schools, freelancers, part-time tutors with regular jobs, college students, etc. Some of them offer private tutoring off work to supplement income and some have shifted completely to freelancer tutors. Most tutors have either relevant certificates, education degree or experience.

5- Do I get to pick and meet the tutor before starting?
Yes. You can request the desired tutor from listings on site or ask for our recommendation. We encourage every learner to talk with the tutor before taking lessons to ensure some sort of chemistry in the lesson. We will recommend a neutral place that’s convenient for both of you to meet up, or you can discuss and fix details over the phone or through WeChat. (If you want to have the meeting arranged in your place instead of a neutral location, we'll charge 50rmb if you are located within the inner ring of Shanghai or 100rmb outside inner ring).

6- What’s the price for tutoring?
Price varies. Tutors are independent. We do not employ or manage tutors. You discuss rates with the tutor directly and employ the tutor as an independent contractor. All tutors fall into three categories based on qualifications (marked as A, AA, AAA). Different tutoring rates reflect their difference in experience, qualifications, and popularity. Check standard rates in their profiles for reference and select your best fit. While the final rate is a matter of negotiation between you and tutor, below is the average rate range for your reference (on private 1-1 basis). They may vary according to the tutor’s popularity, commuting distance, time and frequency of lessons. For 2 to 3 students taking lessons together, the rates may rise by 30% to 60%.

Tutor Type A AA AAA
Hourly Rates 90-110rmb 130-160rmb 170-200rmb

Category A: amateur teachers/novice teachers (minimal experience)
Category AA: certified teachers/professional teachers (minimum 1, average 2-5 years experjence)
Category AAA: star teachers (top trainers with experience in universities, international schools, corporate training, etc)
Most tutors fall under Category AA (most popular choice by our clients), charging between 130-160rmb/hour (1-1).
*Above rates are based on 2+ hours teaching per time. If you study ﹤2 hours per time, expect 25%-50% raise in rates or consider on-line tutoring.

7- How much is the service charge? What service do I get? 
400rmb for 1-1 private tutoring regardless of how many hours are booked at a time. This fee is charged one-time only for the successful matching of tutor and is to be paid along with tuition fees upfront before tutoring.

The small service fee helps us maintain the operation of this site, offline office work and guarantees you one-year continuous support from us. If something goes wrong with tutoring during the year (e.g. conflict of schedule, drop in lesson quality), we will change tutor for you free of charge with no limit in times (tutoring rates need to be discussed and confirmed with the new tutor). The service fee also validates Money Back Guarantee, ensuring your tuition fee is refundable for any reason. With this financial support from you, we are able to provide the best possible experience for you and our clients.

If you study in a group, there will be a 200rmb surcharge on the service fee for each additional student studying in the group. For big group and corporate bookings, service fee varies; please consult to confirm.

Note: service fee will be charged each time you make a new booking. (extending lessons will be deemed a new booking)

8- When and how do I pay?
400rmb one-time service fee and full tuition fee (based on your total booking hours) are to be paid upfront, before the first lesson, once you decide to go with the tutor. E.g. if you book 40 hours of tutoring at 150rmb/hour, the total fee will be 6400rmb (400rmb service fee + 6000rmb tuition fee). If you study in a group, there will be a 200rmb surcharge on service fee for each additional student studying in the group. Textbook, if used, is to be paid separately at its actual price.

All these payments are to be made in CASH in RMB, Alipay, WeChat or by bank transfer (only RMB transfer within China). Credit cards are NOT accepted.

9- Where do I take lessons?
You and your tutor are free to choose any convenient location for lessons. Many students choose to have lessons in their homes, offices, while others prefer to meet in a public location such as a library or coffee shop. The place should be safe, healthy and should not require mandatory consumption (if you want to have lessons in a coffee shop or restaurant, you should discuss who is paying in advance to avoid embarrassment).

10- What should I do if I have any trouble with tutoring? Can I change the tutor?
If you have any problem regarding tutoring during contracted hours, you need to notify the tutor immediately. Should the tutor not be available or cannot solve the problem, you should contact our staff or Emergency Complaints Number previously provided with the contract. If anything goes wrong during tutoring (e.g. conflict of schedule, drop of teaching quality), we can provide another tutor (tutoring rates need to be discussed and confirmed with the new tutor). There is no limit in changing tutors within 1 year.

11- Do you make a refund if I shorten tutoring hours or decide to stop learning?
Definitely yes. The tuition fee associated with unused hours is refundable for any reason, whether you want to shorten the hours or stop learning totally, as long as you notify us within service time (1 year).

1 10% processing charge on returning tuition fee will be deducted to cover our administrative costs.
2 Request made in written form to moneyback@ShanghaiTutors.Com within service time (1 year).
3 The refund will be made in 20 working days after the request.
4 Refund does not apply to the event that the learner has previously breached the contract or engaged in illegal or improper behavior, language.
5 Resuming lessons with the same tutor without giving us notice will invalidate Money Back Guarantee.
6 The refund will automatically terminate the 1-year service while the one-time service fee is not refundable under any circumstance.

12- What about the quality of lessons by private tutors VS Mandarin Schools?
Tutors in AA category are totally comparable to their counterparts in Mandarin schools (and often better!). Tutors in AAA category, on the other hand, far exceed average teachers from any Mandarin schools. They are truly top trainers with considerable experience and a proven track record.

Many tutors at ShanghaiTutors also work part-time or full-time in Mandarin schools, and they are here to acquire more students like you to supplement income. You might bump into the same tutor if you opt for a private course at Mandarin schools, but you will end up paying 60%-200% more for the same thing…so that they can pay the bills for ads, sales, rent, utilities, etc.

13- Why the tutoring rates via are much lower than Mandarin schools?
The tutoring rates shown on are set by tutors, meeting their pay expectations and conforming to market reality. If you take a private course with a school, a significant amount of your tuition goes to cover their high expenses on marketing, advertisements on the internet, paper, magazines as well as staff, rent, utilities, etc. The actual pay for teachers is no more than half of your tuition.

14- What are the advantages of finding tutors via ShanghaiTutors.Com VS finding tutors by myself?
The simple answer is tutor qualification and full support.

We’ve been involved in tutoring service for 7 years and our knowledge is second to none. We know what you expect from tutors and only select the best fit. We also follow up in terms of quality and progress and provide continuous support throughout, so that we can always propose a good deal of quality and assurance to you.

While finding a tutor by yourself is possible, you would be going out on a limb there. Honestly, Chinese is not an easy language to learn, teaching it requires lots of expertise. As a learner, you won’t find it easy to tell if the tutor is teaching you the right things or even speaks Mandarin without accent him/herself. If you choose the wrong tutor, you’ll just waste time. We’ve seen too many cases that people give up learning Chinese because they are frustrated with “tutors” they found on their own. So why risk your time and money when you have us as an option?

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