They have some really nice handy craft in China, and they can be pretty cheap, if you are a hard bargainer.
Bought the picture for RMB50 in a shop. Thought it was a good bargain, I bought 4. When it started, the lady asked for RMB100. After some arm wrestling bargaining, we settled at 4 for RMB200, I walked away, gleefully.
Then, on the street market, saw the same stuff again. Asked for the price, the lady at the stall told me it was RMB50 each. And without much fight, she was happy to give 2 to me at RMB50.
I was a bit miffed, but still glad that I managed to average down the price per unit.
One of the things you MUST do when shopping in China is to bargain. Start by offering a 60 or 70% off, depending on the product. Don't you thing it's too much, the prices they give to tourists are as much as 15 times higher. Believe me, they will reduce it until it's fair for you both. Always bargain pleasantly and with a smile and don't be afraid, bargain is a normal practice.
There is a lot of air in the prices quoted to tourist. You should start bargaining by giving an offer max 10 % of the offered rate. And you do not need to increase it. Usually the seller comes down to your level if he really wants to sell. And believe me, he does want to sell!
Even those with patience may go crazy with the absolute persistence in trying to sell you stuff especially when near a tourist area....to point of nauseam.
The Silk Market is a great shopping experience - I quite enjoy conversing with the vendors who try to befriend...it's part of the atmosphere, just enjoy it instead of being annoyed by it.
Remember a few dollars here and there won't mean much to you, but it will to them.
After experiencing the thrill of getting a good bargain in the markets, and with road-side stalls, I went shopping in clothing and jewellery shops along the main road (that Jishuitan stn is on). I tried my bargaining tactics with them. It didn't work well. I think they were annoyed. They might maybe discount you 10-20 RMB, that's all. Or you can get a special price if you buy 2 or more. But generally the quoted price is near to the price they are going to sell to you. One Jewellery shop had a sign, 'No bargaining please'. So, just try it tenatively in nicer shops around Beijing. You may get a discount, but don't hope for any amazing price cut like in the markets!
They can see it, they can touch it, they can smell it. Brightly lit underground corridors and banks of escalators take the new urban Beijing comrades into a luxurious warren of Western luxuries. They can walk from their homes and see what luxury means: to get rich is glorious. And you get a Rolex.
Seeing, touching, smelling wealth is not enough fro Beijing: they want to have it, have it all, and have it now. This is the realm of Gollum - wanting 'my precious' without ever knowing what they have now that maybe means so much more. Haughty, chirpy and ridiculously inept shop-girls stand idly awaiting their next customer - and at these prices, the next customer will pay the way for the entire shop for another day. Just one in fifty thousand in Beijing have the money to keep China World and other luxury plazas in business.
Most Beijingers have absolutely no idea that most of the luxuries found in the bright basements of the China World Centre are equally unattainable for the vast majority of those in Europe, the States or Japan.
The new Forbidden City is definitely China World, and as further down the road, the contents are largely an illusion.
This came very useful when I was at the foot of the trail up to the Great Wall.
Chinses peope are very entrepreneurial and will try to sell you everything and anything if you walk by a stall - "No" to them means you want to bargain.
Chinese will ALWAYS try and charge foreigners at least three times and upwards of the price of the item if it is not clearly marked already. To counter balance this, start your bidding at at most one tenth of their asking price - you will quickly find that their asjing and your offer price will converge at around what you can expect for that item if you were chinese.
A good way to tell them you are not interested is to say "I think this is beautiful - someone else might like it" then they will gracefully retreat and say no more.
Of course the other way is to quickly walk on by or walk away if you have no interest in buying anything.
One of the most frequent questions I have encountered when I dine out with my European colleagues is : "shall I leave tip" ?
Thanks to Chairman Mao's motto " serve people first "!
One thing you don't need to worry about while trvelling in China is the "tip" , most of the place where you get service are not necessiarily to leave tip (except some tourist site or luxury hotel ) .
No need to be guilty as some of the local people are not used to be given small money, if you leave little money , sometimes may confuse the things, those who served you may consider that you look down upon them.
Enjoy " tip free " service in China everywhere!
the markets expect you to bargain...they usually call a higher price if they know you are a foreigner...thus...call for about 75% less than the asking price...if you can't make a deal...then walk away...they'll call you back and try to make it work...
The Chinese surrency is the yuan. $1 US = about 8 Chinese Yuan. That means that this bill is worth about $12.50
you can buy a lot of stuff with this like:
10 Mao watches
dinner and a cab ride
breakfast for 4 in a nice hotel restaurant
breakfast for 165 of your closest friends at a local restaurant
a sweatshirt at the silk market
a nice jade necklace
several skewers of mutton
There are a lot of interesting things to buy in China. From pottery to silk, from oriental medicines to papercuts, like the one in the photo. The best place to buy them is in Beijing, as you normally leave the country by plane from the capital city; besides, they are not much cheaper elsewhere.
Even if you are not ill, a chinese traditional pharmacy is worth the visit. You won't understand the use of so many herbs, dried animals, powders... but the ambiance, smell and colourful items is a nice experience.
1. Offer a price that u want to pay and hear what the seller says.
2. Bargaining with a small increase each tiem.
3. If the price still high, pretend to leave.
4. Seller may ask u to come back and talk about the price again.
Just believe me! It really works! ~-)
Beijing inhabitants (and Chinese in general) are friendly like this one who invited us to visit his shop of paintings to speak and improve his French.
Or may be, it was to take my wife in his arms.
Here in this street we have the local market that has many things made in china.
You should visit and barg with them cos they ask you more than 3 times, the pieces worth.