Silk Market, Beijing
The silk market is sort of a mall with loads of little shops. Take a look at the signs under the ceiling at the entrance. They'll tell you what kind of shops you'll find on what floor.
What to buy: What To Buy: Clothes of any type. Tailors are on a floor for themselves.
What to pay: Depending on how well you can bargain. An ordinary suit should be around 1000 yen
The new silk market has opened with a big bang in its new bright and spacious home. The old open market was demolished back in 2005 and had stirred widespread discontentment among traders and bargain hunters who feared higher overhead costs in an indoor market. But it is business as usual as throngs of tourists continue their pilgrimage to this temple of cheap knock-off merchandises. Naturally, after welcoming raids upon raids of tourist-filled buses, the salespersons here can speak passable English and the occasional foreign languages like Spanish, Russian or Italian. They are generally young women who are too eager to grab any passing foreigners who look clueless enough to spend Y120 for a 'Nike' cap. It is amusing to see them practice their usual warm greeting to customers, then lure them into believing that their goods are of good quality with the lowest prices, turn into a rage when being counteroffered with a lower price, and then strike the deal when they are about to lose an exasperated customer.
What to buy: B2: Foodcourt. B1: A supermarket, bags & suitcases, shoes, caps and leather goods. F1: Men's clothing and cashmere, F2: Ladies' fashion and cashmere. F3: Tailor shop, knitted dresses, silk, kid's clothing, bedding and carpet. F4: Jewelry, ornament, traditional crafts, cosmetics, toys, glasses, electrical appliances, watches, and sporting goods. F5: Jewelry, coral, pearl, crystal, amber and emerald. F6 & F7: restaurants and Tongrentang pharmacy.
What to pay: The general rule is to have a clear figure of what you are willing to pay for the good before asking them the prices. There is no right or wrong prices as they need to make a profit and you want to buy something cheaper that what you are used to. Look around before actually buying as many shops stock the same thing.
This is a six story building that has everything including a restaurant on the sixth floor. Open from 8:30 till 9:00 from October-March and then open until 11:00pm the rest of the year. The best time to shop is during the week (not weekends) early in the mornings. It will take some getting use to if you are not familiar with the bargaining system. Opening prices are always 6 times what they will eventually take for the product. If you are using western thinking about what the products are worth then you will loose money in the bargaining process. These are very low grade products no matter what they look like. We had some local friends from the area who gave us the scoop on buying here and we were surprised how cheaply we could purchase items. Just remember nothing is how it is represented. Leather is not real leather; cashmere and pashmina are their names for soft wool but they are not cashmere and the Gore-Tex was just a name added to the clothing. Some jade was just glass and some pearls had glass bead centers. We found that there were better qualities in about every item and you just had to ask for them for better quality and they keep bringing out higher qualities of the same items. This was especially true for women's purses and all watches. We were offered a cheap look alike for one price and after asking for something better we found an exact duplicate for just 15 rmb ($2.00) more.
What to buy: Do not buy electronics in these shops. They are not as they are represented and are poor quality at best. The CDs and DVDs that are sold here are poor quality and are not legal in the states or Europe so avoid them. The porcelain contains high quantities of lead so buy it for show only and don't use it to eat or drink from. The silk is good and this is a great place for those family gifts to take back home. Chopsticks, fans, jade, Chinese art and pearls are cheap and easy to find but make sure you study how to buy jade and pearls before you shop here. This is also the HOME of the FAKES. Mont Blanc, Rolex, Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and the list goes on. Remember there is almost always better quality than what you are first shown so ask for it. We got prices like 1600RMB ($200.00) for one item and would end up only spending 100RMB ($12.50) on the same item of higher quality. They would say you are killing me with these prices but as they were taking your money they would then ask how many more do you want to buy at this price. The rule is if they sold it to you they made money. Also we could not come to agreement on the price at one shop but could buy the same quality for less that we were originally going to pay just one shop over. There are over 1500 shops so plan on taking some time.
What to pay: The prices are very cheap. We bought the best quality we could find of the following items and here are the prices we paid in March 2006. This is a list of just a few things: men's Gore-Tex jacket 140RMB ($17.50), best quality designer purses 50-120RMB ($6 - 15.00), designer & popular back packs 70RMB ($9.00), best name brand watches 50RMB ($6.00) automatic with crystal faces 100RMB ($12.50) Japanese movement 150RMB ($19.00) and Swiss movement 280RMB ($35.00), Silk scarves 20RMB ($2.50), best chopstick set 40RMB ($5.00), softball sized jade balls 30-50 RMB ($4 - 6.00), set of 2 designer pens with leather case 40RMB ($5.00), designer sunglasses 25RMB ($3.00), silk dress top 60RMB ($7.50). Everything was at least 1/6th of the asking price and some things were even cheaper than that. Get rid of your western thinking of what things would cost in the US and Europe and you will do well.
I call this place a battle field,because you have to "figth" harder to get good prices,they will try to kill you with their prices.
Everything is fake,but many are really good imitations.
Don't be intimidated when they seize you,.......look look friend louis vuitton,bla bla bla
It´s a bit confused,but be concentrate to get a good price.
Ex. if they ask you 2.200 yuan´s for a gorotex jacket,,very expensive of course.
....put your price,don´t be afraid put 50 on the calculator,they tell you you are killing them,it´s the term they use.so the deal begins until the final price for this exemple shouldn't be more then 150 or 200 yuan's.
It´s a funny way to do bussiness,remember to have always a smile in your lips.
Just a note to all you caucasian bargainers out there, here's the price of some items after bargaining a little...(I'm sure my fellow chinese at the silk market will kill me for this...but I feel bad for you guys.)
It's all I can remember off the top of my head! Of course it helps to be/speak chinese, so if you have any chinese speaking friends, i recommend taking them along w/ you to china next time.
good luck bargaining!
What to buy: i say go for the clothes and purses...the wall scrolls are nice too!
What to pay: You can get a goretex jacket (really water proof, i poured water all over it) for 30 bucks, get a huge samsonite suitcase for 20 bucks (I saw a lot of non-chinese get ripped off for 70 bucks US "lowest price!" right?), you can get most purses for about 10-20 bucks...large coach purses are about 11, large gucci's are about 20 bucks, small gucci's are 5..., collared dress shirts (tommy, polo, nautica, versace, etc.) for 5 bucks, tommy bahama shirts for 12.
The new Silk Street building has 5 floors entirely covered of small shops and stalls normally crowded with tourists and locals, shopping around...
What to buy: You find almost everything: from clothing to electronics, souvenirs to travel equipment, small supermaket to DVD stores...
Be aware that you have 99% chance to buy only copies.. .some really good, but others no at all... quality isn't a Chinese characteristic yet.
What to pay: Bargain all that you can... normally prices offered the first time rely on "european or american standards", affordable by the tourists, but real prices are far below that... don't be ashamed to bargain.
You can buy virtually anything here. Be careful of the sales people though. They can be very aggressive. One of the grabbed onto me and refused to let me go until I raised my voice and yelled at her. She finally let me go but she had the nerve to call ME crazy!
What to buy: Anything your heart desires!
What to pay: Bargain! Pay 30% of the asking price, that's the general rule.
On Thursday 6th January at 6.30pm, the Silk Market closed for good.
A new building has opened alongside the old site, but few vendors will be moving in because of the high rental rates. The local authority promises "no fakes" on sale at the new indoor market: they clearly understand exactly why people came to the Silk Market, eh? So now you know exactly where you can buy your world-famous Chinese brand sneakers, jeans and jackets.
Rather amusingly, many of the vendors are complaining that the new indoor market has stolen the brand they spent years building up. The irony seems lost on them and the local media.
Some vendors have moved to Hongqiao Market (see review)
Silk Market (XiuShui) caters mainly for foreigners and the store assistants could speak some english.
As usual, bargain is absolutely necessary. Plenty of stores selling the same things. My method of bargaining involves going to the first store and offers ridiculous price from the asking price. This, obviously, gets the cold shoulder.
Goes to the next store and offer a slightly higher price for the same product until a response from the store assistant. The process goes on until a strike price is reached.
What to buy: Any branded goods
This is a populare shopping alley packed full with stalls selling imitation goods. Although very similar in concept to stalls you would find in Bangkok, KL or anywhere else in Asia, the product quality is much higher and winter clothes are a bargain.
What to buy: Silk ties, purses, branded clothes, silk scarves, luggage.
What to pay: USD 2.50 a "Hermes" tie, USD 3 for a silk scarf.
You can bargain. Always offer around 30% of the initial asking price and work upwards until no more than 50% of initial offer price.
If you've ever been bartering in Mexico before, just picture a Mexican market on steroids, and you'll have a good idea of what the silk market is like!
The market is full of beautiful silk products (pyjamas, robes, shirts, scarves, and so on) as well as tons of textiles (cashmere scarves, clothes of all types, tableclothes, etc.), and handicrafts. Everything in the market can be had way cheaper than at any of the stores in the city, but you will have to bargain for it.
The bartering here can be a little overwhelming. The store owners will grab you and drag you back to their shops in order to make a sale, so if you are uncomfortable with this, maybe go with someone bigger than you! I had a man actually block my path for a good two minutes shouting in my face that I should buy a tanktop that I merely glanced at. I finally had to put my hand in the guy's face and yell at him to stop before he left me alone.
What to pay: When you barter, just remember a few things:
1) No one will sell to you unless they are making a profit. Start your bids at obscenely low prices and work up.
2) Don't worry about offending the merchants, they deal with people who are bigger jerks than you everyday. You won't hurt their feelings if you barter hard, as long as you keep smiling.
3) BE ABLE TO WALK AWAY!!! This is the most important. There is nothing at any shop that you can't get somewhere else. If the shopkeepers see that you can't say no, they won't give you the best deal. Also, walking away is a good bargaining tactic, as they will run after you shouting good prices.
Market - Best place to shop in the whol of china
What to buy: Leather goods - belts, shoes,
Fake designer stuff
What to pay: Pashmina should be 40 - Yuan - always pay in Yuan, never accept first price.
Look shocked when they marketeers mention first price, walk away - they come chasing.
Famous phrases - YOU KILL ME WITH PRICE !!!!
Not true marketeers win every time.
Silk Alley lies in Xiushuidong Jie off Jianguomenwai Dajie, near US Embassy. It is a good place to buy cheaper goods and the resident foreigners in Beijing come here frequently. Whatever you want to buy, like bags, shoes, handicrafts or sweaters, you can bargain with the owners.
What to buy: bags, shoes, handicrafts, sweaters, etc
What to pay: good place to bargain
Popular market near the US embassy. Here is the place to buy your 'designer' watches, clothes etc. When we were there there was a roaring trade in North Face jackets.
The thing to remember is that you must haggle, if I remember correctly I got a fake Timberland fleece for about half the original asking price and probably still paid over the top.
The SILK MARKET or XIU SHUI SHI CHANG is where you can buy many clothe-items like North Face, Timberland jackets, even branded things like Prada. Naturally, not many are authentic. This is also the place to buy your Oriental cheongsam - the tight, figure-hugging Oriental dress.
Go EARLY to avoid crowds and remember to bargain.
Or, go LATE in the afternoon, just before closing (should be before sun-down) when vendors are keen to make their final sales before they pack up.