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.
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.
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)
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.
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
In the Silk Market you find mostly clothes, though there are a few antique stalls as well and a couple of stalls selling ethnic clothing and bedsheets. You will need to bargain, though its a little bit harder here because there are more tourists.
What to buy: Good buys are silk dressing gowns, ties and scarves. Most of the designer labels are fake.
More and more people hanging around to sell music CDs, DVDs and CD-ROM games. (they can be knocked down to 10 Yuan) I have to admit, I didnt trust the quality so I never tried to purchase such CDs.
What to pay: It depends how good you are in bargain. My expericance: If you are a Westerner the local salesmen try to sell the stuff much higher than they would ask for local customer. Well, thats no surprice. But for me it was a suprise that you can bargain up to 60-70%. In the evening it was easier to get such a price. And, maybe I had another advantage. My chinese girlfriend accompanied me. Nevertheless, if the salesmen don't reduce the 'original' price to 50%, leave the stall.... and it won't be a surprice if they follow you to give you another, better price. So, don't forget: How much can you expect to spend? It depends how good you are in bargain.
Be it any shop - Remember bargianing is expected in China. It is the norm for the shopkeeper to try to fleece you if you are a foreigner.
Always expected to be quoted between 4 and 5 times the price. Remember the price ranges - T shirts are between RMB 20 and rMB 40, backpacks in between RMB 50 and RMB 70, DVD's in between RMB 8 and 25 and shoes in between RMB 200 to RMB 250. You will be asked your 'final offer price' 6 or 7 times by the shop-keeper. Be prepared to haggle and be firm on your price. You can always walk away and go to the adjacent shop.
What to buy: T-shirts(size L in US is XXL in China)
DVD's and CD's
Traditional arts if interested.
What to pay: As above
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.
Many merchandise nowadays are made in China. While one can certainly buy the latest and genuine luxury brand-name items, you could also buy any of their fake counterparts. Both genuine and fake products are made in China are they're so good in making both that it's so difficult to tell them apart.
As mentioned by other posters, this store is so popular that more tourists go here instead of the luxury stores along Wangfujing St.
Opens 9 am to 9 pm.
What to buy: Name it, they have it: clothes, shoes, bags, cameras, MP3 players, videogames, sports gear, cellphones, jewelry, tea, souvenirs, Chinese calligraphy, silkwear, paintings, etc.
What to pay: The rule here is haggle, haggle, haggle...
Silk Market is a big building of 7 levels consisting of many small booths by local vendors. You can find clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, souvenirs, leather goods and much more. You won't find price tags on anything and you have to bargain for the price. Never accept the first price given to you, you are likely to get it to one third or one quarter of the first price. If you are good at bargaining you can even get it for less. I give you a list of prices which can be used as a guideline. Stick to the list and you will have great deals, but you have to bargain first.
What to buy: Snow wear, ski jacket and trousers, T-shirts, polo shirts, sport shoes, boots
What to pay: A ski jacket and trouser set (Spyder/North Face): 300 Yuan
T-shirts and polo shirts : 30-50 Yuan
Converse shoes : 60-70 Yuan
Sport shoes : 80-100 Yuan
UGG boots : 180-200 Yuan
Wallets and bags : 80-100 Yuan
well, not so sure it was this exact Silk Market where the guide took me to (of course he didnt ask if i wanted to visit it!), just forced me to come in like they always do...taking you to all kind of pearl, silk, jade factories and shops is a must for them after you are deadly tired from sightseeing tour:) but at the end i didnt mind at all, the tour in the factory was very informative and demostrative...though i was bit tired cause one of the salesmen was insisting too much on buying a silk blanket..if not for me, it would be great present for my parents..ok,. if not for you parents..take it for your friends..
What to buy: all is from silk here..blankets, pillowcases, bags, traditional clothes, scarfs, ties..neverending!
What to pay: prices are different, blankets are expensive of course, but i bought few nice scarfs with beautifully printed ornaments, each costed max 20$
The Silk market is a knock off shoppers paradise. Big brand fascionistas will just love this place. Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana,Todd's, Diesel, Levi's, Billabong, Chanel.. you name it and they have it. Most items are of fairly good quality.
What I hated about the market is the way you are man handled and grabbed, pushed & shoved by the vendors. It really made the whole experience quite unpleasant and in some stalls, even if I liked something I did not enter their stall because oftheir aggressive nature. My son was grabbed and dragged into stalls so often that he became quite upset by it.
Most of your time is spent negotiating a decent price for items. Be prepared to haggle for atleast 15 minutes each time you want something. I must admit I am a shopaholic but I was so sick and tired of haggling that In the end I just gave up buying anything.
What to buy: The Market has womens, mens and childrens clothing and shoes. Jewellery, prescription glasses ,which they will make up for you in 40 minutes, bags, silk products, tailors who will make up suits and shirts within 24 to 48 hours. you name it and you are likely to find it at the market.
What to pay: Expect to pay about 30% of the original asking price. After all the toing and frowing with price haggling you will be sick of hearing things like.." you're killing me..."
This is not just a silk market- but like the Pearl Market has everything you may want. You can get cheap shoes, clothes, handicrafts, silk and even electronics. In the basement is a food court (noisy but cheap) or if you prefer, try the pizza house next door which is quieter.
the ground floor which you enter straight from the subway station (handy in the rain!) has shoes, leather goods and luggage. Watch out for the shouting which makes you lose track of the price you just offered them.The salesgirls' are really expert in bargaining. But you will surely find what you are looking to buy here.
What to buy: silk, pearls, cheap clothes, souvenirs, cheap electronics.
Before I went to China I had heard rumours that you could get pretty cheap copies of different stuff. So like most tourist we went to something called the Xuishui Silk Market. The name is not very accurate by the way…there are not much silk for sale but you can get North Face Gore-Tex jackets, copies of watches, gloves…well, you name it. It is pretty easy to get there by the way because this street is located right by the subway station Yonganlin (if I’m not mistaken). Already before we entered the market we were offered fake watches (two Rolex watches for 50 RMB). Once we got into the market there were little ”shops” everywhere. Nikki looked at some pants and in the end she wanted to buy 2 of them. The woman selling it pointed at the price which was about 600 RMB per pants. In other words quite ridiculous because that is the price of a pair of pants here in Norway. So we just walked off but the woman came after us and dragged us back and asked how much we wanted to give for the pants. So I punched in 300 RMB for both pants on her calculator and she was acting away and saying that it was too cheap and it was ”killing” her. After a lot of bargaining we walked off again because she did not seem to want to go low enough but then she came after us, gave us the bag and took her 300 RMB and she did not look very happy. So the price went down from 1200 to 300 RMB and I’m quite convinced that we still got ripped off :-)
We also went to some of the malls that are located in the Wangfujing area. But we felt that there really was no point in going shopping there. The prices were more or less on the same price level as back home and they didn’t really have a great selection.
What to buy: Gore-Tex jackets: Gore-Tex jackets are being sold at this market. I doubt that they are real and hence it is hard to say anything about the quality. I came across Gore-Tex jackets of the Norwegian brand Norrøna. And I was wearing my own Norrøna jacket so it was easy to compare them. The jacket had been copied down to the last details and even the washing instructions were in Norwegian. So I have to say that I’m impressed but I could spot some differences.
Watches: If you want to buy fake watches this is also the place to go. Here you can find fake watches like Tag Heuer, Breitling, IWC, Lange & Söhne, Omega, Rolex and so on and some of them actually contain automatic movements…so it is more or less ”real fake” watches as one of my colleagues once said. But the price of some of these watches started quite high. I looked at a Lange & Söhne watch and the seller wanted 750 RMB for it.
What to pay: Well, it seems like you have to bargain quite a lot to get the right price. We started at 1200 RMB for a 2 pairs of pants and we ended up at a price of 300 RMB