Actually this Beijing cloisonne shop is probably one of the better factories for girls from the countryside to work in.
Unique Suggestions: At least try communicating with the assembly line workers. Any kind words or gestures you make toward them become cherished memories that they share with their families and friends far away.
Fun Alternatives: If you're not enjoying the cloisonne factory then ask to be shown around the local brewery or some other socialist showcase that's more to your taste.
You really know how to bargain, when you visit China. Everything that you get is overpriced by as much as 6 times!!! Even the calling cards which have a talk time of 100 yuan, can be bought at as low as 55 yuan if you know how to bargain.. Never buy anything without bargaining HEAVILY.
It is called Xiu Shui and is located at Jianguomen Wai Avenue close to Gui You department store and Sanlitun road. These places are worth visiting but full of active salesmen and 'rich' tourists.
Choose Sanlitun if you really want to buy something. Try to visit it morning time when there are not so many tourists around there.
Best prices can be reached at closing time.
Be aware of pirate seller´s; for some countries it is illegal to import pirate products.
This store is located at Jianguomen Wai Avenue and is full of chinese souvenirs but also clothes, cards, everyday items and carpets even though prices of carpets here are at least double compared to specialised carpet sellers.
It's a safe place to change money.
just make sure u won't get stuck with whole bunch of kids trying to sell u stuffs unless u really wanna get anything, if u show any interest, they gonna follow u all the way... believe me... lol
apart from that, the usual 'checking the stuff b4 paying for it' and then, nothing much to say!
Friendship Store - Yes, we all know that it is a tourist trap. But is also a place to find nearly everything under one roof, including many things that you don't find elsewhere. Nowhere had the extensive selection, such as miniature terra cotta warriors. The silk dresses and pjs were in many prints that were unique as well. If you don't want to spend a lot of time shopping or bargaining, but want great souvineers, this is the place to stop. (The one we went to also had a huge lifesized terra cotta warrior, so if you don't go to Xian, it is a good photo opportunity. They can be found throughout Beijing and many other places in China.
Do watch out for locals who hassle you to buy their handmade souvenirs when you are out strolling in their picturesque parks. Usually, these souvenirs are nothing more than laminated cards with some calligraphy and with a different type of leaf in each one. The cards do look rather attractive with their autumn coloured leaves but in my opinion they are nothing unique though. In most cases, tourists give in to their hassling and buy a few just for the novelty of it.
The Friendship Store - only go here if you have 1 day in Beijing or aren't brave enough to go to the markets (Xiu Shui market/the silk market) is very close and you'll kick yourself knowing you could have bought the exact same stuff for 1/10th of the price there. Go there your very last day if you still haven't found what you're looking for.
However, the grocery store there has lots of goodies from America and Europe for people there for the long term who just need a taste of home.
No Receipt - I cannot stress this enough. If you buy any craft item (especially ceramic), even if it has the red stamp, you may be asked for a receipt of purchase when you get to the airport. If you have no receipt the customs people can keep it and you can do nothing about it. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS AND WRITE IN ENGLISH ON THE BACK SO YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE IT WAS FROM.
If you are part of any size group of westerners in Beijing, you are going to be approached day and night by people wanting to sell you something, almost anything - pins, Mao little red books, caps, kites, etc., etc. Just about all are $1-$3. When you consider that the average Chinese in Beijing makes about $3 per day, you can understand what that small amount of incremental revenue might mean to a family. We got to the point of having fun with it and actually bought some things in good humor. Unlike some other countries where there can be an implicit threat if you don't buy, we always felt perfectly safe in China to buy or refuse. That's why I've put this under Tourist Traps rather than Dangers.
When shopping at any street stalls, do not be shy to bargain. Always half the price, and allow the vendor to give you a reasonable price. If the vendor agrees with your price, you must accept it.
Though shoping in China can be an adventure and sometime quite scary, but there are a few honest and honourable people, especially in TianJing.
Always bargain when you buy something. In most cases I can reduce the price by almost half.
Also beware of people trying to sell things to you in a very pushy manner. You just have to be very assertive.
When visiting,many people ,especially the local farmer,will ask you too by their goods.They would ask for prices which you could cut them down to the half.
Pay attention to the cutable prices.