Shopping, Hong Kong
Stanley Market should be approached with care because some of the items for sale are often a great deal more expensive than they are in other places.
For example; I bought a Powerpuff Girls pencil case for $19 HK (with haggling!!) but I saw it in Fa Yuen St later for $10 HK! I was annoyed to say the least....
This is not to say "do not go there" or "do not buy anything" but just bear in mind that it is more expensive than some other markets.
REMEMBER! Stanley does offer *some* good buys though! I bought a very nice "A&F" mini skirt for $49 HK and a pair of "A&F" short shorts for $10 HK. I never saw those in Fa Yuen St.
Unique Suggestions: I do recommend a visit to Stanley as it is a major tourist attraction, just make sure you don't buy anything unless it's very very cheap!
Visit Fa Yuen St first so you don't get ripped off at Stanley.
Fun Alternatives: Go to other markets, such as Fa Yuen St in Mong Kok (take the KCR to Mong Kok and exit for Grand Century Place Mall then follow the signs to Fa Yuen St, go down the escalators and turn left or right - it's got two sides!
It sells mens' and womens' clothes (and childrens'), shoes, bags, purses/wallets, toys, watches, stationary, Hello Kitty/other charecter items etc etc. You may see Diesel, Miss Sixty, FCUK, Morgan, Paul Frank, Lovers' House, Roxy/ Quiksilver and more. Some are obvious fakes and they go bad after one wash, but others seem to be of better quality. I've heard that some of the clothes from the actual shops on the sides are just rejects. Avoid buying clothes from the stalls as these are almost certainly fake and are of poor quality.
They are set up to trick unsuspecting tourists. Hong Kong is duty free everywhere!
I personally do not understand why tourists would think that a select number of stores would be permitted by the government not to charge sales tax. : (
I have seen many unhappy tourists come back from Hong Kong saying that they were ripped off by buying expensive (& sometimes defective) electronics from the DUTY FREE independent electronic shops.
Fun Alternatives: If you are buying electronics of higher value, make sure you buy it at a large chain electronic store, like Fortress World. Otherwise, buy it at your own risk.
Personally, I would advise buying it back home, because unlike America or Canada, nothing in Hong Kong can be refunded. Also, many small end retailers have a no exchange policy. This helps to keep prices relatively lower.
I found this "ALL STAR" T-shirt for kids in Chung King Mansion.
Doraemon and Pikachu are compiled at once on a Hamutaro labeled, Hello Kitty bland T-shirt!!! Anything goes, here!!!!!
Unique Suggestions: Just laugh away!
Fun Alternatives: Buy it!
Stanely shopping... Unless you have time to kill, the shopping at Stanley is a rip off. You can get all of the same stuff at the Night Market for 1/4 of the price.. WITHOUT bargining!
But it is a scenic drive though the mountains and its nice to look at the water.
Unique Suggestions: The bathrooms were an experience. It was a plastered hole in the concrete with a lever on the wall.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the Ladies Market in Mong Kok... or wait until the day cools off and head off to the NIght Market on Temple Street. You will find the same things.. MUCH cheaper.. and thats BEFORE you start bargining.
Open evening till late..find your tacky pressies and Chinese tourist souvenirs such as tiny teapots with Chinese characters and quick trad style paintings at bargain prices. Fake watches, sunglasses and up to the minute English language dvds. don't forget your flashing lights kits and other dangling mobile accessories for super fluffy dice aficionados!
I am a local and if I were you, I would think twice before I buy electronics in HK. First of all and all, do not attempt to look into windows of those neon-lit shops along Nathan Road and other main streets. They are there to trap you only.
1. HK's retail prices are usually more expensive than the US and Japan for cameras and some other electronics.
Demands from China and local market effectively keep stock low despite higher prices. The gap of prices have widen as we appear to bounce faster than most parts of the world, though I don't feel that much of recovery personally. I only know I am suffering from the inflated pricing after all.
2. Even chain shop's listed price can be tricky.
I always recommend shopping from well-known retailers like Fortress, Broadway, Citicall, Wing Shing or Tin Cheong. But amazing, you can get a further discount out of the price tag for less popular items upon asking like "can it be cheaper". Tags like "further reduction" also provide the room for the shop to fluctuate prices a bit. That is utterly inconvenient for fair price comparison.
3. Avoid shopping in small scale computer malls.
It is interesting to walk through, but you never know which shop is honest to you. Overpricing and dishonest descriptions are not common but mostly unobservable. Do not shop unless the price is revealed without asking.
4. Consumer protection is very weak in Hong Kong
If no refund, no return, lack of control over dishonest practices and lengthy negotiation with Consumer Council are not putting you off, make sure you know very well about something before you buy in Hong Kong. A little relaxation can end up in regrettable losses.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you know well about your product, like a reference price from your home country and reviews. Make sure you know what you want.
Only check prices if they are clearly stated on tags at display. Check prices from different retailers, though they tend to be the same if they locate in the same area.
Only visit chain shops or well established retailers like: Broadway, Fortress, Citicall, Tin Cheung Photo Supply, Wing Shing/Man Shing Photo Supply, DCFever.com, DC Career, DSC or department stores.
Try not to be convinced for alternatives, unless there is clear advantage over your decided option. Know well what else you would need to complement your camera. Do not pay unless you know what is it.
Always ask for the lowest available price and free gifts, like camera bag and tripod.
Fun Alternatives: I would recommend you to buy from your home country if there is a competitive market for electronic retailers.
It is not money that matters, but integrity. I hate to spread this sad message around the global forums, but as a working journalist, I also figure there is nothing more important than getting informed.
My last advice is that you should act before our government, on our expenses. Enjoy incredibly bargain apparels and the world's greatest selection of cuisine here, as well as the enchanting cityscape, but don't fall for the shoppers' traps. We are not perfect at all.
A brit friend of mine recommended us to come to Stanley for shopping and sightseeing.
Well, there is not much sightseeing to do ther apart of the landscapes, quite spoilt and the Tin Hau Temple (the temple of the Queen of Heaven and Protectress of Seafarers which was built in 1767. During the First World War period, villagers took asylum from war in this temple. Since then, on the 23rd of March, according to the lunar calender every year, the birthday of TinHou, people come to worship in this temple.
for the shopping, don't come here. Really.
You will get the same stuff in any street market of Mong Kok at a fraction of the price.
I think that the shops here are abusing of the reputation of Stanley to increase prices.
Restaurants are not very good either... Not great quality and quite expensive. I ate at MacDonald's... that gives you an idea of the rest for offer.
Unique Suggestions: Buy your souvenirs elsewhere.
People, please do not make purchases at ladies Market and the likes without at least bargaining... unless you do not care about getting a fair deal, or you just do not care.
We travel to HK every 2 years or so and have seen enough stall owners trying to rip off tourists. Example: we were looking at one item a couple weeks ago at Ladies market, the owner offered 120HKD which we knew it was way too much, so we walked. The moment we turned away she dropped the price to 80HKD, still we walked because we haven't checked out the whole street yet. Now, the least expensive price for that item on the same street was 48 HKD. We ended up buying the exact same item a few days later at a street stall in Central, where the price was listed at 39 HKD. We bought 4 for 35HKD each after brief bargaining.
Unique Suggestions: You see something you like at the market ?
- do not show real emotions ...i.e. OMG Hun I love this whatever, honey I gotta have this !
- do not buy it the first time you see it. Don't. There will be others carrying that. Trust us.
- check out the whole market first, and go back and do the bargaining.
- be polite and bargain, and do not feel bad about doing that. It's a market, we all bargain.
- bargain more.
- if they do not give you a better price IYO, just say thanks and walk away. Move on to next.
Fun Alternatives: Try Temple street night market or Central ( they have 2 street market there, smaller , but we find the prices are more down to earth.. always )
*** update *** 19/12/2010
At Ladies Market, the hawker/store owner said 50 HKD, I walked. last price she offered was 20 HKD.
Keep bargaining people ;)
There are some shops in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok and Causeway Bay. They are operated for the purpose of cheating tourists ! Usually, they sell cameras, electrical appliances and jewellery. Some of them sell goods with an extremely high price. They may not allow you to leave if you do not buy goods from them. Or they sell goods at an extremely low price in order to attract you to buy. But the goods are used, are broken or of not good quality. Some of them are even fake goods.
Don't just evaluate the shops by whether it is big in size or not, whether it is clean, well-operated. Most of them are like the most trustworthy shops in Hong Kong !
Unique Suggestions: If you are not allowed to leave from the shop (although it is rare in Hong Kong now), call the police by dialing 999. Most of them will be afraid and give you a way. But please report to the police for their reference.
If you buy goods that are not of a good quality, take the slip(don't throw it away until you are satisfied with your goods), go back to the shop and ask for an exchange of goods. Customers have the right to get the goods that are of good quality. Don't hasitate to argue with them if they refuse to exchange it with you. Some of the shops refuse to exchange the goods by saying that the goods are out of stock. You may simply ask for refund. Remember, you have the right to do so, unless it is specified in the slip that exchange and refund are not allowed.
Fun Alternatives: There is a logo for good shops in tourist sites. The logo should be shown outside the shop and near the cashier. It is gold in colour, issued by the tourism board of Hong Kong. It is suggested to shop in those shops. Please pay more attention when the price of the goods are extermely low, like HKD$99 to get a PS3.
Be a smart shopper in Hong Kong !
Basically everything sold there is marked up in price. Lots of "Ck" underwear, and Ralph Lauren Polo shirts. All fakes of course, so Caveat Emptor. The people will lie to you without thinking twice. You'll hear that it was produced some place else (e.g. Korea) and that they are real (real fake...). Basic items like t-shirts pose no dangers. I bought a pair of shoes for $200 HKD and they broke in 2 days. Just check the quality over before you commit. Bargin, for most things you should be able to at least shave 30% off the price they ask for.
Unique Suggestions: It place is worth seeing, and there are things worth buying. If you are okay with low quality fakes, then buy to your heart's content. Just remember to bargin.
Fun Alternatives: Additional markets like the night market near Jordan. There's another similar market up north closer to Prince Edward.
I've been recommended to go to Li Yuen Street (off Central) several times, but when I finally checked it out, I found it to be grossly over-rated.
The street contains several export outlets, but they are not really the big-name stuff. I'm also not too sure about the authenticity of most of the goods, but if you're not particular, you just might find something here.
On weekends, the narrow street is chocked full with foreign workers on their day off, and it's a hassle to navigate through the street.
Unique Suggestions: You can still pick up some surf-y t-shirts at prices from about HKD 20-50 (USD 2.50 - USD 6). But sizes can be limited.
There's also the constant fear of pickpockets due to the heavy human traffic, so hang on to your handbags!
It's very crowded, the only locals there are the sellers, lots of very aggressive stalls.
I found it a nightmare, lots of schlock and the few things I purchased were less expensive and better quality elsewhere. It was so overwhelming, to me, that I saw only one full lane, and a few short jaunts. It's intense.
I got confused and thought I was buying some things for less than a dollar - so I bought about a dozen, only to find out it was really $5-10 USD each! She wouldn't give me my money back so I had to buy some things I didn't really want, but weren't so out of line.
Unique Suggestions: Tell what price you're willing to pay - or your ideal price. Amazingly, they often go for it; but I hate it.
Know exactly what you're spending, I find it very difficult. I wish I was better at Exchange rates, but next time I'm coming with a calculator.
Fun Alternatives: I suppose Tsim Sha tsui is better, but my favorite was Hudson Centre. We bought a very good suit there and 2 excellent tea shops.
The people in the vendors, when they see that you are a foreign tourist, they will charge you more than they would normally charge the locals. Of course, you can always try to bargain with them, but just watch out. And sometimes you won't even know that they are doing it, just because the prices are cheap anyway.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you bargain with them. It always works. And just pretend to be walking away if they refuse to bargain with you, they would generally lower their prices a bit.
Fun Alternatives: Of course, in department stores, this won't happen. You also can't bargain too.
Things to watch out for in Hong Kong........Indian tailors standing on the streets always wanting to make you a suit.....people on the streets offering to sell fake watches (they are not on show so you have to go inside to look at them).......old chinese men with Rickshaws who demand a 'model' fee if you want to take a photograph.
Unique Suggestions: Just learn to be tolerant and polite.
for people buy expensive stuffs like camera, make sure there is a guarantee certificate with it and dun throw the receipt. Keep it as a reference in case there is any problems with the goods you purchased.