Shopping, Hong Kong
From the outside, this womens clothing store looks very prim and proper. But checkout the name of the shop. I didn't go in to investigate (too busy I'm afraid), but it appears you may get a little extra service once you go inside...
I would like to say here that I'm sure that there is actually no underhand business going on, but in English slang at any rate, the name is quite amusing.
Almost everything that were sold at the flea markets (Stanley, Temple Street, Ladies Street etc) are fakes. Almost genuine looking crap. That Gucci bag, that Mont Blanc pen....all fakes! Of course, if you believe in fake couture, don't let me bother you, shop on - cos I must confess that they are really cheap (with heavy firepower bargaining of course!) - but don't expect any real stuff. For that price?
Hong Kong has one of the cleanist public environments in Asia, only challenged by Japan, Korea, Taiwan & Singapore. However, the message of food safety has not reached everyone yet & many places, especially in New Territories & Kowloon handle their food poorly.
Though most of Hong Kong have learned their lesson with SARS (2003) & the Bird Flu Virus (2004), some unconsiderate vendors still do not gave a care on how food is managed.
Unlike North America & Europe, some foods are illegally shipped in from the mainland, & they are usually not inspected by any local health authorities. Also, in open markets food are displayed out on the streets & dust, pollution, and insects get on them. To make it worst, hot temperatures & humidity also affects the safety of the food.
Therefore, it is best advised that you first check how the store handles the food & how clean the vendor's kitchen is if you see it.
This problem is only restricted to open vednors that set up in outdoor public markets & at very old neighbourhoods.
Yes, HK is supposed to be a shopping haven especially if you are a bargain hunter. I had a week to spend in going around but our intention mostly is to do a shopping spree. But my bad experience with the the stores are not what I expect from a country known to be famous for "businessminded" people.
This is what happened. I entered a fabric store with my wife to buy a couple of dress materials. We look around to check the colour and the type of material that we want. Then we found one, we touch it to have a feel of the fabric. The storekeeper did not like it. She took the material from my wife's hands and put it back to its original place. Then we leave because we thought they do not want our money.
We moved from one stall to another but we hesitate to touch their wares. Finally, there's one more store that we cannot help but touch the material. Without saying anything, the saleslady brought the fabric to cash register insinuating that we need to pay. I was trying to tell her in broken English that I have not decided to buy it and still have to see if it will serve our purpose. Impatiently, and without saying a word, she showed us the way to the door! Really, in HongKong most people cannot even speak and understand English. But even if they don't talk, their action speaks louder than words! Lesson we learned from this experience? Cut short our stay and did not waste our time and go somewhere else!
Lately getting more and more people selling parfume on the street, saying original parfume at a cheaper rate. it is advisable that not to buy from them because they may not be real one. The point is you don't know what's inside the bottle. So, be smart!
The best way to avoid being fleeced like a lamb while buying electronic goods in HK is to be AWARE of the common scam tactics that retailers love to use in Nathan Road@ Tsim Tsha Tsui.
1)You're offered an unbelievably good price for an item, you hand over your money only to discover that the item is out of stock. They will stall for time first and when you threaten to leave, you will be offered another item but at an outrageous price.
Solution:Don't hand over your credit card or moolah until you have seen the actual item.
2)No prices displayed on the items
Solution: Appear serious and ask for the actual price of the item. Body, accessories and all.
3)You'll be quoted a price but it's only for the camera body , the accessories will cost extra. Eg. Your camera is missing a charger and you'll told to buy one
Solution: This is BS, avoid buying if that is the case
4)You buy a camera and you're told that the one with an international warranty costs more.
Solution: Call their bluff and buy it anyway.
5)You're told that the camera you've chosen sucks and another model can be had at an equivilent price. Usually, the other model is much cheaper than the one than the one you've chosen.
Solution: Check to see if the chap smudge the lens on purpose and check prices on the internet before making your purchase.
I don't know if I should be telling this one but it's better to say it than regret at all! There are some scam that really happens in Nathan Road and be really aware. Specialy if you buy some electronic goods. The trick is like this, some would approach you or if you'll go ask one of their sales staff, they will give you some very competitive price and then if you really like what they say of course you will think of buying..and then they will ask you to pay first and after a while they will introduce you to some very nice ones and forgot to ask about the one that you will buy and then they will force you to buy the other one and so on...It's not very nice though but we really just have to be aware and accept the fact that there are like this ones even in the city like this!
What can you do if you get lost in the street?
Asking people around you is a good choice. Another solution is to look for the information stand.
There are a lot of information stands in popular tourist sites, like Causeway Bay, Mongkok, Sai Kung, Lei Yue Mun and Central.
The informaton stand provides a map of the area around you and the direction to popular scenery and spots nearby. The map is shown in Chinese, English and Japanese.
It helps you when you get lost !
Mongkok is one of the popular budget shopping places in Hong Kong. Famous for its watches, garments, tshirts, stuff toys, jewelries etc... You will get great value for money shopping in here and you will negotiate the price with the seller through the use of calculators. Though its fun but make sure you are not shortchanged by fake bills or Chinese yuan money of lesser value. It would be wise to ask others before you leave if you are getting the real money here. Or better make research of its bills or study Chinese!
When ordering food make sure you are getting what you really ordered!
There are a lot of young men from India and Bangladesh all around Kowloon, Nathan Road etc. and they offer "Copy Rolex" "Fake Rolex". Everytime when I went to my hotel they offered me that rubbish. I lost my temper the first time during my trips and asked they names. Surprisingly ,they did not say.
Remember that if you buy one of those watch, you throw money away. Once I met some other tourist on the plane and husband was bought a watch from some men. The watch last only a few day and hands of that watch were off.
Well, if you are looking electronics stuff and digital cam at reaonsable price, you can go to Nathan Road. Go to the
shops with a lot of Hong Kong people goes in and shop. A general shopping rule in HK is "Follow the local crowd". If
the shop seems a bit quiet,although it looks good and very cheap price. Don't go in there, they look for the fish like
you. If you willing to pay a little bit expensive ( about 3-5% up ) shops like Fortress, Broadways are good choice, and
you can pay by Visa without extra charge. Normally, they can speak good English.
Another golden rule, don't pay until you get the product in front of you. That means, ask them to get a new one, and
you test it fully. If the shopper insist you pay first, just walk away.
If you are looking for electronic goods, it is best to know your product, its price and availability in Hong Kong. If you are worried about getting ripped off in Hong Kong and there are a number of well publised scams, take a look at ShopCite to check prices and availabilty without having to walk from shop to shop. Shopcite even has a mobile phone version so you can check anytime and anywhere while you are moving around.
Hong Kong is a great place to visit but not shopping, Nathan Road has so many touts trying
to sell you ,suits, watches ,Why spoil your holiday ,just don't buy anything.
I went to a suit shop and the price was more than advertised in local papers
my wife wanted 4 skirts and a dress made and the bill was £400 which is $4800 hk
we could get cheaper in london ,so why bother.
and most times shop keeper doesn't speak english at all.
in the ladies market some stall holders show you handbags and claim they are leather
by holding a lighter flame under it.
if you hold a lighter flame next to the bag the flame spreads around so hold the lighter slightly
lower and watch it burn because its not leather.
good luck to you all shopping and enjoy the place ,ITS GREAT
WENT IN AUGUST 2009
Warning to anyone wishing to purchase a camera at United Power Audio and Photo shop 342A Nathan Road, Kowloon.
Please google search Kowloon Camera Fraud
We were victims of the "Bait and Switch" scam as we have now learnt... in which the customer is lured into the shop after viewing a cheaper price Camera dsiplayed in the window. After getting the royal treatment inside the seller will not show the original camera but instead proceed to demonstrate a more expensive camera. meanwhile your credit card or payment is processed. The bait is the expensive camera at a cheap sale price ..the switch is to a different camera and you are caught when the payment is made and you have to buy to recover your costs because the original camera is and never was available. They will not refund your money. The switch is also a camera of inferior quality as your original intended purchase. Beware of the multiple sales persons that work together in these small camera shops off Nathan Road Kowloon. Good advice is to buy at shops which display the red sampan (junk) symbol sign as an endorsement from the Hong Kong Tourist Bureau.
All employees who work in electronic products shops, work on commission, therefore, they do not have your best interest at heart. Rather, they are more concerned with making a sale.
Though electronics are cheap in HK, it is best to know exactly what you want, or at least be sure of all the features that you want, even if you do not have a specific brand in mind. Otherwise, you may be fooled into buying a poor quality product for a ridiculously large price!!
This happened to me. We went with the intention of buying a Sony digital camera and came back with a 'Vivitar'...which is apparently a good brand...it is nothing in comparison to the Sony. Also, make sure the camera is in stock, otherwise you could end up waiting for a long time while it is being delivered from another store. AND MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TILL YOU HAVE THE CAMERA, WITH ALL THE ACCESSORIES IN HAND! Especially as we were 'told' there was a chip in the box, and there wasnt! :D
This is particularly common on Nathan Road. The best thing to do is be sure of what you want and keep money in your hand until you have the camera in your hand!