Sep 9, 2011

haggling in Beijing

Of course, when almost all items we buy today are made in China I was really looking forward to shop and score cheap products in Beijing. Listed shopping districts are Wangfujing Street, Xidan, Xiushui Market, Sanlitun area and Panjiayuan Market. Each had different things to offer but we were only able to visit Wangfujing Street because of its location at the heart of Beijing.
(Although if it were a weekend, I would have opted for Panjiayuan Market)

So on our last day, we visited the Wangfujing Street to buy “pasalubongs.” The street itself is lined with big shopping malls featuring local products as well as international brands such as Gap and Zara. But for bargain hunters like me, we visited the side streets lined with different stalls offering anything China (food and items).

Unfortunately, the whole shopping experience, for me, was disheartening. In these side street stalls, prices are not posted. Thus, one had to ask the local vendor for the cost of the products which are normally way way overpriced.

I asked a vendor how much a painted wooden comb costs and she said it was CNY85 a piece. Totally absurd! But in the end she agreed to my counter offer of CNY10. On hindsight, it made me wonder if I still ended up buying overpriced combs =( The stressful part is if you ask a price of something but decided not to buy it, the vendors will stalk you and insist on buying their products.

Sad to say I ended up with just a handful of products. I guess shopping in Beijing is not for the faint hearted.

Hopeful to score bargain items next time,

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