Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Silk Market: Tips to Shop in China...

Next, we stopped at the Silk Market. I thought they only sell silk so I wouldn't bother getting down the bus. But they weren't selling silk. There's no silk in there at all. We were given another 40 minutes to shop around the place. It was a shopping haven and I don't mind spending the whole day there, brushing up my price-haggling skills. There were so many things from handbags to purses to t-shirts to shoes.. just so many things to buy and so many foreigners. 
Those were the salesgirls who didn't look friendly at all. They were very aggressive people and it shocked me how they did business. I bought two Adventure of Tin Tin's t-shirt for my hubby. Just for that two normal t-shirts the girl took out her calculator and showed me 480yuan. Our eyes almost popped out of the sockets. We didn't walk away from the shop, we made a dash out of it. We felt that we have been robbed in the daylight. The girl came chasing after us and held me by my elbow. She had her calculator with her. She punched the numbers and showed me 260yuan. I wriggled myself free from her grasp and walked away again. She caught hold of my arm now and asked me to name a price. I showed her the 5-finger sign. I would only pay 50 yuan for two t-shirts. She said that was impossible. So we walked away again. This time round, she didn't want us to walk away. She dragged me back to her shop and Pinky had to follow. If I was one aggressive person myself, I would have punch her and push her away for holding me. But I was enjoying the drama. She stabbed on her calculator with her index finger. She showed us 180yuan. I shook my head, telling her 50yuan. Then she begged that I increased my price to 130yuan which I objected. The price went down to 90yuan and I still insisted on my price. In the end, after at least 20 minutes, I got my two t-shirts for only 50yuan.
That's the power of being able to bargain. Stand firm on your price. Decide on a price. For example if you want a shirt, try to think whether the item is worthy of that price then reduce it by half in your head because all those are not original items neither they were fake items. They were just imitation goods. There's a difference between a fake item and an imitation good. A fake item is when you see a Nike shoes but you see that the 'tick' sign has been turned the other way round or the spelling has been purposely misspelled. An imitation good is when the item looks 100% like that of the original but there were two possibilities why the goods ended up at such cheap market. First, it might be the factories purposely over-produced whatever the original orders were, then those extras were released into the black market so that it wouldn't have to go through custom, made sense? Secondly, some of those items were rejected after failing the quality check. The rejections may not be obvious for example the sewing of the inner lining may have one of the threads jumping out of tempo. There is the possibility where the factories involved in making those branded stuff were crooked people and since they have the mould and the skills to produce the branded stuff, they just produced it to earn big bucks. 

Therefore, if you ever shop in the land of my forefathers, please brush up your bargaining skills or else you would be tricked into parting with large amount of money. I bought my mom a Prada bag in Luohu. The initial price was 1300yuan and because we were very tired with all those bargaining, we pulled the price down to 350yuan. We kinda regretted it after that, we should have named the price at 200yuan and then increased it to 250yuan and made that the final call. The drama that I went through, it turned out to be the same in EVERY place whether is it in Beijing or Shenzhen... totally same. Oh, one more thing, the sellers in Silk Market can understand English, Russian and the Malay Language. Those people in business they can understand English but mostly pretend not to understand. Be careful what you say in front of them. 

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