How to Navigate the Silk Market in Beijing China

How to navigate the silk market in Beijing

Have you ever been to a place where almost everything is knockoff and no prices are set? Welcome to shopping in China, where if you don’t know the price you are probably getting ripped off. You can hear the screaming stall assistants from outside “come here! Look at my shirts! Good price! Handsome man! Pretty girl!” and impressively they can do it in multiple languages.

Silk Market

Silk Market Beijing China

If your looking for knockoffs and good deals look no further, the two hubs of Beijing for this temptation are the Silk market and the Pearl market. And as much as they might say “Its real” it’s fake, maybe except the camera gear, but who knows, they are good at knocking off all items big and small.

What to buy? So many choices!~

Clothes – probably the number one item bought here anything from designer knockoffs to no brand items. Check the quality carefully, many are what we locals call “Wash and Toss” shirts, they make it maybe a few wears and their done.

Silk Market Stalls

Silk Market Stalls

Phones – get a fake phone at almost looks like that new Samsung, but it’s not. They run Android knockoff software, and it works pretty well. iPhones are to be avoided, they run android and it’s clearly 100% fake, at least with the Samsungs you are second guessing.

Speakers – kickass Bluetooth speakers will run you less than 15USD, and many many options for at least a 1/5 the normal price.

All electronics – play stations, cameras, software, games, movies, pretty much anything you need they have.

How to know if you are getting a price?

You don’t! Years ago a friend told me “look, I got this Northface jacket for 100 dollars!” and I was staring at the same jacket I bought for 20 a winter before, and I bet I was ripped off. Unless you are very familiar with the prices and haggling all day long it’s pretty difficult to know if you are getting a good price, here are a few tips to at least ensure a better price. Things can be cheaper than you ever imagined.

Silk Market Shirts

Silk Market Shirts

Tip one – listen to a local
Now this requires a bit of knowledge of Chinese, but standing by a stall and waiting to hear a real local buy and hear the price is a good bet the price is OK.

Tip two – whatever they say start at 10%

So if they say 500 just say 50, or maybe less. If they say 200 go to 20. Its safe to say if you go up to 20% the price is OK. Even if the price seems ridiculous, they say 10 you say 1, Its 99% right on!

Tip three – tell them you will tell all the foreigners that come by the real price!

Now this one is a bit aggressive,. But get used to it! They will be pulling and pushing and screaming, so jump into it and join the fun! What you do is tell them a very low price, and simply say, best in Chinese while other foreigners are around, I will tell them the price all day long if you don’t give me the best price. Usually they drop quick

Tip four – stall hopping

Many of the stalls sell the same exact items, go stall to stall to negotiate. Once one says 60, go to the next stall and say “they gave me 50! Do you have a better price?” They usually drop, or you might have a good price.

Tip five – haggle haggle haggle

Silk Market Electronics

Silk Market Electronics

To get a really good price it takes time. It’s really like you are working for it, and may take hours to get a few items for a good price.

Tip six – don’t fall for the wooing

Oh yeah, they will say “handsome man!” and “beautiful girl!” and “oh, you so good looking, look at my shirts” it’s goes on and on, but don’t fall for the flattery! Say back “Handsome man want good price!”

Tip seven – ENJOY THE PROCESS!

Not many places in the world can you bargain so aggressively and no one is really angry. So run around, haggle, bargain and get your price!

What price did you get? Post here to share the REAL price for items in the Silk Market

silk market Beijing China

You can get anything in the Silk Market even TerraCota Soilders!

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