You Want a Bag?

In China, the import taxes on luxury goods is extremely high, leaving Chinese people unable to purchase name brand products from foreign countries. This situation has created an expansive market for fake products within China. Two of the most popular shopping locations for such products are the Silk Market and the Pearl Market. When entering into these establishments, the sheer number of products is overwhelming. Rows upon rows of bags, scarves, shoes, and jewelry overflowing with fake name brands. At each little shop, aggressive saleswomen call out to anyone who walks by the shop. Common calls such as “pretty girl, you want a bag?”, echo throughout the market. Even if you just bought the exact product they are offering, the salespeople will try to sell you a different color.

When shopping at these markets it is extremely important to know how to bargain. Walking throughout the store, one can easily spot foreigners being ripped off. Bags that you wouldn’t pay more than a hundred yuan for others can pay something in the high hundreds. When bargaining it is essential to be focused otherwise the salespeople will take advantage of you. One of the best strategies one can employ is the walk away. Often times the women will give outrageous prices and refuse to bring them down, but if you begin to walk away it will more often than not break them into dropping their price much closer to your offer. If you are willing to dedicate time and energy into bargaining with these shop owners, you can get great prices for name brand products look alikes.

A large difference exists between the quality of different fake products in China, something that is reflected in the price differences in the Pearl Market versus the Silk Market. At the Pearl Market you can get almost anything for under 100 yuan. At the Silk Market however, if you offer them too low of a price they will kick you out of the store and sometimes yell at you. Looking at the purses in the Silk Market, much of the quality there is almost identical to purchasing the real thing, if you know where to look. There is nothing quite like these markets in the US and the experience is unique upon itself.