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How to Bargain When Shopping in China

A lot of you will be traveling to China to see the
Beijing 2008 Olympics. You'll be opened to a fascinated world of shopping items in Beijing. What are the best strategies to bargain and get the best deal? Here are some suggestions.

Know where you are shopping
Shopping malls and department stores usually don't bargain. You can only look for on-sales items for a better deal.

High street retail shops owned by local retailers, specialty shops, souvenir shops or hawkers at scenic spots usually allow bargaining.

Mind your eye sight
Probably the world's most aggressive salespersons are from China. Salespersons around tourist spots are the most aggressive of the most aggressive. Don't let your eye sight stay on a particular item for more than a fraction of a second, or the salesman will follow you and it is really difficult to get away from them.

Don't touch policy
Some items can be touched, some cannot, especially fragile items. China is called China because we have a lot of china wares. Some of the items are so fragile beyond your imagination. At one time in Guilin, I was at a porcelain factory. I touched a bowl very lightly, but I was shocked by the thinness and lightness of it. That was actually a very fine Chinese artifact. Seriously, if any of these fragile items being broken during the bargaining process, you are going to be in great trouble and had to pay whatever amount they asked for, no bargaining any more.

Think before you bargain
If you don't tend to buy, don't bargain. If you are being offered the price you ask for and you ended up don't buy, you'll be in trouble again.

How much to trim off?
For ordinary items, trim off as much as you like. Of course don't offer 60 cents while the salesman asked for $10. Make it a reasonable and sincere offer.

What not to buy?
For luxury items, you will have to take extra care in examining its authenticity. Only if you are able to verify its value, it's better not to buy especially when the salesman keep following you and offering generous discount. In many cases, tourists paid over value for copy watches and jewels. Even worse, they might even face customs problem when they bring these items back home. 

About the Author

Anna is a Chinese, born and raised in Hong Kong. She is a headhunter who loves traveling. With her knowledge about her home country, she is proud to present China travel to the world