Shopping

Bargaining

Haggling is part of the shopping experience in China. Everywhere outside of department stores, if you do not bargain, you are paying too much.

Venders will set the price according to what they think you are willing to pay and you can start bargaining at even 15% of their initial asking price. You can barter as hard as you like as long as you keep your sense of humor and (shopkeeper with wares) stay pleasant. If the price is not going down fast enough, be willing to walk away. This can often be an effective way to get the vender to lower the price. The general rule is if the vender sells to you, they are making a profit.

In some areas venders may get a little aggressive and grab your arm as you pass by to get you to notice their wares. Keep calm and assertive.

Before starting to bargain, do your homework, find out roughly how much an item should cost and decide how much you are willing to pay. Many stores and stalls sell similar items and you can shop around. Ask for better quality than the item you are first offered as many venders will have higher quality items which you can buy for only a little more. In the early morning on weekdays is probably the optimum time for negotiating the best prices. Buying in groups or in bulk may also help you to get good value.