Sanlitan Village is a gorgeous shopping complex full of brand name stores like Uniqlo, Puma, Lens Crafters, Fossil, and (my personal favourite) Paul Frank. On the other side of Sanlitan Village, there is the Yashow Market which is a huge building with floors upon floors of shoes, handbags, electronics, accessories, clothes, souvenirs, etc. Together, Sanlitan Village and Yashow Market make a shopping paradise.
|Sanlitan Village at night|
We found a DVD/CD store with a fantastic variety of music, movies, and tv shows! The only thing was everything was fake. In the movies section, there were fake things that looked real (the spelling errors of “edetion” gave it away) and then there was fake-fake where the DVDs were in those cheap paper sleeves. Foreigners unite: As I was half examining The Killer's Day & Age and half ranting about the fake CDs, a fellow Englishman smiled and said "hello" to me.
|Lady Gaga is clearly not banned in China.|
At the market, the shop keepers ranged from friendly-aggressive to threatening-aggressive. It was my brother’s birthday today so I thought I’d buy him something even though he won't get it until late August. After spotting a shirt I thought he'd like, I switched my Chinese-switch on and started talking to the shopkeeper in my limited putonghua (Mandarin). He gave me the price of 180 yuan and I told him I wanted it for 50. As my putonghua was burning out, he asked me if I spoke English: Cover blown BUT I still got the price I wanted thanks to my friends. He was a friendly-aggressive shopkeeper though.
Asking price: 180 RMB
My starting price: 50 RMB
Bought the shirt for: 50 RMB
As we continued walking around the market, I realized how well the shopkeepers spoke English. In the back of my mind, I thought they would be really good English teachers since they could actually speak English and were all so energetic.
On our way out of the market, we heard a lady shopkeeper yell at to a foreign guy,“250! Don’t come back or l'll kill you!” So much anger and hate! She was definitely a threatening-aggressive shopkeeper. We don't want to mess around with them.
We had dinner at the food court where I opted for some bi bim bap – a comfort food in a sense that it was: a)Korean, b) vegetarian friendly, c) a yummy meal after a full day of crazy shopkeepers.
I now leave you with 2 tips on bargaining (more to come!).
Bargaining tip #1: If you want to state your price, state something at least 1/3 of the asking price. If you start really low, you can always reach 1/3 of the asking price.
Bargaining tip #2: Shop with friends. Have your friends meet you when the shopkeeper is close to reaching your desired price. Example: You want 50 and the shopkeeper says 60. Let your friends convince you that you can get the same product for cheaper elsewhere. If the price keeper still does not budge, walk away.