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Q: What's a good bargaining strategy when shopping at the markets in Beijing?

Any helpful tips that you may have used before?

7 years 41 weeks ago in  Shopping - Beijing

 
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Shifu

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25%.....then walk away. Really, you have nothing to lose. Rarely do I actually "need" the item in question anyway.

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Mattaya.....I would suggest you anwser questions instead of asking them.  I know you could offer great insight if you simply acted as what you are as opposed to what you pretend to be.....just sayin'.

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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divide the price by 3, for example if you are buying  luggage costing about 300, tell the seller you can pay only 100, then bargain....
it would be wise to check the price of the items online, preferably on taobao.com (use chinese to search for the items) before you go out on a shopping spree

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Shifu

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Remember that the exact same thing will be some at another place nearby.  If you don't get kicked out at least once then you are nowhere near the actual price.

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Michael Thomas, offer a really low price. If they don't give it to you, cry like a little girl (i'm pretty sure you'd be great at it) and then show them a baseball bat. She will probably take it from you and beat you with it, and then give you the item Smile

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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- Getting agressive never helps. Try to stay calm and friendly. You can be firm but still have a smile on your face. If they like you, they're much more likely to give you a better price.

- When you intially ask how much it costs, tell them to start off with the lowest price (最低价格多少?), then, depending on where you are, suggest to pay half or  even a third of that price. If they show no signs of backing down on your lowest price, increase your price slightly.

- Mention that you come here all the time to buy goods and that you paid much less the last time. This doesn't always work but it's worth a try.

- Also ask for the 'friend price' (朋友价格) and convince him/her that if they give you a good price you'll come back with many more friends next time.

- If all that fails, do the walk away act.

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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If the price is too high, tell the seller that you are a poor American English teacher and not a rich Japanese business man.  That always makes the seller smile

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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I find that once i start walking away they usually come down to the price i wanted.

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7 years 41 weeks ago

Come on thumbs down everything I say. rnrnPlease I like it thumbs down some more.

 
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This speaks to the issue of the three-price structure in China:  the prices for the locals, the prices for the other non-initiated Chinese who by their regional accents can be seen as non-locals and then the foreigner meant to be gouged.

It happens to me all the time.  I live in a small provincial city that has many large open-air markets.  In the end, I usually end up going to the stalls of the parents of the children that I teach.  That is usually enough to get me a fair market price.  If worse comes to worse, then I will buy it at RT Mart, or Walmart, or whatever -- as the Walmart prices is less than the open-air market foreigner price but more than the local Chinese price.

It's just amazing but one can never, ever let one's guard down with this.  It's just a way of life around here.

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Mattaya, you're Chinese so you should know

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Since everyone in China tries to scam or steal from me, then I can put in pocket and thank them for free gift.

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7 years 41 weeks ago
 
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