Those who has ever been to chinese market (especially if it was tourists oriented one) know that buying particular thing in China is something more than just pay-your-money-and-go-away.
Chinese sellers have a more artistic approach to their job. Who says any good has a fair price? In China fair price is a function of seller's mood, amount of leisure time the buyer has, current moon phase and Buddha's aura condition.
Here are some tips which were helpful for me and my friends in chinese markets:
- you must bargain. Starting price can be reduced by 20-90% depending on situation.
- enjoy the process of bargaining. Play with seller. If you make sullen face and tell about objective reasons why you cant pay any cent more in that boring way, the game becomes routine, you waste your time and salesman's one. Seller is entertaining you, why dont you help him/her?
- after communicating with few sellers you can easily predict all their english phrases. Typically they are "lukaluka" (look-look), "chipa-chipa" (cheap-cheap), "vandalla-vandalla" (one dollar-one dollar), "guta plaisa" (good price), "kilinmimafren" (killing me my friend) etc. I find it very comfortable to use these (or similar) phrases when I speak to sellers. They like when you play using their own rules.
- go AWAY! I bet if you try to go away you will be caught for your arm and price will become sufficiently lower.
- if you dont speak chinese and you are not fluent in english as well (like me) - its better to speak your native language: the chinese will not understand you any way, but speech in native language is usually more expressive .
- there are several situations when bargaining is pointless:
- if starting price is less than 15 RMB.
- if you are in shop where customers pay in cashbox. 20% discount in such place is best you can get. But receipt you get there can be useful. For example you can get free drink for it or use it to buy some more goods.