Beijing Shopping Tips – Most Practical and Useful

Beijing Shopping Tips – Most Practical and Useful

Shopping is part of fun of touring Beijing China. There are numerous shopping markets in Beijing with something for everyone.

Shopping in Beijing is different from shopping in Hong Kong or New York, since not only famous brand name fashions are available, but also many local products from around China that can’t be found anywhere else. 

Now that you have know what and where to shop in Beijing, read the following basic smart shopping tips that can be used anywhere you shop in Beijing. Use them to save money, and as a guide to strengthen your purchasing power.

Shopping Tips in Beijing

1. Don’t Buy Anything in a Market at the First Offered Price

When buying items in markets or from street stalls, it is expected that you will haggle to get a good price. Vendors will often first suggest a price that is outrageously expensive in the hopes that you will pay without question, do not feel obligated to pay the stated price. Bartering is a cultural custom and is necessary to negotiate a price that is fair for both parties.

Note: In department stores, retail malls or grocery stores, prices are marked and bargaining is not permitted. Price negotiation only applied in markets such as the silk market, Pearl market or Yashow market.

Shopping Tips in Beijing

2. DO be aware of shopping traps.

Nothing brands you as a tourist more than wandering outside the most famous sights of Beijing. Locals know this and some may chose to take advantage of it.

Occasionally a scenario similar to this may occur: a younger Chinese person will approach a small group of tourists claiming to be an “art student.” They may say they want to practice their English with you and begin chatting. Soon they may enlist your help, saying they are a part of an art exhibition and using it to help pay for school. They may ask that you accompany them to another location to see their work. Following them maybe a risk. Many times they will bring you into a gallery and sell you overprices goods. They may seem over-eager and plead with you to make a purchase. Beijing is not a dangerous place at all, but it is wise to be cautious and alert of your surroundings at all times.

Read more about the Tourist Scams in Beijing.

Shopping Tips in Beijing

3. Locations of Shopping Markets

All of the shopping markets in Beijing are located in the very Beijing urban, so just put your distance worries aside.

Shopping Tips in Beijing

4. Bargaining

There is a saying around here: “Everything in China is negotiable”. Shopping, buying and selling, they’re all games.

The seller plays and the buyer plays. Most of the time it's amiable but sometimes tempers flare and I’ve seen live fish being whipped at shoppers who deride the merchandise and punches being thrown in the marketplace. Have no fear, in the tourist-trade, everyone's out to make a deal and you just have to learn the rules.

Shopping Tips in Beijing

5. How to Bargain

  • A: Learn a few catch Chinese phrases: Ni hao ma? (how are you?), or a Duo shao qian? (How much?);
  • B: Start at a fraction of the asking price;
  • C: Practice a little on inexpensive items
  • D: Take your time;
  • E: Decide how much you’re willing to spend on an item;
  • F: Use the Walk Away;
  • G: Don’t feel sorry for the seller;
  • H: Be careful with your belongings;
  • I: Don’t dress up or wear jewelry while you’re shopping;
  • J: Don’t carry large denominations and always pay with exact change.
Tailor-made a Beijing Tours

Have a question? Want to tailor a Beijing tour? Want to plan a Beijing trip?