How to bargain when shopping?

Bargaining is the rule here in Beijing. At least, at the many markets and back-street clothes stalls. Bargaining is an art and if you are unfamiliar with it we’d like to offer you some advice. The tips here are Beijing specific but may help you at any place in the world where bargaining is practiced.

DO NOT say how much you want to pay for an item unless its near the end of the process. Always try and drop the seller’s offering price as much as possible before opening your mouth with a price.

DO throw out really low prices like 10 RMB as long as you have a big smile.

DO keep smiling throughout.The seller is much more likely to continue bargaining with a happy smiling face. Getting angry rarely gets you the price you want.

BE AWARE the initial price offered by the seller is usually at least 40% over the general price acceptable. It can be up to 500% over.

Do have an idea of what the item is worth. You can ask Chinese friends, hotel staff, ex-pats or look at our rough guide below. This is very general and is based on a market like Xiu Shui. You may not be able to get the lowest prices stated at Xiu Shui, especially on a weekend when there are lots of tourists around.

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