How and Where To Shop, and What NOT to Buy in China

Shopping in China
What to buy and what not to buy in China, and tips on how to haggle for a deal. (

Shopping in China can be exciting and fruitful, or frustrating and dodgy if you don’t know what you are doing—and they can tell.

Be a Haggler

Vendors know how to spot a tourist a mile away and hike the prices way up. Start by offering one-third of their price. If you can’t haggle, find someone to do it for you.

Plenty of Variety

The best shopping is outside. Whole streets are dedicated to a particular type of merchandise, great for comparison shopping.

Good Deals?

Brand name goods in China (excluding Hong Kong) are generally overpriced due to a luxury tax. If you find a good deal on high-end brands, it’s probably fake, even in state-owned stores and museums.

Don’t Expect to Return or Exchange Items

There are no refunds, exchanges, or credit in Chinese stores. Inspect what you are purchasing—not just the sample—before you pay.

Organ Transplants Are Not Safe in China

Many human rights groups and governments have warned against or banned citizens from traveling to China for organ transplants. Investigations have revealed that illegally detained prisoners of conscience are killed on demand for their organs, which are sold to foreign patients who pay high prices. Don’t be a transplant tourist.


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