Beijing Silk Market - Shopping & Bargain Paradise

Beijing Silk Market (a.k.a. Xiushui Silk Market) is a multi-floor shopping complex in the Beijing Downtown. It is famous for fake branded goods such as Coach and Prada purse, RayBan glasses, iPod, Silk scarves, Jeans and you name it. It's also famous for extreme bargaining. And you may be surprised how extreme is extreme by reading the tips below along with a table of comparative prices paid.

It is directly connected from the Yong'anli Subway station on Line of Subway.

Here are the basic shopping tips that I learned by talking to others and practiced during my shopping stint:

  1. Each item has three prices - Printed, American and Chinese. Typically Printed and American price are the same, may be American price slightly lower. The Chinese price is typically 50-70% of the American price. The first quote from the shopkeeper will be based upon your skin color. However the most important rule is to NEVER buy at any of the first quote price. Always quote a price that is 10% of the Chinese price and then haggle your way up. Going up is only an additional buffer and is not a necessary step. In any case, don't pay more than 15-20% of the Chinese price. You may find it ridiculous but it worked in most of the cases as you can see from the table of comparative prices below.
  2. Some of the commonly used phrases to indicate the stage of bargain are - Joking price (when the shopkeeper find the price is ridiculous), Final price (quoted multiple times from the shopkeeper, sometimes final final price) and Yes or No price (mostly used to quote the final price from the shopkeeper). You can pretty much ignore the first two prices and consider third one slightly seriously (see next point) if you are interested in the item.
  3. Be ready to NOT to buy irrespective of the item and you might end up buying it for a ridiculously low price.
  4. This is an important one. If the price is not meeting your expectation, WALK away from the shop. It may be hard to do it sometimes because you may like the item very much but force yourself out of the shop. There is a high likelihood that you'll be physically pulled in the shop so don't feel offended but stick to your price. If need be, pretend walking out of the shop and you'll see the shopkeeper shouting from the behind with your price. It's important to confirm and double confirm the price and especially the currency ;-)
  5. The magic word is "moment". If you hear this word from the shopkeeper, which most likely will be the case, that means you are likely in a position to strike a deal at your price.
  6. Some of the shopkeepers get really angry and start throwing items (mostly with clothes) around. Don't budge, this is just a tactic to show they are upset and instead keep smiling and stick to your price.
  7. Buying more than one item will get you a better price. As the prices are ridiculously cheap, it's worth buying more than one and gift it back home.
  8. A key rule is to bargain with smile and that will improve your chances of meeting your price :)

Here is a comparative table of quoted and paid prices for some of the items:

Item Quoted Paid
Silk Scarves 650 55
Denim Jacket (heavy embroidery) 1200 180
Kimono 450 40
Denim Jeans (with embroidery) 450 35
Silk Two-piece Dress for Kids 600 50

Happy shopping & bargaining!

Technorati: traveltips shopping silkmarket beijing bargain

Comments:

Thanks very much, Arun! This is such a helpful guide. You rock! Thanks also for your eclipse jmaki plugin!

Posted by anonymouse on November 12, 2007 at 02:58 AM PST #

Hi Arun !
Thanks, do you know other fake markets in Beijing, it's first time for me, been a lot i Shanghai (nice place!) but need some help for Beijing shopping (i believe this can bee very expensive, i bring my wife along..:))
BR
Timo

Posted by Timo on February 29, 2008 at 05:34 PM PST #

does anyone know where i can buy sports equipment such as javelin shotput and discus in beijing

Posted by donna on June 08, 2008 at 09:19 PM PDT #

i went to the silk market 2 years ago and wish i made some contacts.do you know any

Posted by dez leonard on August 19, 2008 at 10:21 PM PDT #

Lel, thats was pretty nice. Im at tiajin living for 2 years, and what you say its te truth. All items are 10 times cheaper than what they ask.

It would be great that this advices were read by all customers, beacouse I see people paying 50bucks for a pant thinking that they are not fake XDDDD.

Pretty nice guide.

Regards.

Posted by Iñigo on August 28, 2008 at 02:47 AM PDT #

IM FROM USA ITS EASY

Posted by guest on October 18, 2008 at 08:57 AM PDT #

Thank you for the information on bargaining. You have done an excellent job of explaining it. I plan to use your suggestions with my clients when they try bargaining in Beijing. It will definitely help them have a better experience. I agree, definitely bargain with a smile!

Beijing Journey Travel
http://www.beijingjourney.com

Posted by Tony on February 21, 2009 at 02:05 AM PST #

Hi! My friends and I are planning to go to Beijing in the 2nd half of Nov or 1st half of Dec 2009. What I would like to know is whether the markets and the shopping malls are open at this time, because according to some people most of the shops, malls and market in Beijing will be closed during winter because of the cold weather. i.e. one went during Christmas week in 2008 and didn't buy anything because shops were mostly closed. Appreciate it if you could advise ASAP. Thanks

Posted by Suzy on March 11, 2009 at 04:46 PM PDT #

Hi! My friends and I are planning to go to Beijing in the 2nd half of Nov or 1st half of Dec 2009. What I would like to know is whether the markets and the shopping malls are open at this time, because according to some people most of the shops, malls and market in Beijing will be closed during winter because of the cold weather. i.e. one went during Christmas week in 2008 and didn't buy anything because shops were mostly closed. Appreciate it if you could advise ASAP. Thanks

Posted by Suzy on March 11, 2009 at 04:47 PM PDT #

I was here all winter and never heard about closed shops because of cold. Silk Market will be opened for sure. Don't worry about that.

Posted by Maciej on March 28, 2009 at 01:51 AM PDT #

looking for silk by the yard.

Posted by linda king on May 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM PDT #

I was in Beijin during May 2009. I have made friends with a lady called Jessica at the Silk Market. She is at 4th floor at the corner shop whereby she sold me some cellphones and Cameras.

I am desperately looking for Jessica's contact details please. Can anyone help me?

my email: justinem@polka.co.za
Cell: +72 725 38 4673

Thank you

Posted by Justine on September 20, 2009 at 11:02 PM PDT #

To: Linda King

Hi Linda, if you are looking to connect with sellers from silk market, I suggest you go to http://www.silkmarket-online.com.

It's an online store, selling items you would normally find at Silk Market and other similar stores.

They work directly with vendors from those markets, so I'm sure they can contact Jessica for you.

Cheers!

J.

Posted by Ambassador Concierge on November 25, 2009 at 04:12 PM PST #

i need similar type mall in Shanghai
thx

Posted by ahmed kamal on February 04, 2010 at 08:39 PM PST #

hey arun, this has been a great help. i am planning my holidays to beijing next month sure i will visit the market. I think if you get products so cheap then who cares if it is fake or original.

Posted by buy hdmi cable on April 10, 2011 at 12:22 PM PDT #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.


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