Accepting Prices verses Haggling

On August 8, 2011, in Shopping, by Jack Li

Shopping in China is every shopaholic’s dream. Whether you want to buy something small as a souvenir to take back home, to going on a massive shopping spree in a mall, you can find it all. There is a lot of correlation between shopping and haggling in China and you can’t fully enjoy the experience of shopping unless you haggle. Get Beijing Flights with China Airlines and be part of this experience.

People visiting China find the concept of haggling rather strange. Most people come from financially stable backgrounds and developed countries were prices are established and accepted when you make a purchase. The concept of haggling and wasting time in doing so seems like to much effort to most visitors, and just accepting the price is the easier option, especially when they can afford it.

Others believe that by not haggling, and allowing the seller to receive the amount they asked for, is an act of charity. The prices of the items, doesn’t make a big difference to the buyer, but that little extra the seller makes from the purchase could financially help the seller and his family. The thing to remember here is, sellers will always be making money from any purchase regardless of whether you haggle or not. The chances are, when they know you are a foreigner, they will inflate the prices up significantly, because they think you can afford it.

If you look like you are wealthy, (sellers can tell from the clothes and accessories you wear) they will automatically bump the prices up, to more than two or three folds of the original price. The same thing happens if a seller sees you with a lot of money. The trick is if you know you are going shopping, it would be beneficial to carry smaller notes, and maybe keep this money in a separate area to the rest of your money. This is because someone selling you an item is more likely to give it to you for less, if they are under the impression that you don’t have much money.

Knowing where to haggle when shopping is important, haggling at the wrong places can waste time and make you look bad. Trying to haggle in an established shop in shopping malls is not advised, as well as supermarkets, restaurants and branded shops. Trying to haggle on small stalls and markets is the best place. This is because market stalls are competing with all the other stalls and so they have very little selling power. Haggling with them is very successful because they rather sell for less and make some money then make nothing at all.

China is a land full of many superstitions, from believing 4 is an unlucky number as it reminds people of death to 8 being a very good number as it is associated with wealth. There is a Chinese superstition that the first sale is very auspicious, therefore if you are able to be the first customer in a shop, then the seller is more likely to sacrifice on the price. This is something to bear in mind, especially if you wanted to purchase something expensive.

Beijing is a wonderful city where you can buy everything you need and not feel bad for buying it at a reduced price, so why not Travel to Beijing and join in this wonderful shopping experience. Remember it’s a game, everyone is playing it, so why not you?

Jack Li
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