On Saturday and Sunday we did mostly eating and shopping because of the weather. There are a lot of places where you can go shopping here in Beijing and depending on where you go you can get things really cheap.
We like to buy things cheap so we pretty much avoided all the high end stores. Two places here that seems popular for buying items for low prices are Silk Street Market and Yashow Market.
Silk Street is bigger but also a lot more crowded. We found that it was also a lot harder haggle here because they have plenty of customers. We spent about an hour here and left to go back to Yashow which was the first one we visited.
When you haggle with the vendors just be prepared to walk away if you want to get a really good price. Don’t get too attached to the item you want to buy, you’ll usually find another vendor selling the same exact item, and you can always come back if you can’t find it anywhere else.
We found that the initial price they’ll give you is ridiculously high and you can sometimes get it for a tenth of their initial offer or less. Usually when you say no and tell them you’ll look around a bit more and leave their store, they’ll call you (or grab you and pull you back to their store) to negotiate another price. They have calculators and they’ll ask you to enter the price you want. If they counter it and offer a higher price but you still think it’s too high don’t hesitate to walk away again and there’s a good chance they’ll lower their price again (and if they don’t at least you’ll have a better idea how much you can get it for and use that as a base when negotiating with the other vendors for the same item).
It was a pretty interesting experience. Pretty much most of the vendors speak English and they can be very aggressive. It also seems that all the stores in this building get their items from the same place. For example, if you want a particular color and they don’t have it at their store, they’ll make a phone call and five minutes later someone will stop by to deliver it.