China is not only one of the strongest upcoming economies; it is also increasing in popularity with tourists, year on year. In 2010 around 56 million foreign nationals visited China, either for work, or as tourists. China is a historic country with lots of ancient history to see, right next to modern buildings and structures. This old, mixed with the new, gives China a unique feel, being able to walk along a 2000 year old wall, and then later on enjoy one of the massive air conditioned shopping malls, buying all of your favourite branded goods, at a relatively cheap price. You can approach a China tours company in the UK that can offer you a multi stop holiday, taking in the best of the old, and the new.
Where You Can Haggle
As with a lot of countries in Asia, in certain situations you can haggle over the prices of goods or services. Don’t expect to walk into McDonald’s and haggle over the price of a Big Mac, although you may be able to haggle over the price of a hotel! With most large shopping centres and chain stores, you are less likely to be able to haggle as prices are fixed and the staff has no control over them. When you visit markets and street stalls, or independent retailers, you will be able to haggle over the price, especially if buying in bulk. If you see something that you like, ask for the price and then walk away. Try and find the same item at other stalls and check their prices. Never buy from the first stall that you come across, without checking other prices first.
Start to Haggle
To make things much easier with communication, assuming you do not speak one of the local dialects, try getting yourself an electronic translator, or download an application for your Smartphone or Tablet PC, this will make communicating much easier for both parties. When you have an idea of the market price, work out the most you wish to pay for the item, be reasonable though as you need to keep in mind they need to make a living. A good place to start is around 40% of the asking price, and be prepared to move up from there. Obviously, the more items that you are buying, then you can haggle for a keener price.
One thing to make sure is that you always remain calm when haggling over an item. You should make sure that you do not raise your voice, or use over animated hand gestures as you could cause offence. Keep your head about you, stay calm, and if you cannot get the price you wanted and are not willing to pay the price he wants, just walk away. They may just come running behind you and offer you a better price, or you may be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.
Let the Buyer Beware
When you travel around China on holiday, whether as part of a tour, or as an independent traveller, you need to be aware of the vast amount of fake products that are available on the market. Some are blatant rip offs, with the name slightly changed, others look identical to the original. Whether it is designer clothes, or the latest electronics, cheap copies are available across China, and especially Beijing, due to the amount of tourists. Just be wary of expensive products, which seem a bit too cheap. There are still plenty of bargains to be had, as well as a lot of culture and history to explore, in this enchanting country.