The recent studies have shown that an average woman goes shopping about 300 times a year and spends on it more than 400 hours. And when we talk about the country which is ideal for it… Of course, we talk about China…
If you suddenly have a skeptical grin on your face, you probably have not been following the market for a long time. Such industrial giants as Apple, Nike, Lenovo and many others have long ago outsourced their production to China, and the phrase “Made in China” has way back ceased to mean “fake “. Although you can still find here as many “fakes” as you could wish for.
A Chinese visa (Do you need a visa to go to China?)
If you want to do the shopping, we advise you to get a common tourist visa. The procedure will not take you much time or efforts. To get a visa, you need to file a standard documents package. You can do it yourself, apply to the Visa Center or with the help of a travel agency. But there is a small lifehack in this process. If you go to Macao or Hong Kong for a period not exceeding 1 month or 2 weeks respectively, the visa is not required.
Some shopping information
As you have probably already guessed the economy of the People’s Republic of China is developing by leaps and bounds making this country an ideal shopping place. There are shopping spots to everybody’s taste: boutiques and fairs, shopping malls and spontaneous markets, hypermarkets and street markets; sometimes a shopping center can occupy even a few blocks.
So you can buy here everything you want – home appliances, silk, porcelain, antiques, paintings, some famous samples of Chinese calligraphy, jewelry, clothing and, of course, tea. Cheap counterfeits of world-famous brands such as abibas or a watch that breaks just in 5 minutes after the purchase are also present here though.
The best cities for shopping in China
Among the best Chinese cities for shopping there are, of course, some favorite ones. Each of them has its own advantage. For example, Beijing is famous for its good prices and a wide variety of goods. In Guangzhou, the prices are higher, but if you come for branded clothes it is the very place to go.
Shanghai generally looks like a huge shopping mall. Endless department stores, supermarkets and shops stretch along the city streets and avenues for many kilometers you can come here for clothes because Shanghai tailors are considered the best in the world.
Hong Kong obviously occupies the first place in this rating. It’s not for nothing that tourists call it “A Shopping Paradise”. A shopping trip is a leisure activity here: you can entertain yourself or spend time with friends. By the way, it has a duty-free zone which means that the goods are not pricy.
In case you are too lazy to go very far, you can head to the city called Suifenhe. It is located almost on the border with Russia. They bring goods from all over China here – from Beijing and Guangzhou, Harbin and Shanghai, and from nearby factories as well. A trip to Suifenhe will be inexpensive, and the journey will not take long.
A Shopping tour to China
If you are a persistent shopaholic, then traveling to China will be a memorable, bright and pleasant adventure. And if you are a business owner or a private entrepreneur, your shopping tour to China can become not just entertainment, but a source of a stable profit and, perhaps, you can even develop your business there.
Today many traveling companies offer their clients a shopping tour to China. You will not have to worry either about the trip arrangement or planning. Besides, such tours have many other priorities.
For example, each group is accompanied by an experienced local guide who will not only show and describe the most interesting shopping places, but will also help you to negotiate on favorable prices, discounts or goods refund if they don’t suit you. Another “plus” of shopping tours is that their cost is usually much lower than that of usual sightseeing ones.
What to buy?
And now let’s talk more about what should definitely be brought from the Chinese shop tour. We will start with the famous porcelain which is one of the most ancient symbols of China. Well, even if you do not plan to buy a new tea or table set, then a small souvenir statuette will not be extra.
Nephrite is not inferior to porcelain by its popularity. It is called “a stone of life” and considered sacred by the Chinese.
Pearl items sum up the Top Three popular Chinese goods because the country occupies a leading position in the world market of pearl production and exports. Do not be surprised but here there are even separate Pearl markets. Pearls of all kinds – sea and river, classic and exotic – are sold here. The most important thing is to be careful and not to buy a plastic fake.
We have already mentioned Chinese silk in this article. Mind that they have been real masters in its production from time immemorial. If you have such an opportunity, you should definitely visit the silk factory or, at least, the silk market. Clothes, pijamas, bed linens, tablecloths and even souvenirs… You will certainly find something for you there.
Of course, it would be odd to return from China without a couple of tea packets because there are more than 200 varieties of it in the Heavenly Kingdom. All kinds of pu’er, oolong, red and green tea, loose and pressed tea are for every taste. To choose a good tea it is enough to be careful when buying, and you should pay attention to its looks and aroma because good tea cannot look or smell bad.
If you are an ancient things lover, be sure to check out antiques shops. If you are looking for good prices for clothes, take a walk around local boutiques and shopping malls. And do not forget about household appliances. You are aware that the greater part of them are made in China, aren’t you? In a good sense, obviously. So they are cheaper here because there are no logistics, storage and similar services costs here.
Websites offering online services
In case you do not want to go anywhere at all but still you have a desire to shop, we have an interesting option for you as well. Of course, we mean shopping online. What can be more pleasant and convenient than slowly choosing all the necessary things comfortably sitting on the sofa?.. There are no crowds, queues or tiresome shopping life-length trips.
You have certainly heard about such online shopping giants as Aliexpress, Taobao or Alibaba. Here you can find everything you like: clothes, shoes, household goods, car goods and spare parts, cosmetics and household chemicals, furniture and lanterns, sports goods and leisure activity products.
Of course, there are a few secrets of how to make online shopping successful and not to be disappointed with your purchases. Secret number one: always read carefully the product reviews. If most of them are not very good, do not expect a good quality afterwards.
Secret number two: choose products with a high rating and a large reviews number. It usually proves that the goods are really good. And the last secret is the terms of delivery. Many suppliers offer free shipping which means you can save a couple of dollars.
Sales in China
In conclusion, we will reveal one more useful secret. Despite the fact that prices in China are very pleasant sometimes there are sales here.
One of these holidays, having a history of more than two thousand years, is Mid-Autumn Festival. It takes place from September 13 to October 4. It has its own celebration in each region. But they have something in common … It is the time of festivals, fairs and discounts. So, if you are looking for bright impressions and unforgettable memories you should go to China at this very time.
Good luck with your shopping!