Bargaining in China
The Culture of Bargaining
You can bargain for most anything in China. From clothes and fruit to bottled water. All made for tourist souvenirs should be bargained hard.
When quoting a price, you can expect people to get as much as they think you think its worth. Foreigners are susceptible to paying too much as they don't realize how low prices really are in China. You need to have a realistic idea in your head what something is worth - in China.
Don't look at a bronze statue of Mao and think "this would cost $200 in my country." That bronze statue probably sells to Chinese for $10. So when the shopkeeper asks 800 renminbi for it, remember 80 is probably the local price.
Bargaining is a friendly, social art. Don't feel bad or shy about stating your price. Also never feel bad you might be going to low. Sometimes its necessary to counter an offer of 800 with 50 or 75 in order to settle on 110.
If a local Chinese is buying what you want, watch the transaction of cash and see how much is paid.
There are a few bargaining tactics you need to be aware of.
Often what you want is sold at more than one stall in the area you are shopping. Ask prices and bargain at several before buying.
You can always go back. Leave if its not going your way or you want to compare prices. The shopkeeper will likely have a sudden price drop upon your departure. Even if not you can return to bargain more or settle on their offer.
Shopkeepers may look annoyed if you bargain hard, but either (1) they are annoyed they cannot profit greatly from you, (2) looking annoyed is part of their bargaining act or (3) they were annoyed when you arrived.
Never feel bad about having bargained so hard and feeling like you've cheated someone, no matter how much it may seem so. They will never sell you something at a loss!
This complete north China tour takes in some major historic areas. While the whole tour can be customized, we give you an outline of our recommended activities in Beijing, then the UNESCO World Heritage walled city of Pingyao, followed by the walled city of Xi'an and its Terracotta Warriors, and finally the Kungfu temple and huge rock carvings in Luoyang. We can adjust the hotels to your...
Luoyang → Beijing → Pingyao → Xi'an → Luoyang → Beijing
2 days • CNY 1,060
Two days in the Chinese capital may not seem like very long, but it’s just enough to tick off a few of Beijing’s must-see sights. Let your imagination run wild in the Forbidden City, holiday like an emperor at the Summer Palace, and whizz down the side of the Great Wall in a toboggan. Make the very most of your short stay in Beijing by tucking into real Chinese cuisine, in a restaurant or...
3 days • CNY 1,470
Just imagine - three nights in a row of amazing sleep because the kids are so worn out from the day’s adventures. This three-day tour includes tickets to a panda kung fu show and a ride around the city's alleyways on the back of a cycle rickshaw. However, the Beijing Family Fun tour isn’t just for kids; as the name suggests, there is something for everyone! It is also packed with...
Cuandixia is a preserved Ming style village located a couple of hours outside Beijing, and is the perfect getaway from city life. Nestled in the hills, the people of Cuandixia live simply, much as they did in the past. Guests stay in modest but modern courtyard accommodation. Staying overnight means you can linger in the village, stroll through the green countryside and take things at...
1 day • CNY 800
This day trip will take you from the celebrated Terracotta Warriors to the lesser-known Banpo Ancient Town, with some beautiful sights in between. What makes this tour special: The Terracotta Warriors are widely regarded as the most significant archaeological find of the 20th Century, and for good reason. The fully excavated Banpo Ancient Village also draws in archaeologists from...
1 day • CNY 480
Zhujiajiao is the closest water town to Shanghai and the most visited, making it a good choice if you don't have a lot of time. The tour includes a canal boat ride and you get a chance to stroll the streets of the village. If you do want to make a longer day of it we would recommend our Tongli Water Town/Suzhou one day tour from Shanghai, or our Two Water Towns in one day tour. What...
Shanghai → Zhujiajiao → Shanghai
This is the ideal itinerary for couples or families who want to escape to the countryside and take in as much natural beauty as possible. We will take you to all of the major attractions in Guilin and Yangshuo, as well as a few hidden gems! You will remember your stay in Guilin as being very colorful! First, you’ll visit the Reed Flute Cave, full of stalagmites and stalactites lit up in all...
Guilin → Li River Cruise → Yangshuo
This is a ‘no-frills’ tour along the classic Beijing → Xi'an → Shanghai route. You’ll start your first morning in the Chinese capital with a tai-chi class, followed by a trip to the gorgeous Temple of Heaven, and wrap up the day with visit to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square for a lesson or two in Chinese history. The Huanghua section of the Great Wall of China is...
Beijing → Xi'an → Shanghai
This tour takes you to one of the most magical parts of China, southern Anhui province. With the mystical Huangshan Mountain and numerous Huizhou villages dotted the surrounding hills, this is China at its most bucolic. What makes this tour special: You could spend days village-hopping or hiking around the Huangshan summit, but for this four-day tour, we have cherry-picked only the best of...
Huangshan → Huizhou Villages → Huangshan
On this epic journey you spend a night in a permanent tent at Mount Everest Base Camp. You’ll think of all the climbers who have slept there before, prior to staging their journey to the top of the world's highest peak, rising before dawn to begin their climb. Along the way you will have time on the road to see other sights outside the capital, Lhasa. Samye Monastery and Shigatse are...
Beijing → Tibet / Lhasa → Tsedang → Gyantse → Shigatse → Mount Everest Base Camp → Shigatse → Tibet / Lhasa