Your Guide to Bargaining in China

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From successfully crossing the busy Chinese streets in one piece to knowing which local delicacies to indulge in without the risk of your stomach paying the price later on; there are just some things that you must know about China. For one, bargaining is an art form that is especially important to master when purchasing groceries, clothing, and of course, the knock-off items in Chinas infamous fake markets.


  • Your Guide to Bargaining in China
  • 1. Dont Feel Embarrassed or Guilty When in China, do as the Chinese do. This is a part of the culture and is expected of customers-both Chinese and foreign Not expected at large stores, corporate chains, or department stores
  • 2. Have a Strategy Before Making a Purchase Before negotiating with a seller, have a maximum price in mind Keep a mental note of prices so you can compare from shop to shop
  • 3. Dont Be Tricked by a Sellers Mind Games The seller often starts negotiations with a grossly inflated price. By using psychological mind games, the seller is fools customers into thinking they are getting a great deal
  • 4. Dont Hate the Player, Hate the Game Dont take the process of bargaining in China personally. Sellers sometimes show disappointment or shock when hearing your counter-offer
  • 5. A Little White Lie Never Hurt Anyone Its ok to lie to the seller about how much certain items are going for in other shops.
  • 6. Criticize, Criticize, and Criticize Again Point out any defects or poor workmanship in the merchandise they are selling to guarantee a lower price
  • 7. Playing Hard to Get, Part 1: A Sign of Indifference Dont express too much interest Seller may not understand you, but they can read your body language and reactions Instead of getting excited, show subtle interest or indifference
  • 8. Playing Hard to Get, Part 2: Walk Away Tactic Instead of just completely abandoning the deal, test the seller by slowly walking away from the shop. The seller will offer a final price which is usually close to, if not exactly, what you are asking for.
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