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Shopping in China: To Be A Smart Buyer in China

Updated: 2024-05-24

Except for the long history, profound culture and beautiful scenery, China is a wonderful shopping destination to satisfy tourists from home and abroad. With diverse delicious foods and snack to taste, various interesting and cute souvenirs to buy and numerous things to bring back, shopping in China is interesting and happy for foreign visitors. There are many things worth buying in China including tea leaves, silk, fans, paper cuttings, things with popular Chinese elements like pandas, Chinese operas, etc. If you come to China for the first time, this article will guide you to be a smart buyer in China.


Where to Buy Souvenirs in China

When you are traveling in China, you will find many shops near the attractions. Many foreign tourists will ask where to buy souvenirs in China. Taking National Museum of China(NMC) as an example, there are NMC Art Workshops inside the museum, where you can buy the creative and exquisite things like refrigerator magnets, calendars, canvas bags, bookmarks, china, etc. Before your trip in China, you can search online the best places for shopping in different cities. Traveling to Beijing, you should not miss the antiques at the Panjiayuan Antique Market, which is very famous around the world.


What to Buy in China

Tea Leaves

Tea leaves originate from China, and China has many famous tea leaves like West Lake Longjing Tea, Biluochun Tea, Xinyang Maojian Tea, Tieguanyin Tea, etc. Buying tea leaves in China, you can taste the tea first, then choose the tea leaves you like and purchase.

tea leaves


The silk in China has always been famous in the world. And we have Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road. If you happen to visit Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou in China, you should not miss the silk in these cities. And there are some famous silk brands in China like Wensli and Chian Tai Shang. To buy silk and silk products, you can ask some local Chinese people to give you advice.  


Cultural and Creative Products with Chinese Elements

Cultural and creative products have been popular in recent years. There are many exquisite refrigerator magnets, calendars, canvas bags, bookmarks, key rings, etc. And the cultural and creative products are preferred by the young people. And there are many popular Chinese elements such us panda, Beijing opera, paper cuttings, shadow play, folding fan, etc. The foreign visitors are likely to like the cultural and creative products.

refrigerator magnets of Beijing

Bracelets and Necklaces

China is a good place for female tourists who like accessories like bracelets and necklaces. The advantage of the accessories in China is cheaper and more diverse, and you will have many many choices when you are choosing bracelets and necklaces in China. Once you meet bracelets and necklaces with reasonable price, you can buy them directly. There is a popular bracelet in the temples of China called Shibazi which is beautiful and useful with good wishes.

If you like the small items in China, Yiwu in Zhejiang Province is recommended for you , which is the paradise for vendors and visitors. Yiwu has most comprehensive types of small products and most economical price. If you come to Yiwu in person, you will be amazing at it.

Shibazi bracelet


Speciality in Cities of China

Beijing: refrigerator magnets of the typical elements of Beijing like attractions and Beijing opera, Chinese pastries and cakes

Shanghai: Silk and

Xi’an: ornaments for display of Terracotta Army elements and Tang Dynasty culture elements

Guilin: osmanthus flower cake

Chengdu: products with panda element like canvas bag, dolls, key rings, etc.

Chongqing: fried dough twists

Yunnan: flower cake, Pu’er tea leaves

Hangzhou: West Lake Longjing Tea leaves

Suzhou: silk


How to Buy Wisely in China

Think Twice Before Buying An Expensive Thing

When shopping in China, please keep in mind that you can buy a thing in the reasonable price. Especially you are looking some antiques, jades and jewellery, please consider their prices. Since ordinary shoppers are not professional at jades, antiques and jewellery, we can not judge the quality of them. If you meet something you like with a reasonable price, you can directly purchase it. But when you meet something you like with high price, please think twice at whether to buy it. If you have friends in China or Chinese guide, you can ask their suggestions for reference. And you can search online in advance to know about the prices of things in China.

How to Bargain in China

Most of the foreign tourists may know that we can bargain in China when buying things. But it doesn’t mean that we can bargain everywhere in China. Generally speaking, it is not recommended to bargain at the shopping malls and supermarkets in China because products in these places have a fixed price, which can not be negotiated. When you are in the markets, you can try to bargain with the vendors to get a more economical price, which is a special experience.


Tips on Bargaining in China

Hide your like to the items

If you meet something that you like but the price is higher than your expectation, you can bargain with the vendors. But please pretend that you do not really need or like the item and you just ask for a lower price when bargaining. And you can pick some disadvantages of the item to require the lower price.

Dare to require a low price

While bargaining in China, there are 2 prices you should pay attention to. One is the price you can accept, another one is the price that you first bargain. And generally speaking, the price you first bargain is lower than the price you can accept. When you are bargaining, and the vendors will higher your price. So, you should dare to require a low price when you first bargain. Even if your bargain is not successful, you can find other vendors.

Pretend to leave

When the vendors insist their price, which is not the price you want, you can pretend to leave. Generally speaking, the vendors will agree with your price at this time. However, if the vendors do not agree with your price, it doesn’t matter, there are more stores waiting for you.


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