Hong Kong shopping is one of the city's real attractions, however, there are still some tips that you could learn to ensure you a happy shopping experience in Hong Kong.
♦ Quality Tourism Services (QTS) Scheme
The QTS Scheme is organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board(HKTB) to help visitors find shops and restaurants they can trust. This scheme certifies shops and restaurants that pass stringent annual assessments showing that they:
-Provide genuine products with clearly displayed prices;
-Display clearly product information and/or menus;
-Ensure superb customer service with front-line staff possessing extensive product knowledge so they can answer questions efficiently.
Only shops and restaurants that qualify for the scheme are allowed to display the QTS sign of quality. The HKTB also provides assistance for enquiries about purchases from shops and restaurants accredited by the QTS Scheme.
♦ Duty-free Prices
All items, other than alcohol and tobacco, are tax-free in Hong Kong.
♦ Compare Prices
Check different shops to compare prices of items you want to buy. Main department stores and chain stores also clearly label their products. Smaller shops and street market stalls often do not mark product prices providing a great opportunity to practise your bargaining skills.
♦ Be Aware of Parallel Imports
Parallel imports are goods brought into Hong Kong by someone personally other than the official import agent. While these products can be cheaper, they often offer restricted guarantees or limited after-sales service. Check the product and ask the sales staff before your decision.
♦ Avoid Bait and Switch
TacticsSome merchants display ambiguous prices or request a deposit on a product only to claim later that only an inferior or more expensive product is available. In order to avoid these bait and switch tactics, be sure to shop at outlets where product price is clearly displayed. You should also compare prices to get a better idea of the product's price and features before purchasing it. You should also verify and understand exactly what you are buying and what the price covers. We recommend that you patronise QTS-accredited merchants only.
♦ Inspect Your Products
Check the product before paying and make sure you have all the accessories that should be included. Check the product you have bought again before you leave the store.
♦ Check Your Receipts
You should always get a sales receipt (street stalls sometimes do not provide them). Check to ensure that all details and verbal agreements are fully listed on the sales receipt. Make sure the product details listed match the product you have bought.
♦ Credit Card Payments
Most Hong Kong shops accept credit cards. Check the credit card slip before signing it and remember to take your receipt. Credit card companies and/or banks issuing the cards may charge a currency-exchange fee on overseas purchases. Please check with your credit card issuer for further details.
♦ Refund Protection Scheme (Registered Shops) for Inbound Tour Group Shoppers
Group visitors who patronise a registered shop arranged by Travel Industry Council (TIC) members are entitled to full refund protection if they are dissatisfied with their purchases. To apply for a refund, visitors may contact their tour organisers or receiving agents.