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Insider's Guide to Shenzhen

 

Hong Kong Locals Go to China to Shop

 

Explain what you need...

If you plan to get clothes made, the first rule is to keep it simple. Choose a style that you know for sure suits you. If you have an outfit to copy, bring it with you. If not, draw a picture, no matter how primitive your drawing skills. Show lapels, darts, button placement, and so on. When being measured, be very specific as to what you want. Tailors expect your garment to be picked up when it's ready. There are no 2nd and 3rd fittings in this place. This means communicating anything important about how you want your clothes to fit you at the first fitting.


Be prepared to bargain...

Shoes and handbag shops can be found all over the mall. There is a large selection of bags in the most recent styles to choose from. Your only problem will be to prevent yourself from taking home a dozen. There is one hitch, though. You will need to bargain the price down so don't be shy!

Locals say you should end up paying one third to one half of the asking price. Shopkeepers are notoriously good at negotiating and if you're not used to it and not prepared, you'll be very frustrated. This is negotiating at its best. Try to be positive. Don't be rushed into the next price level. Take your time. Do a lot of thinking. Be confident. If you can't agree on a price, just thank them and walk away. Being positive until the end allows both parties to save face and come back with a lower or higher price.


There are bargains galore...

Here are a few brief ideas of what you can get: A custom tailored silk or wool lined suit for under US$35, the equivalent of a designer leather handbag for US$25, the latest style of winter boots for about US$20. You'll find loads of Chinese trinkets and folk art to bring back home for gifts and some are so nice, you'll want to keep them for yourself. I even had my curtains made here for US$9 per panel including the fabric. Remember to bring exact measurements from home if you'd like to do the same.

Make sure to check out the Jewelry Bazaar on the 2nd floor for fresh-water pearls (Shop #18) and semi-precious stones, scarves and shawls at shop 3219, women's ready-to-wear at shop 3089. And this is just scratching the surface. There are so many choices I'll bet you'll even be able to find an appropriate gift for your great-aunt Zelda.


Pamper yourself...

There's so much to do and to buy, you'll wish you had planned a longer stay and you can! Shenzhen has well priced and luxurious 4 and 5 star hotels. One, an excellent Shangri-La Hotel, is a five-minute walk away. Your partner bored with shopping? Send him or her golfing at Mission Hills Golf Club, one of Shenzhen's world class golf courses. A day of shopping in Shenzhen is tough work, but what fun!

Reward yourself at the end of your day by having a two-hour body massage (Under US$12) or at least a manicure (US$3). Try the Jian Fu Mei Massage Center at shop 4028; it's spacious, comfortable and clean. At Jian Fu Mei, you are given a locker and a kind of pyjama outfit to change into. Your clothes stay on for the massage. What an inexpensive treat and oh-h-h-h-h.... it feels so good!


Other international shopping articles...

If you are a fan of shopping you might want to read about the juicy shopping secrets in other parts of the world....

She Goes Gift Shopping in Paris

Shopping in Paris - She Gets the Best Deals

Her Culturally Incorrect Gift Giving

Cheap Shopping -- New York

Sydney -- Creative Solo Shopping

A little Shopping Street in Stockholm

Toronto -- She Shares Her Shopping Secrets

Montreal's Secret Shopping Area

The Shops Toronto Travel Guides Don't List

She Creates Interesting Women-friendly Travel Gifts

Don't Shop Till You Drop -- Finding Creative Gifts Abroad

 

 

 

 

 

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