Another question was asked on that same site for travelers (localyte.com), this one about what to buy in China.Â Below is my response, assuming the person is shopping as a consumer and not as a wholesaler or exporter.Â So below is a list of some things a traveler might buy on a trip to China.
Traditional/specialty Chinese products
Tea (Green, oolong, pu’er)
Qipao (Chinese style dress)
Chinese design/antique furniture
Fake handbags, clothes, shoes
Electronics (both real and fake)
Scarves (silk, wool, viscose)
Great Wall/Olympic t-shirt
Other Mao, antique, Chinese kitsch
Chinese style paintings
Get your favorite clothes copied
Have items copied out of a magazine
Wedding dress in 1 day for a fraction of the price of off-the-rack back home
Generally speaking, I don’t recommend buying art in China unless you find a piece you really like, because most of it is very commercialized, overpriced, and likely a copy. (There’s an entire city in S. China solely devoted to hand copying works of art, but in a manner that would make Adam Smith proud.)
2 Rules of Thumb
Everything (namely price) is negotiable–do not hesitate to bargain.
Nothing should cost more than 100RMB (except furniture and tailor-made dresses)
This is my speciality so if you need help shopping or bargaining around Shanghai (and soon to be Beijing as well), please visit my other site: ShopMyShanghai.com
If you think I’ve left anything out, please feel free to add it in comments below.