Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ya Show Market

Today I got three pearl necklaces, two pairs of pearl earrings, a gold-dipped leaf necklace, and a neon pink and sparkly fish necklace. For twenty dollars. I also got a long lacy peach-colored shirt (picture awaiting) for fifteen.

I love the Ya Show Market.

It's a mixed zone, of sorts (if you'll pardon the shameless allusion to my volunteer position) because it's cheaply manufactured--but convincingly executed--brand name knocks offs from China meets foreign happy spenders.

When I first heard about the Ya Show Market, I assumed it would be outside and rather hush hush; quite the contrary, it has its own mall! It's the craziest, most spectacular thing:

Basement: Shoes, wallets and bags! Prada, Tous, Jimmy Choo, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Abercrombie, Polo, D&G, Gucci, Chloe, you name it.

First floor: Shirts, skirts, dresses, some belts

Second floor: Electronics,knick knacks

Third floor: Sunglasses, pearls, rocks, "jade", glass, jewelry of all sorts, mazhong sets

And you walk around this mall and (mostly) women yell out to you to come try on their jackets or jeans, and then once you find a pair you enjoy, the haggling begins. You and the store owner (more like a cubicle manager, actually) will take turns entering prices via a calculator.

It'll flow something like this:

Owner: Oh, you like this one? Normally I charge this price. *Enters 2300*.
You: Laugh. That's ridiculous. I'd give you something like this. *Enters 50 onto calculator*
Owner: WHAT? You mean 50 American money?
You: No no no no, that's FAKE. I'd give you 50 kuai.
Owner: That's your joking price, Lady, give me a REAL price.
You: That IS a real price because that is NOT a real bag. Fifty kuai.
Owner: Please, need more, I lose money.
You: Ok, give me a better price then.
Owner: Ok, ok, because you are a clever lady and a special friend, I can give you this price, and this price only. *Enters 1700*
You: What? I thought we were friends. I can't pay that much. I'll give you THIS much, because you're a friend. *Enter 60 onto calculator*
Owner: You're JOKING me, Friend! No, can't do. Impossible
You: Okay, I'll look around at other places then. *turn to walk away* walk away, slowly, glance at the other cubicles with the EXACT same merchandise.

Owner: Ok, ok, come back, Lady. I'll give you my last price--500, just for you.
You: I'm not paying more than 75.
Owner: Please, that price is IMPOSSIBLE!

...this will go on for 45 minutes. Until you're both cranky, both tired, and both cannot believe you're actually calling the other one friend.

My most proud moment: Got a "jade" happy buddha down from 2300 to 75. I didn't buy it, though, because I wasn't going to pay any more than 50 for it.

I love bargaining, but it can sure wear you out!!

I also have a Prada bag. For $8.00.


Brady Dorman said...

Hey Emily - just came across all your new posts. Great to hear about all you're up to in China. Keep up the good work! :)


Sarah said...

Keep bargaining. It's exhausting but I actually bargained for a bottled water by the Wall. Geez. My favorite part is that everyone will ask, "what did you pay for that?" just to see what the latest price should be for the dumb Americans. Always assume you are getting screwed because they get everything for pennies.

Love the new blog. Keep it a comin'.