July 30, 2019 – Written By Nick Zhang, Lost Plate Guide
3 Great Places to Buy Souvenirs in Shanghai, China
Shanghai, as one of the biggest business and financial hubs of Asia, is no doubt one of the most frequently visited cities in the Chinese mainland. It may be one of the major attractions on your China trip or you might simply be taking advantage of the convenient flights, making it a short layover stay. Either way, you will probably want to do some souvenir shopping during your time in the city and there is no shortage of places to do that at!
Here are some tips you will need when bartering (and in big markets like this, you absolutely should barter!):
1. Stay indifferent, no matter how much you like the products and how the cheap price amazes you, show no excitement so you hold more bargaining chips when you negotiate the price with the vendors.
2. Be bold and go hard with the price. Bargaining is essential here as the price they offer may be 5-10 times more than the price you actually pay!
3. Not sure what price is really appropriate? Here’s one way to test it out. When the sales ladies give you a price, counter with 10 to 30 percent of the price she offered, if she grabs you back and tries to negotiate, you should stick to your price! If she let you walk away, you’ll need to raise the price a little higher at the next vendor.
If you keep our tips in mind as you make your way through the markets of Shanghai, we have no doubt you will find some awesome gifts and souvenirs of your trip to take home with you. Barter hard and happy shopping!
1. Ya Tai Sheng Hui
Let’s start with the most well-known and maybe the most intense market, Ya Tai Sheng Hui (世纪亚太盛汇购物广场) also known as the Science and Technology Museum Metro Underground Market. With easy access by metro line 2, this enormous market is a maze of vendors and people who will happily help you part with your money. From trinkets featuring Chinese elements to high-end watches or wallets, you can find everything! Your left over luggage space may be your biggest concern when taking things back home, but have no fear – this can also be solved very quickly and easily at the market. For less than 200 RMB (30USD), you can buy yourself some brand new luggage to take home all your new finds in.
This is a market that tourists love or hate! The overly friendly sales ladies may come across as aggressive, but that’s why you need to come across as confident and act like a local (or at least pretend like you know the deal). Fake it til you make it!
Name: Ya Tai Sheng Hui (世纪亚太盛汇购物广场)
Location: Underground the Science and Technology Museum Metro Station on line 2 (上海科技馆地铁站地下商场)
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好，请带我去上海科技馆地铁站，世纪大道2000号。谢谢.
Maps: Google (requires VPN in China), Chinese Map
2. Qi Pu Road Fabric Market
If you’re a fan of fine clothing, the second market is going to be your dream come true. In a city as fast paced as Shanghai, everything changes rapidly! However, the Qi Pu Road Fabric Market (七浦路服装市场）has been operating in Shanghai since the 1980’s! It started with cheap low-quality goods back when it opened, but after some real investing in 2001, it grew into one of the biggest clothing wholesale markets.
Offerings vary from daily clothes, to expensive brand name streetwear to high-end tailor made clothes. You can easily spend a whole day exploring this market.
As exciting as it sounds, there are a few things to keep in mind!
Try to avoid weekends as it gets crowded with locals.
The sales ladies can be very pushy, don’t let them get bully you! You can always say no and simply walk away – don’t feel obligated to stay and bargain just because you showed interest.
Mind your belongings!
*The 2 markets above should be planned as part of a day trip. We recommend a different market for those who have limited time and don’t want to spend a whole day shopping.
3. Yu Garden Market
Instead, you could opt for the Yu Garden Market (豫园商城) – This market is close to one of the most historic tourist attractions in Shanghai – the Yu Garden. Built in the 1500’s, this garden was based on southern Chinese garden architecture style and has only been open to the public since 1961. It has become a favorite and as a result the busiest tourist attractions in all of Shanghai.
The market surrounds the garden, and you can find all the classic Chinese souvenirs – chopsticks, red lamps, silk scarves and more. The location and sheer selection make this a great stop for those that aren’t looking to make a full day of shopping but still want to get some souvenir shopping in during their trip.
Want to Eat (and drink) Local after a long day shopping?
Come Join Us!
Our Shanghai Food Tours will take you far away from the tourist and shopping areas to visit the authentic neighborhood spots where the locals eat. No bartering required. Click Here for more info.