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Bargaining in China/Shanghai

Chicago, Illinois
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Bargaining in China/Shanghai

I will be in Shanghai for some time and am wondering if one bargains for everything--including services? Trips, travel guides, haircut, mani/pedi?

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

I guess in thery that everything is negotiable but in practice some places showing prices such a supermarkets, large department stores, haircut and mani/pedi, you are expected to pay the posted price. For guides you can definitely bargain.

South Pole
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2. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

Trains, buses and metered taxis all have set fare options. The ubiquitous 'man-in-a-van' who offers a ride is definitely a place to bargain. For any tailored services, such as a personal tour, then the price should be the result of a discussion.

A man's haircut is Y10, and generally listed on the wall. Women's options are probably listed there as well!

Always seek a reduction on a price in a department price. As often as not we get some level of reduction, even if there is no notice. In tourist shops the listed prices are light years away from the available price. If someone doesn't budge, just try the next place.

Beijing
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3. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

Haha I've never heard of anyone bargaining for a haircut...but hey this being China it wouldn't totally surprise me. Street stalls, street markets, private cars, unlicensed guides, bargain and bargain hard. Most everything and everywhere else, prices are fixed.

4. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

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Melbourne
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5. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

Hmm -- I have often seen my friends bargain their haircuts - they have even bargained for me if they took me to a place. So to say that bargaining a haircut is a non-event is, in my exp, a complete fallacy.

yeah, i know, you are thinking what the..? - did people actually accompanied the skegs for a HAIRCUT - yep, they certainly did.

life styles of the rich and famous --pity i miss out on both those scores - maybe i just have a permanent helpless tourist look....

Sherbrooke, Canada
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6. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

I know places in Beijing for a 10 to 12 rmb haircut but I stay away from this kind of place....

Beijing
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7. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

skeggles I didn't say it doesn't exist in fact I mentioned it wouldn't surprised me if it did, and I am not surprised at all that you've actually done it.

Most local community barbers are 10-20rmb, and street barbers are 4rmb or so, so haggling seems...unjust? Like JP, I stay away from these types myself.

Bargaining story to share. I was at a newsstand one time getting a bunch of magazines and some guy comes up and picks up a few newspapers that came out to be about 4rmb, but he wanted to pay 3rmb for them and tried to bargain with the newsdealer. I watched in amusement as the customer was refused over and over again and after he left without buying anything the newsdealer made some nasty comments, to nobody in particular, to the effect of "who in the world bargains for newspapers." The funny thing is my purchase came out to be 105rmb and the newsdealer said "oh just give me 100" so I saved 5rmb without asking while the newsdealer wouldn't knock 1rmb off for the other customer.

South Pole
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8. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

Well , Y10 is the standard haircut price in China. I have had a few here now with no complaints, and I have just had the best one so far in Nanjing. The woman in the barbers opposite the Treasure Ship Shipyard is one of the most expert barbers I have ever comes upon (the other was in Rome) and would do a roaring business if she could travel to the west.

Of course one can pay more at the places where the boys all have puffed up hair, but that’s just a personal choice. A really good barber is a rarity these days.

As for the newsdealer, it seems he knew the difference between 5% discount on a big deal and 25% discount on a small deal. A smart business man knows about margin management.

My encounter with varying discounts was when coming off a section of the Great Wall. T-Shirts started at around Y140 at the first vendor, dropped to differing price levels as we descended through the stalls and reached a low of “2 for a dollar” a short way before the end. The interesting part was watching how far different tourists went before they purchased one. I still find it amazing that a “two for a dollar” opening bid could make a profit for the vendor. We didn’t bargain at that price, but we could have bargained all day with the first vendor and never have come close.

Toronto
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9. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

you can't bargain in large department stores but you can ask for, and sometimes do get unadvertised discounts.

10. Re: Bargaining in China/Shanghai

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Removed on: 10 March 2011, 05:18