Special price, just for you!

We took our free weekend day and decided to spend it at the Silk Market – a big multi level shopping center full of booths of knock-off brand name shoes, purses, clothes, etc. As soon as we got off the subway (yes, I have officially figured out the subway in Beijing), we were assaulted with saleswomen trying to get us to buy their booth’s products. Good news though – we found out where all the English speakers are! I’m not sure if they were students (not at Beida though, because everyone was impressed that we were going here when we told them, kind of the same reaction I usually get from dropping DU’s name) but almost everyone had an intermediate grasp of English and was happy to use it.
To say high pressure selling would be an understatement. Although everyone was very friendly and nice, they really really wanted to sell their stuff and would resort to many tactics that are unheard of in the US. I had many saleswomen grab my arm as I walk by and one even literally latched on and dragged me across the floor back into her booth (a feat accomplished thanks to my slippery shoes slidding on the floor). Another dropped a pair of shoes into my bag when she decided we were done bargaining and then when I tried to protest shhhed me and told me the price.
At the end of the day I left with two pairs of shoes – one for walking in and one sparkly pair of Steve Maddens – for a total of about $35. I still feel like it was a little bit of a rip off because they didn’t seem too upset by the end price, but cheaper than I would find in the States so it’s all good. I got a little better at negotiating and figured out quickly that even though the standard recommendation is to initially ask for half of their starting price, the real strategy is to divide by 5 to 10. Bargaining gets to be a little tedious because you have to play the game every time you want to buy something; they type in their initial price into a calculator, you laugh and ask if their kidding, they ask for your price, you enter one way lower, they laugh and say don’t kid around, they lower their price, you raise yours slightly, etc etc etc. It’s fun at first but gets a little tiring, and I was definitely self-conscious of my relatively giant feet!
A fun day in sum, but my feet are killing me since we’ve been running around non-stop all week. I still have blood blisters from our ridiculous hike and have been wearing the same shoes. I’m also getting a little sick, and so went straight to bed after shopping. Hopefully I’ll be all better by tomorrow, when I start my internship at China Security.
Talk to you all again soon


One Response to “Special price, just for you!”

  1. annhyphencharlotte Says:

    very jealous of your steve madden purchase. I’m sure they are very cuteee!

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