Time to haggle

On our way back from the Ming Tombs we visited a Jade Factory. We saw the craftsmen carving some figures and then inevitably we were taken to the showroom. As we entered we were allocated our personal sales assistant, just in case we wanted to buy anything.

There were some beautiful items on show but I fell in love with a pair of ceremonial lions.They reminded me of the ones that we had seen outside many of the buildings during our holiday. I enquired about the price and was amazed. We were talking a couple of thousand Yuan and even after conversion it was several hundred £ sterling. It was time to haggle to get the best price.

Ceremonial Lions

The system was quite foreign to us but we had gained plenty of practice. Throughout our tour of China, each time our coach pulled up we were surrounded by traders selling souvenirs. T-shirts, hats, Rolex watches. It was quite fun seeing who could get the best deal. There are no rules but a typical example went

You ask “How much”. They reply 100 Yuan.- You laugh.

You offer 10 Yuan – They laugh.

They say 90 Yuan – You shake your head and turn to walk away but say 15 Yuan.

The conversation continues sometimes with the help of a calculator being passed back and forth.

Eventually you may agree a price. Typically 25 – 35% of the original asking price.

All good fun. I acquired several T-shirts. 4 fake Rolex for 100 Y. A fake Gucci handbag for 40Y and some baseball caps.

But now it was for real. I soon got the sales assistant to drop the price by half but then she said she could not go any lower but she would call the manager. He arrived and we continued to bargain. Eventually we reached a price that I considered fair and the deal was done.

The items were packaged and then I got another shock. I was amazed at how heavy they were. If I put them in my suitcase I was talking huge excess baggage costs. Fortunately they just managed to fit in my rucksack. I carried them home as hand luggage trying to pretend they were not hurting my back.

They now stand either side of the fireplace at home. as a permanent reminder of our holiday.

23

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
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