Shops are open seven days a week from approximately
8:30am to 8:00pm, 7:00pm in the winter. Large shopping centers
and the Friendship Store may stay open until 9:00 or later.
Night markets usually begin at twilight.
Keep receipts from stores in case you need to return or exchange an item,
and so you will have an accurate accounting of purchases for customs purposes.
Bargaining is only possible with peddlers who are mostly around the major
attractions, and with private vendors in street stalls, or small privately
owned shops. No receipts are ever given. Don't expect
exchanges or returns.
Don't change money on the street, it may well be counterfeit.
If you see something you want, buy it when you see it. You
probably won't find the same quality and style item anywhere else.
Be sure you have enough cash with you. Not all stores, and no small vendors
accept credit cards. Government stores do accept them.
They also can cash traveler's checks
Carry a small calculator with you for on the spot money conversions.
Do your homework before you travel. Research items you might
want to buy so you can make educated purchases.
Carefully inspect every item you buy.
Clothing sizes don't always correspond to what you may be used to. Try
on any clothing for size.
Pirated items such as CD's, CD-ROMS and Beanie Babies are not necessarily
a good guy. They are subject to confiscation by customs when
you return home.
Preparing to buy something fragile? Take a roll of bubble wrap
with you. Not all items purchased are packaged to inhibit breakage.
There are excellent fakes of nearly everything in China. If
something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Buyer,
Do be aware of pickpockets. Don't show too much money when
making any purchases.
Don't Look Back! Be happy with your purchases even though a
fellow traveler might have paid a dollar or two less than you did for
a similar item.