Friday, November 14, 2008

Bargain shopping with the bargain shopper

Today our Guangzhou guide, Raymond, took us shopping for kids' clothes. First we started at a very fancy department store, where the clothes were fabulous, but priced about the same as they would be at home. So Raymond dragged us out of there and took us to the children's garment district, which is mostly wholesale but has some retail outlets, too.

That Raymond was quite the wheeler and dealer. I'd point out what I'd like and he'd ask the price, then scowl and tell the seller that was ridiculous. If they didn't come immediately down he'd say to me, "We'll go to another place" and lead me out of the store. Most of the time someone would come running after us with a better price, but sometimes not. Usually in those cases Raymond would say, "The 66 yuan they want is is a very good price." Then why did we leave? That's just the way you do it here. So we'd look at another couple of stores and then head back to the one we had just marched out of and say we had reconsidered.

Pretty quickly I got a beautiful Chinese New Year's outfit for $13, a very nice coat and matching ski pants for $14 and a nice stocking cap and gloves for $4. Then Raymond hit the motherlode: a row of wholesale shops that each had a box of retail bargains out front. I got two pairs of sweat pants for less than $1 each and seven adorable long-sleeved t-shirts for less than $2 each. It was quite the haul, and a really fun experience.


Sara said...

Congratulations to all the Little Americans!!! How neat!!

Great deals on shopping too!!! I love bargains....who doesn't?? Oh I hope we hit some hot spots while there.

Are you using money belts?? We did order some....but...

Did you bring any of your own little plastic cups (dixie cups)? or ZipLock bags?? We read that little plastic cups would be helpful to bring...and the bags.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I just LOVE how little Quinn-Quinn sucks his middle and ring sweet. Our little Sophie does the same thing. In fact at night (her crib is still next to our bed) we can sometimes hear her sucking them in her sleep. Also...looks like Quinn made for his medical check-up day by being calm as a cucumber on the red couch :-) At least that is how he looks...he's sitting so nice as if he's saying "ok, I guess I have to sit here for a few minutes, let me know when it's all done." Unless he really has me fooled??!!

Oh, I just added some of our famous mirror pictures to our blog. The kids love it...from baby on up really.

Take Care!

Jill said...

Hi Sara,

Yes, he was surprisingly calm on the red couch.

We did bring a money pouch and haven't used it once. We just use it to store our passports in our safe. I bought a little silk purse and we've just been putting our money in that in the outside pouch of our diaper bag. I haven't felt nervous one single time, including in the crowds of Beijing. In really big crowds we just put the diaper bag in front of us instead of to t the side (that's what the locals do).

We didn't bring any cups, and haven't needed them. Both our hotels have two glasses in the bathroom, plus fully stocked bars with about six more glasses of various sizes. Out and about we carry a water bottle for us and baby bottles - one with water, one with formula - for Quinn. It has worked great.