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Where to Buy

Shopping in Shanghai

With sustained economic development and social advancement in China, the number of people with high, disposable incomes has grown steadily. This economic advancement has led to profound changes in people's consumption patterns, primarily from daily shopping for necessities to impulsive, leisure shopping, which is shopping purely for its own sake. Catering to this huge demographic shift, places to shop are also transformed and are subdivided into four main categories. First is the convenience store (more commonly known as a street vendor stand) that displays simple daily goods for quick purchase and urgent needs. Second is the supermarket, which is a self service store that contains various goods sold at lower price but still possess good quality. Third is the leisure square and shopping mall, a kind that pays attention to the decoration of the store and is dainty in the display and quality of its goods. Lastly is the shop maintaining an image of exclusiveness, catering to the upscale buyer and specializing in selling goods with standards of international fashion and the highest of quality.


Because of increased competition, the traditional department store is also trying to regain its position among the shops. The emerging discount store and membership-system warehouse stores, including the likes of Wal-Mart, Carrefour, and Makro and Business Street are also competing for places to shop in China.


Here are some detailed and practical hints and information about shopping in China. Things of lower price are sold in bargain market; most daily goods with reasonable price and good quality can be found in supermarket. Souvenirs like silk, jade, and porcelain can be purchased in special stores. However, you had better not buy souvenirs in, around or near scenic spots, since such items sold there are much more expensive than in big shopping malls or specialty shops.


  • A shopping mall in Shanghai
  • A local market in Xining, China shopping


 Shopping Online

Today, shopping online has gradually become a fad because of the large internet development in China. More and more people turn to search for and buy goods through the internet in order to save time and energy. However, remember that the internet is a virtual world and you should be more careful about security when buying items online. Check the certificates, symbol and sales clause of the company before you buy. Don't submit any thing about your personal privacy, especially your credit card information until you make sure that the data has been encoded and transmitted by a safe interlink. 

Related Reading: What to Buy in China

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