China prices for knock off designer ?

Oct 7th, 2009, 08:03 AM
  #21  
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Perfect explanation... You are so kind.
one1badpirate is offline  
Oct 7th, 2009, 08:15 AM
  #22  
 
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That does make perfect sense, but I have a question not regarding fakes or exceptional deals, etc. Ignoring currency conversion, would not the real market price in China be less than the real market price in another country (say the US) due to less handling in between? I would think transportation, importer costs and store overhead, etc would have some effect on the consumer price? Is that not the case?
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Oct 7th, 2009, 08:33 AM
  #23  
 
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A couple of points- knock offs are quite popular- the rediculous prices that designers charge for their wares only fosters the knock off industry - I for one do not weep for the designers- none of whom we will find on the bread lines any time soon.
Now the best place to get really great deals on authentic pearly is Manila - bar none!
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Oct 7th, 2009, 09:28 AM
  #24  
 
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Here's what was convincing to me to not purchase fakes whether purses or DVDs or CDs or whatever. The channels for manufacture and distribution of such fakes have to use subterfuge, bribery, etc. to keep below the radar. Those channels and such skills have then made it easy for them and others to exploit labor, run drugs or sex slaves, etc. The result is a lot more harmful than you getting something over on Louis Vitton or Kate Spade or whatever. I agree with Kathie the best gifts are those you can't get anywhere else and so don't have to be faked.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 12:06 PM
  #25  
 
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I'm not a fan of knockoffs, but this thread has me intrigued since I was just in China where I came across silk scarves for 5 yuan each and jade bracelets for as cheap as 20 yuan.

For pearls, I've seen good reviews for Fang Hua (in Beijing and Shanghai) and for Amy's Pearls in Shanghai. Are these actually reputable?

Duo Yun Xuan in Shanghai (on Nanjing Road in the pedestrian zone) is supposedly state owned. I was there last week and chatted casually with a staff member, who assured me that they wouldn't sell any fakes because the place is owned by the state.

How real is this assertion? Of course their jewelry is also much more expensive than elsewhere. Supposedly they don't bargain.

For reputable retailers, how competitive are their prices?
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Oct 7th, 2009, 12:11 PM
  #26  
 
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By the way, I was at the Silk Market in Beijing. Because I was staying at some nice hotels and had forgotten to bring a swimsuit, I figured that I'd check out the place.

I ended up with a pair of swimming pants and a swim cap for something like a third of the initial offer price. I think I paid 22 yuan or something like that, or about $3.50. Who knows what the actual cost was? In any case, I know that it'd have been cheaper than renting something at the hotels.

One of my favorite photos that I took from this trip is this photo of a "Burb's" item at the Silk Market:

http://tinyurl.com/y9uhc92

I hope you have a good laugh, like I did.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 12:26 PM
  #27  
 
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> For pearls, I've seen good reviews for Fang Hua (in Beijing and Shanghai) and for Amy's Pearls in Shanghai. Are these actually reputable?

As mentioned above, there aren't any 'reputable' dealers in the way you would understand 'reputable'. China is not the place to buy pearls, and if your reference is to glowing reports on user-contributed websites this is simply the blind leading the blind (after being led there by tour guides, which further guarantees the con if any guarantee was needed).

> Duo Yun Xuan in Shanghai (on Nanjing Road in the pedestrian zone) is supposedly state owned. I was there last week and chatted casually with a staff member, who assured me that they wouldn't sell any fakes because the place is owned by the state.

The entire government of the state is a con, and myriad state-owned enterprises make it their business to con the foreigner out of as much money as possible, not to mention the Chinese populace itself. Even the very post offices were recently caught selling 'official' silver coins with dramatically less silver in them than claimed.

The chances of a bracelet at ¥20 actually containing jade? About the same as the golden hairband on a Barbie doll actually being gold leaf. Get real.

At the risk of going a bit blue in the face: You should not shop in China for anything of high value, rarity, or antiquity, unless you are seriously expert in gems/jade/antiques/etc. If you are seriously expert in these things, you won't be shopping, unless it's at a price that recognises that some 500-year-old celadon vase, for instance, was actually made a couple of months ago and then roughed up and buried for a while. This has been going on for centuries, and even English-language guidebooks as far back as the 1920s give the same warnings.

Peter N-H
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Oct 7th, 2009, 12:42 PM
  #28  
 
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Actually both Fang Hua and Amy's Pearls were mentioned in guidebooks. Amy's was cited in Time Out Shanghai and Fang Hua in the Luxe series.

AmyLin's Pearls & Jewelry: "Graced by pictures of the foreign dignitaries, celebrities and VIPS -- Bill Clinton and Tony and Cherie Blair among them -- who have shopped at AmyLin's, this is Shanghai's foremost pearl dealer." (p. 139 of TimeOut Shanghai)

Obviously I'm not an expert, but a blanket warning like "don't buy anything" just doesn't seem particularly useful. As you point out, warnings like buyers beware have been around for centuries.

Where do the locals go if they want to buy pearls or [insert another similar item] and, to go back to the original question, what are reasonable prices?
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Oct 7th, 2009, 12:49 PM
  #29  
 
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By the way, buyers beware of course makes sense in the West too.

I can't remember the exact story, but I remember reading about a reputable UK furniture dealer caught for selling fake French antiques within the last couple of years. It was a huge case. Forgeries and counterfeits abound in the West also (just think about the Rembrandts that turn out not to be by Rembrandt).

On the other hand, sometimes you have to take a chance. There are recent stories of Titian, Michelangelo (now at the Kimball Museum) being bought on a string. But my favorite is still that Souza sold for $280,000 but bought at $50:

http://www.forbes.com/2006/09/20/eba...ector_inl.html

Of course it helps tremendously to know what you're doing, which is why we need to learn and have threads like these.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 01:44 PM
  #30  
 
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> Obviously I'm not an expert, but a blanket warning like "don't buy anything" just doesn't seem particularly useful.

Since no one has made any such recommendation (it always helps to read the postings), this is a straw man. There are things in China that are well worth buying, although what these are will obviously vary according to the tastes and interests of the buyers.

What has been recommended is that visitors to China avoid buying items with a notionally high value, and especially items about which they have no special expertise. (If they have that expertise, then they truly won't be in need of this advice. It's everyone else who should be paying attention.) Common sense reasons to do with market pricing, factual reasons to do with the nature of kick-backs within the tourism industry, and reasons to do with the long history of such fakery in China have all been provided.

If this saves many readers (and there are many readers of these pages beyond those actually engaged in conversation) from being gulled, then I imagine most will regard it as good advice (although some who have already shopped will be unhappy with it). Others are at liberty to ignore it, but simply disliking it will not of itself make any contrary advice better.

If you imagine that shopping done by celebrities in the public eye on politically organised photo-opportunity tours in any way represents real shopping for real values following real research, or that Clinton and Blair are knowledgeable about pearls, or that they get the same deals as anyone else, then there's not much to be said. Everyone else should be aware that the Clinton-Blair imprimatur that the shop will claim is of course not anything of the kind, and that as a result of the publicity brought about by this visit, prices will not doubt have risen even further, and there will be even greater risk of misadventure. Shop there if and only if you know your pearls from your elbow.

It might be added that the last place you should be shopping for items easily findable in ordinary department stores is a location such as Silk Street, specifically constructed to extract the maximum amount of money from short-term foreign visitors not familiar with local norms.

The fact that there is fakery in other countries has no relevance whatsoever to the sale of fake, over-priced goods in China. Nor is the situation otherwise the same as in the West: there are no real antiques on sale in China to be fortuitously discovered for sale at fake prices, as any real antiques are either illegally dug up or stolen and sold clandestinely, or smuggled overseas. All curiosities are presented as being as old as you can be persuaded to swallow--it's not the date of manufacture that affects their age, but more the gullibility of the shopper.

> Where do the locals go if they want to buy pearls or [insert another similar item] and, to go back to the original question, what are reasonable prices?

The locals are not big on buying pearls, and when they do they pay prices that recognise (as they do) the (lack of) quality of what they are buying--real local market prices. As for going back to the original question, this will only find you directed back to the answers already given, and as already pointed out, the range of items available is far too vast to provide answers on such a colossally vague question.

Peter N-H
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Oct 7th, 2009, 02:29 PM
  #31  
 
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Ok, I agree that I rephrased poorly, but "don't buy anything that you're not an expert in" is not particularly useful either.

I mean, people are always interested in buying something they are not experts in, whether they are in China or elsewhere -- which is why people will continue to ask these questions. Presumably even "real locals" have a need for pearls or knockoffs or jewelry once in a while (think about weddings).

Surely, if a question is too vague, we can always help refine the question rather than dismiss the question as being too vague to answer. One has got to start somewhere. If Amy's Pearls is disreputable, then let's try to come up with another retailer that's worth visiting, for example.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 02:44 PM
  #32  
 
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I paid about 30-50Y for polo shirts, 20-30 Y for t-shirts, 80-100 Y for nice purses/bags, 100-150 Y for jackets, 20Y for a belt and 20 Y for a wallet (look like real leather), all are fake brand name but the fabric and the workmanship look decent.

My daughter bought a nice silk (fake silk?)chinese dress for 80 Y (the asking price was 2000 Y).

A fake rolex was 60Y which stopped working the next day. There goes my 60Y.

When we got back to Toronto, I checked in Chinatown and they have similar things for the roughly the same price. Even the little terra cotta warriors are available in Chinatown here. So beside the sentimental values, we can basically buy the same fake stuff here for more or less the same price.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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Did you bargain the 2000Y down to 60Y? If so, how? That's amazing! Granted, the person who sold probably still made a lot, but then that's less than $10.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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I saw similar dress (but for children) with a sign that said 50 Y at another place, so I allowed this to go only as high as 80Y and it worked. The sale girl came down very quickly from her 2000 Y when we did not even respond to her and just walked away. I guess she was hoping for stupid tourists who would think that this is top quality Chinese silk that can be worth hundreds of US$. I suspect the same trick will be used for pearls and jade.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 02:59 PM
  #35  
 
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This is interesting. I was amazed by how quickly retailers slashed their prices once we walked away. Typically the offer was much lower and if we didn't bite, there was always "how much do you want to pay?" or something like that.

But I didn't encounter anything like 2000 yuan to 80 yuan.

Well I guess this will teach people to bargain.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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> Ok, I agree that I rephrased poorly, but "don't buy anything that you're not an expert in" is not particularly useful either.

Again, this is a straw man, as no one has given this advice. Yet again, the advice (blueness appearing in face) is not to buy notionally valuable items in China about which you have no expertise. Precious and semi-precious items and antiques have been cited in particular. Carpets should also be avoided.

With items of no particular value at don't-have-to think-about-it-too-much prices, of course there's always the risk of overpaying, but the sums involved are not too painful.

> I mean, people are always interested in buying something they are not experts in, whether they are in China or elsewhere -- which is why people will continue to ask these questions.

And supposing this is true, how does it affect the answer? Will it suddenly reduce the amount of fakes of supposedly valuable items, the false claims made about them, or the overcharging?

If people want to shop for pearls they should shop at home where reliable trading laws apply and redress can be sought for misrepresentation if that (infinitely less likely than in China) has taken place. Not being an expert in Chinese handicrafts, for instance, means it's unlikely that a fair price will be paid for them by the short-term visitor, but unless the visitor is particularly silly and ignores the cautions on the link already posted, and/or shops at some tourist maelstrom or in the company of a tour guide, the sums involved will be modest, and the item purchased will provide pleasure on the basis of what it actually is, not what it is supposed to be (unique, antique, especially valuable). There are, also, some real bargains to be found in China, just not in tourist-haunted markets or amongst supposedly valuable items.

> Presumably even "real locals" have a need for pearls or knockoffs or jewelry once in a while (think about weddings).

This pre-supposes local people think about weddings in the same way as (some) Westerners, value the same adornments, and have the same ideas about gifts. But something on this topic has already been said.

> Surely, if a question is too vague, we can always help refine the question rather than dismiss the question as being too vague to answer.

Supposing this is so, wouldn't it be best to do so rather than instruct others what they should be saying here? Speaking solely for myself, I don't find I can do much with a question along the lines of 'How much do things cost?' Nor do I feel obliged to try. In general, given the rapid speed of change in China and the numerous variables involved in the purchase price even of a particular well-defined item, I personally think it best to give general guidelines which those visiting China can apply to many situations to provide a better outcome for themselves. This I have done in various comments above, and in the link provided.

> One has got to start somewhere.

By asking a precise question than can be answered in a few paragraphs without a lifetime of research might well be the place.

> If Amy's Pearls is disreputable, then let's try to come up with another retailer that's worth visiting, for example.

Now as bright blue in the face as a Wiccan drenched in woad, I refer you to earlier postings from myself and others which have repeatedly pointed out that there are NO reliable vendors of pearls in China, as you would understand the word 'reliable', and that China is not the place to be shopping for such things. Ergo, if the syllogism cannot be completed without assistance, no other Chinese retailer of pearls can be described as 'worth visiting', except with the caveats repeatedly given.

Peter N-H
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Oct 7th, 2009, 03:21 PM
  #37  
 
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>Well I guess this will teach people to bargain.

So will reading the link already given, after which there'll be no surprise that first asking prices are ten, fifteen, twenty, or even more times higher than those that actually need to be paid when shopping at tourist-targeting markets.

Here (blueness) is the link again:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...bargaining.cfm

Peter N-H
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Oct 7th, 2009, 03:32 PM
  #38  
 
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Well if you feel like you're repeating yourself, it could just be because I haven't read all the posts on this topic.

Usually I don't visit the Asia forum. In any case I just skimmed this thread more carefully and I checked out the bargaining thread. I should have read the posts more carefully before I posted -- so I apologize for that.

I understand your advice and I admit that I paraphrased it poorly the second time around still, but I must say that I remain perplexed and have more or less the same comments.

Surely what's "notionally valuable" depends on the person. I mean, I'd think that most Fodorites have some common sense, but maybe not. Basically your advice reduces to don't buy something for high $X because the truth worth could be epsilon times $X, with epsilon very close to 0.

But it's a bit vague because people have different ideas of what large X is. For that reason I find a thread like the bargaining one much more useful and interesting. There you gave an example of someone who paid $200 for a 200 yuan item, which, in a way, reflects this notion. Someone who is very wealthy also has a high tolerance for error. Of course it doesn't mean that she should be scammed, but if she doesn't care and derives some pleasure in the shopping process, then why not?

If you can point me to a thread as to why there are no reliable vendors of pearls in China, I'd be happy to take a look. Thanks.
111op is offline  
Oct 7th, 2009, 03:42 PM
  #39  
 
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"Nothing with an internationally traded value is cheaper in China than it is elsewhere."

Sdtravels asked questions about this earlier. What was the answer?
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Oct 11th, 2009, 04:42 PM
  #40  
 
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iF YOU ARE GOING TO HONG KONG I SUGGEST YOU TAKE THE TRAIN INTO SHENZHEN, LOU WHU SHOPPING MALL HAS THE BEST FAKES AROUND. YOU WILL NEED A CHINESE VISA IF GOING. JUST TAKE THE TRAIN AND GET OFF AT THE LAST STOP WHICH IS LOU WHU.
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