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ktcorrado Nov 23rd, 2012 03:32 AM

Shopping- Beijing or Hong Kong?

I am taking a trip over Christmas and will be visiting both Beijing and Hong Kong. I want to do some shopping while I am there, and am not sure where to go.

I am looking to purchase good quality, inexpensive designer clothes, jewelry and accessories. I really want a Canada Goose Coat, Isabel Marant sneakers, and Marni jewelry. I'm coming from NY and want to find stuff that's different from the typical Canal Street knock off fare.

Does anyone have any advice?

JPDeM Nov 23rd, 2012 04:37 AM

Good quality designer clothes that are inexpensive? This is a bit of a contradiction in terms!
Shopping is generally better in HK (in part due to lower taxes). Chinese actually go to HK for shopping for brands. Beijing is one of the most expensive cities in the world to shop (except for a few things)

Approach_Guides Nov 23rd, 2012 07:33 AM

Beijing and Hong Kong also have many up and coming designers that are selling great clothes -- stylish and well made -- at prices that are much lower than NY.

sf7307 Nov 23rd, 2012 01:35 PM

Brand -for-brand, we found prices in Hong Kong to be pretty much exactly the same as in the US.

Kathie Nov 23rd, 2012 03:37 PM

It has been many years since you could buy designer items for less in Hong Kong - decades, in fact. And why go all that way to buy western goods? Take a look at some of the local designers in Hong Kong.

cabovacation Nov 24th, 2012 07:32 PM

I can't comment on how prices compare to U.S. prices, but all of the women I spoke with in China last month said that they shop in Hong Kong.

Cicerone Nov 24th, 2012 08:13 PM

I agree with all of the above. One of the reasons mainland Chinese go to Hong Kong to buy branded goods is because they can be sure they are buying the real thing. There are so many fakes in the PRC, even in high end shops, that one never knows.

But in any event, whenever I am on Canal Street I hear so much Cantonese that I have no doubt where the stuff you see is coming from. I don’t think you will find very much different about the knock-offs in the PRC (or Hong Kong if you find them).

You will find all the brands you mention above in both places. However if you want the authentic article, IMO you are better off looking in Hong Kong. It probably will not be any cheaper; but you may, with lots of looking, find it in an outlet. Some suggestions are below.

If you want to buy <i>fake</i> versions of the above, then I would stick with Beijing. Down jackets in particular in winter you should be able to find quite easily.

"Inexpensive good-quality jewelry" is an oxymoron to me. Jewelery is not a good buy in the PRC or Hong Kong, other than cultured Chinese pearls. Or go to the Hong Qiao “pearl” market in Beijing and buy fakes (get them custom strung in colours and lengths you want). You can find some lovely jewelry here in Hong Kong, but I would not say it is especially cheap. I do have a pair of “knock off” Gabriele Sanchez pearl earrings, which cost me US$350 from a reputable jeweler, not sure if this is what you would consider inexpensive. This is a bargain when measured against the US$2700 or so Ms Sanchez charges for them at Barneys.(But given the price of pearls these days, Ms Sanchez - or Barneys - are clearly overcharging by a huge margin.) The jeweler is K. S. Sze & Sons, and they have two outlets on in the Mandarin Hotel. Closed Sundays.

I would agree with the poster above who said that there are lots of somewhat unknown Hong Kong (and PRC) designers with shops. Try the Gough Street area and SOHO above Central, as well as the Bowrington Road Sharp Street area of Causeway Bay (the end near Happy Valley). The World Trade Center in Causeway Bay (the Victoria Park end) has many Japanese boutiques that have items you most likely will not see in the US. Including the wonderful MUJI which I don’t think it is NYC (just San Francisco).

<u>Hong Kong Outlets</u>
1. Lane Crawford Warehouse – 25th Floor
Max Mara Outlet 27th Floor
Horizon Plaza
2 Li Wing Street
Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong Island
(near Aberdeen)

This is in a huge warehouse of mostly furniture/antique stores. Lane Crawford is an upscale Hong Kong department store and has a good size discount outlet here. It can be very hit or miss, but bargains are there are designer goods. Max Mara also has an outlet shops here and has a small but good selection, prices are quite good as well, about 1/3 of their retail store prices. You need to take a taxi, will take about 20 minutes from Central and cost about US$20. This is close to the Prada designer outlet at Space (see below), would be about 5 minutes by taxi and cost about US$3. The Max Mara outlet is closed on Mondays.

2. Space
Marina Square East
2nd Floor Commercial Block
South Horizons
Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong Island

This is the Prada designer outlet for all its lines. You also need to take a taxi, would be about 20 minutes from Central and cost about US$20. They do have a lot of stock. You have to be a bit patient and look.

3. Citygate Outlet Mall
Lantau Island
(near the airport and the Big Buddha)

This is in Tung Chung, near the airport, and is reachable by the subway in about 25 minutes. I don’t know that their prices are lower than any outlet malls in the US.

If you want to buy <i>second hand but authentic handbags</i> like Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc, try the Milan Station shops, there are several located in Hong Kong. Take a look at for locations, there are several on Hong Kong Island and several on the Kowloon side. As far as I know, these bags are genuine (at least the police don’t raid them while they do raid the night markets...) Prices here are only about 20-30%% of the original prices, so still pricey, but a real bargain compared to the original prices. (The bags are sold to the stores by the tai-tais of Hong Kong who would not, literally, be seen dead with last year’s bag....) Bargain very hard, don’t pay the list price ever, as the list price is close to the brand store price for current models, and you are buying last year’s model.

JPDeM Nov 25th, 2012 09:06 AM

The reason the Chinese want to shop in HK is not a question of fake vs real, there is just a big price differential due to higher taxes in China. In some cases it can be a factor of 2 to 1.

sf7307 Nov 25th, 2012 11:19 AM

That's not what I heard JP. We were astonished by the number of Chinese shopping in Hong Kong, particularly for fine jewelry, and we're told by several people that they trust what they buy in Hong Kong, and not what's for sale in China.

pattysuericia May 17th, 2013 05:37 PM

Iwant to buy cultured Chinese pearls,south sea pearls,fresh water pearls & having a difficult time deciding where to buy it. I don't want to come home to find out I bought fakes.
I love the pieces on but their prices are high. I want to shop somewhere the pieces are as stunning as displayed on rupeipei but I want to make sure I shop at a reputable store-would you buy in shanghai or hong kong.
many thanks

pattysuericia May 17th, 2013 05:40 PM

One more thing-any suggestions as to reputable jewellers aside from K.S. Sze & sons?

Kathie May 18th, 2013 08:06 AM

If you don't want fakes, don't buy in mainland China. Opt for Hong Kong. As above, even many Chinese will only buy jewelry in Hong Kong.

Manila is usually considered the best place to buy pearls at reasonable prices.

BillT May 19th, 2013 04:46 AM

Without a doubt pearls are the best bargain in Manila. So many Fodorites don't visit the Philippines (why escapes me).

thursdaysd May 19th, 2013 08:08 AM

I just took a class on selling on eBay. The instructor buys Coach handbags very cheaply at a local outlet store (30% discount coupon at the door, 60% off table at the back). She resells on eBay, and says that many of her purchasers are in Asia. So some of that merchandise you are going to Asia to buy may be available more cheaply at home on eBay.

sf7307 May 19th, 2013 09:28 AM

<<<even many Chinese will only buy jewelry in Hong Kong>>>

When we were in Hong Kong, we were shocked by the number of "fancy" jewelry stores, their hours, and the fact that they were busy, even at midnight on a Friday night (seriously). The answer I got here is that wealthy mainland Chinese people do not trust mainland Chinese goods/dealers so they come to Hong Kong to shop for luxury goods.

rkkwan May 20th, 2013 08:10 AM

Hong Kongers stopped going to the Phillipines for leisure in 2010, and now Taiwanese wouldn't be going either. Manila is not helping their tourist industry.

BillT May 20th, 2013 10:08 AM

Sadly rkkwan is correct. The Philippines has much to offer but alas they do not invest in their tourist infrastructure as the other neighboring Asian countries. There is far too much corruption. Still there are many things to do and see in and around both Manila and some of the islands.

thursdaysd May 20th, 2013 03:09 PM

Another caution about buying anything in Beijing:

Note the kicker at the end - you might want to be careful what you eat in Shanghai.

Off to take a magnifying glass to the silk scarves I bought in 1997.

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