Shanghai’s Best Fake Markets

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Ahh, Shanghai markets. You can literally find anything you could possibly want or need in one of these bad boys if you have the time and patience to sift through the stalls and put up with pushy shopkeepers. While there are fake markets all over the city, I’ve had a lot of luck at the following three spots:

Shanghai Science and Technology Metro Station (Line 2)

This market is massive. It covers an insane amount of territory below ground, just one floor above the metro line. There are hundred of shops and stalls offering clothes, designer handbags and watches, toys, and traditional Chinese souvenirs. There is also a jewelry section that has beautiful jade and pearls. Some of these items are real, some are great quality replicas, and some are cheap knock offs. Handbags and watches are hot ticket items, and people will try to pull you in “secret rooms” hidden away from the police. These items are usually much more expensive but are top quality. It is also possible to find decent quality bags out in the open. You can go in with any budget and dig around to find exactly what you are looking for.

Helpful hint- Shopkeepers expect you to bargain. Start with a price as low as you feel comfortable with. You can haggle for a few minutes to pay a reasonable price because, lets be honest, prices always skyrocket when they see a foreigner. A good trick is to start walking away from the shop and say you will go somewhere else if you don’t like the price. Nine times out of ten the shopkeeper will chase you down the alleyway to make the sale.

West Nanjing Road near People’s Square

This is another large market that sells everything under the sun. It can be a bit overwhelming because it is spread out over several floors, but there are a lot of hidden gems here. The West Nanjing market is very similar to the market at Science and Tech in terms of items for sale and pushy stall attendants. This is a great place for shoes, bags, and traditional Chinese-looking trinkets, though.

Helpful hint- Hit the 4th floor. It is a lot less frequented because few people have the stamina to make it all the way up there. Foreigners can typically find even better bargains because shopkeepers are excited to make a sale.

Gubei Pearl Market

This technically isn’t a fake market, because more of the items here are real. However, pearls, jade, and silver are insanely cheap here and the quality is outstanding. They have everything from earrings to necklaces to loose pieces for you to create your own masterpiece. The best part about the Pearl market is that the shopkeepers are nearly as pushy as they are in other locations. While they definitely want to make a sale, I’ve found that they prefer to take a much more “hands off” approach and answer your questions without pulling you around the store.

Helpful hint– Only bring as much money as you dare spend. While you can still bargain here, the products are amazing and you will wind up spending way too much money if you let yourself!

Have you shopped at these Shanghai markets? What’s the lowest price you got?

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About Author

Samantha is a travel addict and nomadic teacher currently living in Shanghai. Any chance she gets, she is getting off to a new location or explore, either in China or somewhere with a great deal on tickets. Before China, Samantha spent two years in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and two years in Doha, Qatar. During her time abroad she has had the wonderful opportunity to travel all over Central America, central Asia and some of Eastern Europe. As much as Samantha loves to travel, she also makes time to return home to Florida to see her family whenever she can. Her current ambition is to travel to and explore 40 different countries by the time she is forty. Only 12 to go!

5 Comments

  1. Hi – I am in Shanghai for 2 nights 1 days shopping. Had heard the AP plaza was the best bet for my fake shopping. Should I stay that side as well do you think?
    It looks like the city is a long way away from the museum on that side?
    Any suggestions much appreciated
    Charmayne

  2. i understand that the fake market in 580 nanjing road was closed last july.is there is a new fake market that was open to replace it?

  3. LOL, as a native Chinese I have to say that you know these markets so well, especially the trick that faking to walk away and expecting the shopkeeper to make a deal! You are so awesome! 🙂

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