The Shanghai Fabric Market Travel Advice is part of the Tahiti Triumph Trip Report. It covers the following cities:
- NYC JFK
- Dubai, UAE
- Shanghai, China
- Papeete, Tahiti
- Bora Bora, Tahiti
- Moorea, Tahiti
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Hong Kong Island
- Tokyo, Japan
- Dallas, Texas
Location: The South Bund Fabric Market is located at 399 Lujiabang Lu. All the hotels and taxi drivers know it.
TPOL is the best bargainer. Period.
That’s the attitude you need when you enter the fabric market at Liujiabang Lu. There’s nothing more fun than spending a Saturday afternoon picking out shirts, suits, and button combinations. Sometimes the suits end up looking like something from Star Trek. Other times you end up with clothes that look better than anything that can be purchased at ten or even twenty times the price at Saks Fifth Avenue.
The first key to surviving the fabric market is to have a list of what you need ahead of time. The second key is to know what the 朋友 (friend) price is before you begin bargaining. Finally, and most importantly, it is critical to find a tailor that you know and trust. Personally, I’ve been going to the guy since 2009 and have had no complaints. It’s been six years since the last time that I had returned and evidently costs had risen since the last time I had went. Or had they?
Speaking a little Chinese and trading some good laughs, I ended up paying the same thing I did all those years ago. Back then 100 RMB was around $14 and now 100 RMB is $15 so I should say I paid the same amount in renminbi.
The booth that I go to is No. 261 and the secret prices that I get are as follows:
- Suit: 500 RMB
- Cashmere Coat: 600 RMB
- Shirt: 100 RMB
- Suitcase: 130 RMB (top quality)
Then after all is calculated I try to get a few more RMB knocked off of the final price. Am I cheap, competitive, or compulsive? That’s a discussion for another post. In the end, I walked away with 5 suits, 1 winter coat, and 20 shirts. The best part is they all fit perfectly the first time and there were no duds in the group. I shook shifu’s hand and told him I would be back next year for more. For a complete list of other prices for goods bargained abroad see the post: Bargaining Abroad, I Lost the Battle.