East Nanjing Road is a very popular stop for foreigners visiting Shanghai. It is one of the best areas for shopping, as it has almost everything a foreigner could ask for! One can easily find any high-end merchandise in the world famous department stores, or just as easily find a knock off of the same item in one of the many alleyways! I decided to take to the alleyways to find some quality clothes at a fraction of the price.
It is not difficult to end up in one of the shops that are not easily noticeable. When walking along East Nanjing Road, one is constantly bombarded with requests to view their goods for sale. Most of the shops carry the same items: watches, DVDs, clothing, bags, jewelery, etc., and the shops are always located in buildings that one would never think to enter; if China did not have such a low crime-rate, then I probably would not feel comfortable entering these shops.
In order to purchase items in these shops, one must be willing to bargain. Shop owners often ask for the same as a department store would charge, as was the case in the first shop I visited when I looked at a shirt and a pair of pants. Their initial offer was around 480 kuai, roughly $75. I counter-offered with 75 kuai and we went back and forth until I reached 150 kuai and they asked for 250 kuai. I had told myself that I would not buy a pair of pants for more than that, so I tried to offer 175 kuai for the pants and shirt. We continued to bargain and they would not budge below 225 kuai, so I said good bye and that I will be looking elsewhere for clothes. Usually, this will get the merchant to accept your final offer, or counter offer with a lower price than their last offer, but it did not happen this time.
I continued down the street, turning down countless offers for marijuana, women, and cheap products. I ran into another merchant asking if I wanted clothes and I agreed to follow him. We ended up in another sketchy looking shop, but I was able to find some nice pants, a shirt, and some socks for 175 kuai! The pants I looked at were a little long in the legs, but that was not a problem. They promptly took my measurements and sewed the pants to my leg length at no extra charge! Having found what I was looking for, I bid adieu to East Nanjing Road and headed back to the dorm.
Below are some photos of East Nanjing Road: