Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How to buy gadgets in China and not get screwed

Gizmodo's Elaine Chow travels to China, faces off with the sales people at Shanghai PC Mall and comes away a very happy customer. From Gizmodo:
This time around I went for something I recognized: an 802.11b/g Netgear that would run about $40 in the US. The starting price this time around was 300 yuan (or about $45). I countered with 150 and was scoffed at. Employing my best “Well, if you really aren't going to sell it to me for that much, I guess I'll just be on my way” look, I got the clerk to sigh and give it to me for 200 yuan. $10 off the US price and no sales tax added on at the end of the deal. Not too shabby.

In the next hours, I haggled over everything from speakers to hard drives to extra RAM for my laptop (installed for free, with an extra discount thrown in if I left my old memory sticks with them). I came home that day, arms loaded with new stuff, satisfied with having saved a good 20 to 25% off of US street prices.

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