Fake Market and the art of haggling

For our last day in Shanghai Tim, Manuel and I decided to head to the Fake Market. This is a bustling street market that is all underground.

Three people walking along a deserted path
A lovely day to go to a crowded, noisy underground mall!

We could begin to understand the kind of experience it was going to be before we even got there, with random people approaching us and trying to take us to their particular store. We even had a guy telling us that there wasn’t a market there and we needed to go with him somewhere else when we were literally standing in front of the entrance.

Shopping centre
“No market here…” Really???

We wandered around for a while. There were a few things we wanted; I needed a pair of sunglasses. This led to my first haggling experience with a lady running a sunglasses store. It’s pretty full-on with them always starting with a ridiculous price and then you having to act amused, offering 10% of that, to which they look outraged – proclaiming you’ll ruin them, and you go back and forth from there.

I ended up with a pair of sunglasses, unfortunately they are fake Ray-Ban knock offs. I would much rather a cheap no-name brand. I hate brand names on things and I managed to remove the logo without hassles later. It was ridiculous to have her banging on about how they’re “Not cheap, genuine Ray-Ban”, when cheap was what I wanted, and certainly not Ray-Ban. Why I would want to be walking through dodgy parts of town pretending to own a pair of $200 sunglasses is beyond me. Furthermore anyone who judges people based on sunglasses brand is beyond help in my book. Not that there’s anything wrong with owning nice sunglasses – I just find it irritating that even in China it’s hard to find unbranded glasses. I can’t believe people care that much about brands, but I guess they must or they wouldn’t sell.

Fake Star Wars Lego, with the brand “Star Wnrs”
Fake Lego, fake sunglasses, fake market…


  • Warwick 3 years ago

    I hate the idea of haggling! Sounds as if you’re getting the hang of it though… The “STAR WNRS” Lego is interesting – it’d take a fair bit of Jedi mind control to convince people that’s real.