6 Jan Bargain Hunters in Beijing Often people will tell you that shopping in the markets in Beijing is an exhilarating and exciting experience; this was proven true as our candidates who are studying Chinese in China got to experience for themselves. We were all a group of girls (and boys), no surprise there, and we met at the popular Silk Market in Beijing to do some shopping. Silk Market is a large building with a total of six floors of retail shops; the golden rule is to bargain and get the best possible price before purchasing anything. Let me give you an example, you might like to buy a sweater, the shop attendant might tell you it costs 200RMB, which is just extremely overpriced. You need to propose a price slightly lower than half the original price, so in this case you can tell them you want to buy it for only 80 RMB. Bargaining/haggling in China is almost like a game, the shop attendant will try many tricks to get you to purchase at her price, but you also need to be tough and insist on your price. Clarice, one of the girls doing the volunteer in Beijing program was amazed at this! Bargaining is a practice that the Chinese have been doing for many years before; in the olden days it was actually a way of socializing with the vendor and getting to know the person that sells you your vegetables and other goods. This has been going on even today, in China, you are expected to haggle when you buy almost anything! Speaking Chinese with vendors can be the best way to learn Chinese outside the classroom as our clients found out. People wonder what the cost of living in Beijing is like, but with shopping being as cheap as it is, after paying your bills you will find that you may have a surplus to spend on entertainment and exploring.