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Original Fakes: Fake Market, Shanghai

by Odyssey on 27/05/08 at 10:44 am

Wanna own a Rolex watch for less than 30 dollars? Here is how you can do it.

I was on a short business trip to Shanghai. This being my first visit to the city, I planned to arrive at Shanghai on a Saturday evening, with the selfish intention of utilizing the Sunday for sight seeing and shopping. A colleague of mine, who lives in Shanghai, was kind enough to offer to take me around the city on Sunday. I gladly jumped at the offer. When she told me that the first stop in the tour would be the Fake Market, I had no clue what to expect.

We got off the car near the Metro station located near Shanghai Science and Technology Centre. A group of 5-7 people came from nowhere and surrounded us. I was totally taken aback. They were rattling away in Chinese to me and my colleague. I saw her shooing them off and walking towards the station. I hurriedly followed her, not knowing what is going on. The mob continued to follow us all the way to the station. Once we entered the station, all except one disappeared. Regaining my composure, I asked my companion for an explanation. The Yatai fake market is located below the Metro station and the group that followed us were canvassing us to buy goods from the shops. I heaved a sigh of relief.

We walked down the steps to the Underground. The whole place was dotted with shops selling Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Prada, Gucci, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Cartier etc. It was a truly amazing sight. The whole area was crowded with frenzied international shoppers trying to get the best bargain. In some shops, they take you through a camouflaged door which leads behind the shop to a special room where they display these original fakes! I also noticed that on some of the clothes they were selling, they had covered the logo (of a Polo, Lacoste or Yves Saint Laurent) with a patch of cloth. Once they feel sure that you are a serious shopper and not a government official trying to arrest them for selling fake wares, they will pull off the patch to display the logo!

I picked up a Rolex watch. The original price they quoted was 500 RMB, but I got it for 150 RMB. Bargaining is an art! My colleague told me that most tourists from America come to Shanghai asking for the fake market. And they buy loads of stuff, including golf kits!. I also picked up few other sundry items including shirts for my nephew, few decorative art pieces and so on.

As we rode away from the Metro Station, I was already planning my next trip to Shanghai, this time, with family.

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Jan 17th, 2009

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