Purchase a shirt with only 8 yuan, or a pair of jeans for less than 20 yuan? Yes, it is possible. And no, you don't need to be a world champion bargainer. For authentic, high quality clothing and more, Beijing's factory clearance centers and dedicated discount malls are the city's best-kept shopping secret. Here's your guide to the best of the bunch.
Zhongguancun Off-Price Shopping Mall
Offering 40-80 percent discount to consumers, the mall covers more than 300 famous brands of apparel, shoes, sports and leisure goods and home furnishings. Labels found here are the same ones sold at mainstream shopping malls or boutiques both here and abroad -- though at far greater prices. But while other discount stores stock only outdated goods, the new mall focuses on latest products. And it is easy to spot popular brands like Nike, Adidas, Levis, Nautica, Hush Puppy and Azona here. Everything is discounted, save for the high-priced designer sunglasses.
The mall labels the discounted price of each item. But the best buys here are some of the domestic brands.
Location: 1-3/F, Zhongguancun E-center, 52 Beisihuan Xilu, Haidian District.
Tianlantian GoGo Clothes Overstock Market
An overcoat for 30 yuan, pajamas for 8 yuan and a shirt for only 5 yuan. Unbelievably cheap is the first impression at this new overstock market in southeast Beijing.
In the three-floor indoor market, piles of clothes crowd numerous stands, T-shirts, sports wear, coats, jeans, pajamas and lingerie are the main products here. As most of the clothes have been originally made for foreign trade, a big portion of them are in large sizes, and aimed at middle-aged or older people. Trendy styles are seldom seen, but if you have enough time to search through the sea of clothes, there are still big chances of bumping into China-made products of international brands.
Location: northeast of Lize Bridge, Xisihuan Zhonglu, Fengtai District.
Jiulong Huichuan Overstock Goods Trade Center
Expect to come home laden with shopping bags full of cheap scores. For instance, the same colorful cotton lingerie selling for 120 yuan in downtown department stores, costs just 30 yuan here. But sharp eyes are necessary to make the most of a shopping trip here, as clothes of the latest designs are rare and there are also some fake goods bearing famous labels.
Location: Hongfangzi, Nanyuan, Fengtai District.
365 Discount Plaza
This discount plaza is a haven for middle-income consumers, especially young women, as it gathers more than 30 women's fashion labels like Only, Guess, and Soda. Women's office attire is the best buy, with everything priced below 1,000 yuan, yet with good quality and nice design. Each month the place will replace its stock with new brands, so shoppers at the plaza will always find something new. Discount rates range from 50 to 90 percent. There are also regular special promotions.
Location: B2/F, Fulllink Plaza, Chaoyangmen, Chaoyang District. Tel: 6588-1901
Beijing Zoo Clothes Wholesale Market
Location: opposite Beijing Zoo, Haidian District.
The 7 and 9 avenues of Guanyuan Wholesale Market
Location: Guanyuan, Haidian District.
(Beijing Weekend September 13, 2007)