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Going to Zhuji May 2016 and have many questions...

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  • Katbran
    replied
    Remulus ! What a WONDERFUL report !!! I love all the details ....and I can't believe how brave you were to do this..and to do it wandering around from bus station to bus station with a bag of cash !!!! It would have been so scary ! And I had to laugh when you talked about almost getting tossed out of a shop ! And great photos !! Thanks so much!!
    And I agree with Tucs.. I think China would be quite difficult. My son was there for 8 months..really interesting stories..not for the faint hearted unless you are going all 5 star.

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  • Tucs
    replied
    Very interesting, Remulus, thanks for the stories and photos!

    I have travelled to a few countries in Asia and I have found China to be the hardest, so congratulations to you for your hard work.

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  • Sanippy
    replied
    What a great thread! Thanks for sharing your story, looking forward to reading more!

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  • amti
    replied
    I'm loving your story Remulus! It is so brave of you to take public transportation in a country where you don't speak the language and English is not widely spoken. I've been to China a few times and have taken public transportation, but only because I had very clear instructions and had some idea where to go. No where as complicated as yours.

    I'm sorry you got escorted out of a few shops. Negotiating in China is a fine art of charm, smiles, friendliness and knowing when to walk away. My son got really good at it when he went. He was only five but managed to get all the sales ladies to give him candy along with a cute kitty watch for about $2 in exchange for a picture with him. His famous tactic was, "but I'm only a kid!" when he was quoted a high price. I'm not sure that tactic will work for us adults though.

    Looking forward to reading part 3 and 4!

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  • amti
    replied
    I'm loving your story Remulus! It is so brave of you to take public transportation in a country where you don't speak the language and English is not widely spoken. I've been to China a few times and have taken public transportation, but only because I had very clear instructions and had some idea where to go. No where as complicated as yours.

    I'm sorry you got escorted out of a few shops. Negotiating in China is a fine art of charm, smiles, friendliness and know away. My son got really good at it when he went. He was only five but managed to get all the sales ladies to give him candy along with a cute kitty watch for about $2 in exchange for a picture with him. His famous tactic was, "but I'm only a kid!" when he was quoted a high price. I'm not sure that tactic will work for us adults though.

    Looking forward to reading part 3 and 4!

    Leave a comment:


  • MSC
    replied
    I am loving your travelogue, Remulus! The little details really create the great visuals. I really enjoy haggling as well and I'm sure it's an art in China. My dad has visited the country a few times (as a tourist) but I've never made it to that continent. I travel alone mostly and have found that most people around the world are only too happy to help someone lacking in language skills; I'm so glad to hear that's true for China as well! I can't wait to see more photos and stories of interactions with vendors. Well done!

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  • Icyjade
    replied
    Thank you for sharing your adventure with us. And you got such lovely pearls!

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  • newberry
    replied
    I kept thinking as I was reading how brave you are to do all of that by yourself. What a wonderful adventure. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Please post lots more photos

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  • pattye
    replied
    Remulus, What an absolute treat to see your photos and hear all the details of your pearl shopping excursion. Congratulations on your bravery and ultimate success!

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  • Marianne
    replied
    Thank you for taking from your time to share this amazing adventure with us, Remulus !

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  • perlas
    replied
    Interesting thread, Remulus!

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  • Pearl Dreams
    replied
    What an interesting thread and great photos!

    Those of us who will never go ourselves thank you.

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  • GemGeek
    replied
    I love how brave you were with traveling and trying to communicate. I could never do that by myself. Great story and great photographs.

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  • JerseyPearl
    replied
    Wow...really great to see and read this travel log!

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  • Remulus
    replied
    Thanks Cathy for your respond. Think your grandson and me have some experiences in common except that I did not even get a single spoon of food that evening

    Part 2:1
    The pearls and the market.

    Will post more pictures later as part 2:2.

    When I entered the building, the first impression was that this would be almost impossible to get a grip of the more than 1200 vendors, small shops owned by the producers, loaded with pearls everywhere, in only one or two days.

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    The first thing I did was to walk around for almost an hour, and actually got a little grip of the fair at last. Itīs big, Yes, but not enormous like the fair in Yiwu. Perhaps the size of a football field. Did not photograph in the beginning either. Would not like to be perceived as a tourist.

    I then visited some of the largest vendors to hear about the pricing. I had done some preparations in Yiwu before, to get a sense of the price and began to ask for it here. I talked with an owner of a large producer and presented me as a wholesale buyer from Sweden and got some prices. After a while I was trying to press the prices really hard and told him that I represent more than 30 goldsmith shops in Sweden. Just to see how much he could adjust the prices.

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    What I told was not all untrue, but some of it. Sorry… Iīm little ashamed. The truth is that if I can get cheap pearls of good quality to Sweden, it would not be especially hard to sell them to some of the 30 other shops I know well. We cooperate today through our insurance company that we, 31 goldsmith shops own together, and that we always help each other with some hard to get goods. And, to get good pearls in Europe is not only hard, itīs impossible I have learned from this trip.

    After a second visit at another producer I was ready to both photograph and buy. I had a reasonable idea of the pricing. Will tell more about this later. Was threatened by the owner in the second test to be escorted out from his shop by a security officer after haggling a bit too hard.

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    Another worry was the language. Was told that not many spoke English, and that’s true, but the shops helped each other. They called for help from another vendorīs. The language barrier was actually not a big problem strangely enough.

    If the seller did not speak any English, the haggling and pricing was made through a calculator where the price and bid was typed or by help from others. Almost every seller knows one English phrase and can ask you the question: Retail or wholesale. You have to answer the question before you get any prices.
    If they do not ask the question you must tell them what you are.

    Wholesale is a floating limit of a purchase of at least 2-5000 Yen. Retail is lower. If you answer wholesale and buy for say 2000 you will get a very angry seller and no chance of any bargain or haggling what so ever. They could also ask you to leave the shop and refuse to sell, which they actually did to me once when I was trying to buy silver clasps for 2500 Yen.
    I later got back and made the deal by buying some more clasps for a little more than 5 000 yen (around $800) but he was NOT happy about the deal. The MOQ (minimum order quantity) or rather in this case, shopping quantity as wholesale, was 10 pcs each model and at least 200, but I manage to buy 5 each model and totally 130 and haggle down the price a little.

    Time for some pearl photos:

    Lovely just to see them, but even greater feeling to be able to touch and hand pick them before they buy. Bought some of them to make earrings (studs).

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    Drop formed pearls of the highest quality (not the shape thou) that I bought to make some gold earring and pendants:

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    Bought some white pearl neclaces to match and make a full set with the white earrings and pendants above. At least AA quality.

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    Bought a pair of 15 mm Edison from the same vendor to make gold earings (Had a costom order on that):

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    More Edison from the same vendor, but I did not bought it:

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    Bought 10 of these strings in different colors.

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    And a LOT of these in low quality and different sizes and colors, just to earn money for the bread and butter:

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    Will post more photos later. Promise!

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