Throughout Shanghai there are markets of all kinds. Electronics, clothing, gizmos, and everything in between. Some markets specialize, others are a hodge podge. But, what they all have in common is plenty of counterfeit goods. You can bet your ass that almost nothing is authentic, and if it is you can still get it for half price. After my first fake Ray Ban experience in China I felt the need to lower my average considerably and learn from my mistakes.
Enter, the counterfeit market on Nanjing Road. Nanjing is known for it’s shops. There are pedestrian only streets, high end boutiques, and name brands from the west. Of course there are pick pockets and scams that gravitate to the same area. In one building is essentially a mall full of counterfeit goods. There are Kiosks and shops all selling about the same stuff with offers of very different prices. If you stay in the front, you’re paying 2-10 times what you would in the back of the mall. The further you’re willing to go the better the deal. It appears as though these merchants work together as well. Every sale is a profit, but they depend on the tourist grabbing front kiosks to make the most money for everyone.
There are also a plethora of hidden doorways and back utility hallways filled with “the good stuff.” Now this is most certainly still fake, but they actually put some effort into making them. They use real glass, sturdier plastic, and actually finish the paint job. Excuse me sir, do you want to open up the shelf, walk through an unlit hallway, and make it to a back storage room with a 10 foot ray ban display case? Yes, please!
I want colors, you better include a case, and I know your cost is under 15 kuai because that’s what I’m buying these for. Cha-ching! After much trial and error, my target cost for my new favorite shopping item is 15 RMB (close to $2 a piece). With the amount I’ve bought, and I have quite a collection growing between my own needs and gifts for friends, my average is now at around 20 RMB. And for the record, the prices are more easily had at the Science and Technology Museum market.
Now the question is not what color raybans do I need but what accessories to get to match the colors I have. Maybe some BEATS headphones? Perhaps a watch or two? Maybe a brightly colored custom made suit? Only time will tell.