Well known and well visited by tourists, the Silk Market is seven floors of clothing, shoes, bags, fashion accessories, leather goods, traditional Chinese crafts, calligraphy, carpets, home fabrics, paintings, hand-knitted dresses, toys, trinkets and souvenirs, fine jewelry and more. There are also plenty of custom tailors for suits etc.etc. Most stall operators speak English.
Apparently, the market operators are trying to clean up the image of Silk Street, and there’s plenty of signage around the market about ‘buying with confidence’ and the ability to return goods if not satisfied, and they are also trying to remove sellers of brand name copies, fake goods and the like. I think it’s safe to ignore this and consider everything to be fake, and that once you hand over the cash, you own it.
Just like any market in China you have to bargain hard, nothing has price tags and you should be aiming to pay no more than half of any original price you have been quoted, sometimes much less than half depending on how exorbitant the first quote is from the stall owner. For example, I purchased some walking shoes for 120RMB that were originally quoted at over 500RMB, haggle hard but have fun doing it.
Double check what you buy before leaving the stall. Check quality as it may differ from the display item you were shown and also check size and style. Don’t be afraid to pull it out of the plastic. Also, check the change you are given, it may be safer to use small denomination notes to reduce the need for change as apparently there is the risk of getting stuck with counterfeit notes.
For more check out the review of Silk Street Pearl Market at goshopbeijing.com.
Where to stay? For great value near the market and subway station check out the Jianguo Hotel
Getting there: take subway line 1 to Yong’anli Station and exit A1
Silk Street address in Chinese
Silk Market 秀水市场 – 8 Xiushui Dongjie, Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District 建国门外大街秀水东街8号
Silk Street Map with the top nearby hotels