CNN put together a story about Christmas shopping in Yiwu, the worlds largest wholesale small commodities market, 300km south of Shanghai. That’s a 2.5 hr ride from Shanghai’s South [Train] Station (南站) Additionally, Yiwu also functions as a sort of ‘Wall Street’ for the counterfeiting industry, where 100,000 counterfeit products are openly traded daily. Take a look at the CNN article for some fun pictures.
Almost as large as the city’s downtown, the day market will take more than a day to cover in its entirety. And be prepared to buy lots of gifts this year; the traders in Yiwu sell in bulk. Trains to Yiwu leave from Shanghai South Railway Station.
“Chinese people don’t always bargain these days,” says Wang Fei. “Sometimes they want to know the price for quality. It was not always like this and we had to bargain a lot.”
“The market is the town,” says Mrs. He. “Other towns are far away. It takes time for products to get there. Here, it’s always Christmas.”
“The Yiwu market is old California,” says Zhou Zheng, a local merchant. “There are prospectors everywhere. They’re all panning for gold. Some of them find it.”
“People in Yiwu have a saying,” Zhou Zheng continues, “‘Mei you zui pianyi, zhi you geng pianyi.’ This means: there is no cheapest [price]; only cheaper.”
The sun goes down and the Yiwu night market comes out