Forget the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. According to my boss there is only one ‘must-do’ for anyone traveling to Beijing, and that one ‘absolute must’ activity is shopping. Not the haggling with vendors that China is known for. No, what my boss insisted I experience was the “Knock Knock” shop.
Knock Knock Shops
It mattered little that I told her I wasn’t much of a shopper. She asked me to pick up a Chanel purse for her while I was there, despite the fact that I had no idea what Chanel purses look like. I was concerned that I’d be ripped off, and might return with just about anything they tried to pass off as Chanel. My words just didn’t compute. I don’t think she could comprehend that I have no interest in purse shopping, and wouldn’t know a Chanel from a K-mart brand of purse. She armed me with a picture of the one she wanted and these instructions:
Go to the Pearl Market – face the entrance and turn left. Walk down the street and take the first road on the right hand side. Walk down this street, about 50 m or so until you see a shop called “Glasses World”. Go down the alley way on the left side of the shop, follow to the end. A door will open up at the end of the alley way. The good stuff is in the back.
Her other endorsements of the place included the words “no haggling”, “only for tourists” and “they take credit cards.” For me, these were red flags. Didn’t she know that tourists are usually charged WAY more for things than locals are?
Haggling in China
Regardless, it was her money (in theory). I promised her I’d go, but couldn’t promise she’d like what I brought back.
But when I got to the Pearl Market, two things happened that prevented me from keeping my promise.
First, I couldn’t find this secret doorway. I saw several eyeglass shops and didn’t have a clue where I was supposed to go. And secondly, it didn’t matter anyway since my credit cards were stolen while I was in the Pearl Market. Right out of my non-Chanel purse. 😦
I did recruit another colleague to finish the job. She was a much more savvy shopper than I am anyway and was excited to go. So my boss got her purse, and eventually, I got new credit cards. What I didn’t get was the Knock Knock shop experience, which I wasn’t sorry about at all.
Apparently, Knock Knock shops are one of those well-known secrets. Have you heard of them before? Would you go?
Sounds like a typical shopping experience in China. Get to know the shopkeepers and they’ll show you where all the good stock is.
Sorry to hear about your credit cards. Westerners can often be a target for thieves.
I guess I’m just never really looking for the “good stuff.” But that’s a good tip to know.
I was shocked that my credit cards were stolen while I was wearing my purse across my body. I’ve never had that happen and was completely unaware when it occured.
I’m not sure I like the idea of looking for a ‘knock knock’ shop, whether in Beijing or anywhere else. Though at least I no longer have a wife to answer to 😯
I know. It all seemed very sketchy. Plus, there’s apparently a video camera that records you as you come in the door.
I can’t say I’m sorry we didn’t find it.
There’s this Chinese phrase that likens shopping to doing battle and going on a full-frontal assault. As a result, you have to be super prepared and have a full battle plan ready (aka know your shops and shopkeepers super well). This is why I usually stick to online shopping. Hope the thief didn’t do too much damage with your credit cards!
LOL! That’s perfect! I usually don’t mind engaging in the battle of shopping in China. I know to expect it. That’s why going to a shop where you just pay the price without haggling seemed a little crazy to me.
OH My goodness ! Stolen credit cards is a terrible experience when traveling. I hope you were able to salvage the trip quickly. Forget the knock-off Chanel. 🙂
Yes. It was a humbling experience and took quite a bit of run-around trying to call the States and get them all cancelled. Luckily, my husband still had his, or I don’t know how we would have paid for the hotel!
Dang credit card jerks! Sorry that happened to you. Never heard of knock knock shops. Shopping is the least important thing to me when I travel.
Ditto for me. I like shopping for souvenirs, but not shopping shopping.
I am no shopper either, but I went ‘knock knock’ shopping in Shanghai with a local college student who walked us around town one day, and watched open mouthed as she haggled down to one tenth the starting price!!! Not surprisingly, the fruit of that labour didn’t quite last a couple of months 😀
Hope the credit card incident didn’t cause much damage.
LOL. Yes, I’m sure the quality would have left a lot to be desired.
The credit card fiasco was resolved without too much issue. Thank goodness!
Sorry about your stolen Credit Card. I was afraid of this too or having my cash taken or lost. So thats why when I first got here into china I opened a Chinese Bank Account at the airport in Terminal 3 so I could use WeChat Pay and its been sssooo convenient over cash or credit cards espaically because somethings you want to pay for here ONLY take WeChat Pay or Ali Pay. I got here may 23 and will be here til the end of June.
So did anyone that was with you get to the knock Knock shop? My mom was a flight attendant for American Airlines (Retired now.) and would come here a lot and she insisted I go to this Knock Knock shop when im here which she had been to. Her directions sounded confusing. Yours didn’t sound too bad. she also recommended I go to The Brown Door Restaurant while I was there which is near the Pearl Market. She said its cheap and really good food!
Going here will be a great addition to my YouTube videos as I have been creating so bargaining videos for my channel.