Over the years I have taken many visitors to Shanghai’s Xiangyang market. It is the biggest market with fake products (think Ralph Lauren polo’s, Mont Blanc pens and Rolex watches) in Shanghai. But it will close tomorrow. Not because of the fact that they sell fake products (nobody seems to care about IP rights), but because a developer bought the place and will put up a hotel there.
I had a meeting close to the Xiangyang market today, and decided to take one last look at the small shops. I was surprised by what I saw: it was more busy than I had ever seen it, even though it was quite hot (bright sunshine, no wind and at least 35 degrees Celcius). And people were frantically buying as if they would never have this opportunity again. To be honest, the shopkeepers were also doing everything they could to get rid of their stocks. For the first time several shops actually put up prices next to the goods. And they were lower than ever: Lacoste shirts for RMB 20 (EUR 2) and leather belts for just RMB 10 (EUR 1). And I am sure these prices were still negotiable.
If you are in Shanghai and looking for a real bargain (and don’t mind wearing fakes), tomorrow is your last chance. And if you read this too late? Just wait a few weeks, I am sure new, smaller markets will appear all over the city. I talked to some of the shopkeepers, and several of them told me that they plan to move to Pudong to an existing building. Other rumours were about a new market in Hongqiao and one close to the Longhua Temple. Many were handing out business cards with their mobile phone numbers: please call me in a few weeks and I will tell you where my new shop is.