Many people who come to China, particularly tourists, love to buy fakes or copies of clothing, purses, dvds, watches etc. While I at first thought this was cool and would make me look like a decked out rockstar with my lacoste shirt, versaci belt, and rayban sunglasses, I have changed my mind. The thing is, the quality of all this stuff sucks. The couple of polos I have bought have fallen apart and a bag I bought also broke. What is definitely worth getting is tailor made clothes, HIGH END fake watches with Seiko movements in them, and real clothing that has been stolen/reappropriated from the factory. Some pants are of decent quality, but you need to pick and choose.
Pricing information or fakes (these are the prices, do not let the seller tell you otherwise):
Jeans 70 RMB
Watch 25RMB for cheap ones (I paid 180 for a nice one, but I probably paid too much, but it has three working dials plus the main hands and looks pretty real (I compared it to my bosses real one and there are differences, not worth 10 000$)
Tailored dress shirts 60-90RMB
Suit (Labor only) 275 – 350RMB
Suit Fabric (at cheap market) 100 – 200RMB /Suit
Suit Fabric at tourist place: 500 RMB/Suit
North Face Summit Series Windbreaker (a good buy in my opinion): 90 RMB
Underwear: 10 RMB
Socks: 2-3 RMB
T-Shirt 10 – 15RMB
Polo Shirt 20 RMB
Bamboo (or calligraphy) a 4 by 1 foot banner with the rolls should cost 40RMB or less
Fake old Vase 40RMB
Tibetan Jewelry about 5-10 rmb a piece
Old looking trinkets about 20-40RMB
Real stuff from the factory is much more but the quality is great and you will keep the clothes for a long time.
Nice Dockers Sweater: 160 RMB
Lacoste Polo (real): 80 RMB
Zegna, Armani suites, 1200RMB (these are very difficult to get and you need to know people as they are located in remote rooms in apartment buildings – do not ask me where, I have been sworn to a blood oath of secrecy).
I cannot tell you how to tell the difference from fake and real, but it is usually the material that gives it away.
Have fun shopping at the world’s factory outlet.