Navigating China’s Copy Markets

Today as I sit and wait for my kettle to boil I look around my room and am reminded of all of the wonderful things I’ve bought over the years at Shanghai’s markets.


The market I’m referring to is the Copy market at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Station in Pudong.
I love to go there at least monthly and check out the wares, mostly I love to go for a good battle.
Rather than shopping there I consider going to copy market as entering a war zone. I battle with the shop keepers to get what I want down to the price I want to pay, which is as close to what the shop paid for it as possible.
Your never going to get the price down to anywhere near what the shop paid, half the products they got for next to nothing from a friend of a friend and the other half for free from an uncle who’s nieces brothers sister works in the right factory.

Because of this a large amount of whats there is garbage, but I keep going back because you have to believe you’ll find the diamonds in the rough.
I once wore a pair of fake waterproof boots from copy market that lasted 8 months before completely falling apart one day all at once. Not gradually, literally the front binding snapped and the whole thing broke into four pieces. But I consider that a victory, I easily paid for three weeks worth of shoe and got eight months.

I attribute a dollar value to everything. I pay about $7 equivalent to go to the movies in Shanghai. Therefore I need $7 worth of enjoyment.
If it’s a comedy movie that’s maybe three good belly laughs, 10 little laughs or 25 smile cracks. I usually get my moneys worth.
When I’m in Australia though I’m paying $20 for a movie, those numbers just don’t work. It’d have to be a masterpiece to make my money back, only Meryl Streep is really worth the risk.
Anyway back to copy market, I’ve found some real gems. I got my paintings that have been going solid for about six months and still look great and have yet to fall off the wall, and I’ve got a fake ‘Canada Goose’ jacket that’s lasted two years and still looks the same way it did when I bought it.

I’ve also bought some real lemons, I’ve got shoes right now that are falling apart after only a couple weeks, I bought a watch that stopping ticking that very night and every pair of earphones has a good week, an OK week, a rubbish week, then they break.


Most people would say “stop buying electronics! Are you nuts!?” Some would say “don’t you work full-time?! Shop at a real shop!” And still others would ignore all this and focus on a real issue like I dunno, the environment or something.

But to them I say no, I believe I’ll find those magical earphones that work for a whole year, and shoes that last until I’m bored of them. I don’t have faith based on ignorance, I have faith because once two years ago I found a fake Canada Goose, and it still keeps me cozy to this day.


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