Shopping! Nothing gets a Chinese tourist’s heart racing faster than a trip to the outlet mall. Everyone knows America is known for having amazing deals. From Apple laptops to MK bags, high quality Fish Oil to Kindle E-Books, Steve Madden shoes or Nike apparel, America has a deal for you. This post will help you make sense of it all.
First, it helps to create a shopping plan before you let the dollars fly out of your wallet. What kind of things do you want to bring home for yourself? What type of gifts will you be bringing back for other people? Who are you buying gifts for back home? Figuring out what you want to buy can make the decision making much easier once you hit the mall. Later I will give you some recommendations of what I think the best deals for Chinese travelers are.
Next, you should try to come up with a budget or spending plan. How much are you willing to spend to get the newest and best items from America? Having a spending plan in place will help you stay in control and not return home with a massive credit card bill.
Third, shop at other places besides the Outlets. Outlets have great prices, but the quality isn’t always the best. Sometimes it pays to shop other places. For example, Levis jeans in the Outlets are a good price, but the selection isn’t great. Bags bought at the Outlets from MK and Coach are of a lower quality than found in the normal shops. Normal shopping malls in America have great deals on high quality items. Go check one out if you have the time.
Fourth, deals are posted in a different way in America. If a sign says 25%, that means it is 25% off of the original price. So if something costs $100 and it says 30%, the new cost would be $70. But even that is not exactly true, as you will need to factor in sales tax. Every state and city has a different tax rate, but most of them will be around 7% added on to your final bill. For example, at the Outlets in California a $200 bag marked 50% would cost about $107 after taking away the discount and adding the tax.
Here are some things that we think should be on your shopping list:
- Underwear from Calvin Klein outlets. Great comfort at a great price.
- Apple products, particularly laptops. The Apple laptops are always newer and cheaper than you will find back home.
- Bose audio products. Headphones, speakers, Bluetooth speakers, this is a classic American brand that has amazing products.
- Nuts and Dried fruits are cheap, delicious, and make great gifts.
- Name brand shirts, polos and jeans. Levis jeans and Tommy shirts are a fraction of the cost you will find back home.
Well there it is. A guide to Shopping in America. Do you have your own tips for shopping till you drop? Let us know in the comments!