Some say that if you dig deep enough in Paris's catacombs, you will reach the gates of hell. In Shanghai, you don't even need to dig -- we have places like Qipu Lu. Like the catacombs, Shanghai's markets wind endlessly, and dark minions will chase your wretched soul, screaming "Bags! Watch! What do you want!?" But like the box in Hellraiser, some cannot resist the temptation of the markets, and thus we present this guide.
Before you set out, a few rules:
1) Never go to the market hungover, for this is worse than 9,000 demons ripping apart your flesh.
2) It is not uncommon for hawkers to ask for prices 32x higher than the actual price, so bargain hard. That said, don't ask for an unreasonably low price -- this is 2015. For some of the more specialized places like the tea market, bring a friend who knows the game.
3) Don't trust electronics like USB drives, unless you're at an electronics market (and even then, be careful).
4) When you first move here, there is a temptation to buy everything, just because it's cheap. Think twice -- you'll probably end up throwing most of that away in a few months.
5) Returns are usually impossible.