Sunday, September 06, 2009

Appreciation of goods

There is a Chinese saying that goes like this: The value of goods will appreciate once they leave the original place of production; the value of a man will depreciate once he leaves his hometown. The first part of the phrase holds truth.

C bought a glass teapot with a built-in strainer for the price of 50 (after I managed to bargain it down from 60) at Yu Yuan which is a very touristed place. But that is the only place I know of which sells lots of tea related stuffs before I discover Tianshan Tea City.

Then I found the same glass teapot at Tianshan Tea City, a supposedly tea retail centre, and the teapot cost only 15yuan.

The highlight of this story is, for the same teapot, it costs more than 12 pounds (approximately 120yuan) on a UK online shop, with a staggering price difference of ten times.

But why? I understand imported goods are often sold at a higher price than in its original country. However, I do not find the items of imported electrical products or luxury food products that are not traditionally consumed by Chinese to cost ten times more in China than in their home countries.

For a start, I couldn’t find a packet of cheese that could cost me 30pounds in China, or a LV bag to be sold in China at ten times its price in France.