While perusing Hong Kong's many winding streets and shopping districts it is not uncommon to see the words "CRAZY SALE" posted in shop windows. In fact, its uncommon if you don't see them. Hong Kong retailers love their sales. Everything for sale in this city seems to be forever attached to some sort of discount or promotion. New arrivals are typically marked down by 10% and sale racks are endless. Yesterday I entered a store where EVERYTHING was on sale and it seemed normal.
The discounts don't end with retail. Happy hour drinks go for about half the price of regular drinks AND happy hour is more like happy afternoon and evening, with most places boasting a 3-9 happy "hour." Very tricky.
Promotions and sales and discounts are great and all and I must admit, the selling strategy often works. Buying something for 40% off the already marked down price is fun. Honestly, though, all these mark downs are getting old and I'm beginning to see through them. Sales just aren't as fun when everything is on sale.
A story: I recently joined a gym for a very reasonable price and was awarded a free facial and full body massage for signing up. Yay, I love these Hong Kong deals! Not so fast. Yesterday as I was enjoying my free facial a woman came into the room and tried to bully me into buying a spa package. The nerve! She took advantage of my relaxed and happy state to sell me a HK$5000 massage/facial spa package. Talk about a buzz kill. I told her no but she wouldn't listen. She kept asking me why. I almost had to yell at her to shut up and leave me alone and no I don't want your stupid spa package. JESUSSsss.
Sales people here do not take no for an answer. From the spa lady to the people at the first gym I checked out to the people in the markets selling fakes. One man literally grabbed my arm when I walked away from a pair of shoes he was selling. No mean NO, bucko, so leave me alone. My feet are too damn big!
All this is not to say that the shopping here isn't great. It is. Minus the whole big shoe thing (I've been hard-pressed to find anything over size 8 and my feet are 9.5 or 10) Hong Kong is a shopping mecca offering everything you could ever dream of buying. Designer clothing? Got it. Dried and flayed lizard skin on a stick? Got it.
Needless to say, I have barely scratched the surface here.