【Learn Chinese】5 Important Words for Shopping in China

Shopping is one of the behaviors that people do every day. People shop for food, clothes, cosmetics, daily necessities and so on. Sometimes, shopping brings happiness as well!
In this article, we will introduce 5 phrases you need to know when you go shopping.
多少钱?(duōshǎo qián) - How much?
Shopping in Asia is quite different from the western countries. The small shops in Asia are known for hidden gems at price bargains. To get the price, it often requires asking in advance. If you cannot find the pricing label, you can ask “请问这个多少钱?” (qǐngwèn zhège duō shǎo qián), which means “May I know how much it is?”
…多少钱?(duōshǎo qián) can be used with any object to require the price. For example, your friend bought a nice bag (包包, bāo bāo), you are curious about how much it costs, you can ask “包包多少钱?” (bāo bāo duōshǎo qián?)
便宜 (piányí) - Cheap
It is normal to bargain with the seller in the market. Usually, if you buy more kinds of stuff, you can ask for more discounts. For example, you are going to buy 3 pieces of clothes for $18 each. But you can ask “可以便宜一点吗?” (kěyǐ piányí yīdiǎn ma?) – “Could this be a little cheaper?” The owner usually will offer more discount to you, maybe $50 for all in total.
打折 (dǎzhé) - Discount
In Mandarin Chinese, the concept of discount is very different from English. When you see a board with “七折” (qī zhé) or heard people say “打七折” (dǎ qī zhé), it doesn’t mean 70% off, it means “30% off.”
Every brand has its seasonal sale, you can ask the clerk by saying “现在有没有打折?” (xiànzài yǒu méiyǒu dǎzhé?), which means “Are you on sale?” But don’t be too excited when you hear 打九折 (dǎ jiǔ zhé) since it’s 10% off.
信用卡 (xìnyòngkǎ) - Credit card
Sometimes, we don’t take much cash with us and not every shop and restaurant takes a credit card. To avoid the embarrassment after lunch or dinner, it’s better to ask when you get into a shop or a restaurant “可以刷信用卡吗?” (kěyǐ shuā xìnyòngkǎ ma?), which means “Do you take credit cards?”
刷 (shuā) means “to swipe” and 可以刷卡吗? (kěyǐ shuākǎ ma?) is literally translated as “Can I swipe the card?”
袋子 (dàizi) - Plastic bag
To be environment-friendly, many convenient stores and supermarkets stop providing free plastic bags. So, the clerk may ask you if you need bags or not, “要不要袋子?” (yào bù-yào dàizi?) before you pay.
The bubble tea shops still provide free bags if you need them to carry the drinks, but sometime they might be too busy to ask. So, you can tell them “请给我一个袋子。” (qǐng gěi wǒ yīgè dàizi), which means “Please give me a bag.”