The Yiwu Market – the largest commodities market in the world. And worth a visit.

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If you ever have occasion to go to Shanghai you should take a day and visit Yiwu, in Zhejinag Province where you will find the largest wholesale commodities market in the world. There are over 50,000 continuous booths and permanent showrooms and about a half million products on display at any given time. If you are looking for consumer goods this is where you will find them, from apparel, to jewelry, to sporting goods to toys, etc etc. You name it and you will find it here.

There are a lot of 2nd and 3rd tier vendors in Yiwu which means that you may have to invest more over the long-run to manage quality. You will find higher caliber vendors at the Canton Fair and Hong Kong sourcing fairs, but if you have a simple non-design driven, low valued added product, and your bottom line is more important than quality then Yiwu can be a good place to source.

From Shanghai you can take a bullet train and be in Yiwu in less than 2 hrs. Doing Yiwu in a day though is not practical and you really should count on spending a few days there. Becasuse there are not many what I would consider nice hotels in Yiwu, a better option might be to stay in Hangzhou. I would add that the the train station in Yiwu is a mass of humanity and if you need to buy a ticket there to go back to Shanghai or Hangzhou, good luck. For this reason it is best to plan your trip in advance and make sure you have all your return tickets in hand when you go to Yiwu. But then again this is good advice for whereever you travel in China.

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