The old Xiang Yang Market is now closed, and I for one was very sorry to see this happen. There were many complaints by Western brand companies that fakes and knock-offs were being sold here, and finally the local government relented and closed the market.
But the closing removed a great source of products, especially clothing, and the market was doing no real harm. It was such a shame to see it closed. I think I miss most the excellent bargaining practice one could obtain there. As well, the market had an incredibly huge selection of domestically-made clothing and accessories, and now there is no other single place to go for these things.
The market sold a lot of excess factory production of OEM goods - mostly clothing. They were real brand-name items manufactured under license for the brand owners, and mostly for the export markets. But there was always some excess production and sometimes goods with minor flaws that found their way to this market, and that was all for the good. I've bought beautifully-made pairs of heavy Marlborough corduroy slacks for only 100 yuan (RMB) or about C$15, and after three years they show no signs of wear. I think they would have cost at least C$100 in Canada, but if the factory sold them off at cost, I don't have to apologise for buying them.
There were fakes being sold, if you can call them that. The 10 RMB Gucci wallets or the 'real, cashmere Polo sweater' for only 50 RMB. Everyone knew they weren't genuine goods and the brand was of no benefit in the sale. And in any case, the people who buy the 10 RMB Gucci wallets are not the same people who purchase the real ones for 800 RMB so it isn't as if Gucci was losing customers to low-cost competitors.
Mostly it was just a game, with real brands, real silk, real wool, real cotton - that almost always wasn't - and everyone knew the rules. This is very different from someone making a fake iphone or a fake LVMH bag and selling them as originals at the normal market price. For these people, I find I have no sympathy at all, but much of the rest is really quite harmless.
Anyway, I have some photos of the market that I took before it closed, and I thought I'd share them.
I have posted 1 page of photos. You can access it here: