Hong Kong is famous for many things but, to mainland Chinese people, it is a popular destination for shopping. Many people take long weekend trips there by train or airplane to buy expensive items in this tax-free territory. Hong Kong has status as a "free port" which means there aren't any restrictions on what can be sold there. So international goods from all over the world are bought and sold in Hong Kong, especially luxury items.
The most popular items that mainland Chinese visitors buy are cosmetics, clothing, electronics, handbags, jewelry, and watches. In fact, half the visitors to Hong Kong buy jewelry and watches. The average amount of money spent on a shopping trip is 3,000 USD. In total, each month approximately 5 billion USD are spent in the Hong Kong retail industry. Mainland Chinese account for one third of this amount.
If you are planning to visit Hong Kong to shop, it can be very crowded in some of the stores but the best time to visit is during one of the two seasonal sales times: December to February or July to September. Hong Kong stores are known for their quality customer service and variety of global brands. They also conveniently accept many international credit cards. Do be careful though and check that the store is approved by the Hong Kong tourism board. There have been many instances of fake goods being sold or even items being swapped when put in a shopping bag after purchase. Check what you buy before and after the sale and keep track of your receipts.
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