Shanghai Scams, The Man Trap – Part 3/3

Serpentza talks about how someone giving you shopping tips of where to shop gets kickbacks, which means whatever price you pay is probably double or triple what you should be paying.

However, what Serpentza doesn’t tell you is it is okay to haggle over the price except maybe in a Shanghai Wal-Mart.  Yea, they have Wal-Mart’s in China.

Anyway, Serpentza says to shop by yourself unless you know someone local.  That is good advice.

Actually, I have this hand carved wood sculpture that I wanted.  The shop owner thought my wife, who is Chinese, was my guide and he told her if she could convince me to buy this carving, he’d give her a kickback.

Needless to say, she found out how low he was willing to go, that’s the price I paid for the sculpture, and she refunded me the kick back.

Meanwhile, Serpentza says the beggars all have an angle—don’t trust them.

He then says if you are a single man out walking and a woman approaches you, be suspicious.  He then goes into detail what he has learned from a friend.

The story Serpentza tells is similar to what happened to me in 1965 when I was twenty and in the US Marines stationed in Okinawa.

The Shanghai Scams Website says to watch out for “Practice English”: two (mostly good-looking) Chinese girls approach you and ask you if you want to join them for a drink so they can practice their English. After you go to the washroom or make a phone call the girls disappear and the bill arrives for an astronomical price. If you refuse to pay, the owner would call some locals who tell you that you had better pay, otherwise…   Advice:  tell them to call police as you obviously are not drunk and never consumed that many whiskies. Call their bluff.

Of a “Lady Spa / massage”, usually a tout or a female approaches you to offer you “special services”.

That’s illegal in China and therefore you should not even think about it.

Return to Shanghai Scams Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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