Yiwu wholesale market - chinaExplore the largest wholesale market in the world
Yiwu wholesale Market Snapshot
The Yiwu International Trade City (Wholesale Market) is located on the Chouzhou North Road, Yiwu, Zhejiang, China. It is divided into five districts and spans roughly 10 city blocks. It’s enormous – something like 1,000 football fields?! Technically, it consists of multiple buildings, but all connected to each other.
Normal operating hours of The Yiwu International Trade City (Wholesale Markets) is 8 AM- 4:30 PM. The market is open all year round, except during the Chinese Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), typically around the end of January through mid February.
What You'll Find
Literally, you can find anything and everything at this market. If you have a business and need to buy in bulk, this is the place you need to be.
Fun fact: 90% of the world’s Christmas decorations come from here!
yiwu fake market spree
In this video I’m joined by Scotty from ‘Strange Parts’ as we go to the WORLD’S LARGEST wholesale market in China! After, we explore that, we then head to the Yiwu Night Market to bargain for Rolex, Hublot, Yeezy and more! So come along!
Everything to Know About the yiwu wholesale market
How to Get to the Yiwu Wholesale Market
The Yiwu International Trade City is located on the Chouzhou North Road, Yiwu, Zhejiang, China. It is divided into five districts, as followed:
- District 1. Hosts about 9,000 booths and over 10,500 businesses.
- District 2. Has over 8,000 and 10,000 businesses.
- District 3. Provides room for about 14,000 booths.
- District 5. The newest and largest in terms of area but hosts only around 7,000 booths and shops.
The Trade Area is enormous, so visitors need to find the area of interest before they attempt to shop here. The good thing is, there are fairly clear areas for particular types of goods. However, there are huge distances between the various areas of this massive complex, so wearing comfortable shoes is a must.
Getting To Yiwu City
Before you get to Yiwu Wholesale Market, you first need to get to the city. Since Yiwu is a county-level city, there are no international flights you can book.
Businesspeople usually arrive at Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, or Guangzhou first, then take another journey to Yiwu. There are three options: airplane (with China Airlines), train, or long-distance bus.
Getting to the Yiwu International Wholesale Market
The Yiwu Wholesale Market is located to the east of Yiwu city. The distance from the Jinhua Yiwu Airport to the market is 11.4km, from the Yiwu Train Station – 10km, from, and from the Yiwu Bus Station – 1.5km.
As with most transportation in China, the most convenient and economical way of getting around Yiwu is by bus, which covers most areas of the city. Buses 7, 19, 20, 26, 121, 122, Y101, 801, and 804 all go to the China Yiwu International Commodity City. Alternatively, visitors can take a taxi, which is about 1.8 yuan per km, or a pedal-powered tricycle, which runs for about 3-5 renminbi.
However, many of the hotels here have a shuttle bus that will take you directly to the front of the wholesale market.
Contact your hotel for further details.
Shopping at the Yiwu Wholesale Market
Anything you can imagine, you can probably find it here at the Yiwu Wholesale Market. Products include ornaments, artworks, daily use goods, hardware, electronics, toys, stationery, rain gear, cosmetics, foodstuff, clocks and watches, sports goods, socks, tapes, textiles, cotton, clothes, neckties and other accessories, as well as industrial products.
It’s crazy think that about 90% of all the Christmas decorations world-wide come from this market.
The challenge here is that this is primarily a wholesale market. So the shopkeepers are looking to sell in bulk. This can make bargaining a bit of a challenge if you are just wanting a single item.
Where to Stay in Yiwu, China
If you are visiting Yiwu China and planning to spend most of your time at the gigantic Yiwu Wholesale Market, then you may want to stay close to the area of the market. Being that this city centers all around these markets for international trade, you will find a number of international hotels in this area, which may also have shuttles going to and from the marketplace. This makes it really easy for visitors who need to spend a lot of time at the market.
Hotels such as the Shangri-La in Yiwu are quite popular with international business professionals who are in town strictly for sourcing bulk products for their businesses.
If you are on more of a budget, then you can also find a number of moderately-priced, yet quality hotels throughout the city for between $30 – $50 per night. It really just depends on where you want to stay in town.
If you are on a more strict budget, then you can find some real budget hotels and even hostels in Yiwu. Shengdongshe Youth Hostel is a popular option with good reviews and cheap rooms.
If you are planning to stay in town for a while, then I also recommend using Airbnb just because it’s nice to have an entire apartment to yourself where you can settle in and feel at home. It’s a much more local experience.
Other Things to See & Do in Yiwu
Although the main tourism attraction in Yiwu is its International Trade City (wholesale markets), there are plenty of other things to do and neighborhoods to explore in Yiwu.
Here are some of the most interesting areas to see in Yiwu:
- Luo Binwang Park. This historic and cultural park was built to commemorate one of the most outstanding poets of Tang Dynasty – Luo Binwang (B.C.627 – B.C.684). It said that Luo Binwang frequently visited the park as a child and that his spirit still lingers on.
- Yiwu Xiuhu Park. A nice little park where you can see the Da’an Temple Pagoda and an artificial lake surrounded by trees.
- Yiwu Shuanglin Temple. It was constructed during the South Liang dynasty and for 15 centuries, the temple was one of the largest and most revered Buddhist temples in the world.
- Songpu Mountain of Yiwu. A breath of fresh air that gives visitors a different and rare perspective of Yiwu.
If you want to do some of the regular fake market type of bargaining in Yiwu, then definitely head down to the city center in the evening. There’s a night market in the city center where you can bargain for fake watches, belts etc. That’s what I’m talking about!
Food in Yiwu
Chinese cuisine is as diverse as the country’s culture. A typical meal will have two things – a carbohydrate or starch such as rice, buns, or noodles, and accompanying stir-fries or veggies, fish, and meat. In Northern China, noodles and steamed buns dominate the table, while in Southern China you’ll find most meals have a side of rice. Each dish focuses on creating a balance between appearance, aroma, and taste. Sauces and seasonings such as soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and fresh ginger are used generously to add flavor and aroma.
Local Cuisine in Yiwu
Zhejiang cuisine is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine and derives from the old ways of cooking in the Zhejiang Province, where Yiwu is located. Zhejiang cuisine is not typically greasy and has a fresh flavor with a mellow fragrance.
Notable dishes you can eat in this region include beggar’s chicken, Dongpo pork (made of pork belly), fried shrimp, dry vegetables and stewed meat, Gan zha xiang ling (deep-fried pork tenderloin wrapped in tofu), Mi zhi da fang (steamed ham with plums, cherries, lotus seeds, and other ingredients), stir-fried eel pieces, and many others.
Street Food in Yiwu
The tastiest food in Yiwu is the traditional cuisine found along the city’s many streets and lanes.
- Night Food Market on Santing Road. Here you can find casseroles, congee, duck head, fried dishes, but also non-food products such as clothes, shoes, and more.
- Ximen Food Street. The restaurants here serve special foods such as stinky tofu, spicy crayfish, pickled cabbage, and boiled fish.
- Huagong Road Food Street. A good place to visit for an array of authentic Yiwu snacks.
- Seafood Street. For seafood lovers, this is the place to be. The fish and shellfish are fresh and delicious.
- Exotic Food Street. As the name implies, along this street you can find a wide choice of international cuisines such as Japanese, Korean, Muslim, and even Brazilian.
About the Wholesale Market in Yiwu
The Yiwu Market managed to transform one of the poorest rural counties in the Zhejiang Province into one of the richest cities in the country. The decollectivization imposed in the late 1970s created favorable conditions for the growth of Yiwu, and this was largely due to the constant support from local authorities. The Yiwu Huqingmen Market was created in 1982, and farmers were granted permission to enter the city, conduct business, engage in long-haul trading, and compete with both state-owned and privately-owned enterprises and individuals.
Yiwu was a first for China; this was the first time a local government of the People’s Republic of China legalized a free market for farmers. During that time, the market was very different from what we can see today. It consisted of only a few hundred sheds and stalls, but it grew with such rapidity that in 1983, the county government built a new market consisting of booths.
The Yiwu market continued its rapid growth and in the following years, it was rebuilt and expanded several times. The number of booths exceeded 10,000 in 1991 and today, the market – which is divided into five districts covering an area of more than 4 million square meters – has more than 75,000 booths.
In this market, over 90% of suppliers do not speak English, not to mention any other languages. So if you are not fluent in Chinese and are looking to negotiate large deals, you might want to get help from a local professional agent.
Introduction to Yiwu, China
The history of China is a long and complicated one. Most of its history can be divided into a series of dynasties, starting with the ancient Xia dynasty in 2205 BCE to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912 CE. In ancient times when China was isolated from the civilizations of the West, a trade route that would arguably become the most famous in the world was born: the Silk Road.
This network of trade routes connected East and Southeast Asia with South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, and South Europe. The Silk Road trade played a significant role in the development of China’s civilizations and its effects are still seen today, considering that China remains the largest goods trading partner for many countries worldwide.
Trade & Producing Goods in Yiwu
As the nation with the largest manufacturing economy and exporter of goods in the world, the Yiwu Market in East China is the largest wholesale market in the world. This enormous market that consists of multiple connected buildings stretches roughly 10 city blocks and sells nearly every product you can think of.
Trade has been a key factor in the economy of China throughout most of its history. Hundreds of thousands of wholesalers from Africa, Arabia, Asia, and other parts of the world come to buy their goods in Yiwu. The town has an industrial district and an urban marketplace, both with global reach.
The internationalization of Yiwu’s specialized market resulted from a constant search for new product outlets. The strategy consisted of finding new buyers and intermediary markets for the products displayed in its thousands of booths.
Consequently, the number of products sold should offset weak profits. As Yiwu’s prices are some of the most competitive, people come from all over the world. According to the Yiwu Municipality, about 55% of exports are destined for markets worldwide.
Yiwu’s success has led to an expansion and diversification of markets specialized in the wholesale of small commodities. The term “small commodities” encompasses items such as jewelry, decorative items, stationery, household goods, and small electronic equipment such as household appliances. These objects, also known as “exotic knick-knacks,” are often similar across the globe.
Basically, Yiwu is the place to go for anyone in the world who is looking to buy and distribute products.