This is the Shopping Tours Shanghai about page. Learn our story, our approach and our history, and why we're the best shopping tour company in Shanghai!

About us

Founded in 2008 by two long term expat residents, Shopping Tours Shanghai has grown to be a highly regarded tour company in Shanghai. Our expat guide team know what foreigners like to shop for, and they know how to find the best quality, and best deals in the city! Read on to discover more about the history of our awesome company!

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This is us

Our Cool Company

Learn about the history behind Shopping Tours Shanghai.

Our Company

The idea of Shopping Tours Shanghai originated after we received so much feedback from visitors who came to China and hated the shopping, unless we took them! Why? Because the culture for shopping in China is to haggle. This means there are no marked prices. Tourists — and locals alike — can be seriously ripped off. However, our tours are designed to not only save you money but also to show you where to find the best quality.

We teach bargaining skills to our customers, let them know what the price should be so they know where to start… and show them how to walk away with the best price! We’re always on hand to assist while your confidence in bargaining grows.

Our preferred shops at the markets give us amazing prices without the exasperating and time consuming game of bargaining. We have researched the shops in the fabric market to the extent of having a tailor from NZ come and assess their workmanship; that is why we are so confident in the quality and pricing of their work! Customers also get the benefit of our local knowledge, return policy and delivery options. This is part of the value of our ticket price and helps us fit in more shopping destinations, fewer hiccups and zero scams into a day out in Shanghai.

Our Philosophy

Our approach is the opposite of the typical Chinese tour of low upfront fees and heavy commission taking. Yes, our ticket price is higher than some, but our guides are expats and they don’t receive commission. There is NO pressure to buy at any of our destinations, the lunch is fabulous and the insights and information you get on the day will save you money and ensure you have a fantastic time in this amazing city. Occasionally we see other companies copying our exact wording on their websites; please proceed with caution when dealing with other companies purporting to offer the same services at a lower price.

Our History

Shopping Tours Shanghai was established in 2008 by two vibrant Shanghai Expat residents. Suzy and Lynn, both originally from New Zealand, had well over 16 years of history in Shanghai which included a wealth of experience in taking other people shopping. After receiving such positive and enthusiastic feedback about their shopping excursions with friends and guests, they decided to start Shopping Tours Shanghai.

Over the course of ten years, our guides have always been part of our closely knit Shanghai family. In 2014, MJ and Suzy switched roles, with MJ taking over ownership of the company. They’re both still working as guides too – no hostile takeovers here!

Shopping Tours Shanghai has grown to be one of the top-rated tours in Shanghai due to our guides’ city-wide knowledge and friendly personalities.


Our Fequently Asked Questions. Click on the question to view the answer.

Can I take a tour in the afternoon?

The Half Day Best of Everything Tour is only in the morning and includes lunch. We can accomodate a Private Custom Tour in the afternoon, please contact us to arrange this.

My partner isn’t much of a shopper – will they enjoy this tour?

Although they may not enjoy shopping, this is more than just a shopping tour! Everyone really does enjoy this tour, we have a lot of interesting facts and information to impart, we talk about the history, the people, Shanghai, the culture and can answer questions about daily life and living in Shanghai. Our guides are all very friendly and approachable and they are there to ensure everyone has a great day out. Customers really enjoy this added aspect of the tour and it’s great being able to sit down with a beer at the delicious banquet lunch! If your partner isn’t enjoying the day, we are happy to help them get a taxi back to their hotel at any stage (we haven’t had anyone take us up on this yet!). At the last stop of the day, we can show them where the nearby boutique Shanghai Brewery is and they can have a drink whilst waiting for the tour to finish.

What if I don’t have time for a full day tour?

If you don’t have time for a full day of shopping, you can book the Half Day Best of Everything Tour which is the morning portion of the full day Best of Everything Tour. Alternatively, check out our Private Custom Tour which can be tailored to your full or half day requirements. You are also welcome to reserve for the half day tour and upgrade to the full day when you discover what a fabulous day out it is!

Can I do a tour on the weekend?

Absolutely! Shopping in Shanghai is available seven days a week.

What if I have a large group of people?

Great! We can definitely tailor a fun shopping excursion to meet your groups’ needs. Take a look at our Group Tour page for examples of what we’ve done in the past, and then please contact us with your group’s information.

I have limited mobility – how will this affect my tour?

As is common in China, many of the places we visit during the tour are not wheelchair accessible. However, we can cater for wheelchair customers with our custom tours, please ensure we are aware of all requirements when sending your enquiry.

What if I have a special dietary requirement?

The lunch provided caters well for vegetarians and can be adjusted for gluten free. If you have other meal requirements, we can organise special meals at a nominal extra cost, please contact us three days in advance to ensure this is catered for.

Can you take the group tour to a specific place I want to go?

Our Best of Everything tour covers the widest possible array of shopping opportunities. If you have specific requirements, our Private Custom tour may be more suitable for you. Please contact us with your wish list and we will advise how we can best achieve this for you.

I want to get suits made, but I don’t have time to do a tour – can you help?

Yes, we can organize a tailor to come to your hotel and take your measurements before creating a bespoke suit for you. Please see our Custom Tailoring. There is a fixed price to organize this for you and you will receive our preferred pricing and delivery, as well as any follow up required (eg. if you need the items posted).

Do I have to buy in the shops you take me to?

Absolutely not! You are welcome to just browse and see what is available; there is no pressure to purchase at ANY of our stops! We have hand picked our favorite shopping spots though so it could be hard not to find something fabulous to buy!

Do I need Chinese RMB cash for the tour, or can I pay by credit card, USD or Euros?

Shanghai is mainly a cash society, while you can use your credit card at some destinations on our Best of Everything tour, most vendors will only accept Chinese Yuan or US Dollars. ATM machines are available during the tour if you need to withdraw more money. Please ensure your bank back home is pre-informed of your intention to use your cards and withdraw cash in China, otherwise they are likely to put a stop on your card. There will not be any opportunity to change foreign cash or travelers cheques during the tour.

I'm ready to take the Tour. Any tips?

  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring plenty of cash and your bankcard.
  • Bring along your (or your friend’s/husband’s/partner’s) favorite suit, shirt, jacket or skirt to have copied at the tailors.
  • Print out a detailed picture to get full advantage of your tailoring experience.
  • If you’re interested in having prescription glasses made, bring along your lenses or current prescription.
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Happy Clients

We promise you’ll have a great day out with us – but don’t just take our word for it.