Electronics and computer ware: Macau has a good variety and the prices are relatively low. However, the choice here is not nearly as vast as it is in Hong Kong, so if you know you are going to spend some time in Hong Kong, you might just as well wait with your electronics-and-computer ware-shopping till you get there...
If you do buy Electronics and computer ware in Macau, please pay attention to the "smart buyer's tips". They are specifically relevant for those who wish to buy these type of products.
Gold and other jewelries: Macau is one of the best places in east Asia to buy high-quality pieces of jewelry at very reasonable prices. 24-carat gold is a particularly good purchase, although luxury watches, diamonds, pearls and precious gems are also popular... The city's goldsmiths are known for their fine workmanship and creative designs, and the workmanship fees are usually lower than in Hong Kong.
- When buying gemstones: The vendor should give you a receipt that details the type and origin of the stone. If you intend to purchase stones of significant value, it is advisable to go with someone who is an expert.
- The Macau consumer council, together with the Macau goldsmiths guild, issues the "Certificate of Gold" to its guild members. This certificate guarantees the quality of the gold purchased.
- When buying gold or other expensive jewelries, always ask for a certificate of warranty and also make sure that you get a proper receipt which clearly indicates the full details of the shop, as well as the exact details of the item/s purchased and the price.
- Avoid buying gold or valuable jewelries in a street-stall or in a shop that does not look "serious" enough.
Among the most reliable shops you can find are Hong Kong-based chains like Look Fook, on 325 Avenida Almeida Ribeiro and Chow Tai Fook, which also has branches on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro (Nos. 328, 278, 89-95, 54), as well as in Macau Landmark, on Avenida da Amizade, at the 'Grand Canal Shoppes'
(Venetian), and in the 'City of Dreams'.
Good and reliable shops can also be found on Infante D. Henerique, near the Lisboa and Macau Wynn.
Clothing, knitwear and footwear : There are many shops in Macau that sell surpluses and factory overruns of genuine brand names at a fraction of what they would cost in boutiques around the world. Moreover, there is a wide selection of imitations and fakes that arrive to the city markets from mainland China.
The small streets to the left of Senado Square (if coming from Almeida Ribeiro) are packed with shops and street-stalls that sell inexpensive surpluses, including garments, lingerie, fashion ware, kids clothes, accessories, sportswear and shoes... you name it. Rua dos Mercadores and its offshoots are particularly recommended, although you can also find some shops that specialize in factory overruns along Rua do Campo, on the other side of the city centre.
Tip: As a thumb rule, genuine overruns of known labels can be found in the larger discount stores, while street-stalls are more into fakes and imitation... But that is just a "thumb rule"...
Chinese-style clothes and Mandarin collar shirts are also worth buying in Macau and can also be found around Mercado de S. Domingos, near Senado Square, as well as in the Three Lamps District (Rotunda de Carlos da Maia), north of the city centre.
A good selection of Chinese, Asian and Western fabrics at very good prices, can be found in the same areas.
Furniture : Excellent quality and wide selection of both genuinely antique Chinese furniture, as well as reproductions.
Fine reproductions of antique Chinese furniture seem to be one of the best buys in Macau... These include lacquer screens, large chests, family shrines and bedframes, carved from solid wood, like camphor.
Most of these craftsman-workshops can be founnd in the old part of the city centre, in the area bounded by Rua de São Paulo, Rua das Estalagens and Rua St António (particularly along Rua da Tercena, as well as within the labyrinth of lanes in front of the ruins of St. Pauls).
Arts, Crafts and Antiques: There is a stunning variety of crafts and antiques available in Macau and the prices are normally very good. Personal seals engraved in stone, Miniatures, Silk rugs, delicate Chinese vases, imperial embroidery and old opium pipes, just to name a few... Many shops can arrange to insure, pack and ship your goods safely back home.
You may wish to consider an expert's appraisal and the customs duty regulations in your home country before buying.
A decent selection of ancient coins and stamps can be found in the small "antique shops" in the old part of the city centre, and particularly along Rua das Estalagens and Rua da Tercena. Old and artistic boxes of tea and coffee from around the world are also worth looking for...
Wing Tai, Macau's legendary antique shop, is located on Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, right next to Senado Square and the city centre, and feels like a small museum...
Bone China and porcelain: The city shops stock a decent selection of porcelain products and bone china, imported from various provinces in Mainland China. Available in co-ordinated sets or as single items, the colors and patterns of Chinese tableware represent blessings and celebrations in Chinese culture.
Herbal medicines, Chinese tea and exotic dried foods: These are abundant in the city's open-air markets and in small traditional shops, found in many areas across Macau. Your only problem might be that the vendors in those traditional shops don't normally speak English... No worries, you will probably find someone who can help.
Portuguese wines: After being linked to Portugal for more than 400 years, it is no wonder that the selection of Portuguese wines and ports in Macau's shops is impressive, and prices are very good.
The best place to start from is the Macau Wine Museum, where you can familiarize yourself with Portuguese wines and also buy a few bottles at the museum's shop .
Pavilions Supermarket, on 429 Avenida da Praia Grande (across the street from New Yaohan department store), has a Portuguese section in the basement, and a proper wine cellar where you can find a very good range of Portuguese wines at reasonable prices...
To know more about shopping in Macau, go to these related articles...
Other related articles you may also want to read...
Introduction to shopping in Macau (Opening hours, Etc...)
Important tips for the savvy buyer