Shopping at Wufenpu in Taipei: What’s the Deal?

shopping in taiwan

I get ridiculously proud of myself when I score a good deal shopping. I know I shouldn’t be telling everyone that my designer dress was actually on super-clearance due to a defect in the zipper, but I can’t help it. If I bought that $80 dress for a whopping ten bucks, you can bet I’m going to tell you about it. With probably more excitement than is socially acceptable.

Shopping in Taiwan gives me similar thrills. Racks of extremely cheap clothing are everywhere, and it takes almost all my self-control to tell myself I don’t really need another sweatshirt with college logo I’ve never heard of—even if it is a super cute hoodie for only $4. Granted, a lot of the fashion here isn’t really me. I like to think I’m quite girly, but even I have to set up some barriers against all the lace and hearts and baby shades of pink that proliferate.

It’s easy to shop in Taiwan. Markets are everywhere, and virtually all of them will have racks of clothes set out to tempt you while purchasing your bubble milk tea. Heck, there’s even a cheap jewelry/purse rack at my favorite dumpling shop! But still, there’s one place that rises above the rest. It’s the place all those other inexpensive street vendors buy their products from.

It’s a place called Wufenpu.

 

Shopping-at-Wufenpu-Taipei-Taiwan

 

Located in Taipei, Wufenpu consists of over 100 wholesale clothing shops. You can literally find anything here, including purses, belts, women’s clothing, men’s clothing, baby clothing, puppy clothing (seriously), jewelry and shoes.

Wufenpu is as inexpensive as it gets in Taiwan, and all of my proudest purchases have come from here. Unfortunately it’s not the easiest place to navigate, and I’ve definitely picked up some treasure-hunting tips along the way.

Shopping Tips For Wufenpu Market, Taipei

 

1. Bargain

I know, they’re telling you the price is only $6 and that’s ridiculously cheap already. But trust me, you can get it for less, and in most cases they are expecting you to offer a counter price.

Clothes-Rack-Wufenpu-Taipei-Taiwan

 

2. Be Ready To Do Some Diggin’

For every good find at Wufenpu, you’ll have to rummage through about 100 pieces of crap. I seriously have no idea why anyone would need leopard-print-faux-leather leggings or neon-orange-and-green-polka-dotted dresses, but I guess there must be a market for that sort of thing. I promise, there’s more hiding in the streets of Wufenpu than first meets the eye.

 

Shopping-Wufenpu-Taipei-Taiwan

 

3.  You Can’t Try Clothes On

This is the only thing about Wufenpu that really irritates me, although I’m sure it’s much better this way for our bank account. I don’t have one of those figures that can pull off anything, so I only make ‘safe’ purchases. This has worked fairly well for me, especially because I typically spend around $5 on each item of clothing I purchase; if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. Do know in advance, even if it’s as simple as a jacket, they won’t let you try it on over your clothing.

 

4. Follow the Crowds

I’m not quite up to date with the latest Korean trends, but Taiwanese people are. If you see a massive crowd of people elbowing at each other in a doorway, flinging wayward clothes over their shoulders, ignoring anything else around them, you’ve struck gold. Figure out a way to join the troops and you’ll be well on your way to scoring designer Korean labels for a fraction of the price. I’m still working at my nudging tactics.

 

Sale-Wufenpu-Taipei-Taiwan

 

5. Avoid Anywhere With Air-Conditioning

If they can afford air-conditioning, you can expect to pay more. Unfortunately these shops tend to be more like boutiques, with higher-quality and better-designed clothing. I unwillingly gravitate to them, and sometimes I splurge a bit if I really think I’m going to fall in love with the item later (you still can’t try anything on here). Prices will typically range from $30-$100, not bad until you remember the price tag on your other purchases.

 

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Even if you’re not a ‘big shopper’, I still recommend Wufenpu to travelers in Taiwan. There’s just something so unique about it. The scooters buzzing down the alleyways of pedestrians; the Chinese pop-music blaring from loud speakers; the authentic Taiwanese snacks lining the perimeter—it all comes together to accessorize the already very Taiwanese accessories available for purchase. And even if you don’t buy those glittery blue leggings that come up to your head, you’ll certainly remember them for awhile.

 

Crazy-Clothes-Wufenpu-Taipei-Taiwan

 

How To Get To Wufenpu:

Best way find Wufenpu: Take the Tapei MRT to Houshanpi Station. Walk straight from Exit 1 to the intersection of Zhongpo North Rd and Yongji Rd.

 

What’s your favorite place to bargain shop? Have you ever snagged any unforgettable deals?

 

Find Deals On Hotels in Taipei

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Meet: Casey Siemasko


Casey Siemasko is a blogger, content marketer, and co-founder of A Cruising Couple. She has been living and traveling outside of the US full-time since 2011. She finds her life inspiration in exploring the world and seeks to find the magic in the most ordinary of places.

15 Comments

  1. Yeah, it’s good to bargain. I’ve been there with a Taiwanese friend. They let me try coats on, though. I went to at least three vendors and they all let me try the coats. It’s good to have a Taiwanese friend with you. :D I would recommend going there, as well. I am all for oulet malls on a holiday where I’m from. $5-$20 on name brand, no defect. I’m talking French Connection, XOXO, etc. I bought a $30 French Connection dress when the regular price is $145 (It wasn’t even at an outlet mall or on a holiday – score). I bought an XOXO jacket for $20. Not even on a holiday. Score.
    Eileen黃愛玲 recently posted…Spent the afternoon at the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.My Profile

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    • Ahhh I’m so jealous they let you try yours on! I just bought a jacket actually, and they refused me. I must look particularly grungy ;-P But like you said I had no Taiwanese friend with me at the time. Love your deals-they are making me get super excited for you!!

      Reply
  2. This looks like so much fun (though I have to be in the right mindset to dig through piles of clothes), but I’m afraid the no trying things on would be a dealbreaker for me. I’m short, but that’s the only thing I have in common with the Taiwanese physique. Unfortunately most of the clothing in Asia doesn’t seem built for someone with curves, so without being able to try anything on, I’m pretty sure I’d wind up with more duds than anything else. I’ve lost a lot of weight since we started traveling, but I’m still nowhere near the skinny minny of most Asian girls…. trying to find replacement t-shirts in Vietnam has been especially horrific. Apparently having actual breasts means I’m an XXL!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted…A Man Named ApocalypseMy Profile

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    • I definitely know what you mean about the clothes being made for very petite women. I really only have a handful of places I can shop successfully! Normally at Wufenpu I pick out flowy shirts/dresses that can be accessorized with a belt :-) I know traveling my weight always fluctuates a lot-depending on where I am. I either gain a ton or lose a little haha. The only awesome part is I have tiny feet, so I’m in shoe paradise!

      Reply
  3. You have a much better attitude toward shopping than I do! Shopping irritates me already, and I veer toward complete mental breakdown when I visit crowded markets, especially in Asia. I try to force myself to suck it up and go, though- my bargaining skills could really use some work, and my wardrobe probably could, too (unless you count athletic gear/yoga pants/etc as a well-rounded closet). But once bargaining becomes second nature, cute cheap stuff will probably be WAY harder to resist.
    Megan recently posted…Queenstown, New Zealand Adventure Guide: Channel Your Inner BadassMy Profile

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    • Haha I definitely know what you mean about getting irritated. When there are a million people and it’s really hot, I often get annoyed too. Especially when people keep bumping into me! Bargaining can be lots of fun if you know what you should be paying. Sometimes I am hesitant to bargain too much because I don’t want to be ridiculous with my prices, but if I know it’s fair for both of us I actually enjoy seeing what kind of deal I can get :-) At least you don’t have to worry about overstuffing your luggage!

      Reply
  4. You are definitely right about learning how to dig and how to bargain! I’m from Taiwan and boy do we know how to bargain shop, watching my grandma bargain is like watching a tennis match haha. I love the night markets there, I miss them a lot – you can find literally everything and anything (for cheap!) Haven’t been back to Taiwan in awhile so I’ll be living vicariously through your blog, I’m hoping to go back and visit my family in Taoyuan soon!
    Samantha recently posted…The Playas Del Coco Guide by MytanfeetMy Profile

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    • Haha. It took a looot of practice but we are getting better at bargaining every time we shop. I’d love to go shopping with your grandma, it sounds like she’s a pro! Thanks for stopping by our blog. Hope you make it back to Taiwan soon. It really is an amazing place :-)

      Reply
  5. Hey very well written article. Gives all the details. Thanks for the info. :)

    Reply
  6. Wufenpu is a fantastic place to pick up clothing on the cheap. It is also a lot of fun digging for men’s clothing and is fun picking up a bargain. Please tell me you purchased the blue pants. Great Article!
    Nick Dean recently posted…Coach Is Launching New Men’s Footwear LineMy Profile

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  7. SO glad I came across this post!! I’ve been wistfully wandering Miramar, feeling the pangs of being a broke English teacher. I’m going to have to visit Wufungpu immediately! <3
    Karisa recently posted…Fearless Female: Vanessa, Turnipseed TravelMy Profile

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  8. Casey thanks for sharing your shopping experience on Taipei. I’m kinda interested to go for shopping at the same place to purchase a lot of clothes with lower budget. Here provided each suggestions I will keep in my mind during traveling on Wufenpu.

    Reply
  9. Hi Casey,

    I totally agree with you that bargaining and following the crowd for buying classy clothes is the best option and easiest way. Don’t go for the facility of air conditioning because they have expensive clothes with simple designs, if anyone wants designer clothes then shopping from the market or street or online is the leading option. Informative points :)
    Verna recently posted…Lorem ipsum dolorMy Profile

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  10. Wow! such an informative and interesting article. I love shopping but never had this much fun like you do. I like your post quite much. Thanks for describing all for us. Great work!

    Reply

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