This is a personal post about buying Pandas in China. It is an opinion piece, so please don't consider it as the final word on anything. I also hope it helps solidify my Mandarin learning. As an Aussie from Queensland, does it help to speak Mandarin when buying bears in China? Sure does! I fall into category 2 below. 1. If purchasing in English, expect to pay a lot more than if you spoke Mandarin... 2. If purchasing in broken Mandarin, expect to pay more than if you spoke fluent Mandarin... 3. If purchasing in fluent Mandarin, expect to get a good deal... 4. If purchasing in fluent Shanghainese, expect to get the best rate! Here's my contribution towards cross cultural experiences. This is by no means meant to be considered gospel, but rather the experiences that I have encountered in China (everyone will have a different experience). The vast majority of Panda purchasing transactions I have done in China are made on a personal basis. It is very different from visiting professional bullion dealers in Sydney, where you might have purchased bullion for years from them, but never really got to know the guy (because business transactions are often made on an impersonal basis). In China, business is personal, and it helps to build a relationship with the person you're dealing with. The keyword is "relationship" "" (Gunx). Here is a classic example of the difference Gunx can make. A close friend of mine who speaks fluent Mandarin goes to dealer X, talks for 10minutes about life, then comes back and says that the 2000 Panda Mirror I want is available for about $1200USD (it's OMP, but not in good condition). I then go and approach dealer X with my broken Mandarin, and ask directly, "do you have a 2000 Panda Mirror?" I get told the price is $1500USD. After trying to bargain the price down to $1200USD, I get told to nick off. I then tell him his Ebay price is cheaper than $1500USD, and then get told to go somewhere not nice. What was the difference between me and my friend (besides language profiency)? Gunx... If you are on good terms with your dealer, you are likely to get a better rate... because business is personal (in China). So here are some tips to building Gunx with a bullion dealer in China. Greet and take an interest in the person before going directly for the answer you seek. You: (Nn ho) - Hello Them: (Nn ho) - Hello You: (jin do n hn go xng ) - It is a pleasure to meet you Them: (Xi xi) - Thank you You: (N sh bn d rn ma?) - Are you from around here? Them: (Sh) - Yes. or (bu Sh) - No. You: (N Xinzi mng ma?) - Are you busy now? Them: (Sh) - Yes. or (bu Sh) - No. After a few more minutes of small talk. You: (N yu xingmo yngb ma?) - Do you have Panda coins? Them: (Sh) - Yes. Then hopefully he flips out an original 10x (10x 1oz) unbroken lot of OMP Pandas for show and tell [imgz=http://forums.silverstackers.com/uploads/675_pandas.jpg][/imgz] An original 100 pack of 2005 1oz Pandas, plus a Mirrored Panda on the display.