PHOTO TOUR: The World's Largest Wholesale Market In Yiwu, China

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

You’ve probably never heard of Yiwu, but you definitely own a number of items that come from there.If China is the world’s factory, then Yiwu, not Beijing, is its capital.

Yiwu, a small city in Zhejiang Province, is home to the Yiwu International Trade City, also known as China Commodity City.

The market has been named by the UN, World Bank, and JP Morgan, among others, as the “largest small commodity wholesale market” in the world.

Click here to check out Yiwu International Trade City >
Yiwu International Trade City has five shopping districts, each the size of several warehouses combined.

This mega centre occupies about 46 million sq. ft., with 62,000 booths inside. From 9 am to 5 pm, over 100,000 suppliers exhibit 400,000 different kinds of products and 65% of these products are exported to over 215 countries and regions.

The market contains thousands of vendors and sells to customers all over the world. The vendors represent factories from all over China, though many are based nearby Yiwu in Zhejiang, and many will take custom orders for specific products in addition to the many products they already produce.

A number of vendors said that they sell their products to just about every country, though recently they have seen an increase in orders from South America, Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to Chinese wares, the market also has a section for international products and special exhibition area focused on African products.

Yiwu International Trade City, the world's largest wholesale market.

Big signs tell you what is sold in the different districts of the market.

Shoppers come from all over the world.

Everything is on sale at Yiwu.

From the mundane...

To the bizarre.

Yiwu really provides everything a shopper could want.

Each district contains 4 to 5 floors and many have little pieces of artwork around them.

The aisles contain stalls and stalls of vendors, often many selling exactly the same products.

Stalls often have numbers identifying them and certificates for their quality assurance.

And the booths are typically overflowing with wares.

Angry Birds were very popular.

As were Christmas trinkets.

Vendors try to push buyers to make the largest order possible.

But there is usually plenty of down time and we saw a few people sleeping on the job.

But not all the vendors are sleeping on the job.

Many also bring their children to work.

Buyers will carefully inspect goods before purchasing.

The displays can be overwhelming at points.

With glasses for every occasion.

Even smokers can find what they need.

The fashions may be from Milan, but the products are coming from Yiwu.

There were a number of American brands.

And some that just looked like US brands.

Similar to burberry, but not quite there.

Need some office supplies?

Or jewellery?

Many places carry products themed for a specific country.

Or a specific religion.

Some of the religious items were a little tacky.

Look, the picture changes.

Do you want it as a Sony or something else perhaps?

All sorts of items we use regularly come from Yiwu.

Many shops had signs explaining their services.

And many of them had some interesting errors. These produts have fine wars!

Not quite sure this Monopoly set is authorised and something tells me this Rummikub is not the original thing.

But many shoppers still love the place.

The stalls can be so repetitive some are like mirror images of each other.

There are many international shoppers throughout the market.

And a growing number of Africans have been coming.

Signs in a variety of languages help visitors from all over the world navigate Yiwu.

Many international shoppers have Chinese guides or assistants with them.

You can even get a shoe shine in between shopping.

Basketball is big in China and so is Spalding.

And in addition to the wholesalers there are some hawkers selling goods in smaller quantities.

And food vendors roam the halls delivering snacks.

But everyone has to follow the rules.

Some of the ads were a bit strange.

A lot of them focused on women's beauty.

And this one for the seniors.

In the international section they have stores representing many African countries.

They even have some products from the US!

Because of course everyone loves the dollar.

Look...a floating kiss.

This doesn't look quite like an iPad, but it is close.

And I am not sure this was the iPhone you were looking for.

Yiwu certainly wins the trophy for biggest market.

Outside the market people are constantly off loading new deliveries.

And sending them out...

Want to see a wild Chinese food market?

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