Notes from Taiwan, Massive Computer Markets in Jhongli and Taipei

Taiwan has BestBuy-like computer and electronic stores, but the real interesting stuff at low prices with some room to bargain with clerks is at the computer market places like NOVA. There are Nova stores around the country, including Jhongli, but we visited the one in Taipei near the train station.

Nova and the other computer market places are multi-story buildings with elevators and escalators to ferry people to each floor crammed full of vendor stalls selling computer goods. Each stall is like a Ginstar computer for those of you from Atlanta, Georgia. They have price lists printed out or posted above the stall, and you talk with the clerks about what is available and how low they can offer it to you. As you go around asking about prices, you can use the information that you gather as leverage to get a better price somewhere else. Failing that, you may be able to get some free stuff thrown in for the original price.

All of the markets were very confusing to me, because I had trouble keeping track of places and prices since I can’t read the Chinese names for each business. The labyrinthine setup of the floors doesn’t help matters either. However, these places are fun to visit, and you can certainly get a good deal there. Also, you will find some clerks unfriendly and others exceedingly nice–it just depends on the person you meet, so don’t hesitate to keep looking around and talking to different clerks.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.