Where ever there are tourists, there are hucksters, ready to take their money. That is just is true in China as anywhere else in the world.
The hawkers all seemed to be saying "one dollar" indicating they will take good old American dollars. It was never obvious what the dollar would buy, and our experience was it that it is best not to ask. If you show the slightest interest they are very difficult to shake.
But I guess they are just trying to make it in life, just like the rest of us.