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Hardware in Kunming

tommann (423 posts) • 0

Does anyone know of a decent hardware store in Kunming? Thanks.

bucko (695 posts) • 0

B&Q is the hardware center in Kunming. Having said that, don't waste your time there. The prices are at least two times higher and often three times higher. Plus they have very little practical items available.

You must go to the hardware areas where many small businesses are clustered. Here you can find most anything and at good prices. This is the only way to get what you need.

laotou (1714 posts) • 0

Depending on what you want (tools, electrical, wood working, painting, etc) - taobao.com. I used to try to support my community businesses - but they just take that as a sign of "rip off the foreigner", so screw it - taobao.com

1. Have a friend help you setup your bank account for internet banking - they'll usually issue an internet dongle. This requires a visit to the bank with your passport.

2. Setup a taobao account (bother more friends). Tie it to your mobile phone. Think of something cheap to buy - try it (with your friend standing by - preferably someone taobao savvy. Make extensive use of either translate.baidu.com or translate.google.com to try to make sense of the ads. Word of caution - some banks won't work with apple's Safari - so you may be stuck using windows software.

3. Now waste incredible stretches of time shopping for all those things you thought you needed to live comfortably. Have a friend then give you advanced taobao search strategems.


atomic (156 posts) • 0

If I need to buy online, I find it easier to get a Chinese friend to buy through his/her account and give him/her the cash equivalent.

laotou (1714 posts) • 0

Setting up a taobao.com account is relatively easy. Getting it connected to your bank account or alternatively setting up an alipay or equivalent is the pain.

Is anybody interested in instructions on how to do this? If we get enough interest - perhaps we can work with taobao to create a step-by-step instruction manual/blog on gokm.

As per bucko - I predominantly hate/love B&Q. Useful if you're in a hurry - but you PAY for the convenience. FYI - they have Stanley tools, but - if you're not in a hurry - buy them online for a hefty discount. In B&Q's defense - they have a brick & mortar facility and staff to pay, so if you choose to buy from there - that's why the prices (in part) are higher than online.

pushingeast (16 posts) • 0

There are a lot of small, family run hardware stores scattered throughout the city, but range is usually limited and prices pretty high. B&Q in the north near the Expo Gardens is pretty good and you can find most things you may need there, as well as more obscure foreign stuff, but again, prices can be above average.

Within city limits the best place to go is probably the hardware market on Da Guan Road (大观路) about 100m before the amusement park on your right as you approach it. Here you'll find a large area full of independent stores selling mostly everything in which to build something.

The second hand market on the second ring road is also great for buying cheap power tools and the like.

GoK Moderator (5096 posts) • 0

One important thing to consider is quality, and longevity of the hardware. B&Q do sell better quality items. The small vendors can sell bolts and screws made from white metal and other alloys that start to disintegrate after 1 year (I have had this with braided water hoses). This can also include brass items that are really only brass plated low quality items.
Cheap painted metal parts are usually not primed and so start to rust within the year, and rot from the inside out.
Don't even get me started on timber products.

If there is one thing that I have learned in China, it is that there are no real bargains here. Pay cheap and get low quality. This is not a market with quality standards that are generally adhered to.

blobbles (958 posts) • 0

Hey - I just realised that I have been walking past quite a few hardware shops selling power tools and what looks like pretty much everything in Da Shang Hui (大商汇) in the south. The whole area sells everything from bathtubs, to doors, to floors to tools to paint... lots of international brands for stuff as well. Check out the southern side nearby Guangfu lu (广福路).

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