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Reader Simple Simon posted up this image of a Beijing hardware boutique shop.  It’s funny — I’ve never been to China, and the layout is obviously a little different than what I’m used to, but this storefront still feels familiar.  I guess no matter where it is or what language it’s in, construction supplies are construction supplies.

At least the guy manning the place isn’t going to jump up and tell me about the latest sweepstakes I can enter, or jam a flier laden with all the shop’s latest deals into my hand — whether I want one or not.  Then again, those signs behind him are too small for me to read, even with my extensive knowledge of Chinese on tap;  they might very well say something like, “Huge deals here.  Just ask your sales clerk.”

In either case, its uber cool that Simple Simon took a few shots of the hardware scene across the world.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


9 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Chinese Hardware

  1. Daniel says:

    And you’ll get all the supplies for your new house delivered on that moped! 😉

  2. SuperJdynamite says:

    “At least the guy manning the place isn’t going to jump up and tell me about the latest sweepstakes I can enter, or jam a flier laden with all the shop’s latest deals into my hand — whether I want one or not. ”

    Maybe not, but a dozen other people milling around on the street corners will offer you fantastic bargains. “Xbox! Xbox! DVD! DVD!”.

  3. Chris says:

    I experienced the same thing in Hong Kong. There “Home Depot” is about 8 city blocks full of individual store fronts like this selling all manner of building materials. Stuff spilled out onto the street and sidewalks.

    I design consumer products and I was shopping for lighting fixtures to integrate into a quality control fixture on the manufacturing line. Basically my “weekend off from the factory” consisted of designing and building the fixture in my hotel room from what I could acquire from stores like this. I then had to break it down so I could smuggle it into Mainland China where the factory was. All to make sure we started the line on time and knew what we were making was good.

  4. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    The pink sign in the middle looks like adverts for the plaster etc. for sale above it, the big yellow sign with the reddish leaves is their company name – sort of like an official business license, and the red sign propped up on the right behind the scooter says they sell electrical wire with high temperature insulation.
    In addition to bazillions of stores like this, the British chain B&Q has set up shop here. Very much like Home Depot, even to the orange color used for their logo. Very useful – although getting decent solid wood is next to impossible. For that I usually go straight to a mill.

  5. eosha says:

    I’ve lived in China for almost 3 years, and I absolutely love shopping in this sort of place. Near my old home, there was a man who sold nothing but sprockets. However, he sold every sprocket imaginable. Next to him was a shop which sold only copper and brass stock, everything from thin sheet to 3″ thick plate. Next to him was rubber and plastic tubing. If you know what you want to buy, these places are fabulous.

  6. russ says:

    Chinese construction supplies are construction supplies? Tell that to the people in the SE (especially Florida) about their Chinese wallboard.

  7. Ken says:

    this kind of shop setup is common throughout mainland asia, although china does have the distinct advantage of having lots of variety. here (thailand), there are shops like this very frequently, as well as machine shops that can cut something to shape for you.

  8. Steve the IT Guy says:

    Just to add to eosha’s comment, in addition to the small shops with every imaginable construction/manufacturing supply, there will also be a whole street of CAD/CAM/CNC shops ready to whip out whatever you need. Haven’t used the services yet so can’t comment on price, but the availability is awesome.

  9. Ken says:

    @ Steve the IT Guy-
    really? CNC? hot diggity, I’ve gotta go see china some time. all the machine shops here are chinese or eastern european equipment, there are some truly impressive shops here when you consider how much the stuff costs in this economy, but I’ve never seen any kind of computer controlled setup here.

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