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Wahed

best place for household goods?

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Wahed

So, I picked a place near (Xuanwumen) 玄武們. Expensive but a nice place with beautiful views. I can't figure out a good place to go to purchase household goods such as bed sheets, a blanket, pillows, etc. I also was wondering another good place for soap, shampoo, etc.

 

I went to Ikea near Kazimen station (卡子們站) but I didn't really like the selection. I was thinking Walmart. For the soap, and other things like that that Ikea doesn't carry, I was also thinking Walmart but wanted a more Chinese (cheap) shopping place to shop from.

 

Any thoughts?

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DavyJonesLocker

I would have thought Ikea would have the bedding you need. It's hard to beat their prices. You will just dump this stuff when you leave so best not pay to much.

 

Just check any of the big traditional supermarkets near you. Check 超市 on 百度 or Amap etc  that nearly always have a section in the basement for household and bedding etc. 

For personal hygiene items again supermarkets have loads . You will pay a lot more for western brands and I really so no difference. Often the product is very different that what you might find in your home country just with a western label slapped on. E.g Gillette

 

Watson's 屈臣氏 or Manning's 万宁超市 are everywhere it seems. They have all the bits and bobs and not just the bargin basement stuff like you would find in the supermarkets. 

When you get settled you will find a lot of this is cheaper on line although I guess it's only really worth it if you are buying expensive cosmetics and personal products like many woman might desire.

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Lu

I would also have recommended Ikea. A convenient place to find all those amenities. Big supermarkets also sell such things. As Davy already said.

 

Good luck!

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daoyi

Auchan (欧尚) is a large French hypermarket chain. I think they have household goods if I remember correctly. Walmart is another option of course but I kind of treat them as a back up in China. Auchan has pretty cheap prices especially compared to Mannings or Watsons. 

 

家乐福 Carrefour is another French store. Better for food than Auchan, less selection of household goods but still some.

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889

TMall/Taobao of course is another option, and can be quite a bit cheaper than the stores, with a far broader selection.

 

Problem is, deception is rife, with "100 percent cotton" and "100 percent down" say rarely so.

 

Actually, WalMart isn't much better in this regard, but at least you can view the stuff before buying.

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Wahed

The selection at Ikea is just so drab though. I suppose it may just have to suffice for now (it's only a year after all). Most every other local I've asked just said Ikea also so I guess it's their go-to store for this kind of thing. I was reading an article that mentioned it's better to bring these types of things from the states as the price in China isn't much different than home but the quality isn't as good.

 

But their prices seem a bit expensive to my eyes or at least from what my teachers mentioned. Eg a blanket set is 1200-1500 rmb. My teacher mentioned 500-700 rmb.

 

Adding to the list is also Hola, which is one of Ikea main competitors here in China. I'm headed there in a few minutes since they are right next door to me. After that, I'm off to Suguo supermarket (蘇果超市), also which isn't far from me. We'll see how it goes.

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ChTTay

Cheap stuff like bedding etc usually found at local indoor markets and on Taobao. Cheap for a reason though and IKEA will likely last longer. You spend 8 hours a day in your bed so it’s not like investing in nice bedding isn’t worth it. 

 

Carrefour China is no longer owned by Carrefour the French company. They sold the Chinese branch and got the hell out of China. Supermarket wise I find they’re mostly all the same. Large ones have more choice regardless of the brand. You can get good deals on 淘宝超市 and they usually deliver next day. 

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Wahed

@ChTTay I totally agree that it's worth the investment. I'm actually strongly considering purchasing something from the States and having it shipped directly here. I've read that USPS International is reliable and shouldn't take more than a few days to arrive, even here in China. Bedding that I have at home is about $250-400 (plus +50 shipping), I don't really see that as a big difference than the prices here and this bedding I'm mentioning is 100% USA made so it's much better quality. I really should have finished this before I arrived here but I didn't know the prices here would be similar to those back home.

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abcdefg
17 hours ago, Wahed said:

I was also thinking Walmart but wanted a more Chinese (cheap) shopping place to shop from.

 

Walmart is cheap. You will wast a lot of time and effort running all over town trying to save two pennies. 

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道艺黄帝

Did I miss the part where you explained why the local mom and pop no name goods shop isn't an option? 

 

Better to buy local and get closer to the community,  no? 

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Luscious

Just thinking, so we need to take beddings? Nothing has been explained to me. 

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abcdefg
17 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

Better to buy local and get closer to the community,  no?

 

This is what I do in Kunming. But it wouldn't work if you were new, had no local friends, and didn't already know where to go. Or if you couldn't speak Chinese. 

 

For example, "bedding row" is fairly close to where I live. It's across from a university campus. Probably 8 or 10 bedding stores in a two-block area. All price ranges of merchandise. 

 

Tackling a project such as shopping for bedding is a great opportunity to learn and use some specialized vocabulary. I always jump at a chance like that. It's a new "language-in-real-life" opportunity. You will get immediate feedback. Asking the same questions several times in one morning as you visit different stores lets you become proficient. You can try phrasing your questions several ways.

 

Then you can deviate from the main stuff to things which are related. What makes this sheet better than that one? Is the kind of cotton important? Does thread count really matter? What should I know before buying a pillow. Foam vs. feathers. Is a silk duvet worth the cost. I try to work in some feature questions and some comparison questions. zyx 有什么区别?xyz 和 abc 怎么可以比较?

 

If you hit it off with one or two of the shop clerks you can have less focused chat. Met one guy who rebuilt bicycles and knew all about bikes. Got tips to where to look for one to buy. Things to look for. in a second-hand bike. How much to pay. 

 

I met a bright lady who was very helpful the subject of what I needed to buy to set up life in China; household goods in general. In a few minutes, I left and went next door. Bought two cokes and two apples. Returned and shared those simple goodies with her. She wanted to be sure I knew about bus transportation in that area. Wanted to be sure I knew about some good restaurants and cafes. I asked if she knew where I could get my shoes fixed. She did. 

 

I returned next day and we had lunch. Exchanged phone numbers and WeChat. We gradually became casual friends. She knows a lot about flowers, orchids in particular. One Saturday she took me on the bus to a large botanical garden which had lots of orchids. 

 

 If you buy these goods from Taobao or have it shipped from home, you have lost several real life opportunities. This is the kind of stuff you need to be soaking up early on. A bazillion times better than any text book. 

 

Yesterday I needed to buy an new bottle of vinegar. Was at WalMart. Several shop ladies were idle in the condiment department. I asked one where the vinegar was, even though I knew. I like to sometimes do that; ask questions to which I know the answer just to test and see if I'm understood. She showed me several kinds and I told her that was the one I usually bought, had chosen it over and over.

 

She asked why I didn't try the brand that she was promoting. I said, well the one I want to buy has been aged 6 years and has a mellow flavor, not sharp. She said, "the age of the vinegar is less important that the way it was made. The ingredients of the mash and how often it was stirred. How much it was heated, and how hot." Said hers scored higher on those factors. 

 

But I read the fine print on the labels. The one she was promoting had salt and MSG added. I don't like that. My favorite doesn't have those. I would rather add them on my own, not have them included. And so on. Spent about 15 minutes. Talked about how to use vinegar in salads and in soups. She told me her favorite sauce to use with chicken, and so on. 

 

Immersion can mean residing in China and hanging out with your English-speaking pals, eating pizza and hamburgers, buying all your stuff from the internet. Or it can mean a different kind of immersion in which you prize and embrace every chance to interact with locals and try to maximize your language and cultural gains.    

 

I still remember what a hoot it was to have to learn and say 枕头套。Seemed so cool to have to say both 头 and 套 back to back like that and make both words understandable with correct tones. It amazed me when it actually worked and shop keepers knew what I meant. 

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道艺黄帝

Yes, exactly. OP already wrote some Chinese, so I would assume he already has at least a foundation, so by going to one of those large chains, he's robbing himself of one if those very priceless opportunities as you mentioned above. 

 

Not only that, but I can't imagine the local shops wouldn't have what you needed to survive for just one year. 

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suMMit

Tbh if you require importing bedding from America, youre going to be in for some serious  挑战 during a year in china 😜

 

I agree with what others have said about trying to do more locally. I never drank tea until living in guangzhou, only coffee. Since being here Ive become very, very interested in it. This has given me an excellent new hobby. Also, teashops(not teahouse) are an awesome place to meet locals and practice speaking. They are usually older and have no interest in english. Plus you sit around drinking tea, so theres nothing to do but talk. You dont need to buy anything, and there is tea and accesories at all price ranges.

 

Rather than enjoying a nice 老白茶 and something cool about the local culture where they live, some of my friends go to HK to buy crappy teabags. They are missing out imo. Obv to each their own.

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DavyJonesLocker

I think we all do that at the start , bring loads of things with us believing that ALL Chinese goods are inferior or we can't get what we need. 

 

There are some no brainers like razor blades which are easy to dump in the luggage, packet spices which can be difficult to source on taobao, etc. Nothing essential though

 

Every time I go back to UK I used to get many asking me to buy cosmetics for them but lately woman are telling me that there is no real saving anymore.

 

There is no shortage of high end domestic goods including bedding, household items etc, to be found in the stores in China. Plenty of reasonably  affluent  people looking to buy this kind of quality 

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Wahed

@abcdefg Would you mind sharing some of your vocab lists from these excursions?

 

These are all excellent suggestions to venture out and interact with the community but I often use the incorrect vocab since often times there are many options for a certain term in Chinese. I posted something in the Chinese Corner section but no replies yet. I am hoping I can find an active forum to post journal entries where natives frequent to get some feedback.

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suMMit

@Wahed I get you. My level is still low also. Im not able to ask/hear detailed answers about bedding. I just try my best, practice what I know. As I learn more, I expect I will get more and more in depth. At the moment, if I were buying bedding, I could talk about the price, color but my assessment of the quality would be visual and feeling it. However, you still get some language practice. And I would pre-learn pillow, blanket, sheet, hard, soft, sizes and use them in some basic questions. after going to 6 stores you have a lot practice with the same questions/vocab. 

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abcdefg
2 hours ago, suMMit said:

I never drank tea until living in guangzhou, only coffee. Since being here Ive become very, very interested in it. This has given me an excellent new hobby. Also, teashops(not teahouse) are an awesome place to meet locals and practice speaking. They are usually older and have no interest in english. Plus you sit around drinking tea, so theres nothing to do but talk. You dont need to buy anything, and there is tea and accesories at all price ranges.

 

Bravo to that! I followed a similar path early on. Later took a long series of formal courses to become a qualified 茶艺师。What an enjoyable hobby! 

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DavyJonesLocker

although not wishing to put a damper on it but I find the store staff never to be much use as they either point to

1. the item they are marketing that day or 

2. the most expensive in the store

and never consider what you actually want. The constant following me about pointing at random stuff is a tad irritating though. 

 

2 hours ago, abcdefg said:

Bravo to that! I followed a similar path early on. Later took a long series of formal courses to become a qualified 茶艺师。What an enjoyable hobby! 

 

Permit me to go off topic a teeny bit but I had some great 冬瓜柠檬茶 yesterday at a hotpot restaurant . I really am not a tea fan but it surprising good so going to have a crack at making it myself. Never thought of asking the lady what kind of tea it was though. 

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abcdefg
17 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

 

Permit me to go off topic a teeny bit but I had some great 冬瓜柠檬茶 yesterday at a hotpot restaurant

 

Don't think I've ever tried that, but it sounds good. Chinese often use the word "tea" 茶 in a loose sense to include infusions like this that don't really contain tea leaves and are made with fruits and vegetables instead. 

 

This is probably what you had. Looks good. I'll probably try making it too. Please let us know how yours turns out.  

 

https://baike.baidu.com/item/冬瓜柠檬茶/9623365?fr=aladdin 

https://baike.baidu.com/item/冬瓜茶/3634381?fr=aladdin 

 

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