Being a tourist in China, the pull of a Chinglish t-shirt or a cheap strand of pearls can be hard to resist. However, as an expat begins to think about setting up a home for the long term, finding local vendors for repairs and everyday items can be crucial to enjoying the expat lifestyle. Though the language barrier can sometimes get in the way, it's nice to know that when it comes to repairs, the local option is not only thriving, it's also trustworthy. Additionally, going local is also a great way to learn about a city's culture and making friendships. Below are some tips and places to get the best services from some of the best repair vendors Nanjing has to offer.
1) Electronics View In Map
Zhujiang Lu is known as the place for electronics and electronic repair; though it can be pretty overwhelming to navigate the sea of vendors and stores, all the while wondering if you're really getting your money's worth. On the left side of Bai Nao Hui (百脑汇) electronics mall is a small camera repair stall that provides price-conscious repairs with a friendly smile. Yu Yunkan has worked at Bai Nao Hui at his camera stand for two years. His specialty is in camera parts and repair, but Yu is willing to help out with any type of electronics repair you can think of. Even if he can't fix your computer himself, he will find someone who will provide the necessary services for a cheap price. Not only will you be thrilled with the price, but also with the quality of the repair and customer service. In a month Yu sees about 15-20 foreigners and usually sells cameras and camera lenses the most. Yu is also very good at communicating in English, no need to lug around your Oxford Chinese dictionary!
Add: 1B02 Bai Nao Hui, 333 Zhujiang Lu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 138 1401 5878
Opening hours: 9:00 - 18:00
A note for Apple computer users: an official Apple service supplier is available at Changfa Dasha/Plaza, but be aware that in addition to high repair costs, the service is slow and unhelpful. If you absolutely must use a local Apple repair vendor, call the international help centre first to make sure your repair is feasible (sometimes the international call centre and the local vendors' policies don't match). If your repairs are not covered under Apple care, go see Yu Yukan at Bai Hui Nao.
2) Shoes and leatherwork View In Map
Mr. Zhang came to Nanjing in the summer of last year to set up his business near Nanjing University. He specialises in leather repairs of all types but mainly works on shoes and bags. He is also in the business of selling leather repair products such as oils, polish and brushes. On average Mr. Zhang sees about five to six foreigners every month, and is used to overcoming communication barriers. Most of his non-Chinese customers go to him for shoe oil, inserts and brushes. Head over to Hankou Lu for great services at a good price, and stick around to hear the stories of a friendly repairman and traveller.
Add: Gulou District, 79 Hankou Lu, Nanjing (near Nanjing University)
Tel: 159 9648 8337
Opening hours: 8:30 – 19:00
3) Cell phones View In Map
Mr. Zhen has been in mobile sales in Nanjing for four years now. He and his staff mostly specialise in mobile phone sales, repairs and accessories such as batteries and chargers. If you can't speak Chinese, not a problem, as there is one individual there with a working knowledge of cell phone-related English. Furthermore, you can use a dictionary or calculator with them to identify your repair needs or negotiate the price. You can count on Mr. Zhen and his staff for their experience and expertise when it comes to cell phones and related repairs.
Add: Counter 11, Yue Shikong Tongxun Market Bei Qu, Danfeng Jie, Nanjing
Tel: 137 7079 9370
Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:00
4) Tailoring View In Map
For the past 20 years, Mr. Wang has been tailoring in Nanjing. He and his wife provide a number of services that include dry cleaning, specially made clothing and repairs. Due to their proximity to Nanjing University, they receive plenty of foreign customers. No need to speak fluent Chinese with Mr. Wang or his staff; just be equipped to act out what you need or bring a dictionary with you. On top of Mr. Wang's dedication to his work and desire to please his clients, quality of repairs is stellar and prices are great.
Add: 22 Nanyin Yangying Shanghai Lu, Nanjing
Tel: 8369 7294
Opening hours: 8:00 – 21:00
In China's fast paced and ever-growing economy, traditional comforts and services can be hard to find. But it is good to know that reliable vendors and services are not only readily available but great sources for quality at an agreeable price. Local repair vendors are also a great source of stories, friendships and local culture that can add to the colourful experience of being an expat in China. Cultivating and maintaining those relationships do not only get you better service in a highly variable economy, but also lasting friendships full of stories and experiences.
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Keywords: local repair Nanjing repair vendors in Nanjing electronic vendors Nanjing custom tailoring Nanjing
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