If you know where to look the choice, range and availability is astonishing.
Huge, what I would class as retail/industrial parks devoted to particular trades. For instance, you want a new bathroom or kitchen? then you have a choice of at least two large areas with 100's of individual units specializing in these products, everything from a sink plunger to a super duper whirlpool bath, fittings, tiles, flooring and of course the sink all in one convenient area.
Add to this the many shops and other premises scattered around Nanning in the various streets and shopping areas and you will soon be saying....there is far too much choice and this does become a hindrance as after a day of looking it is difficult to remember which one offered the best price at the right quality standard in the right colour and the the right size and offered free delivery on the day you require it...all good fun or a nightmare depending on your view point.
Dont forget that once you finally decide on a supplier the next question might be - will it work when I receive it?
We are on our third Fridge/Freezer, having spent what seemed like days looking in the various department stores and independent shops at once again a huge range available in many different brands, some Chinese, some foreign. LG, Samsung. Panasonic, Siemens plus others that I just cannot remember at this minute and the myriad of Chinese brands we finally found the right size in the right colour at the right price.
It was delivered same day, great, at last, nice cold beer, orange juice and ice cream...not likely.
On unpacking we spotted a large dent in the side, so back it went for exchange.
In fairness, another was with us within 3 hours...great, no dents and it worked, fantastic.
Well, it worked for 4 days then suddenly stopped.
Nana was straight on the phone, within 2 hours a repair man was out, whether this is normal or due to my wife's persistence I do not know as I still haven't a clue what is being said.
Anyway, the repair man informed Nana that the fridge was caput, so he went. Nana was back on the phone.
Now strange requirements are made of customers here in Nanning and probably the rest of China. When you buy a new appliance you should keep all packaging for at least a month, should things go wrong with it.
I should have guessed when told this that things might just be a little unreliable, to cut a long story short, we did not keep the packaging. After all we are fitting out the whole house, we would need another house to store all the bloody boxes in.
Eventually after many phone calls someone arrived to pick up the now not working and un-repacked fridge freezer.
Whilst these discussions were going on Nana was also talking with someone else in another department asking when we could expect the third brand new working and undented fridge freezer to arrive...
Now I know these issues occur in other countries I have had many a happy hour sitting on the end of a telephone in the UK listening to music, normally some well known classical piece and finally getting some sloppy couldn't care less person trying to sort out a problem that they have no interest in whatsoever, so this is not just China.
I am the customer, I have paid the money and I want what I have been promised.
Here a different set of rules apply, it is as if you the customer are lucky to have found a supplier that will sell something to you, they are doing you the favour. This is the cultural difference I suspect rearing it ugly head. I do know that China is changing and is trying very hard to improve on all customer service attitudes.
Nana came off the phone looking worried, she knew that what she was about to tell me would set my blood boiling...they are saying, she said, we can have the display model as this is the only one they have left and wait for it...we can have it at the same price as we no longer have the original packing...I think not.
Calmly, unusual for me in these situations I said, No thank you, I will have my money back instead.
Much to my surprise, after more frantic phone calls, they agreed. So off we went to get our money back and start the long now arduous search for another Fridge Freezer.
The good news, we have found one, an LG, Korean I think, fingers crossed. It has been working continuously now for 4 hours. I'm not counting my chickens just yet. The packaging is stored under our bed. You never know when you might need it...
A final note...we are still getting phone calls asking us to pay for the packaging that we threw away for the original fridge. Our argument is, we will happily pay for the packaging if they will pay for all the food we needed to throw away because there fridge did not work. All is now calm and the phone no longer rings...
I am a happy bunny once again...maybe !