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China's shite

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Faerie
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« on: June 14, 2015, 07:49:32 AM »

How I detest the cheaply made but not cheap on the pocket Chinese shit that has taken over the shelves of our shops. In the last two years I have managed to buy 6 hair dryers and all of them either blew up in a spectacular manner, singing my hair and contributing to my selective hearing problem or just simply went whooooooommmmmph.

So yesterday morning, I spent four hours in the blasted shopping centre looking for a dryer not made in China. I eventually found one a couple hundred rands more expensive but not directly claiming to come from China, Wahl is a German brand but aside from listing all its European offices, it still could bloody well be made in China.

Its infuriating, I utterly detest that bloody country, and as far as possible try not to buy anything from there.

What are your feelings and opinions on their produce in general?

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Tweefo
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 12:04:34 PM »

Bought a garlic press the other day, that was so bad I bend it by taking it out the packaging. Yes, made in China. Found a good one on Yuppie Chef afterwards. But now I have a new problem. I sort of made a name for myself as an Anti-yuppie and now my family will not let me  live it down that I bought something from a yuppie store. Don't think their product range extend to hairdryers.
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Faerie
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2015, 14:19:57 PM »

Gods, yes, kitchen stuff, when my Mother downscaled a few years back, I grabbed all her made in 1952 stuff. I will never have to replace a pot or cutlery (proper silverware made to last 5000 years) again.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2015, 16:15:24 PM »

I'm not sure how many blunt can-openers I had to use in my life to get to this point, but one day I lost my patience with one... the most commonly skimped on and universally somewhat-working kitchen utensil. (I include the cheapish electric ones in that assessment fwiw.) I'd had enough. I went out and bought the most expensive hand-crank model I could find in local stores. I don't recall how much it was, but it wasn't as bad as you'd think. I haven't had an unpleasant can-opening since, I've been amazed by the difference it makes.

To me, spending a bit more on stuff is definitely the way to go, so I'm with you ... to a point.

I do find there are various levels of "China" manufacturing. It all depends on what you, the client, are willing to pay. Even expensive, high-quality brands get stuff made in china. Ex. Apple has huge facilities there. The thing is just that "Chinese" (iow ultra-cheap manufacturing worldwide) manufacturing standards lower the bar on what we perceive something to be worth. I marvel at how we've gone from the age of my, now long deceased, grandparents in which everything from the can-opener to the cutlery to the bowls and plates they used were all seen as prized possessions... to my generation where a lot of these things are so affordable we see them as near disposable. I'm using the metaphorical "we" of course because I don't count myself in that group.

I despise crappy stuff and so I'm willing to usually look for stuff longer and pay much more for it than your average weekend warrior pays in checkers. Because I still view these things as investments, like my grandparents. But I know my contemporaries don't see it as such... exactly because China has made everything so much cheaper. And there's merit in it, people who can't afford "proper" stuff get the utility they need at a lower price. You can argue about R50 spent 10 times instead of R500 once... but a lot of people simply don't even have a choice in that matter, they need that utility from the product NOW, not in 10 years.

And, I have to admit, it's nice to have the luxury of buying cheap stuff that fills the gap, it allows you to save up a bit for something even better. This is something I sometimes do on purpouse.
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brianvds
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 06:45:31 AM »

It's almost impossible to find anything not made in China. As others pointed out, this is not necessarily such a bad thing, if these things are made under license from western or Japanese companies, under proper supervision. An interesting example is my motorbike: made in China under Japanese supervision, it has never given me any serious trouble. Well, the engine hasn't: it is basically a Suzuki engine. But the Chinese "peripherals", things like the odometer and random nuts and bolts and things are all giving up the ghost. The odometer has ceased working. Spots of rust are appearing everywhere. The helmet box at the back fell off, and I have to replace the light bulb at least three or four times a year. Maddening.

Recently, when my kettle broke, I decided that come hell or high water, I'm not replacing it with a Chinese model. Well, good luck with that - there no longer appears to be such a thing as a kettle not made in China. Here and there you get one where it isn't explicitly stated where it was made, in which case you can be sure it was made in China. I have also noticed that the Chinese have no compunctions whatever about flat-out lying about the origin of their products, or brazenly committing trade mark fraud.

As for the kettle, I eventually settled for a made-in-South Africa aluminium kettle, one of those that do not have an internal element but get heated on the stove top instead. Probably added to my electricity bill, but at least I managed to show the Chinese a bit of middle finger.

Of course, the whole thing is our own fault too: westerners have become utterly addicted to shopping. We buy things for the thrill of the purchase rather than because we need high quality stuff. In such a scenario, the fact that the things are going to break very soon is an advantage, seeing as it allows us to go shopping again. The world now has a symbiotic relationship between, on the one hand, nations of foam-at-the-mouth consumers, and, on the other, a nation of prodigious producers of cheap consumer goods. It's a match made in heaven. ;-)

Oh well. I can remember a time when "Made in Japan" was a byword for "cheap, low-quality crap." Now look at them. They went through their learning curve and now produce some of the highest quality stuff in the world at reasonable prices. Perhaps the Chinese will eventually follow suit.

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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 08:25:51 AM »

Many years ago in the lab we had constant jamming problems with a pernickity printer - a fault that was traced to a subtandard ream of A4. I remember this because a colleague remarked that the paper had to be a Chinese knock-off. So that was funny.
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