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Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou: where to buy and/or sell
new and second–hand photo equipment and film

In China, photo gear and film prices vary greatly—up to 50%!—depending on where you buy. Below I am giving addresses in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou where you can buy everything as cheap as it gets in this country. It took me some time to find these places and now you can benefit from my findings, too.

The worst idea is to buy anything related to photography in big department stores in downtown. In Beijing, avoid places such as Wangfujing or Lufthansa Center; in Shanghai, avoid any shops selling photo gear in Nanjing Road, along Huaihai Road, or in Xujiahui area. As to film, do not buy it in the above places as well as in any Kodak or Fuji laboratories. Also very importantly, never buy film or accessories in any places of tourist attractions—not only shall they be expensive there, but there also is a possibility that you will get fake stuff (this is especially so if you go to remote locations, e.g., The Great Wall in Beijing). In short, simply go to the places below to buy any photo gear or film.

Beijing

Beijing Photo Gear Mall, No. 40 Wukesong Road, Haidian District, Beijing
北京市海淀区五棵松路40号北京市摄影器材城

Go to Wukesong subway station and then walk up north along the fourth ring road for about ten minutes. The place will be on the right side of the road.

Note: a reader has advised that there are at least two shops in the mall where one can rent professional lighting equipment. She also discovered that rental prices vary greatly from shop to shop and, therefore, it would be sensible to check prices in at least two stores.

Guangzhou

Photo Gear Mall, Dashatou Road 2, Guangzhou
广州市大沙头二马路摄影器材成

The place is quite central so just take a taxi.

Shanghai

3rd Floor, Huanlong Department Store, No. 360 Meiyuan Road, Zhabei District, Shanghai
上海市闸北区梅园路360号环龙百货三楼

Take the subway to Shanghai Railway Station and the place will be on your right if you face the station.

Alternatively, you can go to:

Shanghai Xingguang Photo Gear Mall, No. 288 Luban Road, Luwan District, Shanghai
上海市泸湾区鲁班路288号上海星光摄影器材城

These places are specialty wholesale photo markets and, as far as I know, most professionals buy their equipment, accessories and film there. These malls carry all major brands including Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Leica, Hasselbald, etc. The prices are generally very reasonable, so do not expect to get massive discounts; nonetheless, do not be afraid to bargain as you can always get a slightly better price than originally offered.

In the above places you can also buy and sell second–hand equipment. For pro–level gear in good condition you can get up to 80% of the current price (if you bought a piece of photo gear in a big department store in China, though, do not expect to get 80% on the rip–off price).

If you buy photo gear or film in China regularly and the addresses above are new to you, buy me a beer some time as I have just saved you quite a bit of money . You might also be interested in where to process film in China.