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I was a proud Chawri Bazar buyer till I moved to Goa in 2019 and realized what I had left behind. I think I miss Delhi mainly for two things; shopping at Chawri, followed by 'Bade ka Kebab' lunch at Qureshi's near Jama. You know they say, "distance makes the heart grow fonder", well, that is exactly how I feel about the city's wholesale markets I no longer have access to. This means, I now have to heavily rely on markets online.
Tool purchase from local markets is definitely lighter on the pocket than buying online. That is because you are scoring from the wholesaler and driving a hard bargain. Whereas the same distributor selling online has to offer a cut to the online market place, and the burden falls on you, and no bargain 😐. This stands true for most hand tool purchases. However, it changes when buying branded 'power' tools. Speaking from insight into Chawri, brands like Bosch, Makita, Stanley, Black & Decker, etc. have been available only recently and in few shops. The price they quote is higher than what I have found online. I think all my power tools, except the Router, have been purchased online. And I am someone who does thorough research and buys from the next guy selling for less coin.
Let me tell you about some safe online market places and what to buy from them.
Amazon: Needless to say, one of the most popular online marketplace in India is also good for buying tools. Go here for your power tool purchases, clamps, hand tools (though Indian made brands like Anant, Taparia, etc, may be cheaper at your local market), specialty hardware like pocket hole screws, drill bits, etc. Almost all good wholesalers I know at least at Chawri are sellers on Amazon. So, be ready to be spoilt for choice.
Shakedeal: Unlike Amazon, Shakedeal is an online marketplace specializing in tools and machinery. Although they are a B2B space, there is no minimum quantity. You should be able to find almost everything woodworking here and the choice of brands, especially India made is much larger compared to Amazon. They have a part-pay and EMI feature to help stagger your budget.
Industry Buying: As the name suggests, Industry Buying is another market place specialing in tools and machinery, though their scale is well, industrial. You will find a decent collection of power tools, price markup is higher comparatively. They have a good collection of clamps though.
Moglix: I would call Moglix a great marketplace for their collection of tools beyond the big brands. They have a decent collection of India and China made brands like Dongcheng, Taparia, Endico, Prithvi, Yuri, Damien, etc. and these brands are good. Not all local is inferior and you may certainly opt for these when on a budget. The fancy European brands are also competitively priced.
DIY - India: This marketplace is a tiny hidden gem of a nut and bolt shop. You can buy really cool screws, fasteners, bearings, and other hardware here.
These are quick delivery market places with Indian sellers, but the post is not complete until I let you in on a secret. If you are addicted to Prime delivery, do not read further, but this the baap of online marketplaces for hard to find hardware and accessories. You guessed it right, Aliexpress!!
Aliexpress: I used to think it is dubious because well, Chinese (that's racist!, I know) but that is until I ordered a cheapass trial item on it, and it came!. Aliexpress is good for specialty bits, clamps, jigs, screws, and other hardware you will not find anywhere in India and at that price. The only drawback being, it takes anywhere between 30 to 45 days to appear, but if you can wait, go for it. I usually order and forget about it. Till one day when it's least expected it arrives, and who doesn't like surprises?
These are all I know of and/or have shopped from. If you have come across others, do let know in the comments below. The other clueless readers and I will be very grateful ☺️
Thanks for reading
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