Sim Lim Square, Singapore
I do not know why many tourists want to go to Funan to buy their computer or digital products when Sim Lim Square is offering computer and digital products at a much cheaper price and has a wider range of products to choose from. Located near Bugis MRT, you have to walk about 10minutes from Bugis MRT to reach there. A brief description is to walk up the left escalator of Bugis and head toward the end of shop houses until you reach MacDonald. Walk straight past FU LU SHOU Complex then past Albert Complex till you reach a overhead bridge and the building on the other side of the bridge is Sim Lim Square. View the map here. If you are still confused, ask around as Singaporean are most willing to help tourists find their way. The first and second floor of Sim Lim Square sell mostly digital products such as mp3 players and cameras while the third, fourth, fifth level all sell computer hardware products. If you are buying digital products on the first and second floors, do not buy on impulse at shop who does not price their items as some shops there are set up specially to rip tourists' money. Ask around a few shops first as they may offer even cheaper price. Shops with the CaseTrust certificate are usually more trust-worthy. For the third, fourth, fifth floor shops selling computer hardware, all the products are priced and displayed outside. Most shops in Sim Lim Square accept major credit cards and there are also money-changers there.
What to buy: Digital camera,MP3 player,discman, computer hardware,laptop,
Do your homework before you go to S'pore. Find out what camera you want. If you have settled for a brand/model (or a couple of options) in advance things are easier then when you have to decide on the spot. Find out how much you would have to spend at home for your cam incl. accessories.
Go to Mustafa's in Little India. It's a discount store and this will give you a benchmark for negotiating the price when you go to Sim Lim Square or anywhere else to buy your camera.
The first 2 floors on Sim Lim Square seem to have the most photo shops. Take your time to walk around and inquire about prices. Don't be lured into buying something you don't want because you're offered a special price just for you my friend. Walk away if it's too expensive vis-a-vis Mustafas. You WILL find a better price, trust me. Don't be intimidated by grumpy sellers when you walk away. It just the way they are.
If you have found the model you want at a price that is acceptable, ask them to throw in extra memory card, dual-voltage charger, camera bag, tripod and other items. Name your price and put the cash down as a teaser. Seeing cash usually works well.
Make sure you get an international warranty.
What to buy: I bought an 128 MB card for 60 dollars at Sim Lim. Later that day, I found an 256 MB card for 90 dollars (opening price) at the People's Park Complex in Chinatown. I didn't bother to haggle the price down, and I already had my 128 MB, so I didn't buy, but I'm sure I could have brought it down to 75. Just to let you know...
On my latest visit in April 2005 I noticed that they had a stand on the ground floor where you could claim your GST refund. Smart!
one whole building full of computer and electronic goods, what more should i say?
What to buy: used to be a good place for buying electronics (audio, cameras, etc). That was 15 years ago (early 90s) when i was a student here. Nowadays you are better off going to Mustafa dept. store in Little India, not far from here. Computers may still be a good deal (remember bargain, bargain, bargain...) However cameras are not that cheap, even after you bargain. Some bad experiences from friends as well, you never know if you are getting a new one or a used one put in a new box
Contrary to what some people may have you believe; this is NOT a bargain basement for electronics. If you want to get a great deal, it's possible, but you need to hunt and negotiate hard! The shopkeepers can tell whether you're a local or tourist, so try to act as nonchalant as possible to stand a chance.
That being said though, this is one of my favorite malls for electronics in Singapore. It's kept its authenticity when malls like Funan have sold out to chainstores, this place has kept its personal touch with literally hundreds of small shops. Remember the higher you go, the bigger chance you'll have at finding a bargain and possibilities to haggle are much better there. Try to avoid the 'larger' shops and try to get a good deal in a smaller shop. Avoid the aggressive touts lingering in front of some shops. And most importantly: compare and compare! Don't buy your goods right away, take the time to look around.
What to buy: Electronics.
What to pay: Less than at downtown shopping centres, but don't expect to get things dirtcheap.
Ask any local Singaporean and they will tell you that Sim Lim Square will be a haven for electronic goods. Of course, with a few levels bursting with electronic stores, you'll be spoilt for choice. Now, it will seem that since there are so many shops, there will competitive prices right? Not really.
As any place in the world, there will be touts and vendors looking to target foreigners. However, these salesmen in Sim Lim are one of the most "streetwise" people you'll ever find around. They are known to trick, coax etc you into buying their goods. E.g. a Canon DSLR camera that should be sold around the range of $1,000 could easily go up to $1,500-$1,700.
Common tricks employed by these vendors include:
-Smiling at you sweetly, telling you that the price for the item is already very cheap and you cannot find the same price anywhere else.
-Telling you in a menacing manner that if you do not want to buy it, you will regret it.
-Agreeing a certain price but jacking up the price when paying. Probably will force you to pay for it even if you do not want to buy it.
-Gathering a few assistants around you pressuring you to buy the item.
-Offering freebies (it is normally already included in most deals)
-They love foreigners (colour/race don't matter as long as they look willing to spend)
If you do feel something is amissed, be polite and walk away. If they persist, tell them firmly no and walk away. Creating a scene probably will not help as most Singaporeans will not care and just gawk. Furthermore, most of these vendors are united as one and might even gang up on you. Some of the vendors are extremely brash and may curse at you. Simply walk away! Nobody deserves to get that kind of treatment, especially the buyer. Even though you might suffer a few taunts, at least you walk out safe. They will not touch you. That said, common sense must be practiced of course.
Remember! Do research before buying an item. Also, do not ever walk into a shop giving a vibe/signalling your intention to buy something. Just ask politely how much does the item costs and some random facts (though you already know). Test the vendor's knowledge and guage for yourself.
You should note that once you agreed the price and paid up, there will be no refund/reimbursement. Calling the Police or the Tourism Board will be almost pointless. Though they approach the shop involved, there are many errant vendors who cannot be bothered with the repeated warnings and possible consequences.
If you really really really want to buy IT Goods in Singapore, it will be best to go to FUNAN: IT MALL. It is a short walk from City Hall MRT. FUNAN is definitely a more upmarket place than Sim Lim but at least consistency can be guaranteed. Some shops allow you to negotiate whereas some do not. Like mentioned before, do your research before buying. Do not be tempted to buy something that seems cheap if you have no prior knowledge of the specs and prices.
fyip: I am not promoting FUNAN, just that I never ever had a bad experience there. And that I also research & plan. =)
Besides, FUNAN, there are also IT Fairs held in Singapore about 2-3 times every year. Locals know this are the times where everything is much cheaper and a good deal is definitely possible. It is normally held around March & end year. Do check on the internet on when the fairs start. They are normally called COMEX, SITEX & some other event that I forgot.
Now that you have read this page, you should be enlightened! Hope you enjoy Singapore and remember to check other out other places too!! In general, all Singaporeans are extremely receptive to foreigners and helpful. =)
What to buy: IT Goods are cheaper here than overseas (during IT Fairs)
You cannot go wrong with items like thumbdrives, harddisks etc as they are amazingly cheap. Try to get items that shouldn't go wrong. In case you return back home and realize it is a fake or faulty. E.g. Computer/Console, Games, Laptops.
What to pay: Very expensive lessons if you do not heed my advice about research. =)
CameraTalk 1 #02-91
What to buy: Be very careful of this shop. It quotes you double the price of the retail!
In fact, don't even go to Sim Lim Square when you want to buy electronics. I enter this shop and the seller quoted me the canon flash 430 at $320 which is $100 cheaper than the other. So I thought I will get all my camera needs from him since his flash is the cheapest and I thought his other camera stuff will be cheaper. To save the hassle I decided to get a lense from him.
I decided to get a sigma lense which he said would have cost $1000+ else where. I admit I haven't done much research but before I told him I would like to check other stores first, he already convinced me to buy it at $900 17-70mm sigma lense. Which other stores were only sell for $575 or less. An extremely ridiculous price! Which I only checked after I bought the lense! He was a really crafty sales man! It's almost impossible to walk out of his shop without buying anything. I bought the sigma lense at $900 when it should only cost $575... a nissin flash $300 which should only cost $100+!
BECAREFUL OF THIS SHOP!!!!!
I found someone else who got scammed by this shop.
Cheating and tricks
Sim Lim - specially on the ground floor you could be easily cheated. Like I followed the instructions of the other member and I decided before hand what model camera I want to buy. I went to the shop and asked for the price. I made the mistake to stay there little longer and to be polite with the salesmen. Then the usual story began (same in Hong Kong by the way only worst): Yes, we will bring it from the store. Just while you wait would you see this one it is even better. And so on and so on. I new the trick but somehow I could not resist when he shoed me how the picture looks with Finepix and how is it with Sony. Sony’s image was not so good and I bought Finepix to find out later that it was overpriced by close to 100 S$ compared to the other shops. All the salesmen although jealous normally would play some conspiracy theory.
Later I did not receive the claimed at Airport GST. Again Singapore is better than Hong Kong with regard of tricking the buyer. In People’s Park many years ago I was looking for a massager and a Chinese woman offered me something small for: How much you want to spend? I said : About 40 and she offered me that thing for 40. Half an hour later I saw her again with the same thing in her hands and for the fun I asked: How much? She said 17. If they find any weakness they will use it. Mustafas’ is better with regard of the fixed prices, big choice but probably not the top models.
Any way each year when I am going there and see them I just remind them how they cheated me in front of their clients.
There are many shops in Sim Lim Square. The price for a product is very compatitive. You must walk round level 3 to level 6 for computer harware or accessories and level 1 to 2 for AVA products. The prices should not be very far apart, if it is, beware for fake product.
What to buy: Computer accessories and hardware.
What to pay: From $10 to >$100
did my research well bac at home.i was very clear to buy PanasonicGS180.Went around most of the shops and found the best price list .Returned to this shop "MOBILE HUT" who quoted the best price .Just before closing the Deal, salesman introduced another camcorder and started of showing visual difference . He started off with all tech jargons and specifications of lower end model which v didnt realise. He offered the same price as of panasonic and in addition offered loads of accesories as free with JVCGr350 .i Just missed to take the print of the camcorder ratings and got carried away with the saleman talk .He even assured us tat he will take it bac the nxt day if v r'nt happy with it .Went back to hotel and surfed and found he offered us Low end model with a price tag of around $300 less than wat v got . Though v went back to return the camcorder, it was just a futile attempt !
Steps to follow
1.Take a print out of the price list and specifications which u intend to buy. very important !
2. Go to mustafa(Discount store) find the price tat they quote.
3. From level 1 and level 2 check the prices of the product which has the price tag.
4. Now start with the other stores asking for Best price and the accessories tat they can offer . Here u have to haggle a lot .
5. Be ready to walk out of shop ! dont worry abt the grumpy look of salesman and attack on ur character tactics(Saying u r stupid if u dont buy this !) . No emotions . keep looking out .
6.Once finalised the price for the camcorder u want to buy,dont ever try checking their other camcorder demos.The lens are changed to show bad performance of teh product u wish to buy and try to show a lower end model as best .
7. Shortlist the best shop and take a new sealed pack. Check the various function of the sealed pack new product .Get all the accesories for free.
8 .Take the GST refund form .All shops provide it for price of s$300 and more
9.Take the international gurantee Card.
10. Take the bill that lists all the product .
Shopping at Sim Lim is very similar as shopping any where else in Singapore. The trick is to:
1. Know what your shopping for.
2. Do your research before leaving home. -Whats the cheapest price you could get it at home? What are you willing to pay? Is the money you save worth the "can't return it" risk?
3. Be prepared to walk away.
4. Shop around, check prices at several shops before purchasing. Most IT shops have printed price lists, grab a few and sit with a cup of coffee and decide whats best. Price comparisons and downloadable pricelists for IT gear are availible from http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/priceguide/.
5. Ensure all the accesories are included.
6. Don't be sucked into buying accesories that you haven't done research on. Go back to an Internet cafe and look it up.
7.Be prepared to walk away.
8. Negotiate the whole package. If your buying several Items, once you have decide and negotiated their individual price, total the price and then negotiate for a lower final price.
9. Be prepared to walk away.
If you're there shopping for cameras, mp3 players, etc, the rules still apply - doubly so.
the shop is in the 1st floor infront of nubox selling IPAD 2 and nikon cameras and lenses
What to buy: I brought an IPAD2 in sim lim to a shop infront of NUBOX on 1st floor. the shop sells basically nikon items cameras lenses but does have an IPAD 2 on the shelf display. I was suppose to buy my ipad2 to nubox but with no luck its out of stock. so i decided to get to one shop infront of it. I asked for the price it said to be 800sgd before GST, after gst and additional charge bec. i chose the white one it came to 888sgd.before that I asked him,"is there charges for unlocking or something bec.some sellers told me some stalls here charge for unlocking" he replied what unlocking?its unlocked. so cleared in that part.. so agrred and payed via nets, after unpacking and testing, while i was pinning my card number to cashier the guy went out with my IPAD2, he came back after 10mins saying he did activated the ipad2 and sent it to a so called APPLE GUY. then he was asking for additional 262SGD??!?! what the hell??!?where did it came from??he said it was activated and so to have the itunes the facetime and appstore available on the ipad. I almost ended paying for the highest model of IPAD2 well infact i only got the lower one....SCREW IT!I didnt complained because I paid in nets. but if I paid in cash I would argue to give my money back...lesson learned the hard way. I WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER BUY ON SIM LIM. I hope this comes a lesson to everyone. they are 101% cheaters.
What to pay: DONT EVER GO TO SIM LIM IF YOUR A TOURIST TO CHECK FOR A ELECTRONIC GADGET. THIS PLACE HAS A LOT OF DISHONEST SELLERS. THEY WILL LURE YOU BY LOW PRICES EVEN AFTER GST. BUT WAIT UNTIL YOUR DONE PAYING.HERE COMES THE ADDITIONAL CHARGES.WHICH IN THE FIRST PLACE IS NOT MENTIONED WHEN YOU PAY FOR THE ITEM..I HATE TO SAY THIS BUT THIS PLACE IS A SHAME. PLEASE SAVE YOURSELF FROM BEING JACKED BY THIS PEOPLE. GO FUNAN OR ELSEWHERE JUST STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE.
Sim Lim Square is a must if shopping for electronics in Singapore. Though there are no shortage of places to shop for electronics in Singapore, being that there is a electronic or IT mall on almost every corner. Sim Lim Square easily stands out above the rest when it comes to competitive prices. 6 floors of electronics and IT outlets vying for your attention and your dollar. It is expected of you to bargain!
Remember to shop around at Sim Lim Square. Dont be affraid to ask for a price of an item, and then walk into the next outlet and tell them what the neighbor shop is offering. Also paying with cash instead of credit can effect your price. Last but not least, be aware that certain warranties on electronics may be annulled depending on the outlet. Dont take for granted that just becuase the dealer says it's covered, that it will be.
There is a good variety of computer related stuff and you can bargain with the shop assistants. But do look around as you may be able to find a cheaper one at another shop on another level.
What to buy: Computers, softwares and games.
I have been to both Funan mall and Sim Lim Square. Funan mall is big but definitely not as busy as Sim Lim Square. I will take it as an indication of pricing being high in Funan. I have extensively looked into pricing in Sim Lim Square and it does not seem to be cheaper than what we can get here in New Zealand. Offcourse there are more variety however for standard electronics goods, and with weak NZ Dollar (end of 2008), Singapore does not seem to be a cheap destination for buying Electronics goods.
Tourists beware! If you are looking for electronics items, it's advisable to go to the mainstream shopping malls (eg. Harvey Norman, Courts, Best Denki, etc ) found near most MRT stations. For those not in the know, it could turn out to be an expensive buy unless you are buying PC products (Level 4 - 5).
1 - Salesmen will give you a good price but that does not include GST taxes.
2 - If you pay by credit card, there's an additional surcharge.
3 - After you have made payment, they'll inform you, you have to buy additional accessories in order for your electronic goods to work. (So if you really have to get your hands on that item - don't hand over your $$$ till you could turn ON the item and it works to your satisfaction. Also, get them to put down the serial no. of the item you have purchased in the receipt. Otherwise, it's hard to find a recourse to your purchases should you need to file a complaint.)
4 - Adding salt to "your wound", you might have gotten a 2nd hand set which is refurbished to look new.
5 - Never believe much about the government accreditation for shops in Sim Lim Square as it's just a tourism board marketing gimmick.
So it's much better for you to go to Vivocity, Ngee Ann City, Tampines Mall, Jurong Point, Bishan Junction 8, malls which are near to MRT stations where you will find the big electronics departmental stores and prices are fixed . Well, you are still able to claim your tax rebates for your purchases.
Enjoy Singapore and your shopping and trust a Singaporean to tell you the truth.