Sim Lim Square - Electronic Goods, Singapore
Most of the shops in Sim Lim Square and Orchard Road take tourists for a real ride. I have experienced this myself when I went there first time. Buying electronic goods is not at all advised here.
Unique Suggestions: Just go through the different models available, make your choice and leave the place.
Fun Alternatives: You can safely buy in Mustafa Centre on Serangoon Road,instead. While all the high end music systems,camcorders and digital cameras are available, you cannot buy all the items. But,in case you stay there for four to five days they will oblige you by ordering the same.The prices are not negotiable but always trusted. Every item comes with a bill/warranty card (if you insist on an international warranty card, you need to pay nearly US$25 extra).
Do be aware of fakes at Sim Lim Square. I was almost ripped off of a Sony playstation controller. The subtle differences between the original and the fake were so small, its difficult for the average customer to tell apart. If my friend hadn't pointed that out to me, I would have gone ahead and purchased a fake, thinking it was the original!
Unique Suggestions: Look for shops that are part of the Star Retailers Programme. These shops have the Star Retailers Programme Icon displayed on their shop front.
Also, to avoid being ripped off, you may wish to check out price guides at www.hardwarezone.com
The price list is updated every week.
Fun Alternatives: Of course, most of the items sold at Sim Lim Square are genuine. But when in doubt, I would rather head to Funan IT Mall, Harvey Norman or Best Denki and pay a little bit more for a piece of mind.
prices r not tagged at Sim Lim so take caution. they can "smell" a non-local so the prices might get jacked up.
The electronic prices r also rather "high" at the airports @ the departure hall.
Unique Suggestions: try to know the prices before hand.
u can go to this website : www.bargaincity.com.sg they feature the prices which is ard the market value but the prices stated might be cheaper at times . so juz take it as a guide.
I needed to get a MD player for my son and wanted it to be internet capable for downloading music. Was told yes but it was not so... Well we live and learn hey!
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you get what you paid for...
Fun Alternatives: Buy it duty free before you go on your trip
The consumer electronics floors of Sim Lim Square (floors 1 to 3) can be attractive but be aware of the con men there. They usually don't display the price and will jack up the price for tourists. Sometimes they may show you a product that you wanted, and then tell you negative things about it which may not be true - eg I know of one case where they connected a camcorder to a TV screen using an defective cable and then showed the same thing with another (more expensive camera) but with a good cable, making you believe that the cheaper camera had inferior video quality. When this was pointed out, they got angry. Be prepared for rude behaviour if you decide to walk away.
For a list of shops officially blacklisted by the Singapore Tourism Board, go here -> http://www.visitsingapore.com/sections/3a/0,1138,460,00.html
Unique Suggestions: Best thing is to do your research first. Always find out the market price of the product you are intrested in from other places (such as Funan IT mall or Harvey Norman), so you can have an idea of how to it costs. In most cases you can bargain with the people there and bring it down from the market price, but make sure you get them to agree on the final price - sometimes the price they would quote would not include GST, or they may leave out things like the battery which you have to buy separately from them (probably at a higher price).
Fun Alternatives: Mustaffa Center (aka Serangoon Plaza) - Prices there are generally lower than most other places and they are quite willing to entertain you to try out the product or have a look at as many as you would like without being scorned. If you still choose not to buy it, you can just walk away, no hard feelings. There's also a GST counter there so you can get your paperwork done within the premises.