Sim Lim Square - Electronic Goods, Singapore
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.
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.
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.
The whole place is a trap, from when you leave the plane be on guard. The taxi driver will take you the longest way possible and charge max. extras. In your hotel it starts cheap then theres extras from clean sheets to using the Iron. The guy who you think is your friend is going to tell the restaurants to scam you even though you are paying for his lunch.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid shops that seems to have too many salesperson doing nothing like Sim Lim sqaure lower floors. Avoid shops that the locals avoid. There is a reason why Mustafas is always full. Do your homework well and don't believe anything they tell you. Do your bargain and then go and change your money. This will give you some time to reflect to make a good decision.
The price usually starts low. Remember this price because this is usually the price that you should be paying.
Fun Alternatives: If you are in a hurry buy from shops with fixed prices. If you have the time you can play with them and then leave without buying. Before you give your money clear all the doubts you have.
In places like Sim Lim Square, Lucky Plaza and Penisula Plaza, there are shop out to cheat tourists. I am someone who frequents Sim Lim Square and I know they don't have a fixed price for a product in most of the shops.
Unique Suggestions: You can try to go to Funan the IT mall located near City Hall. The price are fixed and you can get to know the price better.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Funan the IT mall where most of the prices are fixed.
We've been ripped off by one of the salesmen of the Digital@Orchard shop (located at the entrance of the Midpoint Mall). He sold us a wide-angle converter for 700$ (while the street price is 150~230 as I learned after). We try to be refunded the next day, but the man refused, arguing that his boss was not here, etc. Even the police (which we called) could not force him to refund us.
Avoid this place !
Fun Alternatives: The best place in my opinion is the Funan IT Mall. Prices are fixed (but good) and many merchants know what they sell.
Please DO NOT go to this place called Sim Lim Square. The people there are hooligans, behave rudely and try to fool the tourists. The salespeople are all con men and do not have the least sense of civil behaviour. Prices are jacked up by at least 100-200% with no price tags at all. If required just roam about and take a look at the models you are planning to buy without entering the shops. Such places should be blacklisted and the local govt should tale some serious action , if they really care about the tourism industry.
Fun Alternatives: Instead visit the Mustaffa Centre where people are very friendly, prices are really good, no fakes, since international warranty is available.
I purchased my PSP from a trader within SimLim Square.
For the time it took me to barter and haggle, the saving simply wasnt worth the price I would of paid in Perth.
I also came very close to being ripped.
I negotiated, saw the item in its packaging then saw a "switch" take place behind the counter. Nothing major - but the shop keeper tried to give me a PSP console with older software preloaded and a smaller battery. I fronted them and they told me that it was "better for pirated software".
None the less - yes, a small saving was had.
But if risk or confrontation isnt your thing - buy at home or buy from the likes of Funan etc etc at a slightly more expensive price.
Unique Suggestions: Keep an eye on the actual item you wish to pay for and physically walk away with.
Sometimes, it seems that soiled display models or 2nd hand units are offered as "NEW"
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).
The police and courts have a lot of trouble with retailers in these 2 buildings. Toursists beware!! These shops are run by gangsters who beat up toursists and locals if you question their pricing or show them if they sell you a damaged or incomplete product. Stay away from SLR Pro Pte Ltd in Sim Lim Square and all other shops. These guys call gangs into the shop if you refuse to buy an item. It's depreviation of liberty and cops don't help you, they are not clear about the laws because they don't usually have problems, and the court rules are very strange. The tourist is at a severe disadvantage is you leave the coutry and can't front up to defend yourself!
Stay clear of "SLR PRO Pte Ltd" at Sim Lim Sq. All are con men there an dthey threaten you!
Unique Suggestions: If you do want to buy electronic good in Singapore, go to Funan Centre. It's a government owned building so all retailers have to be approved by the government to open shop an doperate. You'll get better service, non-fake products, and not be intimidated. You pay a bit more but your shopping experience will be better and safer. Don't risk it by going to Sim Lim Sq or Lucky Plaza. Better still, buy the product in your own country and save yourself a migrane!
Fun Alternatives: Shop in your own country!!!
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
As with any kind of shopping, if you're dumb, and you haven't done your research, you risk getting ripped off. Even by a big retail chain. I've bought a couple of video cameras from Sim Lim / Lucky Plaza and have been extremely happy with both. I got a very good price, they threw in accessories etc and I've never had any trouble with the gear - global gaurantees would cover that anyway. Sure, you might have to bargain, but you can get amazing deals there. For example, if you're after last year's model, they'll be keen to flick them on at reduced prices when often this year's model is almost exactly the same - Cannons HV20 vs this year's HV30 for example. All they did was change the colour at Sim Lim, out the door they go. I think this mall is only a trap if you're lazy or stupid. Of course they'll try it on and jack up the price, so barter with them. It's not rocket science.
Unique Suggestions: Barter. Get them to throw in free stuff, make sure the gear suits your country (different plugs, PAL vs NTSC), do a bit of research for crying out loud, check out cnet reviews, know what you want and what's a good price. You WILL get a bargain. You just might have to work for it a bit. If you buy something at 400% of the going rate, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
Fun Alternatives: As always, online is cheaper. Sometimes the department stores will have a sale and at least with them, you can hassle them if something goes wrong. With online you tend to be on your own.
Looking at prices of electronic goods here could be very deceiving, one may think that its a good bargain compared to other stores. But you'll be very surprised when the sales guy punch in those numbers and you would be surprised that it ballooned to sometimes about 150% from the original price tag. It happened to me one time I was looking for the lowest priced PS3 around and I saw one that is priced at $420 so I bought it plus some extra games and accesories. The salesman tried to sell me other stuff I dont need and so I declined and said I already got what I need. He also told me that they will modify the PS3 unit to run hacked games for additional $150 but I said no. He insisted but I declined yet after he computed the total price I was surprised that my total bill was around $900 which from my own calculation should only be around 600. When I asked him why he told me that the total price covered the modification fee which I did not wanted plus GST and other taxes. I was ripped off definitely, I would have cancelled the purchase but the salesman told me I will not get my money back in full because they will cut 20% for the trouble I caused so I ended up buying the item. Now that's very good after sales service! Moral Lesson buy from a legitimate store!
Unique Suggestions: Never hand over your money with out seeing the total price.
Fun Alternatives: Its nice to window shop in SIM LIM then compare prices from legitimate stores and you'll find out that they are alsmost the same.
People, please be wary of this shop in Sim Lim Square!!
I personally has a very bad experience with them recently.
They are just cheaters! They sold me a third party slr lens for $275
and was very friendly when they try to sell but the next day when I went back to exchange for Nikon lens
willing to top up. they just simply brush me off and tell me after 1 day the slr Len that I bought yesterday becomes
2nd hand so only can fetch 40% of the purchase price. Wtf!
Then still have the audacity to ask for additional top up of $200 when the top up should be only $45 ($320-$275)
So travelers and locals , please dun patronize this shop! Im in the midst of taking up the this
matter or rather dispute with CASE!
I will make sure I do justice to those who got cheated and kept quiet bout it!
Fun Alternatives: I would suggest buy from a established electronic shop
at least it's safer. and who knows sim lim might sell even higher.
I tried to buy a Samsung galaxy S II in this place.
After negotiating the price, i paid the price (600SGD) and the attendant told me it will cost extra to unblock the cell phone so i could used it abroad.
She was not honest, because she knew i was going to use the mobile phone out of Singapore.
She charged me 80 SGD extra to unblock the cell phone.. I even don´t know if it was really necessary...anyway this price is absurd.
I simply gave up the deal.....and bought it at a Starhub Store in Little India for 738 SGD
Fun Alternatives: To Purchase Electronic Goods i recommend
Starhub (i.e. at Little India).