Best places to buy electronics in Singapore
Shopping for electronics is Singapore's unofficial national sport.
Everywhere you turn, there's a deal on the latest handphone, laptop, plasma screen or TV. And from May through July, the Great Singapore Sale sees some shops slashing prices by up to 70 percent.
But how do you pick out the real thing from the tourist trap? Here are five recommended spots that might as well be called "killer app".
1. Sim Lim Square
If you love electronics, you cannot afford to miss Sim Lim Square (1 Rochor Canal Road, tel +65 6338 3859; www.simlimsquare.com.sg). It still remains one of the best places to buy electronics if you're a savvy customer.
If you're a newbie, drag along someone who knows the place, and bring along a 3G phone to check the real prices.
Start looking for what you need on the uppermost floors and work your way down. The most trustworthy retailers are on the higher
floors in Sim Lim.
Many retailers are able to offer a good deal on laptops. However, always bargain and ask them to add accessories. If the salesman isn't agreeable, walk away, there is a good chance that they'll call you back with a better offer.
Recommended shops: Mac Lovers can visit MacLink (#05-14 Sim Lim Square); for MP3/MP4 players and speakers, the best prices and widest selection are at SONG Brothers (#01-59-62, #02-87/88, #04-13, #06-12).
2. IT Shows
Don't be sad if you missed out on the annual IT Show at Suntec Convention Centre -- there are many more fairs popping up throughout the year.
Held over several days, these shows host up to 820 booths selling the latest, best and cheapest technologies -- cameras, gadgets, computers and all the other electronics that one can dream of.
Be warned, the shows are often packed out and the offers change every seconds. However, if you can make
it, this is where you'll nab the best possible deals on
PC Show 2011: June 9-12, Suntec Convention Centre Singapore; (www.thepcshow.com.sg)
Comex 2011: September 1-4, Suntec Convention Centre Singapore; (www.comexshow.com.sg)
Sitex 2011: November 24-27, Singapore Expo; (www.sitex.com.sg)
3. Mustafa Centre
If you are hunting for a bargain and don't want to worry about closing times, then the mammoth Mustafa Centre (145 Syed Alwi Road, tel +65 6295 5855; www.mustafa.com.sg) is the place for you.
It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you can buy practically everything here -- whether it is the latest Apple product, a winter jacket, or some Turkish spices.
electronics, the salesmen operate professionally and don't mind removing the packaging so you can inspect the product.
If you don’t like what you see, it's fine to say thanks and then just walk away.
If you like the goods, you'll have to pay first and then return with the receipt before you're allowed to give the goods a test.
While Mustafa is better known as somewhere to score low-priced jewelery and electronics, you can also expect to come across big names like Casio, Canon, Phillips, Swatch, HP and many other brands.
4. Lucky Plaza
Packed with hordes of electronics and gadgets shops, at Lucky Plaza (304 Orchard Road, tel +65 6235 9208; www.luckyplaza.com.sg) you need to practice extreme caution to nail down a good deal.
The key lies in the bargaining. If you can haggle, you're likely to emerge with a pretty good deal. Bid 60 to 70 percent lower than the shopkeeper's initial offer, negotiate, and only settle at what sounds like a realistic price.
Do check your receipt for the fine print -- not every shop is obliged to refund your money should there be something wrong with your purchase. Also check for the original and authenticated stickers on the goods you
When in doubt, patronise shops with plaques stating they're an authorised dealer.
5. Funan DigitaLIfe Mall
Funan (109 North Bridge Road, tel +65 6339 0520; www.funan.com.sg) is another haven for electronic goods in Singapore. Many people consider it to be more reliable than Sim Lim.
Located near City Hall MRT station, Funan's six floors are packed with shops selling electronics and other IT gadgets.
You can buy all the regular digital stuff, software, hardware and computers here. There are also a couple of mega-stores -- Challenger (#06-00) and Harvey Norman (#B1-01).
Recommended shop: John 3:16 (#05-46), which usually has some of the lowest possible prices for camera bodies, lenses and all other accessories.