Shopping in Singapore just got a hit with the recent Sim Lim Square saga, the Chinese embassy even put up an advisory warning its citizens. This is probably not news to most locals when it comes to tech shopping at this electronics and computer center that has been around for almost 30 years. With over 400 shops in Sim Lim Square, a good number of them are good honest business that won’t charge you an absurd amount or pass you a bag of coins. If haggling for good deals is something you enjoy, here are some tips to shopping smart in Sim Lim Square.
1. Be realistic about the price tag
You can’t expect to buy the latest iPhone at Sim Lim Square at a price lower than that at an authorized reseller. If the deal is too good to be true, there’s probably something you don’t know about it. Be sure to ask in details what’s included in the quoted price and if there’s any other surcharges.
Sometimes we walk away with more than what we intended to buy, only because we got hard-sold into buying that peripheral that you may have no use of. As with shopping, know what you want to buy and compare prices before deciding. There’s after all, four hundred over shops to compare prices.
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3. Be wary of what you sign
This is not a piece of investment or life insurance policy, there shouldn’t be any reason to sign anything in a shop other than your credit card receipt. Putting your signature on any document is a legally binding promise to the font size seven terms that you don’t read. A warranty card usually requires your particulars, receipt and the shop’s stamp. If there’s a need to sign, check and spend time reading in your own time before signing. The staff may try to distract and rush you into signing, that’s probably a sign for you to move on to another shop.
4. Always keep the receipt
This should be a no-brainer, not just for shopping at Sim Lim Square. In the event of any dispute, the first thing you need to produce is always the receipt. That’s really the only proof of purchase. And if it’s on a thermal paper, take a photo of it or make a copy before the words disappear.
5. Look out for STARetailers
Long-plagued with fraud issues, Sim Lim Square rolled out a scheme to accredit businesses who pledge to provide reliable service and reasonable prices. While this may not be fool-proof, businesses who are looking to be accredited has to be free of complaints for at least nine months. And if you’ve made a purchase at one of these shops, the purchase is guaranteed a full refund if it’s sold above the recommended retail price.
6. Check CASE and buy from reputable shops
There’s a list of shops who have received the most consumer complaints and this can be found easily around the mall and online. So check before you start and know which to avoid. And on the same note, there are also long-established and reputable ones that have their regulars.
Now that you’re geared with these tips to shopping smart in Sim Lim Square, bargain hunting should be less daunting. And with every dishonest business owner, there’s always an honest one too.