To those not familiar with Sim Lim, here’s a page from wikipedia.
Sim Lim Square on wikipedia
Sim Lim Square has a wide range of gadgets but there are a couple of things you must know when buying items there.
It is a tourist trap! They don’t even care if you’re a permanent resident of Singapore, if you do not have their native tongue and if you are not a Singaporean, they give you a higher price.
- Try to canvass the price and freebies of the items you want to buy from other malls, I suggest that you choose the exact model of the gadget you need (example, the Nikon D40). Then visit the other malls (I suggest that you visit Vivo City, Funan and Mustafa) and write down their prices before going to Sim Lim.
- Prices do not include GST, when they give you the price of a certain item, ask the seller if GST is inclusive.
- It is always cheaper if you visit or buy with a local (Singaporean)
- Ask the store to issue a GST refund receipt (for tourists), bring you ticket and passport as there is a GST refund booth in Sim Lim.
It is not always cheaper to buy your gadgets from Sim Lim!
- If there is a “SALE” in another mall, normally the prices will reach the price range in Sim Lim’s stores. If the sale is an Electronics Fair (sometimes in Suntec or Expo) go to the last day in the afternoon. In some cases, prices will be lower then Sim Lim.
They will try to sell you the units they have on display.
- Test the product, and if you have doubts, ask for another stock if they have it, normally they will allow exchanges if you suddenly felt that the product is not for you but they will normally overcharge you for the replacement.
Don’t hop from one store to the other.
- Stores hate it if they notice that you have been hopping from one shop to the other asking about the price of the same item.
They charge higher for “rare” stuff.
- They normally charge more for a 512MB Memory card than a 1GIG Memory card, because (according to some sellers) they know that older cameras/devices cannot read the 1GIG Memory Card.
It doesn’t hurt to be extra careful when buying new stuff, especially in a foreign land. If you have any experiences that you can share please feel free to comment.