9 Best Places to Buy Electronics in Singapore

Electronics Sales Event in Singapore

Digital cameras promotion at an electronics sales event in Singapore. [credit – flickr/xcode]

Not sure where to buy electronics in Singapore so you won’t get ripped off?

Then checkout these stores that are voted by Singaporeans as the best places to buy electrical appliances and IT gadgets. Insider tips are also provided to help you score the best deals at these recommended places.

1. Sim Lim Square

Address: 1 Rochor Canal Road Singapore 188504
Opening hours: 10.30am to 9.00pm daily
Number of stores: Over 100 spread over six floors
Nearest MRT train stations: Bugis (EW12) – Exit A and Little India (NE7) – Exit A
Website: www.simlimsqure.com.sg

Sim Lim Square is the usually the first place geeks and computer DIY enthusiasts go to if they are looking for PC parts such as motherboards, power supply, RAM, hard-disks, graphics cards and CPU chips. These shops are mostly found on the 4th floor onwards.

As one of the oldest and biggest IT and electronics malls in Singapore, Sim Lim Square is also a popular place to get bargains on laptops, digital cameras, DSLRs, PlayStations, Xboxes and mobile phone accessories.

Be forewarned that Sim Lim has a few blacklisted shops that engage in unsavory business practices for a quick buck. To get the best shopping experience, do not purchase anything from the first store or stores located on the ground level unless you’ve made several price comparisons.

If in doubt, simply patronize shops that have the CASETrust logo in their shop front and if you need more information, you can head to The Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) kiosk on the ground level.

Tip – Avoid those ground floor shops that tout or use aggressive sales tactics on you (they love tourists especially). Don’t get taken in by “freebies” gimmick as most of the so called gifts are already provided as part of the total package.

Most importantly, do your homework first so you know the street price!

2. Funan DigitaLife IT Mall

Address: 109 North Bridge Road Singapore 179097
Opening hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily
Number of stores: Around 160 stores over six floors
Nearest MRT train station: City Hall (EW13/NS25) – Exit B
Website: www.funan.com.sg

Funan IT mall is for the busy executives and tourists as it is conveniently located in the city center. It is just 5-minute walk from the City Hall MRT train station and is also near to hotels located at the Marina Bay area.

Compared to Sim Lim Square, stores here are spacious and nicely decorated. Funan is generally viewed as one of the best places to make purchases as merchants are trustworthy and their prices are competitive too.

The focus here is more on specialist stores selling laptops, cameras and accessories. If you are looking for computer parts, you’d get better chance of getting them in Sim Lim Square.

Tip – Most of the shops offer a 1-3% discount if you pay big ticket items in cash. Plus you need not suffer from the lousy exchange rate of your credit card company!

3. Mustafa Center

Digital Cameras Department in Mustafa Singapore

Bargain hunters at the digital cameras section, a popular area in Mustafa Center.

Address: 145 Syed Alwi Road Singapore 207704
Nearest MRT train station: Farrer Park (NE8) – Exit H
Opening hours: 24-hours operation!
Website: www.mustafa.com.sg

Located in the heart of vibrant Little India district, Mustafa Center is a shopping mall that operates round the clock. You can shop here at anytime of the day and tourists can also ease their jetlag by doing some late night shopping here.

Mustafa Center is known for highly competitive prices as they operate on a low-price high-volume business model. And that is the reason why there is always a crowd at their sprawling electronics and IT appliances department located at the basement.

Try to avoid coming here on weekends, as you may find hordes of bargain hunters crowding around the mobile phones, digital cameras and LCD TVs sections. The main grouse here is their customer service – it’s minimal at best.

Tip – Although most things are relatively cheap at Mustafa Center, not everything is the cheapest. So it’s highly recommended to research the price on that particular make/model before coming here.

4. Harvey Norman

Address: Multiple locations (refer to website)
Opening hours: 11.00am to 9.00pm daily
Website: www.harveynorman.com.sg

Harvey Norman is an Australian-based retail chain that caters to your electronics, computer, IT and audio visual needs and have stores conveniently located around the entire island.

Harvey Norman is for those who value good shopping experience (nice decor with spacious walking aisles) and warm customer service. Major electrical appliances and IT equipment brands such as Philips, Mayer, Samsung, LG, Bosch, Electrolux, Sharp, Panasonic, Dyson, HP, Apple, Lenovo, etc can all be found here.

Prices are may not be as competitive compared to Mustafa Center. However, when there are promotional deals or sales events, their packages on offer can be extremely attractive.

Tip – Occasionally you may find older flat-screen TV models and other appliances put up for clearance sale at really attractive prices. In our opinion, these are the best bargains to go for if you want to save a fair bit of money.

5. Courts

Address: Multiple locations (refer to website)
Opening hours: 11.00am to 10.00pm daily
Website: www.courts.com.sg

Besides having a long history in Singapore, Courts also popularizes the “Lowest Prices Guarantee” practice where you get a refund of double the price difference if you find the same item at a lower price elsewhere.

Similar to Harvey Norman, they are a good retail outlet to visit when there are promotions or sales events happening. Time-starved people may also like buying electronics here because the main purchase are usually bundled with essential accessories for the same price.

Tip – Almost every week, Courts will advertise on newspapers to inform consumers which of its stores will be having jaw dropping deals (limited quantity).

To land on these good deals, you can follow veteran bargain hunters in turning up really early (2-3 hours before a Courts store opens) to queue for these offers.

6. Parisilk

Parisilk Electronics Store

Parisilk – your friendly neighborhood electronics and electrical appliances store.

Address: Multiple locations (refer to website)
Opening hours: 10.30am to 8.00pm
Website: www.parisilk.com

The Parisilk stores are generally located in the heartlands where rents are cheaper (translates to lower markups) and is akin to an electronics and IT boutique shop.

You can expect more personalized service from their knowledgeable staff who are able to answer your queries patiently and confidently or make an appropriate recommendation based on your needs.

Depending on the promotions or deals happening at the time, you could come away some really good buys. However the store may not have a wide variety of styles or models in stock as compared to Sim Lim Square or Funan IT Mall.

Tip – At Parisilk, the already competitive prices may not necessarily be the “net” price. You can ask for more discount if you are buying a few items. No harm asking the sales person nicely.

7. Challenger

Address: Multiple locations (refer to website)
Opening hours: 11.00am to 9.30pm daily
Website: www.challenger.com.sg

Challenger is a venerable IT specialist store in Singapore that dates back 1984. It is like a one-stop shop for all your IT needs, you can find hardware, software, accessories and peripherals.

Brands that you would be able to find here include Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Canon, Logitech, Apple, Microsoft, Symantec, Adobe, etc. The sales staff here are also generally more “techie” and able to offer better advice than other big retail stores.

Some of their stores also come with a PC Clinic counter offering diagnostic and repair services at an affordable fee. So you may want to seek their advice on that cranky laptop before plonking down money for a new one!

Tip – One can enjoy substantial discounts if you’re a Challenger member. So the trick for a non-member is to politely ask the person next to you in the queue is he/she a member.

Get him/her to help purchase the item on your behalf. Most of the time, they would oblige as they get to accumulate reward points too.

8. Cathay Photo

Address: 111 North Bridge Road #01-04 Peninsula Plaza Singapore 179098
Nearest MRT train station: City Hall (EW13/NS25) – Exit B
Opening hours: 10.00am to 7.00pm (Mon to Sat)
Website: www.cathayphoto.com.sg

Cathay Photo is a great place for amateur and professional photographers alike; the salespeople are extremely well-informed about the latest models and trends in photography and usually work towards your budget or needs.

If you are a photography buff, you would be amazed at the range of cameras and accessories they have in stock. You can find brands like Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sony, Hoya, Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, B+W, Colkin, Kessler, Joby, etc.

Most importantly, all their staff are open and honest in their recommendations and do not engage in pushy or over-selling tactics.

Tip – If you are not a regular, the sales person attending to you may not offer you any discount. Just come back at a different time and approach another sales personnel to ask for discount again. It works sometimes!

9. Computer Fairs and Expo

IT Fair and Expo in Singapore

Bargain hunters in a PC fair raising their arms to be noticed so they can get a limited voucher to purchase items at a special price. [credit – flickr/teutoburg]

Lastly, mega IT fairs and expos will complete this list where Singaporeans get good bargains on electronic products and IT gadgets. The main IT fairs to lookout for are:
  1. IT Show (www.itshow.com.sg)
  2. The PC Show (www.thepcshow.com.sg)
  3. Comex (www.comexshow.com.sg)
  4. Sitex (www.sitex.com.sg)

The expos generally happens once every quarter and are usually held at the Singapore Expo or Suntec Convention & Exhibition Center. But for confirmed details it is best to check out the website for each show.

These fairs bring together all the major and minor computer and IT retailers and it is an opportunity for consumers to purchase items they want at the lowest possible price.

Generally held over 3 to 4 days, it’s not uncommon to see locals visit the show during the first day to scope out what’s available and return on the last day to make the purchase as that is when prices are at its lowest (when desperate sellers try to clear remaining goods).

Tip – Waiting till the last day may not be a wise tactic as you do run the risk of your desired item being sold out. Locals are known for snapping up good deals when they sniff one, thus these deals are normally sold out before the fair ends.