Singapore Expats Forum

buying electronic goods in chinatown markets? digital SLR?

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

dubplate
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon, 10 Jan 2011

buying electronic goods in chinatown markets? digital SLR?

Postby dubplate » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 3:43 pm

hey everyone,

I am thinking of buying a new digital SLR camera - looking at the canon 600D.

I have been to a few shops - and chinatown seems to be the cheapest - ranging from 880 to 950 SNG - over at best denki which is about 1100 SNG

any reason why I wouldn't buy the camera from chinatown? is there any scams they run for these types of products? I mean the warranty is from the manufacturer, and I am not looking for expert advice from a sales person...but I am a fraction weary of getting scammed somehow....

any advice welcome!

thanks

Andrew

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 3:49 pm

Not sure of the best places in Chinatown, but I treat Sim Lim (and by extension, shops in Chinatown I imagine are the same) as I would anything in a place like Mos Eisley. Caveat Emptor.

Anyway, for real advice, be 100% confident the factory warranty is legit. Check everything that comes with the camera to make sure it is genuine. Especially batteries. Be aware the price they quote probably doesn't include GST. Make sure there are no fees on using a credit card. (and use one for your protection!). They will try to sell you lens filters and "better" batteries. These will be at RIDICULOUSLY HUGE mark-ups for sub-par items. UV/Haze filters on lenses are useless because of the technology, and will do nothing but actually degrade your photos. The batteries they offer will be very low quality, so beware.

When I bought my camera in Sim Lim, I got an amazing deal on the camera itself. (Lumix G3 the week it came out, for about the same price as it was on Amazon in the US at that time). However as I mention above, they tried to gouge on a battery and lens filter I didn't want. The shop guy almost got hostile when he realized I wouldn't buy. (This is even after the price went from S$200 extra for those pieces down to about S$40 more). I finally told him I'd give him S$20 for just the battery or I'm gone, so he did that. When I looked it up later at home, that same battery would have been about US $8 on Amazon or eBay. So not a terrible rip-off, but still not a good price after haggling S$180 off the price.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 3:50 pm

Those prices are with or without the Kit Lens? The current price on Amazon is at today's exchange rate is about S$900 with kit lens. So I'd say the prices you're being quoted sound about reasonable. Just don't get scammed on the accessories.

dubplate
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon, 10 Jan 2011

Postby dubplate » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 6:05 pm

thanks guys- this is great advice

you think its better you use a credit card instead of cash? is this so their is a receipt of purchase? can you elaborate on this point?

dubplate
Member
Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon, 10 Jan 2011

Postby dubplate » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 6:16 pm

sorry - yes with the basic lens kit

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 03 Jan 2012 8:00 pm

dubplate wrote:thanks guys- this is great advice

you think its better you use a credit card instead of cash? is this so their is a receipt of purchase? can you elaborate on this point?


If there is a problem, you dispute the transaction with your bank and can use that as leverage against the shop. Not a big help since it would mean you're having a problem in the first few days, but it's more leverage than handing over a stack of cash.

teck21
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed, 01 Jul 2009

Postby teck21 » Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:18 am

Do you have a fierce looking local friend you can go with?

Best thing to do is to be familiar with the pricing of the item you want to buy, and compare it with what you're being offered at SLS or Chinatown.

If it sounds too good to be true, it must be. It's the same item so how could they sell it much cheaper than a reputable store?

I hear there's a shop over at Funan called John-something that has good service, and good pricing. That's only what I hear though, I'm not a camera person.

Can consider paying them a visit to see what they're about.

User avatar
Mi Amigo
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1767
Joined: Sat, 19 Jun 2004
Location: Kinto Pino

Postby Mi Amigo » Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:40 am

John 3:16 at Funan IT Mall (5th floor) is a good source of cameras, particularly higher end models. They seem to have a good reputation for expertise and honesty (the store name gives you an idea of their outlook on life); I've bought cameras from them in the past and was always satisfied with their service.

More recently I've purchased a number of point & shoot cameras from SLR Revolution, who I think are on the 4th floor at Funan. Their prices are good (more competitive than John 3:16 for 'basic' models last time I checked) and they seem to be reliable also.

When buying cameras my preference is to shop at Funan - IMO it's a bit safer than the shark-infested waters at Sim Lim Square (or Chinatown for that matter). One hears many stories of people buying 'cheap' cameras from dodgy outlets at SLS and elsewhere; only to find that when they open the box later, the battery, memory card and other parts are not up to the spec they expected, the warranty doesn't apply here, etc.

Caveat emptor!
Be careful what you wish for

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9164
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:47 am

John 3:16 is or used to be a bit more expensive than the other so called reputable places (the names can be googled/searched out from the clubsnap forum). I have never bought from them but had a few interactions and the quality of the service was above the average - worth IMHO these few extra dollars.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 04 Jan 2012 3:08 pm

The prices the OP quoted are reasonable enough yet not so good to be true that it sounds like a scam.

I suspect it is just like the shop I use in SLS; fair prices (which look like a steal compared to the Best Denkis and Harvey Normans), and they'll try to upsell/gouge on accessories of questionable quality.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10413
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 05 Jan 2012 5:54 pm

Two tricks: Will try to sell everything in the box separately. And will try to add on GST to the quoted price.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest