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Retail pricing in Singapore

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aster
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Retail pricing in Singapore

Postby aster » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:09 pm

There is something seriously troubling with the retail sector here. Not sure what's causing it, whether it's independent, local distributors that are to blame or maybe international company policy that's decided elsewhere, but how can Singapore keep its competitive edge in the internet age?

A couple of days ago I looked at a watch for my lady, one of those white, ceramic ones made by Skagen. Popped into a store, chose one that I thought she would like most, and was shown a price-tag equivalent to around 370 USD.

Didn't buy it on the spot as something told me to think about it and come back, and so back home I checked to see how much it would cost in the US: Found it on Amazon, saw that they shipped it internationally, clicked on the more expensive 2-4 day international courier service just to be fair... and the total came out at 165 USD.

Now with globalisation and the ease which which you can make such purchases only heading in one direction - benefiting the consumer more and more - how will the retail sector in Singapore fare in the future?

I mean back in the day people would buy lots of stuff here, from cosmetics to electronics, because it was cheap to do so in Singapore. Retail here was competitive. But now?

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:24 pm

It's baffling, isn't it?

It's really curious how the distributors here come up with their prices. SMS once posited the marketing budget is distributed among less people compared to bigger countries. However, something's tugging at me that greed definitely has a role in it. Can't prove it though.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:26 pm

That too. I purchased a new Harmony One remote from Amazon complete with shipping here for less that 200 US. It's over 400 here in Singapore. Go figure!

Greed will come as a natural result of a diminished supply being brought into the country, again, due to the small size of the population. Supply & demand. Just like the housing rental costs. Supply & demand & greed.
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:28 pm

I bought tablet computers from Amazon and even with GST and shipping, they were still cheaper! It's like retailers aren't aware that people can go online and compare prices!
Last edited by nakatago on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:29 pm

Combination of factors. Expensive rents. Lack of warehouse space. Inefficient supply chain logistics.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:41 pm

Reliant consumers. Few visits enough to see majority of the retail staff being incompetent yet almost everybody uses them as the primary source of any shopping related information. How people like this suppose to google something out by themselves and arrange what is necessary?

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Postby poodlek » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:47 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Combination of factors. Expensive rents. Lack of warehouse space. Inefficient supply chain logistics.

You'd think supply chain logistics would be job #1 in opening a retail business in Singapore, wouldn't you??

I was at the baby goods expo last weekend and there was a booth selling a brand of American made cloth diapers for $50 each where they retail about $17uSD overseas. I pointed this out to the shop girl and she said "well we have to import them..." and I pointed out that I could import my own with VPost and still pay less than half. She said "yeah...<<sigh>>"
Lol

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:59 pm

Shopping is one of the three national pastimes (shopping, eating, inane chit-chat).

It requires that you physically visit shops, and then ponce about carrying lots of expensive shopping bags in order to show off to complete strangers.

Cannot go shopping behind computer, not the same at all lah

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 7:56 am

Yes, almost nothing here is cheaper unless it is sourced locally. For example, I bought a mountain bike made by Polygon a month ago. It was S$800. It doesn't sell in the US, but I know a comparable bike would have cost US $1000 (with the same Shimano components, etc).

Everything else though, I often buy from Amazon while I visit the US. I buy the feather-weight duffle bags that fold down into nothing, put them into my suitcase, and fill them up while in the US. Everything from baby formula (about 30% less, and the wife insists the same exact brand "tastes better" from the US), Levi's (1/3rd to 1/4th the price of the Levi shops here), other clothes, etc. Chocolate is a big one too. Since I usually visit SF Bay Area, I load up with a case of the Giradelli chocolate squares.

Other things though that you WOULD think would be cheaper actually wind up costing an almost identical amount after you do currency conversion and remember that our price includes GST. For example, almost anything Apple sells is the same price here. Lots of other electronics too. I got a new camera the week of its release in Sim Lim for almost the exact same it would have cost me on Amazon.

Watches, no idea though. The Tag I want that I've seen online in the US for $2600, in Hong Kong show rooms for ~US $3000, costs S$5500+ everywhere I look here.

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 7:59 am

poodlek wrote:I was at the baby goods expo last weekend and there was a booth selling a brand of American made cloth diapers for $50 each where they retail about $17uSD overseas. I pointed this out to the shop girl and she said "well we have to import them..." and I pointed out that I could import my own with VPost and still pay less than half. She said "yeah...<<sigh>>"
Lol


Funny enough, I import my underwear too! :P I've had my parents ship me a 5-pack of Hanes that cost them $12 in the US; same thing I've seen here for almost 3x the cost!

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 8:43 am

zzm9980 wrote: For example, almost anything Apple sells is the same price here. Lots of other electronics too. I got a new camera the week of its release in Sim Lim for almost the exact same it would have cost me on Amazon..


Not all the time, as I've personally experienced (see my post above). For Apple, however, it shows how local distributors vs manufacturers approach pricing.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 9:35 am

zzm9980 wrote:
poodlek wrote:I was at the baby goods expo last weekend and there was a booth selling a brand of American made cloth diapers for $50 each where they retail about $17uSD overseas. I pointed this out to the shop girl and she said "well we have to import them..." and I pointed out that I could import my own with VPost and still pay less than half. She said "yeah...<<sigh>>"
Lol


Funny enough, I import my underwear too! :P I've had my parents ship me a 5-pack of Hanes that cost them $12 in the US; same thing I've seen here for almost 3x the cost!


Had to snigger at that one. I do exactly the same thing. Either Hanes or FOTL on each trip home. :)

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 9:44 am

Even for so-called locally sourced products, Singapore is still too expensive. Because most of household products (even food) are manufactured in Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia and shipped over here.

Even if one were to factor in shipping costs in bulk and currency conversion rates, it is still too expensive.

That is why going to Malaysia is "cheap, cheap cheap!"

Case in point: Famous Ghee Hiang pastry is sold at MYR5.50 in Penang for 8 pieces in a BOX. Saw one sold in AMK and each PIECE sold for SGD2!

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Postby BigSis » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 7:50 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Everything from baby formula (about 30% less, and the wife insists the same exact brand "tastes better" from the US).


It possibly does. We went on holiday to Portugal once from the UK when our children were babies and I had to buy formula when we were there - it was marketed as the same brand but it was a horrible oily consistency when made up and grey in colour - very different from the UK version.


You pay well over the odds here for most things. It's like if you ever shop somewhere like Marks and Spencer. Clothes made in Indonesia costing more to buy here than in the UK. And another thing they do is that they have sales here and you see clothes in their sales that were in their UK shops ages ago. I reckon they ship clothes that didn't sell in the UK over here, bump up the price and then stick a sale label on so that people buy them thinking they've got a bargain.

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Postby Travailes » Thu, 08 Mar 2012 9:46 pm

It appears to me that most Singapore distributers run a cartel which explains why price differential is not existent. For the brand of toner cartridge I need, I cannot find a difference in price greater than 50 cents across all channels. Cartels are illegal in many countries. Thank god for the Internet as highlighted here.


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