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The Baffling State of Prices and Retail in Singapore

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nakatago
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The Baffling State of Prices and Retail in Singapore

Postby nakatago » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:33 am

We all know how things are ridiculously more expensive in Singapore. Some of us (and me personally) have previously resorted to buying things from abroad because it's so much cheaper, even factoring in shipping, GST and lack of local warranty (which turns out to be pretty useless anyway in some instances).

However, this one just takes the cake:

I have a pair of sunglasses with scratched lenses (polarized lenses, famous brand, costed me about 320 SGD, IIRC). Realizing I could replaced them, I trawled the internet to find a replacement and even found out the local supplier can do it for me.

Here's what they quoted me:

gray lenses: 95 SGD
polarized lenses: 195 SGD
needs a lead time of 4 - 6 to order from the US

Wow. More than half the price of the sunglasses. When I looked at the manufacturer website, here's what I found:

gray lenses: 55 USD (~67 SGD)
polarized lenses: 85 USD (~103 SGD)
shipping probably about 10 USD (normal mail) to 20 (express mail) and would take 2- 6 weeks.

Holy crap. Talk about markup.

POST SCRIPT: I trawled Amazon and found a pair of polarized lenses (third party, apparently very reputable supplier) for 36.50 USD and shipping for 7.50 USD for a total of 44 USD (~53 SGD).

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Postby movingtospore » Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:06 pm

My take is that's is because people here are 1) a captive audience, and 2) relatively "new" consumers who just don't know any better. Whether it's locals or rich Indonesians coming into shop they'll pay anything for a label.

I had a hilarious conversation with a colleague who insisted high prices here were because of the all the expats (read: whities). I explained that I rarely, if ever, shop in Singapore unless I have no other choice because the value is poor here. I then asked him if he'd though perhaps it was expensive because local consumers don't demand better prices and service, or take their money elsewhere. Blink, blink, blink...."no, not possible, not possible." Whatever...

In their defense, shops do pay atrocious rents and electricity here.

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Postby Callput » Mon, 19 Nov 2012 9:40 pm


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Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 19 Nov 2012 10:24 pm

[quote="Callput"]Nak, looks like someone heard you ;)

http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/ED ... nsive-here[/quote

Bloody lazy four eyed journos stealing our topics again?
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 19 Nov 2012 10:32 pm

They've been doing it for years.

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 19 Nov 2012 11:37 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:They've been doing it for years.


Sometimes we gotta step up for them because these people have had their sense of investigation removed along with the common sense, lateral thinking, graciousness, empathy and spatial awareness.

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Re: The Baffling State of Prices and Retail in Singapore

Postby ScoobyDoes » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:25 am

nakatago wrote:We all know how things are ridiculously more expensive in Singapore. Some of us (and me personally) have previously resorted to buying things from abroad because it's so much cheaper, even factoring in shipping, GST and lack of local warranty (which turns out to be pretty useless anyway in some instances).



I still buy quite a lot from overseas, typically Hong Kong, Malaysia or even the UK now where stuff is cheap (a poor economy will do that).

In the UK I bought, for example, a Nokia Car Charger with 2x1000mA outputs for the equivalent of S$25 whereas the guys here want over S$50 for the same thing. A cheap Chinese 'no-brand' here is already $10-15 but having burned out one battery I thought better to be safe than sorry this time.

MAS keeps telling us that by keeping the S$ high things will not get more expensive but, haha, usual crock of horse manure there too.

Try asking why SQ as well are routinely 30-50% more expensive than other class carriers from Singapore? Best not go there.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

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Re: The Baffling State of Prices and Retail in Singapore

Postby nakatago » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:39 am

ScoobyDoes wrote:MAS keeps telling us that by keeping the S$ high things will not get more expensive but, haha, usual crock of horse manure there too.


Like how HDB publishes the prevailing rental rates of HDBs but in reality, rental prices are 200-500 SGD higher in the real world.

Anyway, one good consequence is that online stores are now gaining popularity.

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Postby Brah » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 7:51 pm

I remember posting that this site and others are like free anthropological data mines.

But you reckon, they get ideas from here?

I gave up hope long ago that if I wrote something constructive* that it would help effect some sort of positive change. I don't really do it to whine or commiserate.

I did the same recently and bought a camera from the States. I did save money, it got here quickly, and in doing so rewarded those with the better price.

*But then, whether or not what I write could be construed as 'constructive' may be debatable.

sundaymorningstaple wrote:They've been doing it for years.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Nov 2012 9:41 pm

I know for a fact they do. I was invited on a panel discussion a couple of years ago regarding PR here in singapore (BlogTV) and was invited to a discussion with one of the Directors of MOM for a hour or so (but actually ran on for 4.5 hours) on how to speed up MOM's appeals process. Additionally, too many time somebody on here has raised a point and a good discussion followed and the same exact thing shows up in print in the Bird Cage Liner.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 9:40 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I know for a fact they do.



It is as much a real feeling of the working foreigner here as what gets dished up in the local rag to locals who only get one side.

Most locals you speak to think we should be privileged to be here but it is as much a hardship with as many problems, though different ones, as we would get at 'home' where ever that is......it's no bed of chicken rice! :wink:
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'



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Postby Brah » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 2:54 pm

well I would comment on the ST site on their article if they didn't make you register with your personal information

at least that is how it was last time I checked

that audience is the one that really needs to hear the other side

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 3:47 pm

Brah wrote:well I would comment on the ST site on their article if they didn't make you register with your personal information

at least that is how it was last time I checked

that audience is the one that really needs to hear the other side


Don't even bother, you'll just get trolled under a thousand ill-informed replies (if you can even decipher them, the english is generally terrible).

And you can just make up information, don't have to enter your real info...

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Postby Mi Amigo » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 5:19 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:I know for a fact they do.

It is as much a real feeling of the working foreigner here as what gets dished up in the local rag to locals who only get one side.

Most locals you speak to think we should be privileged to be here but it is as much a hardship with as many problems, though different ones, as we would get at 'home' where ever that is......it's no bed of chicken rice! :wink:

I wouldn't characterise it as 'hardship' (not in my case anyway); a certain sense of tediousness and irritation from time to time, certainly, but you have to take the rough with the smooth as they say.

As to getting any sensible 'expat' viewpoints published in the BCL, I'd be very surprised to see that happen. More typical is the stuff like that article written by a sycophantic pl0nker about how wonderful the standard of driving is here. Go figure... :???:
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Wed, 21 Nov 2012 6:02 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:I wouldn't characterise it as 'hardship' (not in my case anyway); a certain sense of tediousness and irritation from time to time, certainly, but you have to take the rough with the smooth as they say.



I was equating the hardship to back home.....for many people coming here it is a huge step up from their previous environment but for many as well it is far from easy, or as easy as Singapore pretents it is.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'



SIR Stirling Moss OBE


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