Singapore Expats Forum

The Baffling State of Prices and Retail in Singapore

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

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

Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 4:07 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:For some bigger ticket IT items, it's cheaper to buy a ticket to HK and buy it there than it is just to buy it here. If you're travelling anywhere in Eastern Asia, I always recommend flying through HKG (Cathay is always a pleasure anyway) and doing a day trip into the city to grab things you need to buy. Even a four hour layover is plenty of time thanks to Airport Express. Anything you could want to buy on Orchard Rd is sold in IFC right above Hong Kong station, and Wan Chai Computer Center (blows away Sim Lim) is no more than 5-10 mins (including walking and transfer) by MTR.



That certainly used to be the case.

I bought my last laptop in HK for about S$800 whilst here the same machine was going for over S$1000.

I am checking laptop prices again and there is a Win8 Toshiba selling for HKD12,999 (S$2,050) but exactly the same time i got that message from my BIL, Harvey Norman had their advert on TV with the same machine at S$1,999 with additional freebies.

Now, the S$60 might not be much but there were a couple of extra freebies on top and I would have a local contact to throw it at if it turned out to be a lemon.

At the same time I was checking monitors as my one at home failed, prices are the same here now at in HK.

Finally, checking up on the new Nokia phone...... it looks like pricing is going to be within $10-20 between here and HK so it could finally be that the higher SGD rate advocated by MAS is impacting at least something.


Interesting. I've never found anything cheaper here, especially considering local prices have GST and HK doesn't. Maybe I'll have to look around more.

User avatar
v4jr4
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon, 09 Jul 2012
Location: Chocolate Factory

Postby v4jr4 » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 4:16 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Interesting. I've never found anything cheaper here, especially considering local prices have GST and HK doesn't. Maybe I'll have to look around more.


Around 2 years ago, when SGD vs IDR touched 8K, the IT stuffs are a little bit cheaper in SG. But not now :lol:
"Budget Expat"

RimBlock
Regular
Regular
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri, 06 Oct 2006

Postby RimBlock » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 4:21 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:That certainly used to be the case.

I bought my last laptop in HK for about S$800 whilst here the same machine was going for over S$1000.

I am checking laptop prices again and there is a Win8 Toshiba selling for HKD12,999 (S$2,050) but exactly the same time i got that message from my BIL, Harvey Norman had their advert on TV with the same machine at S$1,999 with additional freebies.

Now, the S$60 might not be much but there were a couple of extra freebies on top and I would have a local contact to throw it at if it turned out to be a lemon.

At the same time I was checking monitors as my one at home failed, prices are the same here now at in HK.

Finally, checking up on the new Nokia phone...... it looks like pricing is going to be within $10-20 between here and HK so it could finally be that the higher SGD rate advocated by MAS is impacting at least something.


The current exchange rate is pretty good for some items. Intel products and Seagate hard drives are quoted in USD to retailers so if the exchange rate moves the price will more or less move straight away where as other brands tend to be quoted in SGD so you have no idea what exchange rate the distros are using and how much fluctuation they are going to absorb.

I have had 'repected' retailers refuse to honour prices in their flyers as the exchange rate had moved and they didn't want to reprint them and trash the incorrect ones. I can sort of understand that but their on-line prices were also not updated which is another matter.

RB
Without dialogues, if you tell them you want something real bad, you will get it real bad.

taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3150
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Postby taxico » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 10:08 pm

RimBlock wrote:...Sometimes it is not the retailer but the distributor or the brand setting the price. Of course sometimes it is the retailer.


i scuba dive and am on good terms with most of the distributors for scuba equipment in singapore for one reason or another. one of them is an affiliate for an international brand, the rest are authorized distributors for singapore + a few other countries (covering all the major brands of scuba equipment).

i've been told that pricing for various territories are strictly enforced by the principal/parent company (HQ) and non-adherence to RRP and allowed discounts in singapore causes a lot of conflict between ADs from neighboring countries and HQ.

for example, i know of australian, kiwi, thai, indonesian and malaysian scuba shop operators traveling to singapore just to buy scuba equipment at "friend" prices. they tell me it's cheaper to fly here, buy 2 suit cases full of stuff and re-sell them than to order from their local AD.

the source and the prices are not often revealed but it does some time slip out that additional stock from the brand are being sold at Shop D (eg, Bali) at prices much lower than anywhere else in indonesian - even after trade discount.

so the indonesian AD will investigate and then complain to HQ. depending on the relationship between the singapore AD and HQ, the penalties can be quite severe.

HQ may also choose not to hand out additional distributorships/resellers due to the possibility of a new (read: bold) business under-cutting/discounting RRP, as the case may be in asian countries, which may harm the brand. so they may opt to use the threat of appointing new reps to ensure the current rep(s) toe the line.

i've not even begun to include the regular price adjustments needed due to the various FX fluctuations + pricing and movement of old stock/new stock... regardless of whether a product is suitably "ranked" or marketed in a foreign country (what may be a premium product in the USA may not be popular in singapore, etc).

a balance needs to be struck too, because if HQ thinks their products are doing particularly well in the country, they may opt to cut out the middle man. this has happened before to some scuba apparel companies.

so what is the AD to do? they carry huge inventories whether they like it or not, service customers (eg, world wide warranty), take all the risk (and reward) involved in promoting the brand, including marketing and booths at trade shows (always never spending enough in the HQ's eyes) and if they do well, the brand might be taken away. if they don't do well and need to move stock by discounting, they risk the brand being taken away.

so perhaps what you're seeing is the middle ground. i don't like it, but singapore's too small and it is what it is.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Mon, 26 Nov 2012 11:18 pm

Interesting, SCUBA gear always struck me as expensive in SG, at least compared to prices in the UK.

I mean go to one of the big UK retailers*, and their purchasing power is hugely larger than a one-shop operator at Beach Road or Concourse.

Surely that is even more amplified in the US?


* My favourite was usually http://www.deepbluedive.com/ but that said I'd still shop around to test their value each time I made a purchase....

midnightvisitor
Member
Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat, 03 Nov 2012
Location: jakarta, indonesia
Contact:

Postby midnightvisitor » Tue, 27 Nov 2012 12:04 am

Try KL or HK, the electronics there are better priced. Even here we are in Jakarta, the electronics are more expensive than in KL. We tend to buy in KL when we have the chance.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests