Budget Shopping Singapore Style
Bargain hunting for cheap used goods and budget shops
This page are typically not for most tourists, but if you are into budget, recycled or obscured goods that are no longer sold in the market, hope this page will be of use for you.
Sungei Road Flea Market
Sungei Road (literally River Road) is situated between Serangoon Road and Jalan Besar and runs along the Rochor Canal. The area around Sungei Road has been synonymous with the Thieves' Market, the largest and oldest flea market in Singapore where the locals hunt for old spare parts or second-hand goods, as a cheap replacement for one's faulty or lost item. This place is in stark contrast to the Sim Lim Square nearby which sells the latest electronic and computer gadgets you can find. This is also a place where the poor old folks are allowed to make a living to supplement whatever savings or handouts that they may have received from the government. The flea market opens daily but best time to visit is weekend afternoons.
Click here for an excellent blog on Sungei Road Flea Market.
China Square Central Weekend Flea Market: held on Sundays from 10am to 7pm, the flea market boasts about 50 vendors selling everythin from antiques to toys and craft goods.
[Updated 28 Sep 2012: Thieves' Market vendors worry that they may be forced to close]
This is probably the largest chain of second-hand goods (used goods) stores in Singapore. It is a shop where unique, unusual and bizarre items can be found alongside the more normal everyday items. They also sell some brandnew marked down items that bought in bulk. This Australian-owned company currently has five outlets in Singapore: Admiralty, Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Toa Payoh and Jurong, all located at the suburban heartlands of Singapore. All goods that sold by the stores are in working conditions and most electrical items typically comes with a one month warranty (except marked down items for clearance). Testing on the spot is typically allowed for most goods. The stores open everyday (including weekends and public holidays) from 10.30am to 9pm. Click here to access the official website.
This is the same famous Japanese budget store that you can find in Japan. They must be doing very well in Singapore and have since opened Six outlets here in Ion Orchard, IMM, VivoCity, Rivervale, Bukit Panjang Plaza, and Sembawang Shopping Centre (Plaza Singapura branch is no longer there as of Mar 2011) over the last few years. Similar to the 100 yen shop in Japan, all items in the store are prized at S$2 each. Opening hours are daily from 10am to 10pm.
For lack of a better word, we are lumping all the budget shops selling wares from locks, combs, shampoo, soap, reading glasses into this categories. They are most prevalent in Singapore almost in every corner except the most exclusive places where rents are high. You find them mostly in shopping malls and heartland stores, and occasionally in tourist belts. Some shops proclaim "closing down sales" which have been "closing down" for the last few years and still around. Others like DollarValue chain are found in many shopping malls offering the most value for your money for your dollars. Most items are either China-produced products or quality products that are parallel-imports from China, Thailand and Indonesia.
Night Market aka Pasar Malam
This is a unique style of night market found in Singapore only. It is unique in the sense that they are "make shift", the night markets are set up sporadically in the suburban neighbourhood for 1-3 weeks and they will be dismantled after that unlike the permanent nature found in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. As they are mobile and meant for residents rather than tourists, it is hard to pin point where the latest night markets will be. Count yourself lucky if you see one and you should visit them. They are typically characterised by a large tent besides the MRT stations or a long stretch tent along certain roads within suburban neighbourhood. The wares they sold are quite similiar in general: cooked food, cheap housewares, clothings, handphone accessories, CD/DVDs, toys etc. At times you will also see china-made fengshui wares, crystals or paintings being auctioned. Other unusal items being sold are cars and furnitures.
Where to find them?
A map below shows the locations of the various budget shops (Blue: Cash converter, Red: Daiso, Yellow: Sugei Road flea Market).
View AskMeLah Used Goods and Budget Shops in a larger map
Last updated on Sep 2012