What To Buy In Singapore? Our Recommendations
Ha, that's is a tough question isn't it? Anyway we will try to answer this question based on our observations of what people reportedly bought in Singapore and our experience of the prices overseas. But as you will expect, it is pretty controversial and we welcome your feedback and inputs for further enhancement.
Singapore is one of the few countries in Asia where what you purchased are literally assured genuine. Imitation goods are rare in Singapore as the government clamps down very hard on such sellers. Having said that, you are advised to buy from reputable shops especially for big ticket items. Tourists from China and neighbouring countries typically bought the following items for the peace of mind:
- Gold and Jewelries
- Luxury watches
- Branded handbags
- Designer clothes
Shopping in Singapore is also generally cheap. Electronic goods and gadgets especially are the cheapest in the region except Hong Kong.
- Electronic gadgets e.g. camera, viewcams
- Notebooks, netbooks and computer accessories
- CDs, DVDs
Prices and Bargains
The local newspapers (The Straits Times and TODAY) will give you a fair idea of prices to expect and information on current sales and promotions. Always compare prices before buying. Most stores' items here are price-tagged and prices are fixed. Some small retailers also practise price tagging but are often flexible when approached for a discount. They generally agree to discount when you purchase in "bulk" (a few quantities of the same item).
International warranties generally can be obtained for electronic goods and computers, but some products are not accompanied by warranties and these are usually sold at a lower price. Some international warranties have limitations, and may not be applicable to certain countries.
Some tourists swear by the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) happening during Jun and July of each year as the best time to shop in Singapore. Some even claim savings of up to 70% on branded goods. For the average Singaporeans, GSS is just gimmicky and generally not that great a sale after all. In fact the best time where great buys happening generally at the end of the year just before and after the Christmas Day.
What Souvenirs to buy in Singapore?
Buy from the souvenir shops in Little India or Stamford Road outside City Hall MRT. They are very affordable, anything that incorporates Merlion or coasters that incorporate the "Fine City" are favourite purchases from tourists.
If bringing in cooked food is not a problem in your country, Bak Kua or Bak Kwa (Barbecue Meat) is a unique local product. You can find many shops selling them along Eu tong Sen street in Chinatown. The famous chain being Bee Cheng Hiang.
We have also heard of extreme cases of people bringing back Hainanese Chicken Rice and Cha Kuay Teow (fried noodle) for their loved ones especially for the our friends from neighbouring countries. One way to get around this is buy the ready-to-cook recipe seasoning packs from any of the supermarket. Hainanese Chicken seasoning will be a good choice.
For the small sourvenirs as gifts to give to friends, head to the Little India where lots of Budget Shops (often scream 3 for $10) where you can get Merlion figurines, key chains or the more hilarious "FINE city" T-shirts and coasters.
Duty free liquor is a hot selling item in the Airport, probably one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, in the world.
Lastly, remember to claim your tax refund! Happy shopping!
Last updated Mar 2011