Whether you're in Singapore for business or pleasure, you owe it to yourself to pick up a few electronics while you're in town. Why? Because here, you will find some of the lowest prices on some of the best hardware anywhere in the world. Thanks to its location, the very best and newest makes and models are on sale in Singapore long before they reach Europe or the States, yet they will be available at much lower rates than you will find in Japan.
Where to shop
Funan Digital Life Mall
Funan Digital Life Mall could fairly be described as a Mecca for the tech-head and gadget fiend. More than a hundred shops are crammed inside, all of them selling superb electronic products at rock bottom prices. It is also 100% trustworthy – all merchant abide by strict rules regarding the warranties and newness of their wares, so you don't have to worry about being ripped off. It's also great for video games, toys and anime merchandise.
Yes, if you live in the UK you probably have a Harvey Norman less than a mile away from your door already. However, Singapore's branches of the chain store are stocked with a jaw dropping range of cutting edge electronics for very competitive prices. Also, you don't need to worry about haggling with the staff as you might with other sellers on the island.
If you want a laptop or PC, it is hard to go wrong with Challenger. A shop entirely dedicated to all things computer, you can find anything you might need on its packed shelves. If you plan to visit regularly, it's well worth signing up for a $30 bi-annual membership, which will entitle you to all kinds of special offers and great deals.
A little different from the major outlets and chain stores already listed, PariSilk is a family run business renowned for excellent, dedicated customer service and great deals. A good place to go for home appliances in particular.
Tips for the buyer
Know the scams
Unfortunately, many local scam artists like to exploit the city's reputation for cheap goods by fooling tourists with pricing cons. The most popular is the GST Scam. In Singapore, products come with a Goods and Services Tax of 7% per item. The thing is, if a store has an annual turnover of less than 1 million dollars, they do not have to pay GST. Less reputable small stores will lump on the charge without saying anything about it and simply pocketing the cash, so always pay attention to your receipts. You might be able to claim back GST in Changi airport while waiting for your plane, so keep receipts.
Don't assume anything about your warranty
You should never buy a product in Singapore that does not offer a warranty, though that does not mean every warranty is equal. In many cases, they will be local as opposed to international. Smaller electronics stores go in and out of business on a weekly basis, so a warranty from one of these may be worthless in a few months' time. If you want to be sure of your warranty, buy only in the larger outlets.