Before hitting the stores, it's best to equip yourself with some information on local practices and conditions. A detailed listing of shops for specific items can be found in the Buying Guide (Yellow Pages) directory placed in most hotel rooms. Check out the local newspaper for current sales and promotions. Complimentary city maps are available from your hotel concierge and will help you get around the island. The following information should make your shopping sprees hassle-free and even more pleasant.
The Great Singapore Sale, held in June, has become a much looked forward to annual event on the calendar for both locals and visitors. This is when Singapore turns into one big shopping carnival with stores marking down prices drastically. Even designer goods may be discounted up to 80%.
The great event starts with a huge bang in a burst of activity on Orchard Road, followed by the best bargains from electronic goods and electrical appliances to fashion and food. Adding to the festive atmosphere are lucky draws with cash and gift prizes in celebration of the total shopping experience that Singapore offers in terms of price, variety, quality and ambience.
Singapore Gold Circle
Look out for a Singapore Gold Circle sticker in the shops for a promise of excellence. These retailers have been recognized for their quality merchandise and excellent customer service. Visit their website for information.
You needn't keep a sharp eye on your watch when you're shopping in Singapore. A good many stores and some smaller shops are open daily from 10am to about 9pm, or even 10pm. Our island also enjoys the reputation of being one of the safest places to be in, so provided basic precautions are taken, you can have peace of mind to shop and walk around well into the night.
Prices and Bargains
The local newspapers will give you a fair idea of prices to expect. The next best thing to do would be a quick price comparison within the shopping mall. You're bound to find the same item sold in several outlets within the complex.
There's no need to worry about whether you're getting the best bargain in department stores. All items come with price tags and fixed prices are the rule. Many small retailers also practice price tagging but are often flexible when approached for a discount on the goods. Ask the retailer for his "best price" and then counter-offer with realistic prices until both of you reach a mutual agreement.