Tips for Shopping in Singapore
Do you love to shop? Well, if you’re traveling to
1. Prices and Bargains
Before you buy anything, make sure you check and double-check the price. In the major shopping malls (e.g. Takashimaya) – it’s usually safe to assume that prices are fixed. However, if you’re shopping in ‘bargain’ area like the Bugis Village flea market, Lucky Plaza, Little India, Chinatown or Sim Lim Square, make sure you bargain and try to bring down the prices.
2. Credit / Charge Cards
Most major shopping centres and malls, along with restaurants, will accept credit cards and charge cards. However, be sure that you bring along a more acceptable kind of card like Visa or Mastercard. I can’t vouch for the wide acceptance of other cards like American Express or Diner’s Club.
3. Money Changers
There are many money changers on the island. What I’d be careful with regarding money changers is this – watch out and make sure they are licensed. In Little India and probably Chinatown, there tends to be many unlicensed changers who may short-change you if you’re not careful. To be safe, you can change money at a bank or the hotel – but it will be more expensive.
As mentioned, there are sales throughout the year in Singapore. One of these is the Chinese New Year sale around end January each year, along with the Great Singapore Sale (June and July) and the Christmas sale (Dec). Be sure that your shopping trip coincides with one of these sales if you want the best bargains.
5. Goods and Services Tax (GST)
All goods and services in Singapore are subject to a 3% GST tax. Be sure you’re aware of this when you’re out shopping. Check the receipt to ensure there is no over deduction.
6. Exchanges and Refunds
If you find that the stuff you bought is faulty merchandise, you can bring back the original receipt or proof-of-purchase and ask for an exchange or refund. But note that mostly only the bigger department stores will honor such a policy. If you have fault goods from a small street side vendor, then don’t expect to be able to do this.