Are you planning to buy Cameras in Singapore?
Singapore is well known for having top quality cameras at low prices. Its only real rival in this respect is Hong Kong, but unless you know your way around HK and unfazed by aggressive pressure selling tactics, you should stick to the main shopping areas in SG.
Before heading out, make sure you do a quick check of the local or online going rates for the camera or accessories you intend to buy. Singapore is usually cheaper, but not always. Some items may actually be cheaper if you buy from online stores such as Amazon, Lazada or even in Camera Stores in Hidalgo, Quiapo. You should also note that some camera shops in Singapore may sell you cameras at a low price, but sell the bundled items separately that you would have gotten free when you buy the camera at major department stores.
You should not rush into a purchase in any case. Some factors can affect the final price you will pay. If you are a foreigner, for example, you can claim back the 7% general sales tax at Changi Airport if you have the right paperwork. Ask the shop where you intend to buy your camera or accessories if they can provide the refund paperwork. If they cannot, then you know you are paying 7% more than the published price.
If you intend to pay by credit card, also ask if they have a surcharge as most add 2% to the purchase price when you do. If they do, then that is another 2% on top of the published rate. Only then can you do a real price comparison.
You also need to check if the warranty is limited to Singapore only. It will not matter if you are a Singapore resident, but if you are a foreigner, you are taking a risk in case the camera has a manufacturing defect. Keep that in mind when calculating the price difference, because you may just be purchasing an expensive paperweight.
That said, here are the best places to buy cameras in Singapore on the cheap.
Sim Lim Square
Located on Rochor Road, it is the biggest mall for electronics in Singapore. SLS has several stories chockfull of electronics shops selling pretty much all types of cameras. You have to be careful, though, as some sellers use Hong Kong practices to sell or recommend their slow moving items.
Know what you want and canvass prices from several camera shops. Some of the best retailers in SLS are Alan Photo, Song brothers, and Oritent Photo. Alan Photo has the largest inventory but may not have the lowest prices. If you know what you want, head over to Alan Photo Trading first and get the prices before going around to the others. Alan Photo Trading also has a branch in Funan DigitaLife Mall if that is more your thing.
Funan DigitaLife Mall
Also known as Funan IT Mall, this is the upscale version of SLS, and it is a lot less crowded. However, there is still a large collection of camera shops, including Alan Photo. You might also want to check out John 3:16, which has a reputation for friendly and honest service. Prices may be a bit higher than SLS but you are at less risk of being victimized. There are also specialized shops that may stock hard-to-find items on your list. If you have the hots for a ThinkTank camera bag for your mirror-less camera equipment, head off to TK Photo.
Last but not least, Peninsular Plaza has quite a few camera shops, including the biggest of them all, Cathay Photo. You can find almost any type of photography and video equipment in Cathay, including specialty brands Kessler Crane, Zacuto, and Rotolight.
Peninsular Plaza is just walking distance from Funan, so you can easily hop from one to the other when checking out prices. Aside from Cathay Photo, you might also want to check out K13 for branded accessories. Aside from prices, the sheer breadth and width of choices for camera buffs in these Singapore malls are amazing.
As long as you do your research and keep an eye on the ball, you should be able to find the gear you need and buy cameras in Singapore at a price you love.