Sifting through a huge tech menu when you want to upgrade your phone or your television can be a Herculean task, so make your life simpler by doing your homework before you step out with that credit card.
Here are some pointers about what you should do before your next tech buy, besides comparing prices and warranties!
- Read product and store reviews
- Research multiple stores
- Go to the fairs
- Look for tech deals in newspapers and online
- Buy display pieces at retail chains and roadshows
Shop smart with these tech-buy tips
1. Read product and store reviews
Tech buys can be quite the mind scrambler, with all the options and price ranges that you have to deal with. Centre your research around reading reviews of the product, going to comparison sites, and checking out blogs that rate its performance at various levels.
Once you make your decision, figure out where you will get it at the best price. This will mean another round of research, and it will be well worth the effort.
Tech shopping tip: Sim Lim is one of Singapore’s tech retail hubs for computer gadgets and accessories. Should you go there, it is preferable to head to stores on the upper floors as compared to the stores on the ground level. As a rule, go to only those stores that have the CASETrust logo displayed – it is the best way to avoid blacklisted shops.
If you’re intending to spread your payments over a few months; by placing your spend on an interest free instalment place, read this: What You Need to Know About Your Credit Card’s 0% Interest Instalment Plans
2. Research multiple stores
Singapore is partial to gizmo stores and there are entire malls dedicated to electronic goodies. Given the wide variety, it is always a good idea to stay on top of promotions that different stores offer. These offers can be the difference between breaking your budget and shopping within it. Offers range from member discounts and members-only sales to reward points and free gifts.
Tech shopping tip: Become a member of IT specialist store Challenger and get member discounts and members-only sale invitations. If you are not a member, you can request a member to buy an item on your behalf and still get that discount!
If you’re intending to get camera equipment, ALWAYS to go dedicated camera shops like M.S Colour or Alan Photo or smaller retail stores like Parisilk. Buying from large retail chains like Courts, Challenger or Harvey Norman will usually cost you more.
3. Go to the fairs
Upgrade your electronic stash at the huge IT fairs and expos are held every few months in Singapore. These shows – Comex, Sitex, The IT Show, and The PC Show – showcase retailers with the latest technology at the best prices along with free gifts! With a major fair being held every quarter, you will never be too far from the gadget of your dreams.
Tech shopping tip: Check out what’s available in the first few days of the show, but make your purchase only on the last day for the lowest possible rates and great deals.
4. Look for tech deals
Keep an eye out for great tech deals that are routinely advertised online as well as in newspapers. Some stores offer bundled accessories along with the main product during sales events and promotions, while others advertise lowest price guarantees amongst other deals.
Tech shopping tip: Scan your local newspaper for Courts promotions. Its ‘lowest price guarantee’ promises a refund of double the price difference if you find the same item at a lower rate. To land these deals, you need to put your bargain hunter hat on and queue up at the Courts store a few hours before it opens.
5. Buy display pieces at retail chains and roadshows
Retail chains which deal in all major brands usually have a number of display pieces that are routinely sold at competitive prices. If you are not a tech junkie and are okay with buying an older model appliance, then this works out really well in terms of saving money.
Tech shopping tip: Keep an eye out for that bargain display piece. You could also figure out when chains like Harvey Norman conduct their clearance sales. You will come across quite a few great deals here, though mostly for older models.
Display pieces from a temporary road show are great opportunities to score a relatively new gadget or appliance that could very well be one of the newer models. For over 30% off the original price, you won’t get the box but the warranty still applies!
Our top credit card pick for electronics and gadgets purchases would be the OCBC Titanium Rewards Card. Get 10X OCBC points for tech purchases. Just note that bonus points are capped at $S12,000 spend a year.