Sim Lim Square Hot
You may be a techie, a bargain hunter or a professional, but if it's an IT gadget or electronic item you are looking for, chances are, you will find it at Sim Lim Square. Prices of electronics products here are highly competitive.
There have been so many horror stories about this place that I always think twice before I go. But then I realise, it is not Singapore's only 'problem' mall, particularly when it comes to IT. Funan is not inhabited only with angels.
Piracy, fakes, copies, jail breaks: is this Robinson Crusoe? No. I love going there. I am conscious that people have been ripped off, so I try and remain careful and alert.
The place is fascinating. The range is amazing. The staff are generally helpful. THe repair and maintenance services are second to none
Caution? Of course. Haven't you shopped anywhere else in the world?
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 5 user(s)
With Sim Lim Square, it takes research, guile and street smarts when it comes to shopping there either for your next gaming rig or for PC peripherals not sold elsewhere in Singapore. Or you could just have someone you know having a shop in Sim Lim, saving you all the hassle and potential scams. Thankfully, being a PC nerd has allowed me to do both.
For people starting out and are unsure how to go about shopping at Sim Lim Square, I recommend PC Care and Solution, Fuwell and PC Themes. For PC peripherals, X-Treme Solution is a great place to go to for high end items from Filco or Ducky. I believe there are other great stores that aren't out to scam you for all you're worth but as I said, it takes time, street smarts and research.
Sim Lim Square helps people out as well, with the STAR retailer system. Personally, that doesn't do much considering I know which shop to go to for what I want.
I believe Sim Lim Square is a great place to build your rig, because hey, who wants to pay retail for anything including a new PC! For PC enthusiasts, this is the only place they'll come to. For everyone else, there's always that one friend who knows Sim Lim Square like the back of their hand.
They should rename it "BB" Mall - Buyers' Beware Mall !
Time and again, unpleasant and regrettable episodes of tourists (even locals) being fleeced, cheated, scammed,...reared it's ugly head at Sim Lim Square. It was with this that I coined my review title .... that they should rename this place as "Buyers Beware" Mall.
Sometime back, I had the misadventure of damaging my iPhone SIM card tray which necessitates a "dreaded" trip to Sim Lim Square, as Singtel was out of stock for the white tray (it retailed at $17 a piece). They have the black ones, but I reckoned a white/black "panda" hybrid iPhone looks odd somehow.
At the very 1st shop facing the main entrance on ground floor with the Apple brand and several other leading brands flashed prominently at their facade, you would have mistaken them for being an "authorized dealer". They are in fact not, just a stockist and retailer. And the sales guy quoted "S$55" per piece..."yes, we have very limited stock...very popular, you want or not ?" with a straight face. My spider senses triggered immediately ... "$17 viz a viz $55!"...After checking with another shop on the higher floor, I secured my replacement white tray at $18/-. I shudder to think how many innocent people being fleeced everyday.....
On another occasion, when I brought my overseas friends to purchase iPads, a search between three shops just within stone throw, netted 3 different prices and a price differential of between $50-$150 !!!
This brings to me to one point to any readers, be they local or overseas, should they intend to procure something from Sim Lim Square :
" Go Sim Lim Square with your eyes opened! Do your homework! Make sure you know the market price!"...
That way, you will not add to the statistics of disgruntled visitors at the venue and still enjoy a fruitful buying spree at this infamous mall....but "Buyers Beware!"
sleazy and indecent
Sim Lim Square is abound with sleazy and dishonest men verging on the edge of scumbags. Be sure to cover yourself up and not dress scantily when you visit the old shopping tower! Most, not all, of the shops are run by men who can be described by the first sentence. So, I probably will not expect a pleasant, let alone decent shopping experience; if I were there. However, if you do not mind being overcharged for goods and being ‘ogled’ at, then it would probably be okay.
To avoid being overcharged for goods, the solution is pretty simple. Be aggressive, thick-skinned, and be sure to do your research before you set your budget. Do not be afraid to bargain, and if the shopkeepers do not relent; either walk away or be more persistent than them.
It is definitely a necessity to give off an image that you are not a pushover and that you know your stuff; else you will definitely have to deal with more than just being overcharged for your item. Make sure to know the average market price for your product, and set your budget just slightly lower than the average price – that should be the price that you will pay for. Sim Lim Square supposedly sells electronic goods for a lower price than the average, so it is only right that you are paying a price lower than the market price.
To avoid being possibly ‘taken advantage of’; just make sure to bring along a reliable male companion with you. The keyword here is “reliable”; if your companion is more wimpy than you, then you will probably have to look after him, instead of him keeping a lookout for you.
A paradise for DIY PC systems
Sim Lim Square is well known for being a bad place to go for gadgets like cameras and video cam. However, when it comes to computer systems, most would choose to go to Sim Lim Square for the best deals in town, especially when you are making your own DIY systems.
I used to spend many weekends at Sim Lim Square looking for deals and new parts whenever I wan to DIY a computer, and things have noticeably gotten better now, and prices across the shops are generally the same, plus/minus a little. I have always like going there as it is a good place to see what are the new items available and they are all on display.
It may not be a place to go for non-techies, but for those who know what they want, it is a great place to scout for savings. Of course, i would like make a trip there just to buy one keyboard as the transport cost would defeat any savings, but if I am buying a large number of items, the savings are more obvious, and the best thing is that you get to choose what you want in your computer.
Risk of being overcharged
Thinking of where to buy your electronic gadgets? Many people will suggest you Sim Lim Square where you can get almost all your electronic gadgets and parts there.
However as I am not exactly a tech-savvy person, I wouldnt go to Sim Lim Square to buy my electronics. Because there are way too many stores there selling similar products and gadgets. I had this bad experience of being charged at a higher price for my laptop because I do not exactly know the specifications of the laptop. And the salesperson just bombarded me with all the technical terms and didnt give me much time for me to do price and product comparisons. And after buying the laptop, I realise other places are selling at a lower price with the same specifications.
I wouldn't suggest you to go Sim Lim Square to buy your electronic products, because there will be a risk of being overcharged if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the products.
I myself is not a techie, instead I know nuts about IT, especially when it comes to hardware devices. Despite the fact that a lot of friends recommend me going Sim Lim for any IT hardware devices, I hardly visit them. Sim Lim feels like a big 'Con Shop' to me. Though they may be selling their goods at cheaper prices, you will never be sure of their qualities. However if they sell them at an average price, you will think they are trying to earn more from each deal. That is practically how I feel. I mean, maybe I doubt their credibility. That is why I never fail to avoid going to Sim Lim for gadgets and hardware components. Honestly speaking, sometimes I will rather pay more, buying cameras or laptops at places like Harvey Norman than at Sim Lim, no offence, but Harvey Norman did provide me with a higher level of credibility.
A Techie's Paradise!
Sim Lim Square - The one-stop mall for all things related to gadgets of any sort. I went looking a portable hard disk drive as well as to window shop. Sim Lim is a great to keep yourself in the loop whenever any new gadgets come into town. All the shops are well-stocked with shelves boasting an impressive array of wares.
I was confounded by the technology involving spy cameras and pen cameras! I experienced the visual effects of 3D TV and played a round of CoD on the PS3 all in one afternoon! The variety of items available for PC, notebooks, game stations, smartphones, cameras are simply mind-boggling!!
My best advice to shoppers would be to remain patient and not jump into an impulsive buy. The salespeople are more than helpful and are mostly knowledgeable about their products although they can be slightly pushy at times.
Many people say that Sim Lim Square is a dangerous place to shop at especially with all the cons and cheaters. Well, I beg to differ. My previous experience at Sim Lim Square was about 4 years ago, when I had to shop there for computer parts. My uncle wanted to get me a new computer, which he was planning to 'build' himself. He was very careful in choosing which store to buy from, because not all stores are honest businesses. We then bought our computer parts for less than $200 (because all I needed was a simple computer at that time), which was quite reasonable.
All in all, be very careful in choosing, so as to have a pleasant shopping experience down at Sim Lim Square!
A nerd day out
At Sim Lim Square, you need to know exactly what you are finding or risk paying an exorbitant amount for anything that is hard to find. This include replacement parts for computers, self-assembly PC to little details like micro SD cards and so on.
When you do your research, you will automatically find leads to where to shop or who to ask at Sim Lim Square. I went to have a netbook fixed once as the owner really love it too much to think about letting it go. There were 2 things which are needed; a new charger point head to connect to the charging port of the netbook and to fix the screen on the netbook at the hinge which has been worn out and did not display the screen properly anymore.
First off to the top floor, hidden at this elusive mall is a network of people who might not have everything in one stall, but they know someone in this place that do. There is a stall just beside the escalator who is a dear fellow who can find just about anything if it is available in the mall. After much trial and finding that none of his port can fit for the netbook charging point, he picked up the phone and magically could find someone who has it. Within less than 10min, I paid the man and left the shop happy. This is the kind of customer service you won't find in big brands because each branch outlet sought out to serve their own needs and sales volume. In Sim Lim Square, you will find people will cross their paths and ensure that they have matching network to benefit each other, even though they have the similar or identical services.
Next up was repairing the hinge. Proceeding down one floor, the laptop repair shops are hidden from plain sight on the 4th floor right at the back corner. If you don't want to explore, take the lift to the top floor and make your way to the back of Sim Lim Square, near the toilet area and you will see a flight of stairs going down. It is note-worthy to take note that it is not in the stairwell, but in the mall itself with polished railing and glass panels on the side. Walk down that and you will find CRT monitors littered on the outside of shops. You have entered the repair zone. Knowing who exactly has the lower quotation, I went straight to the horse's mouth and got it fix. It needed to be left there for 3 days but when I got it back I was happy to have done so.
Honestly I have only been to the mall once, and it just does not bring me back because when I stepped into the mall I felt rather lost. The whole mall is practically filled with computer shops that sell every single type of software and computer equipment possible. Being a technology-idiot, I would hence prefer to avoid the place because it just beings me into another dimension that I am completely not familiar with at all.
I would say that the place is rather well-stocked with everything. It looks like every single piece of equipment is possible to find and fix. Whats more, because the competition between shops is so great, there tends to be great discounts off products so a tip is to bargain for a lower price or to check out other stores before settling for the product. Since the whole area is rather huge it might be difficult to comb the whole place so you might want to be more specific, or strategic in the stores that you go to.
I heard rumours that not all products are reliable so also do test and inspect the product carefully before buying it as most of the goods tend to be imported and are not tested for quality as per the regular stores. For a cheap software buy, I would definitely recommend to check out Sim Lim.