moral of the story is - do your research or get ripped off. this applies to kwai lous in singapore as well as singaporeans overseas. get at least 2 price quotes. store at least 3 numbers on your phone. last but not least always check the nikon/canon price list on clubsnap!
1. For things such as batteries (in this case) or sometimes other lower value articles, there is no information to be found on prices so the smug-sounding research doesn't always work.
2. In most first-world countries (which Singapore always proclaims itself to be) prices are marked on the article in shops so a price comparison is much easier and one is less prone to being ripped off. Apart from tourist sites where prices are higher the world over, I am sure most Singaporeans travelling (at least to most Western countries) don't get ripped off.
3. It may be something western and maybe even naive here, but buying goods you don't expect to be ripped off.
4. The more important thing probably here in Singapore (or anywhere else) is to do something about it and don't accept it. Comparing prices with other shops wouldn't have solved the problem. Of course I compared with aq reliable shop (Cathay Photo) and finally bought the items there, but the original shop would have happily gone on trying to rip-off other unsuspecting people. It was probably more effective (and, by the way, more satisfying and enjoyable), to go back to the shop and tell them I knew about their tricks and warn other people in the shop.
TS, do ur research before you purchase, or end up getting rip. thats reality
not to impress but shoot to express
Think its just that partiular sales person.. I've had really good experience dealing with them. But I go to the Sim Lim branch...
Life is about choices.
Alan Photo @ funan has quite a bad reputation.
Personally I would rather go to john 3:16 upstairs if I were @ funan
You've done well to embarrass the shop in public. I wonder what the responses of the customers in the shop were. Indeed, it made the sales guy look very stupid to pull off this trick on a foreigner.
I'm quite worried actually. Cos if you dig out all the old threads, every camera shop that we know of in Singapore has been blacklisted before. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect shop. But all the shops here are not even anywhere near "excellent", let alone perfect. So is there really a good shop here?
I think I've identified one problem here. And that is, Singaporeans generally are afraid to speak out or assert their rights. When there is unhappiness or trouble, they either try to avoid it or grumble non-stop and then post their frustrations on the internet, newspapers, etc. By then, the problem will have long gone and the person you're not happy with may not even care or know your unhappiness! So what's the point?
And another phenomenon I notice is Singaporeans are afraid to stand by what they believe in. Sometimes, we see posters who are unhappy with a certain shop but they will cover up the shop name by only describing the location or mask it with "*****". As if they've been haunted all their lives that yes, the police are coming to catch you or Big Brother is watching. If that is truly what you've experienced, why not stand by it and speak out?
For those who are reading such posts, please do so with a sympathetic heart. You may always get away with good deals or have good relationships with the shops, but there's nothing to be arrogant about it. That does not mean the helpless foreigner or newbie should be the victim of the unscrupulous shops. Instead, I think we should help those who have been cheated in one way or another.
If everyone who is not happy goes back to the shop to voice out their issues openly so that other customers can hear, like what Alan did, I think the shops will wake up and do something about their bad behavior. Better still, start a forum section specifically on Bad Services in Photo retail outlets so that the public can see.
Unfortunately, the culture is such that the poor victim is often reprimanded by the unsympathetic people with "Serve you right. Next time do your homework first before you buy."
I think we need to think further on that statement which is often used in a short-sighted manner.
I totally agree the shop has every right to sell an item at whatever price they want. For eg, if they want to sell a $5 battery for $100, there's nothing wrong. (But good luck to them though.) If a buyer, whether experienced or not, is sold an item for a price of 10-20% higher than another shop, he or she does not have the right to blame the shop. It's too bad that perhaps the buyer was in a hurry or did not check sufficiently with other shops.
NOW BUT.... if the shop tries to sell the item at 500% higher than other shops simply cos the buyer is a foreigner or green horn, I'm sorry.... I can't say the "do your homework first" is sufficient to be applied here. Yes, you should avoid the shop but don't you guys see that this sort of sales tactics is nothing but plain CHEATING?
And Alan questioned quite appropriately, though indirectly, is Singapore a first world country? It seems to me that such practices are so 3rd world, don't you guys think so? Not to mention, we have tons of behaviors that often make us question ourselves countless times, are we really a first world country? I'm not into politics or economics, but I think Singapore is first world cos the guys up there make it a rich nation and so can spruce it up with all the new buildings, blah blah and attract investors. But really, deep down, we are no different from a 3rd world country or maybe even worse sometimes.
Moreover, if everyone has to always "do the homework first", isn't it very stressful? What if you need to get something urgently and there's little time to do the homework? What if you pass by a shop, saw something that you like but you're clueless about its price? Opps, hold on.... Got to do homework first... So you got to move from one shop to another asking for prices. Some shops don't sell such items. Some shops don't answer phone calls. So how? Ok, don't buy. Go home first. Search internet. Ask friends. Do this and that... just to get that one item? You go back to the shop, opps, SOLD OUT!
I'm worried whenever my friends from overseas come here and say, hey I'm going to buy a camera. I'll be like Woa woa.... Hang on!!! Tell me the model, I'll get back to you on where to shop and the price. I'm so afraid my friends will have a bad experience here. And as a friend and host, I don't want that to happen.
Singapore is a Shopper's paradise? I cringe whenever I hear that statement.
i wonder if the price is jacked up by the salesperson themselves or the manager?
as a salesperson, i wouldn't do such thing since there's nothing in for me. the receipt will hv the price sold printed. no way to pocket the money.
if its the manager who set the price, then shouldn't it be the same whether its a local or foreigner who bought it?
hv to agree doing homework is troublesome especially when ur calls are not answered or its urgently needed.
luckily e least we can do is to browse the price guide in cs and get an idea of the market rate. a hp with on-line capability could come in handy.
at e end of the day, unless the shops has an online price list regulated updated, its up to us the consumers to help ourselves.
speaking of which i only know of fuwell (selling computer stuffs) which do regularly update their website with new prices.
to their transparency and good service.
anyone knows of any camera shops who updates their prices online?
I dun understand why our society has resulted in a way where we have " to do research before we buy stuffs". Arent we supposed to pay for their services by providing us with information abt the product they are selling? I mean this has to stop. To me, by saying "do ur research before u purchase" is not a good enough solution to the this arising problem in Singapore. Avoiding being conned doesnt solve the problem. Trust me, the problem will still remain and you will see the same kind of thread appearing.
Passion for Photography
Sometimes when my friends ask me about the large numbers of camera stores in Penisular, Funan and SLS. I have to honestly tell them that there are so few that are actually safe to walk into. Almost every other store is like going to chop you up. I even advise that if they arn't so confident and can get bowed over by aggressive sales tatics I have to tell them that its better to go to harvey norman where you can SEE the price tags...
5D MII w/16-35L,Sigma 28-70&Nikkors(35f2,85f1.4,105f2.5,180f2.8ED)
doing your homework doesn't mean people are out there to cheat your money. it basically means making an informed decision so that you know what you are paying for at the end of the day. for example, if we know shop A is slightly more expensive but offers superior customer service than shop B, you can decide - do i want to pay that premium for the service for the same item. this does not appy to electronic goods as well but even to financial products e.g. motor car insurance, life insurance, mortgage insurance. so dont blame other people when they charge more for the same item cos everyone is out there trying to survive to make ends meet.
telling the shops that you are aware of their "overpriced" schemes do not improve the situation. simply because sales people are statisticians. they know for every 10 customers, maybe 2 will bite. hence they can afford to charge more than 5x. if you can afford to work 5x less and still hit your sales target. why not? i will do it. in fact dont everyone strive to be more efficient? ideally if everyone (including foreigners) has perfect price knowledge, these schemes will not work and shops cannot charge more without giving more otherwise the customer will simply go to another shop.
so do your homework before you buy simply because you are the owner of your money and if you dont manage your own money, someone else will.
Last edited by pokiemon; 18th January 2010 at 08:53 AM.
for example, look at the k-x dual lens kit in uk:
that's 1175 gbp versus 650 gbp. and jacobs is not even the cheapest you can find in the uk if you know where to look.
Correct but at least there they tell you what the price is. Nothing slimy about it.
Nothing like you can have the camera but have to buy an expensive battery or filter or whatever else. This is one of the things that makes the difference between first world and not. If you were to buy from either of those shops you would not get the feeling when you came out "Have I been ripped off" simply due to the fact that you would know exactly what you are getting for your money even before you walk into the shop.
In Singapore it really is a lottery, lucky dip, wondering if you're getting what you should be getting at a reasonable price.
I love Singapore and have been here for many years but Singapore will never be a first-world shopping experience as long as these third-world rip-off tactics exist in "so-called" serious "professional" shopping outlets.
Last edited by alan_ed; 18th January 2010 at 11:42 AM.
Had bad experience with Alan Photo (Funan) as well, did not do enough research and ended up bought a $140 77mm Nikon NC filter from them. I wonder how they even ended up being the official dealers. Nevertheless, we consumers still need to be careful of these unethical dealers and do more research before buying things, as it is not their "fault" for selling it so expensive.