Sunday, April 17, 2011

Singapore Property | Foreign Ownership

Singapore Property | Foreign Ownership

The prices and ownership of Singapore Property has been very much in the news with the WP (Workers Party) Manifesto for the Singapore General Elections 2011 looming.  Frankly, I don't think that their plan to provide housing for Singaporeans at a "Flat Rate" is workable.

On the other hand, I disagree with ruling party PAP Minister Mah Bow Tan's  rebuttal last week.  I think that a Creative Deflation of property prices is good and desirable. It is not the government's job to protect the interests of investors (I call them speculators), and property developers.  They have been living off the fat of the land for far too long at the expense of lower to middle class true blue Singaporeans.  If this goes on, most of the property will be owned by well-to-do foreigners and rich individuals/companies.

Anyway, they have many other ways to invest in Singapore, like via the SGX etc or better still set factories or businesses. Moderating the inflow of "hot" funds through property investment will help prevent the Singapore dollar and economy from overheating. The direct result would be affordable housing for Singaporeans beyond the HDB option.

Also, we should give Singaporeans citizens every opportunity to own affordable dream homes that are within their means and to generate income from their investment properties through rental income streams. 

Therefore, if I were the PM after the next Singapore General Elections 2011, I would implement the following changes in the Singapore Residential Property Act:


1.  Landed Property / HDB Property: 
Only Singaporeans can own landed property and housing built by HDB and other government organizations.  Permanent Residents and Foreigners are not allowed to own landed property and housing built by HDB and other government organizations. PRs and Foreigners owning such property can keep them (for now) but if they choose to sell, it must be to Singaporeans who have been citizens for at least 10 years or have fully discharged their National Service obligations. Should one of the PR/Foreign owners pass away, the property must be sold or transferred to a Singaporean. This law had been in-force in Australia where land is plentiful, so I do see why we can't do it for land scarce Singapore where property prices are spiraling out of control.

On the issue of affordability of housing for lower paid foreign workers, this should be the responsibility of the companies who employ them.  If they cannot afford to house them, then they should find ways of being less reliant of them.  We have enough border hoppers here already.  It is time employers consider the cost of employing locals versus foreigners and create jobs that fit into this new equation.  Tax payers should not be burdened by this liability.

2. Freehold Apartments:
Foreigners are allowed to buy new and old freehold apartments but can only sell them to Singaporeans.

3. 99-year Leasehold Apartments
The current law applies for now.

New Property Tax (over and above current taxes, levies etc)
Proceeds of this tax to be used to provide affordable housing for Singaporeans via the HDB and other government authorities.  

The Tax Rate is from 10%-50% of the profit derived from the housing sales transaction nett of normal transaction costs like Conveyance etc. This tax will be paid by the seller.  Under this law, a seller who can provide verifiable standard documentary evidence that they have lost money /broke even on the property transaction, need not pay for such tax. Rental income derived from such property would not be computed as "profits".

Check and balances will be introduced to prevent under-declaration of the sales proceeds through the set up of the detailed database of property sales by a government agency. Taxes can be retrospectively claimed from errant tax payers, if they are found years later, to have under-declared the sales amount taxable. Criminal charges similar to the Income Tax law will also be applicable.

First time property owners who are the sellers of the property are exempt from this tax.

For every property sold by the seller within 5 years, the seller's tax liability will increase the rate by 10% until the maximum of 50% per property.  That means if a seller sells six properties within 5 years, the fifth and subsequent property will attract a rate of 50% per property sold.  After the 5 years, the tax base is reset at 10% for the first property of this seller.

This rule applies as long as one common person owns the properties.  To illustrate how the tax applies, if A sells properties with one or more parties, i.e. A+B, A+C, A+D, A+E, A+F+G, A+G+H all these properties will attract the increasing rate up to 50%.  As lawyers will access to the database of these linked property ownerships, they will be able to apportioned the progressively higher percentage tax charges to A and the rest will attract the lower rate depending on their involvement of property transactions within their 5 year time frame (in consultation with the owners concerned).

Unfortunately, I am not the PM nor am I affiliated to any Singapore Political Party so this law may probably never be passed.

I fully realize that this proposal may have some potholes, but this can be worked out be the implementers who are undoubtedly highly paid for such tasks.

But this is my dream for Singaporeans. May Singapore prosper.  In particular, may true blue Singaporeans prosper.

PS: I am a landed and apartment property owner.  So I stand to lose if such an Property Act comes into effect.  But this is of no consequence as it will benefit the future generations of Singaporeans who are here to stay.

 © - Singapore Property | Foreign Ownership

Friday, April 23, 2010

Double Helix Bridge | Singapore

Double Helix Bridge | Singapore

Singapore's newest iconic symbol - the DNA inspired 280 meter - the world's first Double Helix Bridge (named The Helix) is set to open to pedestrian traffic on 24 April 2010 (together with the Youth Olympic Park).

The pedestrian connection incorporates a unique ‘double-helix’ structure, a world’s first in architectural and engineering bridge design. It comprises two opposite spiraling steel members that are held together by a series of connecting struts to form a tubular structure. This provides an inherent strength, ideal for the curved form. Its resemblance to the structure of DNA, the basic building block of life, symbolizes “life and continuity”, “renewal”, “everlasting abundance” and “growth”, reflecting our aspirations for Marina Bay.

The Youth Olympics Park is the site for some of the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in 14-26 August 2010.

The curved Double Helix Bridge spans the Marina Bay and parallels the Benjamin Sheares Bridge (ECP).

Made of special duplex stainless steel, it is is already being touted as an architectural marvel and engineering feat. The helix structure is phenomenal because if all the steel tubes forming the major and minor helix were laid end to end, it measures 2,250 meters long, and the entire structure weighs about 1,700 tons, which is equivalent to about 1,130 saloon cars.

The major and minor helix, which spiral in opposite directions, have an overall diameter of 10.8 meters and 9.4 meters  respectively, or about three-storeys high.

The total cost of Singapore's curved Double Helix Bridge, Youth Olympic Park and the performances Bands (jugglers, stilt-walkers and fire-twirlers)  / 2-minute pyrotechnic display is  S$82.9 million.

It is a 5 minutes walk from one end of the Helix bridge to the other. The full bridge will lead to the Marina Bay Sands IR when its Phase II opens in June 2010.  MBS First Phase opens in early May.

Even in the evenings, the bridge lights are beautiful and the mood lights can be adjusted to suit major events by the Bay like the annual Singapore NDP (National Day Parade).

The pedestrian footpath bridge is built to take 16,000 people.  It arches 8.8m above Marina Bay, giving enough clearance under it for pleasure craft to enter the Bay.

A new 6-lane vehicular bridge, running parallel, is next to the Double Helix Bridge will open on April 25.

The Marina Bay already has many attractions like the original Merlion statue, the Esplanade Theaters by the Bay, the Floating stage Platform (venue of the NDP of recent years), the world's tallest moving observation wheel - Singapore Flyer , the Formula 1 (F1) City Night Racing Track and the Marina Barrage.

The Double Helix Bridge adds to these yet to be opened upcoming Singapore icons:

Marina Sands Bay Integrated Resort
New Marina Bay Botanic Garden
Singapore's New Downtown  - the Marina Bay Financial District
Circle Line MRT Station at Marina
Fullerton Bay Hotel and Customs House, a nightspot complex

which will compete with established tourism orientated areas in Singapore like Orchard Road and Sentosa.

© - Double Helix Bridge | Singapore

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Worldex Timeshare Reseller - CASE Warning

CASE Warning Over Worldex Practices After 137 Complaints

A total of 137 customers have filed complaints with CASE about Worldex since it was set up in November 2008.

Some of the questionable ones include offering to buy over timeshares contracts from clients on condition they wait for 30 to 60 years before receiving their payout from Worldex, plus profit (???????). Some timeshare customers were allegedly also made to pay extra "consultation fees" of several hundred dollars when they attended presentations at Worldex office.

CASE said that multiple parties are named in Worldex's membership agreements, which would lead to confusion among timeshare clients as to whom they could make a claim against should there be a default.

Other customers have also complained of being misled by the company's claims and alleged failure on its part to honour promises of cheap holidays.

They had typically invested around $10,000 each, believing the company would let them book steeply discounted holidays with 5-star accommodation through a special website.

But they later realised that the deals were not as cheap as promised, and that they could find lower-priced alternatives. Customers were told they would be given a password to an "exclusive booking website" operated by Worldex.

When they logged into the booking site, the rates were horrible. They were at least $100 more per night compared with the rates on the hotels' website.

Customers complained that by the time Worldex sent them the password to the site, it had been two months and the cooling-off period had lapsed.

According to company documents, obtained by The Straits Times, telemarketers are instructed to tell potential customers that the company does "foreign real estate sales and leasing".

But it is registered with the Accounting and Corporated Regulatory (ACRA) as a business and management consultancy. Its website states it does business travel management.

Worldex is also listed on ACRA as a live business, with its registered office located on the 6th floor of Tong Building in Orchard Road.

When The Straits Times visited the office yesterday, it found a company called River Marketing occupying that address. A check on ACRA found no such business exists with that name.

When contacted yesterday, Mr Peter Mitch Mabbort, who is listed as Worldex's executive shareholder in company documents, declined to comment.

Mr Seah Seng Choon, executive director of CASE, said that if it received more complaints, it would consider taking legal action under the Consumer Protection Fair Trading Act.

He advised timeshare owners to carry out appropriate checks on companies if they are offering free or discounted holidays: "Check the companies' websites, and with other people who have signed up, to see if customers have successfully booked holidays before".

Mr Seah warned timeshare investors to be cautious of companies that offer to buy over their timeshare memberships. Timeshare companies have consistently been one of the top sources of consumer gripes lodged with CASE. Last year, they attracted 2,523 complaints (some people never learn).

The Straits Times reported last year that more timeshare companies have begun luring customers with offers to buy over their existing timeshare agreements, on the condition they pay a substantial fee.

Such cases have gone up 10-fold since they started surfacing in 2003, and now comprise more than a quarter of timeshare complaints.


Some timeshare resellers like Asialinx try to lock clients in with powerful agreements like Power of Attorney (POA) which no one in their right minds should ever ever sign without hiring their own lawyer to vet every single document related to the timeshare sales agreement. If the company does not hand you all the documents related to the timeshare sale agreement for your lawyer's scrutiny, be on guard, something fishy may be afoot. Don't try to save money and rely on Asialinx 's lawyer to protect your interest. You must hire a lawyer who has your interest at heart 100%.

If you would not give Power of Attorney to someone you love and trust, to handle your financial affairs, why in heavens name would you sign a POA over to someone you don't even know, let alone trust 100%. As this is an unregulated industry in Singapore which has numerous (CASE) complaints against it, you have to be extremely careful of not getting yourself out of the frying pan and into the fire.

At the meeting, they will tell you that yours is one of the few timeshares they are prepared to buy "off the market". This is bullshit. How can they make money on low volume sales? If their business plan allows them to make a lot of money on low sales volume, then, their profit margins on each sale must be incredibly high. Either way, this is not good news for you, the seller.

At a meeting with Peter Mitch Mabbort several years back, "Mitch" had implied that I was stupid not to accept his offer. Looking at what has happened to Worldex "investors", I am so glad I was "stupid".

I was always able to keep a level head (while others were losing theirs) because my #1 Rule at such meetings are: "The only reason these people are seeing you is to make money. If they are doing acts of kindness, they'll be out of business very quickly". If you want to make a bet, go to the casino. At least, you'll have more fun.

#2 Rule: "Never sign anything on the spot. Go back and think about it. Talk to other knowledgeable people". These timeshare people will be happy to see you again, believe me (no matter what they say to the contrary). There are no queues to get in. Even if they cannot entertain you, there are many other such companies around who will gladly take your business. All you have to do is sit back and wait. The "opportunity" arrives every few months. Not that I'm saying you should take it!

Related Articles:

Why Can't I Sell My Timeshares?

CASE Warning Over Worldex After 137 Complaints

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Buy blu-ray | ebay sg

Buying Blu-ray from ebay sg

Ebay_sg singapore

Buying Blu-ray, DVD discs from ebay sg

Beware of buying from ebay sellers (on sg or other ebay sites) who won't accept paypal payments. These are usually shady operators or even downright crooks. If they don't accept paypal payments, pay only COD (cash on delivery) if absolutely necessary [not bank transfers] as ebay will not provide buyer protection for such non-paypal transactions.

Usuallyblu-ray bluray disc singapore such illegal ebay transactions come with inducements such as attractive immediate discounts, or discounts for future deals etc. There are no guarantee that the blu-ray, dvd etc discs you get are not pirated or self-burnt discs, or even playable or actual movies at all.

If you deal with such ebay sellers in transactions other than via paypal, there is no way ebay (even ebay sg) can get refunds from these crooked ebay sellers for you. So buyers beware!

The other thing to look out for is to examine the past transactions of these sellers. What do buyers (not sellers) say about the seller. Are the feedback positive or negative. Are the transactions about blu-ray or dvd discs or unrelated items?

A good seller should have at least 100 good / positive reviews by ebay buyers to be on the safe side. Better still, they are ebay Power Sellers. These people / companies have a good reputation to protect and hence are less unlikely to default on their obligations. These ebay sellers also are more likely to take their warranty seriously such as refunds or exchanges on faulty or misrepresented items.

Also check to see if the buyers' comments / feedback are recent or were made sometime back and there are no recent comments. This could indicate a hijack or transferred account.

By reading all of the seller's reviews (particularly the neutral and negative feedback), we will have a good idea of how they operate and what kind of problems you are likely to face with them.

Another thing to scrutinize is whether the same used / pre-owned item has been sold in multiples of times. It may indicate a problem with that item.

As ebay often reminds buyers, it is an public auction site for buyers and sellers. It cannot guarantee the quality or quantity of the products sold via ebay. If payments is made via pay pal, it would be able to mediate and help you secure a refund. If there are no pay pal payments, you are on your own pal. Paypal is a subsidiary of ebay.

A very cheap price is usually indicative potential problems in the purchase. If you don't mind some minor (or maybe even major problems) with the bluray or dvd, then ok go ahead and bid for the ebay item.

Cheap is good, but getting the Good Stuff is even more important. This applies to blu-ray and other product / service purchase from ebay.

Here are some signs that your ebay purchase may encounter problems:

  1. product that is an unbelievable bargain or non-existent in the market
  2. item has yet to be released by the company (internationally)
  3. there is no original photo of the product. Image given is a stock photo or generic picture
  4. seller lacks a good track record or have a low transaction record
  5. seller offers free shipping which is obviously expensive due to weight and / or distance - relative to the total amount paid by you
  6. not shipped from the place registered by seller on ebay
  7. seller is located in country where law enforcement for commercial transactions are of low priority eg China, Romania etc
  8. inducement to make an "off ebay" purchase
  9. given a huge discount if you remit a wire / bank / money transfer directly to the seller. The excuse usually given is that this item is not eligible for paypal for whatsoever reason
  10. do not respond to bids won "automatically" or "by default"
  11. listings that last for only 1 or 2 days
  12. asked to send money to another person other than the one registered on ebay (this could be an indication of a hijacked ebay account)
  13. claims that the purchase is guaranteed by some unknown / new (non-existent) division of ebay which usually is not paypal
  14. the item is no longer available on ebay but offered to you directly via email or any other non-ebay site
  15. purchases which involve you contact the seller by email rather than clicking on the conventional ebay "Buy It Now" button
  16. feedback is in a language inconsistent with the seller's country
  17. there are no recent buyers' feedback or feedback is not related to the item being sold
  18. does not reply to your questions or takes a very long time to respond
  19. erratic ebay page load - 1-2 second delay or flickering indicate redirecting from a genuine listing to a fraudulent page
  20. your bids are rejected for whatsoever reason and you are given a "Second Chance" to rebid via an email. You are usually asked to click on a link that takes you to a fake ebay site.
  21. Never click on an emailed link which is supposed to take you to the ebay / paypal site. Always type in the site directly via your web browser or use the "Favourites" or "Bookmarks" tab you have created yourself.
  22. Bidder needs to be pre-approved or item is listed in a private auction
  23. Do not remit money to a seller labeled as "NLRU" - "No Longer a Registered User" by ebay.

© - Buying Blu-ray from ebay sg

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photobooks | Singapore

Photobook Companies | Singapore

If you are not happy with your usual photo albums or photo slide shows on your PC or over the YouTube or Web Albums, you can have your photo memories printed into a book or magazine. But be warned, it will cost you an arm and a leg to do so.

Here is a comparison of the services of various photobook companies in Singapore offering you can opportunity to make a high class coffee table book for your digital memories. As these are early days, costs will probably go down as other companies come onstream. Costs can probably be cheaper if they can get one-run print shops in China and India to do the printing.

digibook singapore
$68.50 for 48 pages in A5 portrait format.
Need 4 working days by local post
Printed in Singapore

9mb software takes one minute to download
Can choose binding style (eg case bound, spiral or perfect)
Provides video tutorials on how to use their software

No option to select paper quality
200gsm Paper super stiff
No option to sort pictures according to chronological order
Difficult to upload large files (may have to burn CD and post it to them)
Pictures grainy even at A5 size
Binding poor - pages not properly glued to book spine, unable to fully open the book
All pictures have to be in portrait orientation
Does not provide prices upfront, making it difficult to determine its competitiveness

shutterfly singapore

$218.65 (inclusive of $29.77 for shipping) for 57 pages in a 12-inch square book.
Need 10 working days for international shipping
Printed overseas

Ability to group pictures according to your choice in one page with their layout story board tool
Allows standout pictures to take up a whole page
148gsm paper quality is good - smooth and nice to flip
Single photo in a page look best

With differing layout, book may come out looking cluttered like a scrapbook
Cannot adjust size of pictures within the page
Must place photos within the template layout
Long captions may not fit into the page

photobook singapore

Photobook Singapore
$112 for 40 pages in A4 horizontal format
Need 3 working days fpr delivery by DHL Express
Printed in Malaysia

Download of 85.6mb design software is quick on broadband
Filmstrip format for selection of photos
Easy to sort photos according to chronological order
Drag and drop features in book's template
Allows you to enhance your pictures, it original is not hi-res.
170gsm paper was smooth and glossy, nice to flip and defect-free
Single photo per page looks impressive
Overall, best value for money.

Difficult to auto-connect; takes 30 minutes for 104 mb upload.
Unable to print a label on the spine of the book
Captions look amateurish, does not match pictures

snapfish singapore

up to 9 photos per page

S$78.83 (inclusive of S$14.99 for shipping) for 50 pages in A4 horizontal format
Need 9 working days for international shipping
Printed overseas

Good selection of everyday and elegant fonts
Template auto-fill feature enables you to easily sort pictures
Final product looked sleek and pleasant.
135gsm paper and printing quality felt similar to Shutterfly though slightly more expensive.

Took 2 tries before being able to upload 500 pic folder for photobook.
Some inconsistencies at the spine area
Snapfish logo on the back cover and page cheapens the book value.

albumstories singapore

Coffee table book 8" x 11.5" from S$109.90 for a 20 page book
Printed in Singapore

They have a physical shop at Peninsula Plaza #01-09 so you can check out quality before ordering.
They offer a wide variety of book designs from slim soft cover magazine-like books to thick fine art coffee table books
You can save on shipping by picking up the book directly from their shop
They can design the book for you (at a fee) if you don't want to use their online template
No limit to the number of photos you can place per page

Looks more expensive than the others, but may be offsetted by better quality than the rest.

Price Comparison:

Digibook = na (no quote given before ordering)
Shutterfly = US$39.99 (8"x11" 20 page book, leather-bound hard cover)
PhotobookSingapore = S$98 (8"x11"40 pages only, debossed, not leather)
Snapfish = US$49.99 (12"x12" 20 page book, leather-bound hard cover)
AlbumStories = S$S$109.90 (8"x11.5" 20 page book, leather-bound hard cover)

Some of these photobooks companies do road shows eg Album Stories with Popular. You can get a good package deal at these special events.

Bank Negara Raids Walton (M)

Bank Negara Malaysia Raids Walton International Property Group (M) Sdn Bhd

Ref No: 03/09/04

Embargo: For immediate release

On 5 March 2009, Bank Negara Malaysia raided Walton International Property Group (M) Sdn Bhd under the Exchange Control Act (ECA) 1953. The raids were simultaneously conducted at the premises of the company in Kuala Lumpur (W. Persekutuan), Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Kuching ( Sarawak ) following complaints received from members of the public. Relevant documents of the company were seized for purpose of the investigation.

Members of the public are advised to be cautious of this type of land banking schemes promoted by the company. Any elements of deposit-taking activities and public offerings such as ‘interest schemes' or investment in real estates schemes (better known as ‘real estate investment trusts' - REITs) should be referred to the appropriate authorities such as Bank Negara Malaysia, Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia and Suruhanjaya Sekuriti. Members of the public are also advised to use lawful remittance channels when making payment or sending money overseas. A list of legitimate remittance channels can be referred at the Bank Negara Malaysia's website ( ) for either licensed banks or licensed non-bank remittance operators.

For further enquiries, members of the public can contact Bank Negara Malaysia at the following contact points:

Laman Informasi Nasihat dan Khidmat (BNMLINK)
(Walk-in Customer Service Centre)
Ground Floor, Block D
Jalan Dato' Onn
50480 Kuala Lumpur

BNMTELELINK (Customer Service Call Centre)
1-300-88-5465 or

Above press release is a full quote from Bank Negara via Bernama News Agency regarding its raid of Walton (M)'s offices in March 2009.

We understand from on 6 March 2009, that "documents were seized for the purposes of the investigation" under Exchange Control Act (ECA) 1953.

This raid operation DO NOT comes in as a surprise because other Land Banking like UK Land International (M) Sdn Bhd, Profitable Plots Sdn Bhd and Edgeworth Properties (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd was raided on 24 October 2008.

The Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) raided the offices of the three companies on Oct 24 after months of surveillance and seized "relevant assets including ICT equipment and documents" to assist in its investigations.

"We decided to take action against these companies because of recent developments in Britain.

"One of these three companies’ parent company is facing winding-up action by the British authorities," said SSM deputy chief executive Rokiah Md Noor.

"We are concerned about the interests of their investors here, as well as investors who have put money into similar companies offering land banking schemes."

The above is a cautionary note to those who intend to invest in Walton or any landbanking scheme. Bank Negara won't simultaneously raid Walton 's Malaysian offices (Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching on 5 March 2009), if they don't have good reasons for doing so.

Also, you can't trust people in forums claiming to be very successful in landbanking investments. They could be landbanking sales people drumming up support for their business.

In any case, with the credit crisis in the USA and elsewhere, there is no reason for people to buy raw land (land between two big cities) from Walton or any other landbanks when you can get a great piece of US property in the city or suburb for as little as US$30,000 or less.

Then there are people who say that if a company has been around for a long time, it cannot be a scam. Go and tell that to investors of Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. He set up his investment vehicle , Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960 and fooled some of the smartest financial experts (hedge funds) in the US, Switzerland, Japan etc. Worst still, he did it right under the supervisory eyes and noses of the US SEC Regulators. The Sanford alleged ponzi scheme goes as far back as 2001.

Furthermore, even big and "solid" legit companies can fail, just like Lehman Bros., AIG, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual. Then, there was the fire sale vs bankruptcy situation with Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, JP Morgan (and problems within Citibank and Goldman Sachs) which caused investors to lose a big chunk of their invested funds.

So there is no such thing as a safe "sure thing" investment. Higher returns is always there to cover higher risk. So don't go crying to the government / regulators if something goes wrong. Even for regulated investments, the government is not going to cover your losses as those who invested in Lehman minibonds via DBS, UOB etc will tell you. Landbanking is not a regulated industry. So be warned.

This is what Walton promises you when you attend one of their presentations. What they don't tell you is that: "Past performance is no guarantee of future returns":

Related Article:

More About Walton Landbanking scheme

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Useful Tips What To Do at PC | IT Shows

Useful Tips on What To Do at PC | IT Shows

Here are some Useful Tips on What to Do / Not Do at PC / IT / Computer Shows. It will help you save time, money and energy when looking for that much needed PC / IT / Computer product:
  • Usually held at the onset of the (Singapore) school holidays (quarterly intervals by different exhibition organizers). So this has to be factored in when making your overseas vacation;
  • Expect visitor-packed aisles making walking and browsing very difficult at times. Do not take small children (and partners who are likely to be agitated by large crowds and loud noises) to these exhibitions. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing and be prepared for long hours standing / walking in poorly air-conditioned / ventilated exhibition halls due to over crowding;
  • buying strategy:
  1. Round 1 - (at home) Do your homework on product specs / prices etc.
  2. Round 2 - (at exhibition) take note of prices, specs and booth numbers.
  3. Round 3 - compare deals and make buying decision.
  4. Round 4 - (at home) unpack and test products. If it is not in good working condition, bring it back to the exhibitor for an exchange during exhibition hours
  5. Round 5 - (at exhibition) here we go again!;
  • If you are buying big items like TVs, printers, etc, make sure you buy them at the end of your visit as it is difficult to navigate them around unending and frantic crowds. Pack a good trolley in your car in case the exhibitor does not provide you with a free trolley or won't take home delivery orders for big items. If you are buying a fast moving item, ask the exhibitor to store your item for collection later, make sure you get a delivery/collection receipt;
  • Bargains can be had at these computer shows, if not in price, at least in terms of "extras" thrown in to sweeten the deals. So make sure you ask / bargain;
  • Gizmos fans will be able to test the products without the compulsion to buy immediately
  • Sales staff are usually knowledgeable, it not, ask the manager on duty;
  • Car parking is a problem and expect a long wait for taxis;
  • Come well prepared with a list of targeted products of interest to you. Do your research and narrow down your selections by checking technical features / prices online - especially for products which have newer models in the span of months like cameras etc. If you find something new which you are unfamiliar with, it is better to go home and do your research and come back at a later time to make a purchase. This ensures you don't get a product which don't meet with your requirements;
  • Listen in to knowledgeable visitors' questions / comments and seek their advice if necessary;
  • For technical products, be sure to double check out their technical literature and product manual to confirm the product's specifications / features before buying. Don't rely solely on sales staff hearsay;
  • Be sure to read and mark out the good deals of interest to you in the computer show's newspaper supplement (usually the 1st day of the exhibition in the Straits Times and Today) and make sure you bring it along if it has a special price coupon;
  • At certain hours there may be spot (cheap) sales, check out for these deals;
  • Excess stocks may be "auctioned" off at the last day of the show but don't count of the very good deals to be on this auction list;
  • If you didn't have the time to check out all the special offers, you can go to the shop of the exhibitor on the 2nd day after the computer exhibition closes to see if you can get the same deal as that at the PC / IT fair;
  • be wary when dealing with overseas companies which do have a local office especially newer companies. You may have problems with product exchanges / servicing / warranty;
  • make sure you can afford and really need these items, even if it is on hire purchase. There's a tendency to make impulse purchases at such PC Fairs - due to marketing hype and crowd buying frenzy. It is not uncommon to get a feeling of regret when the product is brought home and found to be not as useful as originally thought;
  • Questions to ask yourself before buying:
  1. in what way will this product better my life?
  2. how often will I be using this product?
  3. when will I be replacing this product with a newer one (eg when it is damaged beyond repair or when a newer, better model comes out?)
  4. will I be saving money if I buy this product now? Will it be cheaper in one year's time? Can I wait for one year?
  5. have I done my homework on this product? Is this the product that best meets my requirements for the next 2-3 years or even longer?
Happy bargain hunting at the exhibition!

For the list of PC / IT / Computer Shows in Singapore 2009, click on link below:

List of PC / It / Computer Shows in Singapore 2009

© - Useful Tips on What To Do at PC | IT Shows: