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Shopping and Bargaining in Singapore

Long before Universal Studios Singapore came to be, Singapore was known among tourists mainly for two things – eating and shopping. As the entrepôt of the region, Singapore is home to many international high and street fashion brands from all over the world. While bargaining is generally not possible due to controlled pricing, there are some ways to maximise the value of your dollar when you shop in Singapore.

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Tax free shopping in Singapore

Tourists to Singapore are entitled to a refund on the 7% Goods and Services (GST) Tax with a minimum spending of SGD100 (you may combine up to three same-day receipts to meet this minimum amount) at participating shops that have a ‘Tax Free’ logo.

If you are planning a trip to Resorts World Sentosa, then you’ll want to visit The Galleria for tax free cosmetics and luxury goods, with a range of premium brands from Chanel to Chopard. Play all you want at our various attractions in the day, then shop to your heart’s content in the evening without having to leave the island! Simply check with the retail staff serving you to find out the different ways you can process your tax refund.

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Looking for specific goods in Singapore?

If you’re looking to find a wide selection of IT/Electronic appliances, Sim Lim Square will fit the mark. For cheap sporting goods, we suggest giving Queensway Shopping Centre or Peninsular Plaza a try. For rare antiques and Bohemian boutique clothing, Haji Lane is just the treasure trove you’re seeking.

If, however, you’re just interested in browsing without any particular item in mind, head over to VivoCity, Singapore’s largest shopping mall with a staggering 1.5 million square feet of floor space.

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Bargaining

Many tourists to Asia bargain when shopping because they do not wish to get cheated with a ‘tourist price’. In Singapore, that is largely unnecessary, and unwelcomed, when you shop at malls, where prices are fixed.

But for those aching to practise the art of bargaining, you may still do so when buying souvenirs and knick knacks from marketplaces in Chinatown and Bugis Street. Here’s a pro-tip for bargaining in Singapore: you’ll have a better chance of lowering the price of self-made products (such as handicrafts) as opposed to branded products.

If a stall is selling a product significantly cheaper than those around it, don’t be too aggressive in pushing for a lower price – it’s probably already as reasonable as it gets.

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