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Most Singapore retailers have fair business practices, but there are a small number of shops and restaurants that might make your shopping experience less than ideal. Here are some smart shopping tips to ensure that your retail experience is a pleasant one.

1. Price Research and Comparison

Prices may vary widely between shops because distributors are not obliged to abide by each product’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP). Nonetheless, almost all local major departmental stores will display prices of goods clearly.

Look out for the price tag on the item. If you have agreed on a price with the retailer, request to have it written on the invoice before making payment. Research on information such as product model and features, accessories as well as product warranty (including the extent of geographical coverage) beforehand. Try to compare prices of the product or service between shops before purchasing.

2. Note that purchases made are usually final

In Singapore, retailers may enforce strict policies of return, exchange and/or refund the moment payment is made. Always ask your retailer about their store’s policies before making payment for your purchase.

You can also request that the retailer indicate their return, exchange and/or refund policy on their invoice.

3. Check receipts or invoices for accuracy

It is always handy to obtain and keep your purchase receipt in the event you require an exchange or refund on your items. Check that prices and item descriptions on the receipt or invoice are correct to ensure that you do not pay more than what is required.

Make sure that you test the item you wish to purchase to ensure that they operate as they should. Check that the promised accessories, peripherals and free gifts, if any, are included in the package. It is good practice to pay only when the price is finalised and your purchase is ready to be handed to you.

In circumstances where price of goods are quoted by weight, such as seafood and fruits, request for the final price and weight to be confirmed in writing before finalising an order or purchase. This greatly reduces the chances of miscommunication that may result in a bill that is larger than expected.

4. Verify what your ‘international warranty’ covers

International warranties are not standardised, and you should always ask and verify that your warranty is valid in your home country. Ensure that both your invoice and warranty card bear your retailer’s stamp and signature. In the case of electronic goods, note down the product’s serial number as well.

  • Also note that there are no international warranties on the purchase of mobile phones.
  • A “worldwide local warranty” means that the warranty is available only in the country of purchase–“worldwide” here refers to the availability of the product, not the warranty.
  • Parallel imported items have no warranty, and retailers usually do not entertain returns, exchanges and/or refunds.

For additional assistance or to flag inappropriate retailer behaviour, call Touristline at 1800 736 2000 (toll-free in Singapore), or (65) 6736 2000 (from overseas). Touristline operates from Mondays to Fridays (excluding Public Holidays), 9am to 6pm. You may also submit your feedback here.