Buying Electronic Goods in Hong Kong

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When friends and colleagues visit HK, they often ask where's the best place to buy a new camera / walkman / notebook PC / etc. If you're visiting HK with shopping in mind, here are a few tips for you ...

Is it really cheaper here?

Seems obvious, but check the prices before you leave home (and be sure to check what that price includes, as adding costs for cases, batteries, etc., can make a big difference.) A rule of thumb seems to be that visitors from the US can often buy goods at similar prices back home, while visitors from Australia find prices here significantly cheaper.

How much cheaper is worthwhile?

If something goes wrong with your purchase after you get home, there could be major hassle in getting it fixed (though also look at the "warranties" item below). If you are only saving tens of dollars, and it is an item with more chance of something going wrong (e.g. a video camera), make sure that any $$$ you will save won't be outweighed by you worrying that something will go wrong.

What warranty should you be looking for?

There are three common options for warranties:

  • International Warranty
  • Local warranty
  • No warranty (with possible shop warranty)

International Warranty: This is your best option, as it means that even though you buy in HK, the warranty means that any repairs will be carried out in your home country under warranty. This tends to be limited to more expensive items, like notebook PCs.

Local Warranty: If something goes wrong during the warranty period, you'll need to return it to a HK address to get it fixed. That's ok if you travel here regularly for business, but otherwise this is probably the same as "No Warranty" below.

No Warranty: Sometimes you'll see two pieces of the same product next to each other, but one has a much lower price (20% off or more) than the other. You'll probably find that the cheaper one is a parallel import, which means it was bought direct from another country, and not from the official HK distributor. (You'll also hear these called "grey market" copies, or "soei faw" in Cantonese). The obvious difference is that the parallel import is much cheaper, and probably has no warranty. Other side-effects may be that the manuals and any software that ship with the product are in another language (most likely Japanese), so check that you'll be able to use the product.

Do you need a warranty?

Even if a product has no warranty, the shop will usually allow an exchange within 7 or 14 days if the product does not work properly. So if it's something you can use thoroughly for a week before you leave HK (e.g. a digital camera), you may not need the full one year warranty. This is especially true for items that are unlikely to fail, e.g. Compact Flash cards generally work or they don't. (Remember to keep all the packaging, and avoid any wear and scratches, to make it easy to exchange).

Where to buy?

If you're here on vacation, there's a good chance you're staying in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). As a prime tourist area, it has many shops selling electronic goods. Although I am sure that the majority of the shops there are safe, there are also regular stories in the press about tourists being ripped off in some way or other. So unless you have been introduced to the shop by a local friend, just be careful that you are getting exactly what you have paid for.

Instead I'd suggest you start with one of the large chains of stores, e.g. Fortress or Broadway. These will give you an idea of local prices to compare against any other offers you receive.

I usually go from there to Citicall in Central, and buy there. Looking on the web, I see they actually have several outlets:

  • Citicall Ltd. Shop 3-4, G/F, Mongkok City Centre, 74-78 Sai Yeung St. South, Mongkok, KLN.
  • Citicall Ltd. G/F, 60 Russell St., Causeway Bay, HK.
  • Citicall Ltd. G/F, Hung Kei Mansion, 5-8 Queen Victoria Street, Central
  • Citicall Ltd. Shop G06-07, G/F, Hollywood Plaza, 610 Nathan Road, Mongkok

If you like haggling, you can probably find things a bit cheaper in Mong Kok There's a building on the left of exit E2 from the Mong Kok MTR, opposite the Bank Centre, that has several floors of electronics stores. I bought there once - prices with warranty were slightly cheaper than Citicall, but I blew what little savings there were on the taxi ride home! They did have some cheaper parallel imports though, if that is what you are looking for.

If you have any good stores to recommend, please send them in.

Comments

Try Sham Shui Po for both

The Ap Liu Street market in Sham Shui Po has man cheap DVD players for sale. They're mostly completely region free, but they work on Hong Kong power (220v), so you'll need some form of adapter for Canada.

The big computer malls have plenty of little shops which will build a PC for you. Most of them have flyers with the specification and a price.

Some representative prices can be seen at http://www.centralfield.com/

Thank you

Thank you very much for your speedy responce on where I could look for a computer and a region free DVD player. I appreciate the help.

Don

cheap laptops etal

online if you need to buy / source anything in bulk I would suggest www.globalsources.com they've been around for a while and know their stuff.

some help please

can any one tell me if hong kong sells apple laptops and how much to expect to pay???
thanks

You can buy Apple in Hong Kong

Prices on their website.

Sony DSC T-100

Hello,

I'm going to HK in a month and am just wondering whether I should by a Sony DSC T-100 already now or buy it in HK. Does anyone know for what price I could get it in HK or if there's where I can check prices?

Many thanks,
Mike

Try the fortress

website.

MrB

High-end Computer parts

Hi there, just one question.. do most of these computer centers in hong kong carry high end computer parts such as gaming video cards, motherboards and memory modules in the enthusiast level? I was planning on buying parts of my upcoming gaming rig in hong kong since high-end computer parts here in the philippines are imported and usually cost 30-50% more.. with this querry, i hope that the parts that i want are in stock and are considerably cheaper... thanks and more power..

Yes they do

Yes they do. You can get pretty much anything new here, and the very best place to go looking for Bleeding Edge Video Cards, motherboards, CPUs, RAM, etc is in the Golden Arcade, Sham Shui Po.

They have Nvidia 8800GTS cards, etc. All the latest stuff.

Some sample prices are shown here:
RAM: http://www.centralfield.com/2004/price/ram.asp

GPU: http://www.centralfield.com/2004/price/vga.asp

Hard Disk: http://www.centralfield.com/2004/price/hdd.asp

Motherboard: http://www.centralfield.com/2004/price/mb.asp

(use the links at the top and just try them all.)

Note that this is a large shop and those prices are quite conservative. The arcade itself has very many shops over three levels, so you should:

1. plan what you want;

2. walk around looking for prices on those and other things which look interesting;

3. go sit down and think about it; (it's easy to be overwhelmed. I recommend carrying a little notebook and writing down prices and shop numbers. They don't seem to mind.)

4. go back in and buy.

Some places will offer to build you a machine, which may be ok, but for a gaming rig you really want to do it all yourself. Some places you can bargain a little, but if your Chinese isn't good, you might not get much off. Prices are generally pretty good anyway.

There are three floors there and most people never find all of them! The lower and mezzanine floors are directly on the corner as you come out of the MTR (subway). One stairs goes up, one down. The lower floor has tons of software (even the 'cheaper' stuff, if you can find it and don't mind dealing with triads) . The mezzanine floor has a lot of quirky shops, games consoles, games, movies and general stuff. There's an upper floor which is accessible by walking towards the macdonalds from the MTR, then turning right and looking for an entrance on the right.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid= 110537529493317626767.00000112f559cf03e8dc3&ll=22.332169, 114.162138&spn=0.003578,0.0036&t=h&z=18&om=1

(You may need to delete some spaces in that google maps link. Sorry, but the blogging software here doesn't handle non rich text very well.)

The upper entrance is near the G in 'Goden' on that google maps link, while the main entrance is at the intersections of Kweilin St and Fuk Wa St.

There's a few noodle shops and a MacDonalds if you need to sit and think about what you've seen.

The jumbo computer online

The jumbo computer online prices are more representative of prices in HK. The store itself is in the mong kok computer centre and is the most popular place in the whole PC mall.

http://www.jumbo-computer.com/pricelist.asp

I find centralfield overpriced and service a little lacking. They wouldn't like me check an LCD monitor for dead pixels before paying. I went elsewhere as I've been caught out before.

HP Pavilion Laptop

I am going to Hong Kong in September and would like to get the
HP Pavilion Laptop, TX1138EA, (with 12.1 Inch Display), but i cannot find a price anywhere online to know if it actullay is cheaper there.
Could anyone direct me to a useful website or perhaps anybody here knows approximately how much it costs.
Thanks.

HP

Have you tried HP's hong kong website? You might not find the exact same model there, as different countries have different models. But you should be able to find something close enough to compare prices.

MrB

Eunos Company

Whilst in Hong Kong My Wife and I were looking for a video camera, we looked in verious shops, but ended up going into Eunos Company No.75, Peking Road, Kowloon.

We picked out the video camera that we were looking for, but were talked into buying a different product by the sales staff, who convinced us that the second video camera(one of his choice) was of better quality,(which cost more of course), but after a lot of pressure sales talk, we were convinced enough to buy the second product. (What fools we were).

We were informed that it was the latest model, and was not out yet in the U.K.

Having returned to the U.K we now find out that the product that we were sold is LESS THAN HALF PRICE in U.K stores.

We were charged HK$10,400. for a product that is only worth approx HK$4,000

Needless to say that we will NEVER go to that shop again when we next got to Hong Kong.

We only wish that there was some redress, and a way that we could get some of our money returned.

Yikes! I'm constantly told

Yikes!

I'm constantly told by my local buddies that most small shops in tourist areas are traps. Unless you've done proper research, just avoid these places!

Private Shop

The last time i was in HK i got a great deal on a digicam at a private shop. It was recommended in one of the guidebooks (maybe Lonely Planet) I had and the prices were marked in the shop. No bargaining but significantly cheaper than the price I could get in the US. I'm in the market for another cam but can't find the name of this shop. I can't even remember where it was but I suspect it was in mong kok. Does anyone know of a private shop that has good deals with fixed prices? It kills me that I can't remember the name and I don't have the book anymore. It was two years ago. Help would be appreciated.
Thanks.

Shops to buy digital cameras

There are some suggestions over in this thread.

MrB

Not the kind of electronics

Not the kind of electronics that most people think of- but I've heard there are loads of guitar shops in hong kong. I can't find any websites though, does anyone know of any where I can check out some prices and brands available?

Not the kind of electronics

I think Tom Lee Music is a good place to start. You can check their website (http://www.tomlee.com/) for the store nearest you.

Game/Home Entertainment laptop

Hi,I'm after a HP DV9xxx,DellXPS1710,Sony Vaio ARxx, Asus G2S, Asus Wxxx or another brand with international warranty (and 1900x1200 screen). I'm hoping the markets (Wan Chai Computer Center,Golden Computer Arcade,MongKok Computer Center) will be a lot more competitive than the online sites. Let me know how you get on. I'm going to HK at the end of September.

Cheers, Steve

eunos

man, you can go back to that store , but make sure to bring a police,because if not they will bully you, but with the police, they will beg you not to get your money back, if you did, their shop will forever be closed...make sure you go back, get your money..i have some experience like that, they thought I'm a tourist,they give me bad model for a higher price,...i call the police...and they become like puppies...asking for forgivenes,...theres a lot of shops like that in hongkong...so beware

Need wholesaler of Sony Vaio laptops

Hello, in a few days going visit Hong kong.

Are anybody know contacts details of wholesale companies, wich supply Sony laptops.

I will be apreciated.

Thanks a lot,

James.

stursunkul@gmail.com 

nintendo wii

i will be visiting hk at the end of the month and want to know if i can buy a nintendo wii if its cheaper than buying in uk (£180.00) can anyone help and give advise on if i should buy and where from

old models?

I'm currently in the market for a quite old model digital camera (Pentax Optio X - released around August 25 2004). I've checked websites but its hard to find, I don't particularly want to shop online so I was wondering if anyone has any information as to where I can get. I will be in Hong Kong at the end of December and I'm set on getting this camera. Any suggestions??

Thanks heaps.

old models?

I am curious (no offence) why you would want to collect a three-year old digital camera, as these modern electronics become obsolete within mxictonths. Please share what merits or parts this model has worthy of collecting. Thanks.

Mail-In Rebates

Don't buy anything that offers mail-in rebates except INSTANT rebates.
The computer shop clearly advertised $20 rebate but the part's distributor would not honor it saying the rebate applies to a different model. On another item, I am still pursuing with a "reputable" MP3 maker in USA (they don't have office or shops in Canada, or so it seems) which has so far refused to even have the courtesy to answer my e-mail or return my phone calls. I did all the right things, mailing in on time original receipt, original bar code, completed rebate form, etc, etc. The Canadian distributor has changed phone number and mailing address and simply faded awayoxnx.

haha its one of a

haha its one of a kind...

"The Pentax Optio X is a compact camera with a 3x optical zoom and large 2.0inch LCD. The lens can be rotated 180 degrees upward and 90 degrees down."

Its quite different to other digital cameras if you know what I mean...

Second-hand camera?

I'm not sure if you're hoping to find it new, or are expecting to get on second-hand? Some of the computer malls have shops that sell second-hand digital cameras, as well as camcorders and notebook PCs. eg in Wanchai Computer Centre there is one on the first floor (take escalator up from ground level, then turn left-left-left until you're in the corner above the entrance), and at 298 computer centre there are several more.

Good luck, MrB

SD cards and USB memory sticks

I'm planning on taking lots of photo's /video'a out there and currently only have a 2GB SD card, I would buy another in the UK, but I'm aware I could probably get an 8GB SD HC card out there for much cheaper.

Where should I go for the best price on authentic (sandisk/kingston) or just plain reliable SD cards, I hear of so many fakes that stop working.

Also for USB memory sticks, where can I get these. Reliable but affordable.

Small accessories, but I'm sure I'll make some savings.

Thanks.

SD cards and USB memory sticks

Take a wander around any of the computer malls listed here, and you'll see a variety of brands on display, with prices marked. It's worth comparing prices in a few shops in one mall, but probably not worth your time visiting more than one mall. I'm not aware of fakes in these malls - if it says Sandisk I think it will be Sandisk.

Happy shopping, MrB

SD Card/SDHC Cards

Hi there,

I do not now about their current street price, but you should pay attention to those SDHC cards. Just a reminder that they are only compatible with devices with a SDHC slot. You cannot insert these into ordinary SC/MMC slots.

Best Regards,
T