Many people ask us where is the best place to buy electronics, is it better to buy in Singapore, Hong Kong or Thailand etc. and where in those countries is the best place to buy them.

While prices may well be cheaper than back home, there is not too much difference in prices between the three countries mentioned above. There are though, some very important considerations you should make before purchasing electronics, whether it be a DVD player, mobile telephone, camera, computer etc., when overseas.

We advise travellers to fully research the electronic item they are thinking of buying. This can be done before travelling and you can make use of the internet to do the research about which product best meets your needs. Once you have decided the product you could even call the manufacturer in your home country and explain that you are about to travel to X and purchase Y and do they have any comments or thoughts on this.

The reason we advise such research prior to travelling is that some products are market specific. For example one type of camera or mobile phone may only be available in certain countries, which could pose problems for you later if the item breaks down or you have problems with it. This brings us to another very important consideration and that is service, you definitely should check whether if you buy the electronic item the warranty/guaranty is valid in your country of residence. If it is not you may find yourself paying hefty bills for repair or servicing.

Another consideration, although much less today than in the past, is whether your home voltage (electricity supply) will work with, or damage, the item you have bought. An example of this is most obvious for US Travellers, who in the US use 110-volt alternating current, whereas most other countries use 220-volt alternating current. This means that if you use an American shaver, iron, or hair dryer in a foreign outlet, the high voltage will overheat and destroy the appliance and could even give you an electric shock.

Some products you purchase when overseas may not even work. A DVD player for example will normally have regional coding which allows it to only play DVD's with a certain regional coding embedded. If you buy a DVD player in Thailand and purchase an actual DVD in England the DVD won't play it unless it has been modified, which is normally an additional cost to the purchase price. The DVD manufacturers claim this is to stop piracy, which really doesn't seem to be working because all the pirates do is remove (or multi code) the coding when making copies.

All said and done there are some excellent purchases to be made in Asia but please do think it through before getting your credit card out.


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