May 28 2012
Now is a dangerous time for shopaholics to be in Singapore – The Great Singapore Sale has returned. This year the event runs from May 25 until July 22 with special events, extended shopping hours, contests and, of course, discounts. Here are some tips for making the most of the sale.
First off, it’s worth explaining what exactly the sale is. The Great Singapore Sale is a publicity event co-organised by the Singapore Tourism Board to get tourists and locals into the shopping malls. The event usually brings an 8-10% increase in sales and, during the eight-week event, this amount is expected to top $6 billion dollars. So, with retailers making that much moolah, don’t expect the prices to be in your favour.
During the Great Singapore Sale you will not find steep discounts on DSLR cameras, iPads or designer handbags. What you will find is “free gift with purchase” offers and discounts of 30-70% on last season’s fashions, housewares, jewellery, and older models of electronics. Always do your research before making a major purchase, as some shops inflate their regular price tags so they can advertise bigger discounts during the sale.
For tourists, the deals are a bit sweeter. Bring your passport to the information counter at any of the malls on Orchard Road and receive a “tourist privilege package” with discount cards, coupons for free coffee and mall vouchers to motivate you to start shopping. If you spend a certain amount you can also redeem a free gift — drop more than S$2,000 at posh Ion Mall and they’ll arrange a complimentary ride to Changi Airport by limousine. Remember that you can also claim a tourist tax refund on purchases over S$100.
Many hotels and tourist attractions also get into the Great Singapore Sale spirit with various discounts and promotions. More than 50 hotels are participating this year from the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel to the budget Fragrance Hotel Selegie. To entertain yourself between shopping sprees, you can buy a “Explore Singapore Valuepack” which includes admission to popular attractions like Universal Studios, the Night Safari, and the Singapore Flyer for 25% less than buying the tickets separately. The new Chinatown Visitor Centre is also participating, offering S$5 off their cultural walking tours.
Check out the Great Singapore Sale website for a full list of participating retailers, hotels, tourist privileges and more.
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