With all the big hoo-ha over Mobile Air and their treatment (or should I say... scamming?) of their customers, its understandable that the general public would want to keep away from SLS and do their electronics shopping at relatively safer places like Funan, Courts, Best Denki and so on.
But why stay away when there are bargains to be made?
If you are planning a trip to SLS but reconsidering due to the fear of getting scammed, here is a quick guide to surviving the place and walk out a happy customer!
Rule #1 - Research
Check out the shops which carry your desired purchase, do some background checks, scroll through the Hardwarezone and VR-Zone forums for advice and compare online with competing products. Always try to understand what the specifications mean and take the seller's "advice" with a pinch of salt. They are after your money after all :)
Oh and most importantly - know what you want!
Rule #2 - Avoid the first 2 floors
I'm not saying that all the shops on #01 and #02 are bad, just a general guideline to adhere to when shopping. Its not a coincidence that all the shops on the CASE complaint blacklist are located on these 2 floors. Keep a lookout for salesmen who try to capture your attention, especially those who target Caucasians. "Hello sir, looking for cameras?" is a clear indication that you should steer clear.
What I normally do is head straight to the 5th floor and slowly work my way down to level 3. That said, not all the shops on level 3 and above are reputable - use common sense and remember Rule #1!
Rule #3 - Stick to a few familiar shops
The following is a list of shops I usually head to (in no particular order):
- Fuwell - for PC components and system building (friendly and knowledgeable staff)
- Bizgram Asia - PC components at competitive prices
- PC Dreams - for laptop repairs
- PC Themes - for PC components and system building
- SingInk - for 3rd party inks, printer modification and toners
- Tec-Drome - for the latest PC and console games, including limited editions and gaming gear (though with the popularity of platforms like Steam, business isn't doing too well. Feel kinda sad for the uncle)
Do note that I'm in no way endorsing the above shops, visit at your own risk (and remember Rule #1)
Rule #4 - Know what to buy in SLS
Maybe this is my own opinion, but SLS is really only worth a visit if you are:
- Looking to build your own custom PC
- Upgrading your PC
- Buying 3rd party inks/toners
- Buying 2nd hand laptops
- Looking for connectors/cables/fans and other basic necessities
- Looking for cheap, China-brand phones/tablets/MP5 players (I LOL every time I see one)
- Looking for not-exactly-legal TV boxes, funky tech gadgets and cheap knockoffs
- Hungry for Northern Indian cuisine - the stall in the basement food court is awesome!
- Buying a laptop/camera/monitor/router/printer/portable storage - wait for IT shows instead.
- Buying a brand-name smartphone/tablet. Seriously, if you want an off-contract iPhone with valid warranty, please get it from an official Apple reseller
With these 4 rules to follow, I believe the SLS experience should be a painless one!