How do you ensure there are no “hidden costs”?
If you just moved to Singapore or are looking to spruce up your home with some unique furniture, be sure to read the following guide before setting out on your shopping spree.
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1. Before buying an item
Before committing to purchase, compare the prices among different retailors. Don’t forget to ask about possible additional costs, for example, delivery or set up charges.
Also consider crossing the Causeway to go furniture shopping in Johor Bahru – a trend more and more Singaporeans are following. The falling Malaysian ringgit against the Singapore dollar and higher costs in Singapore means you’ll save about 40% if you shop smart!
Or, check if you can score a discount or perk through your company, especially for electronics. Some retailers and wholesalers strike deals with companies as a way of building their customer base.
2. Furniture fairs and special events
Large furniture fairs – like the Asia Pacific Furniture Fair and International Furniture Fair Singapore to name a few – take place regularly throughout the year, where you’ll be able to snag exclusive deals and massive bargains.
3. During shopping
Ask about the warranty for your products. Take the warranty and the terms and conditions into account when you are comparing and deciding on which store to buy from.
If any verbal agreements were made, put them down in writing. All communications with the vendor should be in black and white — don’t rely on verbal consent.
You should also find out if there are any additional costs (or “hidden costs”) involved in the purchase, which are not factored into the purchase price advertised, such as delivery charges.
Be sure to have the delivery date in writing. If the furniture store is not comfortable with fixing a date, there might be potential delays in your delivery. At this point, you might want to choose another vendor to avoid any hassle.
4. If there are any disputes
In such unfortunate cases, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) advises you to resolve the dispute progressively.
You can ask for a repair for a defective product. Otherwise, a reduction in price or refund is also possible.
As a consumer in Singapore, you should know your rights. You have the right to seek redress under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act if you have been misrepresented.
5. Furniture disposal
If you need to get rid of your furniture in Singapore, check out our guide on disposing bulky items here.
By Muneerah Bee and Pinky Chng, last updated February 2017
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