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Will This Website Be a Lifeline For Sim Lim Square?

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Peter Lin

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There’s no doubt that Sim Lim Square has long been the place to go for electronics in Singapore, and this is even more so since Funan DigitaLife Mall closed for renovations in June this year. But since the Jover Chew scandal two years ago, Sim Lim has only just begun to piece together its reputation.

But a surprising boost of popularity may be coming to Sim Lim from an unexpected source, and it could come at no better time.

 

So obvious, it makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it first…

The one unique characteristic of Sim Lim Square has always been the many price lists floating around the place. For the two of you who don’t know, these are often A4 size sheets printed by individual shops with row after row of gadgets and peripherals and their prices. A savvy shopper would collect several of these, then go through them to find the best deals within the mall.

Now, some tech enthusiasts have done what no one else seems to have thought of – make those price lists obsolete by putting together an online comparison platform featuring over 50 shops in Sim Lim Square. It’s called Simlim.sg, and the best part is, they’re an independent platform.

 

Wait… so Simlim.sg has nothing to do with Sim Lim Square?

Even though the site is going to be a huge boost to customers visiting Sim Lim Square, it actually doesn’t have anything to do with the mall’s management or any of its merchants. This allows the platform to be transparent, as well as preventing merchants from removing negative reviews about them.

 

Why should I use Simlim.sg?

It’s no secret that Sim Lim Square has some unbeatable discounts for electronics. And yes, despite the scams and scandals, many of the merchants are genuine and honest and willing to shave their profit margins to compete with the rise of online shopping and e-markets.

For example, a Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 3GB GDDR5 graphics card is going for $309 on Lazada and Qoo10, but is sold by 6 merchants on Simlim.sg for up to $24 less.

On the other hand, an item like the Samsung SNH-P6410BN Smartcam Full HD WiFi IP Camera is going for $209 – $249 from 5 merchants on Simlim.sg. But you can find it on sale at Lazada for $198.99, 33% off the usual price of $299. Ironically, the Lazada listing belongs to one of the merchants on Simlim.sg!

This is also the case for a Xiaomi 20000 mAh Power Bank, which retails at $48 – $69.90 at 5 merchants on Simlim.sg. You can find it on sale at Lazada for $36, 39% off the usual price of $59.

So if you’re looking to get the best deals, you’ll still need to compare the prices on Simlim.sg with prices on sites like Lazada and Qoo10. That said, of course there’s a distinct advantage with buying from Sim Lim Square – you can get the item immediately and should there be a need to return the item, it will be much more convenient.

 

Which brings us to the main issue of Simlim.sg now…

With only 55 merchants in Sim Lim Square currently on board the online comparison platform, it’s still not clear if we are seeing the lowest prices the mall has to offer. That said, it is nice to know that many of the major retailers are represented like Video-Pro, Cybermind and Perfect Watch & Electronics.

In addition, while there are over 6,000 items listed on the platform, many of the products currently on Simlim.sg are only being sold by one of the merchants.

This limits the ability of the platform to really provide a real sense of comparison, making it little more than a glorified price list for the whole mall for now.

 

But of course, it’s still too early to judge how far Simlim.sg can go

Right now, merchants of Sim Lim Square are being charged less than $100 a month to be listed on the platform. This fee might be turning off most merchants in the mall from signing up. Yes, it’s a symbiotic relationship, but right now, the onus is on Simlim.sg to prove that they’re worth the price they’re charging.

My guess is that Simlim.sg will need to attract at least 200 retailers in total before they can be the kind of comparison platform Sim Lim Square needs. Simlim.sg needs to find a way to balance the cost of their platform with attracting more merchants.

Would you go to Sim Lim Square for your electronics? Or would you just buy them online? We want to know.

Image Credits:
alex.ch

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Peter Lin

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, technical writer, banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.