This Versus That

Watsons vs Guardian vs Unity – Which Personal Care Store in Singapore is the Cheapest?

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Joanne Poh

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Hands up all those who think of Watsons, Guardian Pharmacy and Unity Pharmacy are one and the same. Looking around at the sea of hands, it seems that like me, you never bothered comparing prices between the three.

While everyone knows that Cold Storage is more expensive than NTUC Fairprice, to the naked eye the three personal care stores appear indistinguishable apart from their logos. We investigate.

Product

Watsons

Guardian Pharmacy

Unity Pharmacy

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (1l)

$39.50 (now on offer $29.62)

$39.50 (now on offer $29.60)

$33.50 (now on offer $26.80)

Avène Very High Protection Mineral Cream SPF 50+

$35.60

$35.60

Vaseline Lip Therapy

$4.00 (now on offer $3.40)

$4.10 (now on offer $3.25)

$4.40

Lifebuoy Antibacterial Bodywash (1l)

$9.80

$9.80 (now on offer $7.35)

Kirei Kirei Anti-Bacterial Foaming Hand Soap (250ml)

$4.00

$4.00 (now on offer $3.00)

$3.95

Phyto Phytolium Strength Shampoo (125ml)

$41.90 (now on offer 3 for $69.90)

$41.90 (now on offer 3 for $69.90)

$41.90 (now on offer 2 for $49.90)

St Ives Green Tea Scrub (170g)

$9.90 (now on sale $7.92)

$9.90

Gillette Proglide Flexball Razor

$16.50 (now on offer $13.90)

$16.50 (now on offer $12.40)

Gillette Series Sensitive Shaving Gel (200ml)

$10.80

$10.80 (now on offer $8.10)

Gillette Fusion Proglide Razor Cartridges (4 pieces)

$28.50

$28.50

Colgate Plax Ice Mouthwash (1l)

$9.90

$9.90 (now on offer $7.40)

$8.50

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Whitening Toothpaste (110g)

$8.15 (now on offer 2 for $10.90)

$8.15 (now on offer $6.10)

$8.15 (now on offer 2 for $10.90)

Gatsby Styling Wax (Hard & Keep) (80g)

$8.80

$8.80

Oral-B Essential Floss (50m)

$5.75 (now on offer 2 for $9.90)

$5.75 (now on offer $4.30)

$5.60 (now on offer 2 for $8.95)

Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean Power Toothbrush

$59.00 (now on offer $39.90)

$59.00 (now on offer $44.25)

$54.90 (now on offer $38.50)

Johnson’s Baby Bath Milk & Rice (1l)

$8.00

$8.25

$10.15

Panadol Extend for Muscle and Joint Pain (18 tabs)

$7.85

$7.85

$7.85

Bausch and Lomb Renu Fresh Multi-Purpose Solution Set

$23.00 (now on offer, two for $31.90)

$22.95

$23.00 (now on sale 2 for $32.00)

PNKids Kids Prebiotic + Vitamins (60pcs)

$34.90 (now on offer 3 for 33% off)

$34.90 (now on offer 3 for the price of 2)

$34.90 (now on offer 24.40)

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

$21.90 (now on offer 4 for 33% off)

$21.90 (now on offer 3 for the price of 2)

The verdict

The base price of all three chains tends to be very similar. It should be noted that the smaller Unity outlets tend to have a fairly narrow product range.

That aside, the three personal care stores have proven to be very competitive in terms of their special offers. Sales at one store tend to be matched by similar special offers by at least one of the others. It’s thus quite difficult to predict which store will carry the cheapest version of a product you want to buy at any one time.

As Watson and Guardian Pharmacy have an online catalogue that lets you check their prices and the offers available, it’s a good idea to compare prices online before heading down to the store to make your purchase..

In addition, many shopping malls tend to have at least two of the three personal care stores on the premises—for instance, West Mall has all three. This makes comparison shopping easier, unless you’re too lazy to even take the escalator up or down a few floors.

Using a credit card that can get you cash rebates doesn’t hurt either.

If you are able to meet the minimum monthly spending of $1,000 a month, you enjoy 8% cash rebates at all three personal care stores with the Maybank Family and Friends Card. If you spend less than $1,000 but at least $500 in a month, you still qualify for 5% cash rebates on all three stores.

Otherwise, the POSB Everyday Card gives you 3% rebates on Watsons purchases with no minimum spending.

If all else fails, there’s the American Express True Cashback Card, which gets you 1.5% rebates on all spending, and a generous 5% in the first three months after you sign up for the card.

Which of the three personal care stores do you like best? Tell us in the comments!

Image Credits:
Ian Fuller

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.

  • JunHan Yee

    At this point of time, you use dash to pay at watsons to earn 5% rebate.