How to Shop for Electronics in Hong Kong

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How to Shop for Electronics in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is no longer the bargain capital of consumer electronics. It does, however, boast large inventories of the most current models; plus, it's a haven for special and unique items unavailable in many other countries.

Things You'll Need

  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Local Guidebooks
  • Pocket Calculators

Know what you want before you shop. Research what's available in your own country, and at what price; this will help you determine if a deal is to be had. Camcorders, music mixers and digital equipment may carry lower price tags in Hong Kong, but computer hardware will most likely be cheaper at home.

Look for unique accessories. Hong Kong is known for having rare gadgets that may not have made it to the market in your own country, or that may have sold out before you got in on the action.

Pick up the Hong Kong Trade Association's (HKTA) guide to consumer electronics for its choices in haggle-free, safe shopping. If you're daring and ready to bargain, wander Nathan Road, Lock Road and the Mong Kok area of Kowloon.

Consider the places that clearly display item prices, as opposed to those that have salespeople quote a price on demand. Begin the bargaining process - the non-HKTA sanctioned places expect it, and you'll pay way too much if you don't.

Comparison shop. You'll find what you like in a few stores. Shop around before solidifying your deal.

Ensure compatibility. Check the voltage and broadcast standard of any item you're considering.

Inspect all boxes before making the purchase. Make sure that what you intend to buy is what's in the box, and that all of the parts are included and intact. Have the salesperson test the product in the store to verify that it works.

Ask for international warranties and always get a receipt. You'll need the latter for customs, or in case something should go wrong before your departure.

Understand the customs regulations particular to your country. Duties vary depending on the length of your stay and the value of the items you're bringing in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Expect attitude. Some of the electronics dealers make it their mission to be hard-nosed and difficult. If a clerk does not fulfill all of your needs, take your business elsewhere.
  • Get a clear understanding of the exchange rate so you know what the item costs in your own currency. Bring a pocket calculator to convert prices while you shop.
  • Bootleg video games and pirated software can be found in abundance. These are illegal, and anything you purchase may be subject to confiscation. Watch out for scams, too. Dealers may not always give you what you think you're buying.

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