Did my opening picture catch your attention? HAHAHA, who would have thought to put an adult novelty toys shop in an IT parts mall? Apparently, a genius because there are 3 shops now whereas there weren’t any a few years ago! I guess Singapore isn’t as conservative a country as people have led me to believe.
Seriously now, If you’re ever in need of PC/IT parts and stuff when you’re in Singapore, you should check out Sim Lim Square as opposed to Funan IT Mall (my Funan post HERE). Also don’t mistake Sim Lim Square with Sim Lim Tower. Although they are quite close in proximity (diagonally across the street from each other) the shops sell, in general, different things.
The closest MRT station to Sim Lim Square is Rochor Station on the blue line. Once you alight the train, head up the escalators until you exit the station, where you’ll be greeted with the sight of a bus stop. You want to turn right and as soon as you cross the street about 15 feet away, you’ll be at one of the entrances to Sim Lim Square. Here’s some pictures:
Alternatively, if you’re on the green line or it’s more convenient to get to Bugis Station from where you are, alight at Bugis Station and make your way up to the street level. From there it’s pretty much a straight line to Sim Lim Square but you’ll have to walk through Bugis Street Market (more details and pictures in my post HERE) then pass Fu Lo Shou Mall (more details and pictures in my post HERE). After you pass Fu Lo Shou Mall, keep walking straight until you get to the overhead bridge.
You’ll have to choose either to take the overhead bridge or cross the street. Both will take you right up to an entrance of Sim Lim Square (also referred to as SLS by the locals).
Sim Lim Square has had a lot of bad press in the not so distant past. A few cases got mainstream media attention and resulted in arrests (if you’re interested in finding out more just Google Sim Lim Square scams). Sometimes these cases are about over pricing/charging (it’s amazing how many people just sign the credit card slip with out double checking the charges, myself included or extra fees added on later etc.), bait and switching, charging for freebies or removing freebies from the box, things like that. The last one happened to me (removal of in box freebies) years ago but not at Sim Lim Square (I eventually got it back after filing a complaint with CASE, Singapore’s version of the BBB). Prior to this, if you wanted pirated stuff, SLS was the place to go but those shops have all come and gone as have the crypto mining rigs that were so proudly displayed all over the place. Is SLS really that bad? Personally, I don’t think so anymore, gone are the overly aggressive sales reps on the first as well as the people handing out flyers (I’ve gotten paper cuts on my arms before from the 3-5 people at every up escalator, shoving paper at everyone going up). Recently though, I Haven’t heard any bad things about the shops in Sim Lim Square but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen. Just remember the old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and just walk away.
Anyways, Sim Lim Square is 6 floors of IT shops and a few camera shops sprinkled here and there and of course the adult novelty toy shops. I still find it so strange that nestled amongst computer repair shops, server rack shops and parts and accessories shops that you’d find a sex toy shop. You can’t really see into the stores though as the windows and doors are all covered up with posters, product displays and or advertisements. Well, except one shop, it had a bead curtain for a door. I think I’ll go into one, one of these days, just to see what it’s like haha. There are many repair shops and two video game shops. The one on the higher floors has a large variety of games and I found their Nintendo Switch games selection larger than anywhere else I’ve seen in Singapore and the prices are competitive, usually on the lower side if you don’t have member pricing at any of the other shops. The other game shop is on the basement level and doesn’t have as much stuff but still worth look see.
For PC parts, I shop around a lot and I find that I gravitate towards the places that have sign boards with price lists pinned on them. Recently I found one shop with touchscreen display boards. These boards are right outside the shop so you don’t even have to go in. You can price check until you’re completely satisfied. They used to have people handing out price lists at all the entrances and escalators but I haven’t seen any for a while now. If you need to buy second hand stuff or get something repaired, legacy parts, you’ll definitely need to come to this mall. You’ll be hard pressed to find what you need anywhere else in Singapore.
For camera gear, I only shop in Orient Photo (while in Sim Lim Square) because they have good prices and they’re not pushy or rude. They are all the way up on the top floor in one of the back corners. A bit of a hassle to get up there but the prices are good and the people are friendly and helpful, so I don’t really mind.
In summary, I’ve never been scammed or potentially scammed at Sim Lim Square. So just as safe practice, make sure you know exactly what you want and the price range of the item and upon paying, if with a credit card, check the amount being charged. It’s also kind of normal for stores in Singapore to pass on the credit card fees to the buyer sometimes there’s a sign to let you know but many times there isn’t. If I recall correctly the fee is around 4%. Also unless otherwise indicated the price includes the goods and services tax (currently 7%). Some shops may try to add it on because they think you don’t know or tell you there’s a discount for paying cash when there really isn’t.
OH! If you ever get Brunei currency as change in Singapore, it’s ok. Don’t be like me and make a HUGE fuss, haha. Apparently Singapore and Brunei have tied their currency together so they are both of equal value in either country. I still don’t understand why the cashier wouldn’t just give me a Singapore note when I asked nicely the first time…anyways… If you’re familiar with the history of Sim Lim Square you may think that it’s too scary or risky going there, my kids still refer to it as “shady town” but I think they’ve “cleaned up” a lot since then and if you’re looking for parts, there really is nowhere else to go for parts both new and used. Just keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine.
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