Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Shopping Philippine Style

Since our house is getting slightly nearer to completion, we went out yesterday to start pricing major appliances, specifically air conditioners (eight total), ceiling fans (10 total), refrigerator (one), stove top (built-in, one piece), oven (again built in, no range), and television (okay, not a necessity as we were looking at the LCD flat screens).

Back home, I would have gone online to check out the major appliance stores, read some consumer reports articles, hit Costco, and made a list from that. Here, I go to store X (not many stores here are online and the ones that are are full of dead links, outdated information, and never any prices). At store X, I talk to multiple sales people since each person is in charge of a different brand. They give me the prices, the EER, and explain to me that kj/h is the same as BTU. I am looking for different HP and types (some rooms in our house get more use, versus the guest room aircons will not be run very often). Then after they give me the prices, we discuss what the discounted price would be. That's right, even in a major store the listed price is not the final price. Easy example, a 40" Samsung "Bordeaux plus" LCD television is marked at PHP179,000. They can give it on sale for PHP149,900 and it includes a free 29" television. We tell them we do not want the free item so they tell us 132,000. Then we tell them we were talking to a woman in the store who bought the exact television (I had huge TV envy there) and she informed us she bought it for PHP117,000. They agree that they could give it for that price. Picture this situation happening 1,000 times.

So, one might assume that since we have already been to store X we do not need to hit up another branch of the exact same store. Ha! We hit it up when passing it in another mall and get different prices. This happens everywhere. At an oven store, we went to two different stores (selling exclusively this brand) and got prices of PHP4,000 difference on the same item.

Combine this time-consuming process with my ignorance of many of the specialty brands here (I am not too hip on European brands) and you can see why shopping here is a whole other animal.

Don't even get me started about the ceiling fan portion of this mission. Let's just say that I have now determined I will likely buy these overseas and ship them here because (1) the selection sucks and (2) the prices suck even more.

Bonus of the whole day, one of the sales guys, Reymond, at store X was A W E S O M E! He was so nice, knew his stuff, and when I had one question he did not know (did the aircon remote glow in the dark), he told me, "Sorry, I actually do not know." People who tell me they don't know instead of making it up score big with me. Hopefully these guys get commission because we will hook Reymond up.


newsjunkie said...

Wow. Is this discounting true either for more "established" stores in malls, for example SM Appliance?

kikas_head said...

SM Appliance usually only gives a standard 3% discount (for cash purchases. Essentially they remove the credit card fee). All the other major appliance stores here (Abensons, Western, Automatic Center, etc) all allow for discounting/ bargaining. Also we found at all that the "free" item could be removed and the cost reduced further.

boracayballa said...

To All New Americans :Living in the PI:

Firts of all, "Welcome to the PI!"

My wife and I live in Boracay Island and build homes here so buying appliances can be even more of an experience to say the least.

I find that buying TV's can be alot cheaper in Cebu rather than Manila, I think it's becuase of cebu having a free port zone or something. For example we bought a 60inch Sony Bravia full HD1080 for P224,000 with the top of the line sony 5 disc dvd and surround sound. I priced the same tv a year later in Manila and the cheapest I can find it for was P269,000 without the surround sound.

If your moving from the States to the PI please buy all your smaller items at in the States and bring them here such as laptops, PC, cameras, security cameras, Ipod docking stations, ETC. You can buy small adapters that that you can permantly tape on your appliance to eliminate the 110-220 problem.

I am currently using the new HP Pavilion dv9820us notebook PC and got it at Best Buy for $1050 with tax in California. This laptop has 4 Gigs of Ram, 250gigs of memory. The same laptop here sells for close to $4000USD and that's if you can find it.

When buying appliances here in the PI I strongly suggest that you pay the extra 500-1000 pesos for the extended warranty.

Always keep in mind Murphy's Law!

It's takes sometime getting used to but once your settled you'll find the Philippines a very beautiful place to live. We don't miss the USA at all and to be honest, we have no desire to ever move back.

Viviene Tan said...

I am agreeing all of you, SM branches had a lot of furniture’s that we will need. Hurry up and visit Philippines a very beautiful place to live. That’s what place I am belonging. Thank you.

shopping in the philippines