Getting ripped off...

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    101

    Getting ripped off...

    I've read many a horror story about people getting badly ripped off when shopping in Hong Kong: either by paying way too much, getting fake goods, second hand items in a "new" box, items that should be included (batteries, cables etc.) removed from the box and sold separately at an inflated price, and the list goes on.

    It seems these horror stories revolve around the Tsim Sha area Tsui/Nathan Rd. (near the harbour and "tourist area" I think) where the shops supposedly are run by triads (mafia, organized criminals).

    Is this correct?
    If we keep away from this area, are we safe NOT to experience those things, or is it risky to go shopping ANYWHERE in Hong Kong?
    Where do local people go shopping? (or perhaps anybody that looks like a foreigner is risking to get cheated).
    Please advise what to do and where to go.
    Thanks


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    If you go to a reputable dealer like Fortress, the chance of this happening is non-existent! There are better deals to be had though. What exactly are you looking to purchase? Yeah, the whole TST area is full of scammers...


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    101

    Yeah, I've heard about those fixed price stores: Fortress, Citicall and Broadway. I've also found their websites, but unfortunately they only show prices for a few products or none at all, so I'm having a hard time comparing prices to what I have to pay at home.

    I'm looking for some camera equipment, which I could buy in one of those stores, but there's also other things which aren't related to electronics or cameras which I want to buy while in HK:

    -wedding rings (gold or platinum, personally engraved if possible)

    -Chinese dress (Cheong Sam, Qi Pao) for my wife-to-be, possibly several in different colours and styles if the price isn't too bad.

    I know about the Yue Hwa which sells mostly mainland Chinese products and I see that they sell some of those dresses (though not quite the colours she's looking for), and there aren't any prices to check either.
    I'm sure these kind of dresses are easy to come by in those "touristy" areas, but perhaps the quality is so-so and the prices are higher than they're worth.
    She wants quality, although it doesn't have to be over-the-top luxery. Just well made.
    Any idea what prices for such a dress would be and what kind of material they're made of? Silk?
    Where would the best place be to buy them?


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    yup avoid tst and causeway bay shops that never ever stipulate the price on there products in the window, They'll screw you for sure.

    Happened to me about 10 years ago when I bought a video camera.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Midlevels / USA (MD) / London
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    I actually haggled at Fortress and saved a bit on a new plasma.

    But it isn't that hard to pick out the shops you don't want to be dealing with. Watch for phone card sales in the window of what is supposed to be a camera shop--it is a tip off in my mind. I personally feel that the prices in the US on cameras (I shoot with Canons for film and digital) are equal to HK if not better, though there are some who swear by this guy or that guy being able to deliver a better deal. I guess it all depends on what you want.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    HK
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    from what i've heard from the locals, fortress isn't all that either. my friends say they have been incidents where they sell returned items again which are defective or something.

    at first i thought this was hogwash and didn't mind it. but last week someone gave me a "supposed" brand new steamer. we tried it, made sure everything was working but nada. lights would turn on and off. didn't boil the water or anything.

    we returned it and showed them that it didn't work. they got another one and tested it and voila worked like it was supposed to. i also noticed the new one which they gave us as a replacement had more accessories and a warranty card and such. the previous one was missing a few items. made me think if what my local buddies were right after all.

    i like broadway more than fortress.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Jordan
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    18

    bought a new phone... shoped around at the phone mall in mongkok.

    found what i thought was a good deal...

    till it came to going though box... they took out new battery and replaced with second hand....

    waslike... "WTF"....

    was then told... "oh.. you want new battery? well that will cost you extra."

    i should have walked out then, but due to me shopping around had run out of time, so accepted the small increase.

    aye... need to have wits about ya... or you will get stung.

    well... in life in general i guess.

    just glad i've leant fast and not the an average gwai-lo tourist.

    FC


  8. #8

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    Dec 2005
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    Once you agree the purchase one thing the reputable stores in HK will do is open the package for you before you hand over your credit card. You can get them to check that all is there and in working order. You will have to ask them to do this which the reputable will oblige to. I've done it numurous times with high photog gear and general electronics. Just make sure that evrything that came out of the sealed box goes back in


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    12,383

    Pennywise .. pound foolish -- never fails when it comes to a good bait and switch.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wan Chai
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    pacman

    If you're looking for SLR camera equipment check this site for guideline prices from decent local stores.

    http://www.ygdragon.net/index.php?pa...ameraprice.htm

    I bought from the TST area recently but only from one of the stores listed on here (Tin Cheung). I bought a grey import too but felt it was worth the risk for the saving (on a lens - I wouldn't risk it on a camera body). Was impressed by DC Fever in Mongkok too where I saved 10% on the Fortress/Broadway price of a camera body. Both shops let me try lenses/cameras before handing over the credit card and in the case of DC Fever the product carried a full 2 year Canon HK warranty. I admit I watched carefully to ensure that they gave me the same box that I'd tested but had no need for concern with these 2 shops anyway.

    Do a search of the forums for the Qi Pao dress shops - there was a thread on this topic recently.

    I find the best way to avoid getting ripped off (anywhere not just HK) is to do my research and be prepared to walk away if I'm not happy about any aspect of the shop, product, warranty etc. Even if you don't read Chinese there is quite a lot of pricing/ shop information that can be found using google restricted to the local area (i.e. use www.google.com.hk and select 'sites from HK').

    Last edited by PhilE; 12-05-2006 at 08:32 AM.

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