Computer Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
The best places to get your computer parts and accessories would be in shopping complexes that have an IT section. Of late it has been a common practice amongst departmental stores around Malaysia to have a whole floor or section specifically catered for just computer-related stuff. While some are just for the sake of the trend, there are some that really do have a decent bargain on the plate. Computer shops have been sprouting out in every corner of a departmental store, but to really get a good bargain, I recommend the more established places as the pricings are far more competitive than those you would find elsewhere.
Where to shop
The more popular places in Kuala Lumpur would be Low Yat Plaza, Sungai Wang Plaza and Imbi Plaza. These three places form the golden triangle of computer shopping paradise. They offer some good bargain prices and are located relatively close to each other.
Low Yat Plaza
While Low Yat Plaza is the newest kid on the block, it has grown to be the hub of computer-related shopping.
On the other hand, Imbi Plaza was the leading place for computer stuff until Low Yat Plaza came along. Imbi Plaza boasts 3 floors of nothing but solid computer hardware compared to Low Yat Plaza which has only 2 floors. Imbi has been around for a good 15 to 20 years or more while Low Yat has only been around the past 3 to 5 years.
Sungai Wang Plaza
Sungai Wang Plaza has only one section but they do have some good bargains and acts as a good price comparison among the other two places. You will also find that Low Yat Plaza is less cramped compared to Imbi Plaza as the shops are not located so close to each other. Not to mention it is cleaner than Imbi due to its relatively new building compared to Imbi which has been around for as long as the first PCs were introduced.
These places are targeted at consumers who are looking for a powerful yet inexpensive PC. From families to students to tourist, these places serve as the ideal venue for computer-related shopping. You will always see people crowding around the shops looking for the best prices of certain equipment they are interested in purchasing. To shop in such places, there is a certain art to it which I will elaborate in the coming paragraph.
What you'll find
The ranges of products offered are extensive. Anything from a mouse to the most high-end-liquid-cooled system, you name it, they have got it. All it takes is a bit of hunting around. It is interesting to note that while most shops do offer similar products, there are some vendors that bring in that something different that sets one vendor apart from the other.
This is all up to your own observation and curiosity to ask. While most of the gadgets are mainstream stuff, yet there are occasions when I come across that something different that tickles me silly. You can actually find modems in shapes of rocket ships and storage drives in shapes of ladybugs and computer monitors with the silliest features.
How to shop and bargain
The basic attitude when frequenting such places is to be on the look out for the best price possible. Never ever settle on the first vendor you come upon. Make sure you go to at least a couple of shops asking for the exact same product you are interested in. Remember to note down what comes with the product you are interested in purchasing such as warranty period, extra cables, free CDs and what-not.
It is important to know that you are not scammed into getting something that could perhaps be cheaper but does not include certain things that need to be sold separately. While it may not be a normal occurrence, it is better to be clear of what you are getting for the price you are paying.
On the same breath, be sure to always have a friendly disposition even though the attending vendor can sometimes come across as arrogant or even rude. These people face hundreds and thousands of people each day, so all it takes is one bad customer to make him lose it on you.
Commonly they are pretty helpful and ready to bargain. If you feel that he or she is not going to give anymore discount, either settle on the price or excuse yourself and look for a better price elsewhere.
In my experience, it is always easier to walk away and see if there is a counteroffer than haggle with them too much. It is so competitive that none of the shops really dare to jack up the prices too much.
In fact, I observe that sometimes they actually share each other's stock when one is out of an item. So you might end up getting a product that was perhaps more expensive at one shop but cheaper at another but still have the stock taken from the first one. At the end of the day, it does not really matter where the stock comes from, as long as it works fine and the price is competitive.
With all that said, there are pros and cons in buying stuff from such vendors. Pros being that you get very attractive prices and an extensive range of a single product under one roof. You can get stuff at a much lower price than if you were to go to a computer boutique. Cons would be in that if you do decide on buying non-branded stuff (OEM), you run the risk of the product dying on you in less than a year or so. If you are local, that is fine, but if you are a tourist, chances are you are not going to come back just to get a replacement on an 80 ringgit graphic card. Then again, it is so cheap you might find it negligible.
All in all, it is still an ideal place for locals and foreigners to shop for computer-related stuff at these places as it is very accessible and cheap. Just remember that it is better to pay in cash unless you do not mind being charge an extra 2% to 3% on top of the price of the product when using credit card. Happy hunting!
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Published on 5/20/03