BTO – Big Ticket Appliances

This weekend we spent close to $8,000 at Gain City Expo Fair. Glad we managed to settle the 4 big ticket items after months of researching and scouting.

Since it’s such a tiring process, I’ve summarized some learning points/ tips if you’re at that BTO phase too!

Pop by any malls that has Courts, Best Denki, Harvey Norman, Gain City, etc all under one roof.

Most shopping malls have a few of such shops together. Prepare a list of items you intend to buy. For us, it’s air-con, fridge, washer/ dryer, and dishwasher. Upon entering the shop, tell the salesperson what you are looking for and ask for recommendation. There are so many brands and models that we got very confused initially. Usually one shop will promote a particular brand. For example, LG is having their sales period now so most shops will promote their products. Take note when the salesperson is promoting a particular brand.

If you have specific requirements, please let the salesperson know too.

Some questions to consider:

  • External size vs internal capacity – depends on space available in your kitchen. And don’t be surprised some fridges look big but have small capacity.
  • How many doors?
  • Material – stainless steel, glass, etc?
  • Brand? After reading up and asking around, it seems like Mitsubishi Starmex is the way to go. I’m not sure if it’s due to their marketing tactics but everyone just recommends this!
  • System 2, 3 or 4? 2 means 2 air-con, etc.
  • 2 ticks or 5 ticks? 2 ticks is more energy efficient but will only be significant if you are a heavy-user. Meaning you will switch on all your air-con every day for 8 hours daily.
Washing machine
  • Top load or front load?
  • Size/ capacity? If you need to wash King-sized bedsheets, 8kg should be good.
  • Washer only or washer and dryer?
  • I don’t think this is very common appliance and to be honest, I have never really experienced using dishwasher. Only once or twice when overseas. But Dennis insisted to buy this. For my convenience (or maybe his, because my hands are sensitive to detergent so I can’t wash dishes without wearing gloves).
  • Size in the kitchen – it’s all standard size now 600 x 600 x 850. See if it can fit under your work top, else you will need a separate area.

Things to note on first shopping trip

Note down the brand, model number, and price of the item you want.

For each item, you might have shortlisted 2 or 3 models. If possible, take photos of all of them so that you can refer later on.

Research chosen items online

Now that you have shortlisted all the brands and models, it’s time to do your homework. I guess the important thing is to read if there are negative comments on the models you want. Generally people wouldn’t write positive stuff, only complain about the negative.

Look out for promotions/ fair/ sales

Now that you have decided which model you want for each item, look out for promotions or sales or fairs! For starters, you may consider going to the standard shops to compare prices first. Then attend one of those fairs and ask for more free gifts and push the prices down! Which is exactly what we did at the Gain City Expo Fair today! 😛

List of items:

  • Brand: Hitachi
  • Model: RVG560P3MS
  • WxHxD: 715 x 1835 x 740
  • Capacity: 450L
  • Courts Price: NA
  • Best Denki Price: NA
  • Harven Norman Price: $1,499
  • Lion City Price: $1,144
  • Mega Discount Store Price: $1,175
  • Gain City Expo Fair: $1,079 + free vacuum cleaner
Washing machine
  • Brand: Samsung
  • Model: WD80J6410AW
  • WxDxH: 600 x 600 x 850
  • Capacity: 8kg/6kg
  • Courts Price: $999
  • Best Denki Price: $999
  • Harven Norman Price: $999
  • Lion City Price: $1,040
  • Mega Discount Store Price: $988
  • Gain City Expo Fair: $945
  • Brand: Electrolux
  • Model: ESF5511LOX
  • WxHxD: 600 x 850 x 625
  • Water Consumption: 11L
  • Courts Price: $1,199
  • Best Denki Price: NA
  • Harven Norman Price: $1,199
  • Lion City Price: $1,064
  • Mega Discount Store Price: $1,099
  • Gain City Expo Fair: $1,099 + free induction cooker

For air-con, we actually had a very good deal with Enquicern Cool which was highly recommended by our new neighbours at Cape. You can contact Andy Ong @ 96840760. He quoted us $2,700 nett for Mitsubishi Starmex system-3, 2 ticks. It was a very attractive offer however the earliest installation date was 2 weeks later. We didn’t want to wait 2 weeks because it will delay our renovation schedule. We heard Gain City is a popular place for air-con so we enquired and eventually bought from them.

The same Mitsubishi Starmex system-3, 2 ticks costs us $3,089. A whooping $389 more. However we were convinced and even topped up for warranty and future servicing.

We later realized air-con servicing can be a DIY job. Oh well, since we already paid. Let’s observe their servicing for the first 5 years and later do the maintenance works ourselves.

So yes, you can conclude that the prices may not be the cheapest but are very competitive and value for money, I feel. Hope you find the tips useful! I’ll share pictures when the items get delivered! 🙂



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