Are Luxury Brands Cheaper In Singapore? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Singapore is an incredible country to visit, with plenty of amazing shopping malls for a little retail therapy, but are luxury brands cheaper in Singapore? We have all the details you need before you head to the country!

Singapore skyline.

Singapore is a must-visit country with so many amazing things you need to do while you are there – including visiting the breathtaking Gardens by the Bag, making a stop at Marina Bay Sands, and taking a stroll around the Botanic Gardens or Cloud Forest. But should you add some luxury shopping to your to-do list?

We are here to answer the question, are luxury brands cheaper in Singapore, so you know whether to pick up any luxury goods while you’re in Singapore. We will let you know the best brands to go for, and the best places to shop, plus we have included a price comparison too so you can get a better idea of how the price in Singapore compares to the price in your home country.

Plus, we have listed some of our favorite luxury items from the best brands to buy from in Singapore that you really need to add to your shopping list! So before you head off to Singapore, check out this article to find out everything you need to know about luxury shopping in the country.

Are Luxury brands cheaper in Singapore?

Singapore may have plenty of incredible shopping centers and luxury boutiques to visit, but luxury brands are not cheaper in Singapore. In fact, Singapore is one of the more expensive countries for luxury goods – there are a whole range of different reasons for this, which we will explore a little later.

Although, there is a VAT refund scheme available in the country for tourists, where you can claim 8% of the sales tax back; even with this discount, Singapore is still an expensive country for some luxury shopping. If you are heading to Southeast Asia and want to pick a new designer bag or pair of shoes, it is worth heading to Hong Kong or Thailand as the prices are much cheaper than those in Singapore.

That being said there are some brands worth checking out while you are in Singapore, for example, Charles and Keith, which is a Singaporean brand that may be a little cheaper in the country than anywhere else in the world.

There are also many outlet stores in Singapore for big brands, where you may find luxury bags and accessories at more affordable prices. Some of the best outlet stores are Coach, Fila, Nike, and Kate Spade, where you will find some gorgeous bags and shoes at a great price!

Why are luxury brands so expensive in Singapore? 

There are several different reasons why Singapore is an expensive place for luxury brands – so let’s break it down.

1. Import tax

Any items that are then shipped into Singapore are then subjected to an import tax, which will raise the price of the designer item and means customers have to pay more.

2. High Purchasing Power

One of the reasons why Singapore, specifically, is more expensive is due to the purchasing power and higher standard of living that locals have, which means there is a higher spending potential and more disposable income for people to spend on luxury items, for example.

Those who are wealthy enough to live in Singapore are the same people who have enough disposable income to spend more money on luxury bags, shoes, and clothes. Although the prices are high for luxury goods in Singapore, people have enough money to pay these high prices in order to have a certain luxury item in their lives.

This is especially true of luxury watches and jewelry, which are popular in Singapore, and brands know they can charge a high price and people will still continue to buy these items.

How To Get A Discount On Your Purchase: VAT Refund

As previously mentioned, Singapore offers a tax refund scheme for tourists but only in certain stores, which means you can receive 8% of the sales tax back on items costing over S$100, which will make any purchase, you make that little bit cheaper.

You need to look out for the Tax-Free logo in shop windows or ask the sales staff if any purchases are eligible for a tax refund before you shop. There are a few rules to this scheme and a few instructions you need to follow in order to get the refund.

To receive this refund, you need to be over the age of 16, in Singapore for less than 3 months and you cannot be a Singapore citizen. You also have to apply for this refund within 2 months of making your purchase and you can only access this refund if you are flying out of the country from Seletar or Changi Airports.

How to get this refund

The best way to get this refund is by using the eTRS system, which means you no longer have to fill out loads of paper forms. When you make a purchase, you need to show your passport and the e-pass (this pass is issued by the ICA and goes to your email) to prove your eligibility; the sales assistant with then offer an eTRS transaction.

Then, when you reach the airport, head to the eTRS self-help kiosk with your passport, and your purchases will be retrieved through the ETRS system.

Once you have scanned your passport at the kiosk, you will need to just follow the instructions and read the results of your refund request. It is important to have any purchases on hand, unopened, in case they need to be inspected by customs officials before you can receive your refund.

You can then choose whether to receive your refund in cash, although this is unbailable if you are flying from Seletar airport, or via your credit car, which is the easiest and can be processed within 10 days – super simple!

You can also use VAT refund apps such as Global Blue and Tourego, where you will just have to download the app and present the app QR code or barcode when you make your purchase. Then when you are leaving the country, you just have to follow the instructions to receive your refund via your phone.

Price Comparison

Here we have included a price comparison table to make it easy to see exactly how the Singapore prices compare to other luxury prices around the world. For this comparison, we have used the Gucci GG Marmont Small Shoulder Bag as an example, although prices between different countries can differ between brands.

CountryHome Country PricePrice in USD ($)
USA$1,790 + tax$1,790
Hong KongHK$13,200$1,688

As you can see, France is the cheapest country even before any VAT discounts, while Singapore is the most expensive. It also displays how much more affordable Hong Kong and Thailand are for luxury goods.

We can also take the 8%  tax refund of the final Singapore price to give you a better idea of exactly how much you can expect to pay. 8% equals about S$219, if we then take S$219 from S$2,740, this equals S$2,521. With the current exchange rates, S$2,521 equals $1,848 or €1,727 – this is much more affordable, but still relatively expensive compared to France and Hong Kong, but will now be a little cheaper than the US price for this bag.

The Best Places to Shop

Although Singapore can be more expensive for luxury brands, there are plenty of amazing shopping malls you need to visit that make Singapore one of the top shopping destinations – you can either just browse or pick up some smaller items to remember your trip by!

If you love a capacious shopping center, then you need to head to Orchard Road, which is a 2.2km stretch of shopping palls, two of the best being ION Orchard and Paragon Shopping Center – where you will find plenty of top popular brands and designer labels, as well as lots of delicious food and drinks to try out!

Or you can go to VivoCity, which is the largest shopping mall in Singapore, with lots of high-street stores, outlets, cafes, and restaurants. This mall also has a cinema, rooftop amphitheater, playground, and art gallery – just incredible!

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is a must-visit location if you are in Singapore. This striking complex is mainly a hotel, but also includes a wide range of designer and high street brands, a spectacular atrium and you can head up to the 57th floor to get a fantastic view of the bag.

For smaller items and trinkets, you need to check out Little India along Serangoon Road, Haji Lane, which is home to vintage stores and boutiques, Chinatown Street Market, and Bugis Street Market. These places are a great way to see more than just the skyscrapers of Singapore and experience some of the culture and cuisine.

Best Brands to Shop for in Singapore

Although top designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu, and Ralph Lauren are more expensive in Singapore, there are a few brands worth checking out while you’re in the country.

1. Charles & Keith
Black Charles & Keith Tubular Slouchy Tote Bag
Get this on Charles & Keith
White Charles & Keith Cosette Ruched-Handle Trapeze Bag
Get this on Charles & Keith

Charles and Keith is a Singapore-based brand, which means their bags and accessories will be a little more affordable in Singapore than anywhere else in the world. This Tubular Slouchy Tote Bag is one of our favorite pieces from the brand, with a sleek and sophisticated look and practical design.

This black faux leather bag has a softly structured silhouette and is fitted with top handles, with an additional detachable strap which means you can slip this bag on your shoulder. The roomy interior has plenty of space for your workday essentials, while the detachable pouch keeps smaller items safe.

We love the quirky, statement bags from Charles and Keith, just like this Cosette Ruched-Handle Trapeze Bag! This structured bag features a chunky, ruched top handle, which gives it a striking look and makes it perfect for evenings out, but it also comes with a crossbody strap for day-to-day wear.  

The compact interior fits your phone, keys, wallet, and lip balm, and has a zipper pocket to help you stay organized.

2. Coach
Black Coach Pillow Leather Crossbody Bag
Get this on Nordstrom
White and pale pink Coach Willow Colorblock Leather Shoulder Bag
Get this on Nordstrom

If you find yourself at one of the Coach outlet stores in Singapore, you need to pick up the ever-popular and super versatile Coach Pillow Leather Crossbody Bag. This stunning handbag is made from sumptuous padded leather and fitted with a detachable top handle and crossbody strap, so you can adapt the bag to suit any outfit.

The C logo front flap opens to an organized interior, with a central zip pocket and two compartments so you can always find just what you need.

For something a little more casual, go for the Coach Willow Colorblock Leather Shoulder Bag. This shoulder bag is ideal for weekends, work, or college, with a stylish look and plenty of room inside for all your essential items.

The pink top handle and adjustable crossbody strap contrast against the white textured leather bag for a chic aesthetic, while the gold hardware adds a glam touch. Again, this bag has a central zip pocket, making it easy to stay organized.

3. Kate Spade
Black Kate Spade knott medium leather tote
Get this on Nordstrom
Pink Kate Spade small sam pebble leather shoulder bag
Get this on Nordstrom

There are also a few Kate Spade outlets in Singapore too – so we have added some of our favorite Kate Spade bags you need to your wishlist. The Kate Spade knott medium leather tote is a must-have in your wardrobe, with a classic and timeless look and practical design.

This black grained leather bag has a relaxed structure with a knotted top handle and detachable leather strap for crossbody wear. This spacious bag is also available in white, green, and purple to suit a personal style.

Small shoulder bags are super fashionable at the moment, which is why you should pick up this gorgeous small sam pebble leather shoulder bag from Kate Spade.

This cute little bag is crafted from pink pebbled leather, to add a pop of colour to your look, and finished with gold hardware for a glam touch. The interior may look compact, but there are two pockets and enough room for your daily essentials.

4. Bvlgari
Rose gold Bvlgari B.Zero1 18k Rose Gold Pendant Necklace
Get this on Neiman Marcus
Rose gold and black Bvlgari 35mm Serpenti Tubogas Spiral Watch
Get this on Neiman Marcus

Singapore is well known for its luxury jewelry and watches, which is why you should really check out some jewelry brands, like Bvlgari, while you’re there. We just adore the B.Zero1 collection from Bvlgari, which includes this 18k Rose Gold Pendant Necklace.

The simple rose gold chain is finished with a B.Zero1 pendant, which draws inspiration from the Colosseum in Rome and has been engraved with the Bvlgari brand name. This necklace is a beautiful, timeless piece that is ideal for everyday wear.

Bvlgari is a brand known for its Serpenti range of jewelry and watches, such as this striking Serpenti Tubogas Spiral Watch. This Serpenti watch snakes around the wrist, with the head acting as the watch face, slowly tapering into a pointed tail.

The rose gold watch features a black face finish with baton and Roman numeral time markers and a diamond-encrusted bevel for a sparkling finish.

We hope you found this article answering the question, are luxury brands cheaper in Singapore, helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.

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