In the hustlin and bustlin’ city of Kuala Lumpur, is the Golden Triangle known as Bukit Bintang. From malls filled with luxury brands, to the several decade old shops of yesteryear, one can always rely on this part of town to look for what they want.
Today, after so much technological and industrial advancement, and even the little ‘incident’, is Lowyat Plaza still the same, or has it caught up with the times?
Whether you are a seasoned buyer, a cutthroat dealer or an individual that lacks the passion for tech and gadgets, everyone still congregates at this digital bazaar.
Here are a few life-saving tips for buyers and tourists that decide to go to Lowyat Plaza for their fix of tech and chill .
Mobile Phones: One of the staple products of the mall, one must be wary and vigilant of several types of the same product that you can get there.
The following products will be listed out in local slang for your adaptation and awareness:
Ori Set (Original Set): What people want. An untouched, sealed set, with warranty honored by the ORIGINAL distributor/manufacturer. This warranty covers defects and replacements at no charge, making it priced at RRP, and if you can find a sweet deal, it would be slightly lower than retail price, with free gifts (expect screen protectors, casings, memory cards, or specific bundled gifts) Always check with your dealer before purchase!
iPhones : It’s all original, what you need to care about is where it came from, because the international warranty is very, very subject to terms and conditions. For Lowyat, you’ll be getting iPhones from these countries: Malaysia (duh!), USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, UK, Australia and even UAE. For everyone’s sake, please stick to Malaysia and USA sets because they won’t fix the others, unless you dish out some money.
Example of original distributor stickers around boxes: Sony warranty by Midlands or Thorus. LG or Huawei by Zitron, Asus by Dynamics.
Secret: Profit margin is usually quite low for this. Bargaining is possible but up to a reasonable degree. Low-balling will start a brawl. Guaranteed.
Pros: Legitimate Warranty that requires minimal/none cash repairs. Free servicing, and better resale value
Cons: Could be expensive. Usually limited quantities based on popularity. Occasionally crap customer service/long repair times
AP Set (Acquired Permit Set): Sets that are imported from other countries. The hardware and software will be the same as a local set, but the warranty will not be honored, UNLESS the brand gives international warranty, but if it doesn’t, it means you need to go to its country of origin to claim. They are also known as “water sets”, for being smuggled into the country. They’re not illegal, they just won’t have warranty. Only “shop” warranty, where you will PAY DEARLY, for any specific repairs your device succumbs to.
Secret: Slightly higher profit margin than original. Just ask which country of origin it is from. Expect Singapore, and even as far as Dubai.
Pros: New models are available for purchase before official launch in the country. Cheaper than retail prices. Plenty of stock
Cons: No more warranty. Expensive repair parts. Shit resale value. Practically useless once product life cycle ends, unless you’re prepared to fork out a lot of money for a replacement. Crappy free gifts.
Refurbished Sets: Phones that are discontinued or have been recycled into new sets, sold as new, but at a much lower price. Usually without official warranty, these phones are “technically” as good as new, just no longer officially sold. Usually same warranty policy and pros and cons as AP sets.
Secret: It’s actually unsold brand new sets that are no longer sold by official stores, or traded-in phones that has had their internals and externals replaced and dolled up to be sold as brand new.
Examples of big time AP and Refurbished dealers: DirectD and ID Wholesale (If you get these names from your dealers even when they insist it’s original, you need to question its authenticity IMMEDIATELY.
Clone Sets: Replica models of any brand, these phones were made for those who cannot afford their original counterparts. Made to look and function exactly the same, but significantly poorer in performance, quality, and hardware. Majority comes from China, and other mass producing countries. Be very careful when buying these phones. They’re not even fit for budget or basic use. You can usually tell by testing a few things on the devices, such as checking out the screen, using the camera, the interface, and even the motherboard/battery slot. These devices are not even classified to be AP nor ORI, just…poor in quality. If you land yourself with one, you can sue and report the shop’s name to the authorities, unless it was your intention to buy one (I wouldn’t know why would you but it’s your life).
Secret: Just confront if it is a Clone set, they have no choice but to admit.
Trade secret: Margins are high, costs are low and after sales do not exist.
Trade-ins/ Second Hands: This is pretty much a random, lucky draw. If you’re in luck, you’ll end up with a near-perfect, original used device that functions perfectly. Otherwise, you might end up with a device with hidden problems that everyone keeps hush about. It’s definitely cheaper, but you won’t know whether you’re getting original or AP, refurbished or stolen. It’s still cheap though, so test your luck if you’re trying to save a couple of hundred ringgit by settling for a used device.