Are you planning a trip to Bangkok anytime soon and don’t know where to land up to shop for electronics? Thailand is known for its electronics shopping hubs but for both good and bad reasons. While there is a huge market for genuine products, Thailand is also known for its first copy market. Fortunately, I had a chance to visit Bangkok last month for a couple of days. In my short time there, I explored a bunch of places to
1. Pick Fortune Town IT Mall over Pantip Plaza
I learnt this on my last day of the trip. Pantip Plaza, which was previously known as a shopping hub for all kinds of electronics in Bangkok now seems to have gone down when it comes to genuine products.
Yes, there were a couple of huge stores like JIB and IT City, however, the sheer number of options have gone down drastically. If you are looking to buy third-party accessories like tripods, earphones etc., Pantip Plaza will still serve you just fine.
On the other hand, if you want to do legit electronics shopping and are looking for some real stuff, go to Fortune Town IT Mall. It is a four-storey mall in the Krung Thep Maha Nakho area of Bangkok and the nearest metro station is Phra Ram 9.
Fortune Town has more genuine products in all categories especially if you are looking to buy
2. You will not save a lot on accessories but there are exclusives
If you are looking to buy accessories like earphones, speakers, smart watches etc., Bangkok is not a good place for you. Not because they don’t have the options, but because you will not get good deals on these products.
For instance, Huawei’s AM61 bluetooth earphones are THB 1290 (approx. Rs 2,800) while on Flipkart you can get them for Rs 2,599. The famous Sony WH-100XM3 noise cancelling headphones are THB 13,990 (approx. Rs 31,000) whereas on Amazon, it is available for Rs 29,990.
Even camera accessories like tripods, gimbals etc. were either a little expensive or at par with Indian pricing.
But, Bangkok surely has a lot more options and variety when it comes to these accessories especially drones and camera accessories. You will be tempted to buy a lot of products that are otherwise not available in India. For example, Xiaomi’s Mi Notebook Air or Xiaomi
3. Look for international warranty
This is an important one because people don’t generally confirm this while purchasing a product. If you are buying from big electronics stores like JIB, Banana, IT City etc. they will have a lot of products with international warranty.
For me, I got 2 years of international warranty on my Asus Zenbook 14 while in India we only get 1 year of on-site warranty.
Another important thing to note is that make sure the warranty is valid in your country. Most of the manufacturers have set
4. Claim VAT refund while returning
I am pretty sure a lot of you are not aware about this. While purchasing electronics from any of the stores, just ask them if they take part in the VAT refund scheme.
For the unintended, if you are a tourist and are purchasing luxury goods from Thailand, you can get back the VAT (Value Added Tax) you paid on the goods. However, there are 3 main conditions –
- Goods must be of value THB 5,000 or more
- You must be leaving Thailand within 60 days from the date of purchase
- Single purchases must be of value of THB 2,000 or more per day. For example, if you purchase a laptop worth THB 15,000 and you stayed for 15 days in Thailand then you are not eligible to get the VAT refund.
How to get VAT refund?
While purchasing the goods from the store, ask them to fill the VAT refund form for you and attach it with the original invoice. While you are at the departure, you will have to show the goods and the VAT refund form to get it stamped. Check the detailed process on How to get VAT refund from here.
The VAT refund window at the airport generally has a long queue so make sure you are at the airport at least 1 hour before your scheduled time.
This is perhaps the most important of all the tips. When you are in Thailand for shopping, bargain as much as you can. However, you definitely need to have good skills. Thai people are not the most bargain friendly people in the world but if you have your game right, you will get some extra brownie discount every time.
Even at shopping at big shopping malls and stores just ask them if there is any discount or they are willing to bargain. I managed to get a THB 500 extra discount on my laptop just by bargaining at a store like IT City. Even better if you can take along a local friend who would then be your middleman whenever you bargain.
So these were the top 5 tips, in my opinion, if you are shopping electronics in Bangkok. Do you think you have more? Let us know in the comment section below.