SINGAPORE — A couple went on a shopping spree and purchased more than S$9,000 worth of electrical appliances despite not even having their new home ready until next year. With the Goods and Service Tax (GST) set to increase from 7 per cent to 8 per cent on Jan 1, 2023, the couple saved about S$100 by paying for the high-ticket items in full.

The 36-year-old woman told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News that they made the decision based on the good deals from year-end sales and cost savings from paying 7 per cent GST only. Meanwhile, the merchant allowed them to store the purchased appliances in its warehouse as their new condominium apartment was not yet ready.

It was reported that the appliances would be delivered next year in June. A good amount of consumers are now taking advantage of the savings and purchasing big-ticket items like television sets, washing machines, and refrigerators, said the merchants interviewed.

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At the same time, merchants are offering storage services for up to six months for items purchased now. Some also throw in an added perk of instalment payments at 2022 prices without customers bearing the lump sum cost.

Furniture retailer Scanteak saw brisk business by offering such services, plus charging delivery fees set to 2022 pricing, reported Mothership.

Customers who wish to store their advance purchases for longer can do so with extra charges, while delivery charges are waived for those who opt to have the items delivered this year.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) also touched on prepayment plans and attached savings to this approach in a Facebook post on Monday (Dec 12).

It’s the season to be shopping… especially since the GST hike is looming around the corner!” it noted.

CASE listed some ways customers can protect themselves while taking the prepayment plan option, such as refraining from making full payment and negotiating for a low deposit amount with the remaining to be paid after delivery.

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The upcoming GST increase in Singapore will be followed by another increase from 8 to 9 per cent on Jan 1, 2024. /TISG

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ByHana O