Electronics in Shenzhen have been attracting penny-pinching Hong Kongers for years but now tourists, unimpressed by the small savings on electronics available in Hong Kong, have started venturing north of the border to take advantage of the cheaper price tags.
The answer to where to buy electronics in Shenzhen is simple, the SEG Electronics Market. Reckoned by some to be the biggest market of its kind on the globe, this is a supersized version of Hong Kong's many computer markets. Centered on two multi-story buildings, including the SEG Electronics Market building, you’ll find each building level stuffed with individual stalls and sellers. It’s impossible to estimate the number of sellers but it is certainly in the high hundreds. The fact the stalls are run as a small business is what keeps prices here so keen—each shop is in cut-throat competition to attract buyers.
On sale, you’ll find everything from knock-off microchips to well-known Apple products. If it has electricity, you’ll find it here, from iPads and headphones to flatscreen TVs and Blu-Ray players, and Playstations to VR headsets. However, the market's true specialty is computer products, including an almost endless supply of laptops new and old, video cards, monitors, and other hardware. It's also an excellent place to pick up camera equipment, although many buyers still prefer Hong Kong. While the selection tends to favor domestic brands goods, international brands are also easy to pick up. Large sections of the market are aimed at wholesale buyers but there are enough retailers selling to the public to fill any tech heads suitcase.
The market can be found on Huaqiang Bei Lu and is best accessed by metro to Huaqianglu Station.
SEG Electronics Market is cheap, but don’t expect a steal. Online retailers in the US and Europe are already very aggressive in offering deep discounts, so don't expect to see prices cut in half on branded products. Hardware for computers is probably the most competitively priced area, especially video cards, monitors, and other equipment used to upgrade a desktop computer.
It is possible to get ripped off. Tourist prices, limited warranties, and a language barrier are just some of the problems you’re likely to face when buying products at SEG. If you are buying Apple, Microsoft, or other branded software, be sure about the language installed on the device. Some products can be switched from Chinese to English, but not all of them. In some cases, sellers will attempt to upsell you a language pack after you have purchased the product and found it's locked to Chinese.
Make sure branded products are authentic. Misleading packaging and word plays are common—check everything carefully before you pay, as returning faulty or misleading goods is almost impossible.