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, inside you’ll find each 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 Apple products Steve Jobs hasn’t seen yet. If it has electricity, you’ll find it here --- iPods and headphones, flatscreen TVs and Blu-Ray players, Playstations and VR headsets. However, the market’s real speciality is computer products, including an almost endless supply of laptops, both new and old, and of 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 favour domestic brand 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.
How Do I Get There?
The market can be found on Huaqiang Bei Lu and is best accessed by metro to Huaqianglu Station
Can I Do This In a Day Trip From Hong Kong?
Is It Cheap?
Yes, but don’t expect a steal. Retailers in the US and Europe, particularly online, 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 to upgrade a desktop computer.
But Will I Get Ripped Off?
It is a possibility. 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 really branded products. Samsung's Panasonic's and other nifty word plays are common - check the packaging and check the product before you pay.
Returning faulty or misleading goods is almost impossible.
Read more on How to Shop for Electronics in Hong Kong and Shenzhen to make sure you get the Microsoft microchip you wanted and not a vintage processor fished out of a 1981 Atari St.