Editorial Update: We have received an email from the PR firm representing Deal.com.sg on the topic:
“We would like to clarify that the $169 price cited in the blog post quoted in your article was a special promotion by the manufacturer that was only in effect for a very limited period. Specifically on 8 April 2014, Tuesday, from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm. Since then, the promotion has ended and the phone is currently not available at that price.
Presently the phone is only available from third-party retailers who are selling the REDMI at S$299, or higher.
DEAL.com.sg works with over 3,000 merchants in Singapore, with each product category being managed by specialists in their respective fields.
Before each deal is posted, prices are cross checked with 4-5 of the main distributors or merchants, ensuring that discounts set by DEAL.com.sg are the most competitive and prices reflect the market average.
As such, DEAL.com.sg based its offer for REDMI on the current market price, as advised by suppliers at S$299.”
The online shopping vertical in Singapore has been getting more and more competitive especially this year, which saw the launch of several giant e commerce sites including Japan’s Rakuten, as well as China’s Taobao in Singapore. Other players in the online shopping space includes Zalora, SingPost’s online shopping site Omigo, Groupon Singapore, among others.
Due to the competitive landscape, companies have been trying different ways to attract customers. According to tech blog Ridz.sg, they found out that one e commerce company, Deal.com.sg has been dishonest in their marketing.
Update 14th April 2014: The original article has been taken down by tech blog Ridz.sg.
The company had listed Xiaomi’s Redmi at a price of S$228, and if you purchase the phone from them, you will enjoy a 24% savings. However, the original price of Redmi is actually lower than the listed price, which is at S$169, as noted on their site. Currently, you are unable to purchase Redmi as they are all sold out.
Ivan, the author at Ridz.sg has also reached out to Deal.com.sg for clarification and has yet to receive any updates from the company at the time of the writing.
Xiaomi has been relatively popular since they landed in Singapore. During their inaugural launch, Xiaomi’s Redmi device was snapped up in 8 minutes, with reports from customers saying that they couldn’t place the purchase anymore a few minutes after it is available online.
For the first time ever, Xiaomi’s product MI 3 and Hongmi also recently entered the list of the world’s ten best-selling smartphones, according to Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
Perhaps Deal.com.sg is trying to ride on the hype to attract customers who did not manage to get their hands on the Xiaomi phone online.