Singapore is a great shopping destination and I travel yearly to purchase additional gear for my studio, either from Cathay Photo or Shriro, sometimes both outlets, as the brands I am using are not available at my normal dealer LeDuc in Saigon.
I do not enjoy any sponsorship from any of them, but I do get excellent customer service and I would like to mention them in my blog post. I might add Thuan My as well. Testimonials below.
Normally, my trips to Singapore are done in 24 hours or less. I fly in, pick up my pre-ordered items and check in to a hotel, sleep, wake up and if I do have an hour to spare, I take a morning walk snapping away before boarding the flight back to Saigon. Expensive some would say. An investment I would counter, as we compete in the marketplace by providing quality, not low cost. Quality is never cheap and low cost can be twice as expensive when it does not fulfill its intended purpose.
I recently heard about a resort that cut cost on the kitchen machinery. They did what they thought was a bargain, until a year later they realised the equipment was not up to the wear and tear. Now they have to replace it again. Expensive lesson.
Why I appreciate my suppliers and I am willing to endorse them free of charge:
Cathay Photo stock Elinchrom, the flash brand that lights up our studio. Swiss made and of superb quality. I once had a flashed that stopped working. Took it back and they repaired it free of charge as it was still covered by warranty. You get at least a full year warranty, that is much better than the normally 3 to 6 months you get in Saigon.
With Shriro, I bought my Hasselblad system. I did at one stage encounter the unthinkable. The camera jammed. I had to send it by DHL to Singapore for repair. They concluded it was too severe to fix and had to send it to Denmark. In the mean time they shipped back a similar model for me to use until the camera came back. Outstanding service. I don’t think I can ever thank them enough as I cannot rent a similar system in Vietnam. Had three assignments that I managed to complete with their help.
LeDuc has been supplying paper backgrounds and other studio gear and he is always available for a chat when you meet him in the store. Got the best deal in town on Lowepro bags. What he doesn’t stock is available as import in most cases, such as my background system.
Thuan My, our Mac supplier. Yes, I could probably get the hardware slightly cheaper elsewhere, but in terms of service, they are worth every single Dong. I had the system hard disk crashing, called them up and before lunchtime, they arrived. Took the culprit back for testing, concluded that it was beyond resurrection, came back with a new system disk (that we purchased) and installed it in the afternoon. Copied files from the Time machine back-up and we were up and running again.