Competing fairs bring bargains for buyers
Johnny Tam and Michael Au
Gadget geeks are expecting another bargain-packed August as the city's two rival computer groups once again hold overlapping trade fairs.
The first of the two events, the Computer Mall Festival, which will be held simultaneously at the Wan Chai Computer Centre and a cluster of malls in Sham Shiu Po, will offer more than 100 cut-price gizmos to the first few hundred shoppers to queue up.
Some items, including a portable multi-charger and an all-in-one data card reader and 16-gigabyte thumb drive, will be sold for as little as HK$1.
The 13-day fair will start next Wednesday and run until August 27, the longest duration of its four-year history. The mall fair was started by the Hong Kong Computers Association - a group of small and medium-sized retailers - in response to sales competition from the other event, the Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival, started seven years earlier.
That four-day expo will be held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai and will run from August 24 to 27. The two competing events have benefited buyers as dealers try to undercut each other.
The Wan Chai expo will offer eye-watering discounts of up to 87 per cent on the retail prices on some items, after the organiser joined forces with the Mong Kok Computer Centre. Products such as the ASUS Nexus 7 tablet, AKG's flagship K3003i in-ear headphones, and Acer's Aspire Timeline U laptop computer will make their official debuts at the convention centre event.
'We spent a lot of effort selecting products with unbeatable prices,' said Jacky Cheung Yiu-sing, director of the Chamber of Hong Kong Computer Industry, the event's organiser.
Meanwhile, visitors to the mall fair will be able to exchange old printers and monitors for 30 per cent off a new Epson printer or a new Topcon monitor. Those who spend at least HK$100 at the event will be eligible to enter draws to win hot new products, such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7 and Nokia's Lumia 900 smartphone.
'As we open nine days before [the convention centre event does], we hope to absorb the market's consumption power first,' said association vice-chairman Lui Kin-chung. 'After buying what they need, shoppers will only walk around the [other] fair.'
Lui said he expected the mall fair to attract even more shoppers this year, with an estimated 80,000 daily attendees during the week and 120,000 at the weekend.
'We heard from the public [last year] that they couldn't even get into the venue as it was so crowded,' Lui said. 'So we extended the festival this year in order to disperse the crowds.'