How to find bargain DVDs and CDs
Streaming sites and Apple's iTunes store might slowly be killing off physical media, but there is still something about the real thing that cannot be beaten. HMV and other major stores charge high prices, so where can one get affordable DVDs, CDs and other media in Hong Kong?
Your first stop should be Sino Centre on Nathan Road in Mong Kok, a veritable geek's paradise within a five-floor shopping mall. Head down into the basement for an entire floor dedicated to shops selling affordable DVDs and CDs. Second-hand goods are sometimes sold, but many stores prefer new items, with prices at least half that of the big outlets.
This is because of their import methods, with the stores buying consignment goods from warehouses in Japan, Europe and occasionally the US, which means that true collectors can often find cheap limited-edition items.
On a recent visit, a new Jack White CD was selling for HK$50, DVDs of recent Hollywood blockbusters for as low as HK$20 and a rare Italian Blu-ray import of Suspiria for about HK$100.
Similarly, the Oriental 188 Shopping Mall on Wan Chai Road might focus mostly on video-game stores, but a few brave owners have opened CD and DVD outlets.
Most sell second-hand selections, but bargains are still to be had - a local Blu-ray of Source Code was just HK$40, some rare Nirvana CDs were HK$50 each, and for those who still have the defunct hi-def player, a whole bunch of HD-DVDs were available for just HK$10.
If you are looking for something new and specific, head five minutes from there to Rock Gallery in Tai Yau Plaza on Johnston Road (Wan Chai) for one of the biggest independent music and video stores in the city.
They sell a wide selection of media for about 20 per cent less than the bigger chains. If they do not have it, they will order it for the same low price.
Those working in Central with a spare lunch hour to kill should try Queen Victoria Street, which is an upstairs treasure trove of music. Three stores in particular sell a messy selection of old vinyl, CDs and DVDs: Pro Sound at number three, Choice Hi-Fi at number five and Collectibles at number 11.
Some classic Beatles records were available recently for less than HK$100, as well as a bunch of great CDs and DVDs for just HK$20 each.
And for people willing to give up their evenings for some great finds, the little known Pei Ho Street Market in Sham Shui Po sees hawkers setting up makeshift street-stalls every night to sell whatever they can. Often, there are movies and music that many people throw out - remember to bring a flashlight and bargain hard.
Finally, a piece of online advice: Spotify, the popular digital streaming music service, finally came to Hong Kong last week.
It allows you to stream millions of popular songs free through your laptop - or, for just HK$48 a month, get all that music on every device you own, including mobile phones and tablets.