Bangkok and shopping are two words that go hand-in-hand together. Not only does Bangkok have a myriad of things to shop for, but prices are also unbelievably cheap, especially if you know where to go to and how to bargain. While the city is a treasure trove of shopping places, today we tackle a mall that’s beloved by most Singaporeans—Platinum Fashion Mall.
Platinum Fashion Mall is HUGE. And while that may be music to a shopaholic’s ears, the mall’s vast size and sheer amount of shops can be overwhelming and intimidating to even the most experienced of shoppers. Watch our video to see how Associate Editor Sophie and Fashion Editor fared when they were given only two hours to shop for an outfit for each other when they were in Bangkok for a trip.
If it’s your first time there, or if you haven’t been back in a while, here are some handy tips on how to make the most of your shopping experience.
For more guides on how to shop like a Fashion Editor, click here.
1. Determine what kind of shopper you are
Platinum Fashion Mall is essentially split into two complexes. The older wing consists of Zones 1 and 2 and in here, you’ll find lots of great and cheap deals. Prices for accessories start from 50 baht ($2), clothes start from 100 baht ($4), and shoes and bags can start from around 200 baht ($8). In terms of designs, we spotted mostly basic items and casual pieces that are great for casual, everyday wear. But just a precaution, the quality of the items here tend to be comparable to what you would typically find in blog shops. In fact, many local blog shops actually buy their stocks in bulk here.
Zone 3 tends to be a lot more fashion-forward, and you’ll be able to find really interesting statement pieces that are inspired by runway trends. In fact, while we were there, we spotted Prada-esque pyjamas and Off-White style tank tops and jackets. The downside is that prices tend to be a lot more expensive and you’re likely to come across fake goods here. Clothes typically start in the 400 baht ($20) range and can go up to 1,200 baht ($48) for a jacket. And while these prices compared to Singapore are still relatively affordable, it is a bit pricey for Bangkok.
2. Leave your boyfriend at home (or at least at the food court on the 6th floor)
The mall is mostly catered to girls, so unless you have extremely patient male friends/partners, it’s best if you make this a girl’s day out with your BFFs instead. And if they don’t mind tagging along or getting a spot of shopping done for themselves, they still can explore Zones 1 and 2 on the fourth floor where the men’s stuff can be found.
…but don’t forget to bring your friends
Many shops don’t have any changing rooms or even mirrors. If you’re lucky, some store owners would allow your friends to help you snap a photo so that you can see how your item looks. Some shops completely forbid photo-taking though, so take friends whose advice you trust the most because you might have to rely on them to make a judgment call.
3. Put aside enough time for it
As we mentioned earlier, the mall is HUGE. With over six floors of shops in two buildings, there are over 2,000 shops to explore. Make sure you dedicate at least half a day while you’re here because exploring the different floors will take a lot of time.
Opening hours are from 9am to 8pm, but most shops open around 10am or 11 am and start to pack up at around 6.30 pm. So to maximise your time, grab a late brunch and try to shop within the hours of 11 am to 6 pm.
4. Know what the prices mean
Most stores with price tags on their items will indicate two different numbers. The lower price is the wholesale price, which most shop owners are only willing to give if you buy in bulk. The minimum is usually two items, but it differs from store to store. Certain shop owners might also be flexible on giving you wholesale prices if you buy many one-off pieces in their store as opposed to bulk quantities of the exact same item.
If you’re only buying one, don’t push too hard for the wholesale price. It’s a wholesale market, so these store owners are probably keener on bulk buyers as opposed to one-off customers who are shopping for their own personal use.
Certain shops don’t list down prices, and that’s where you have to be careful. This usually means the prices aren’t fixed and might be different every time you come back. Try to do your market research by checking the prices of similar items elsewhere in the mall so that you can be prepared to ask for the best prices when you enquire.
Platinum is also cash-only at almost every store so be prepared to bring as much as you’re willing to spend.
5. Don’t be an assh*le when it comes to bargaining
Which brings us to our next tip: don’t be difficult or a low baller when it comes to bargaining. Haggling can be fun, and honestly, most of the prices are already marked up because the store owners are expecting people to shave off at least 20% of the stated prices.
As a show off goodwill, we don’t recommend you go more than 30% of the prices given to you. A couple of hundred baht off of your desired item might be a steal to you, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that much when you convert it to SGD. At the end of the day, these store owners are also small businesses and need to make a living. If the item is within your means, just accept the prices given.
6. If you love something, just go ahead and get it
Because of the sheer volume of stores here, the merchandise is really very varied. The shops all sell different things and some might be really unique to the shop. If you see something that you love that is within your means, don’t hesitate to purchase it. A lot of the merchandise tends to be one-piece-only and the mall is so big, you might not even remember how to get back to the original store.