IT retailers still upbeat with SST

By KEVIN WONG / Pic By TMR

Retailers of information technology (IT) products are not expecting any huge impact on their businesses with the reintroduction of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on Sept 1.

A random market survey by The Malaysian Reserve reveals that most of the IT retailers are still upbeat about the consumers’ reaction, with several stores maintaining the pre-SST prices for products that were brought in before the inception date.

Christopher Leong, a mobile phone retailer, said he has yet to increase the prices of the existing stocks.

“The existing stock of smartphones are from the time when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was zero-rated. I do not think it will be fair for my customers if I increase the price.

“However, for any stock that comes in from Sept 1 onwards, the prices would be different as SST has been implemented,” he said.

He said despite having to increase the price due to the re-implementation of the tax system, he does not expect any heavy impact on his sales performance.

“I still have quite a handful of products pre-SST and it will definitely take a while to completely sell them off,” he said, adding that sales had soared up to 65% during the three months of 0% GST.

A camera retailer, who wished to remain anonymous, said he will only be increasing the prices after Sept 16 as he is currently running a “Merdeka and Malaysia Day” promotion.

“I decided to run a two-week promotion despite SST being implemented as I believe it will continue to drive more sales following the GST-free period.

“This will give more time for consumers to purchase any IT gadgets before SST comes in full swing,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said he would only apply SST charges on products that are launched and imported from Sep 1.

“We do not want to be selfish and increase the price just because SST has been re- implemented,” he said.

Meanwhile, TP-Link Distribution Malaysia Sdn Bhd director Hugo Cai said the company has prepared itself to absorb any brunt that might be faced with the re-implementation of SST. “This is something we have prepared since the announcement was made. At the same time, it depends on whether the prices go up or down.

“For us, this is not something new as when we first started business in Malaysia, SST was already in place,” he said. According to TP-Link’s calculated market research, Cai is expecting the market to be initially slow for the first few months, if not the first few weeks after the re-implementation of SST.

“This is normal and consumers will need some time to adjust with the new prices. Nonetheless, we are optimistic that this will not affect our sales as the nation’s buying power is stable,” he said.

With regard to TP-Link and Neffos vendors, he said the firm is considering to absorb some of the costs if vendors’ businesses are affected.

“We have met with our vendors to discuss possible contingency plans, so that everyone would benefit mutually,” he added.