Back from an AWESOME vacation in Australia, what a beautiful country! ... got to see "heaps" of places
(I noticed that the Australians I interacted with, used the word "heaps" a lot).
"Wanker" is another word that seems to be quite popular in Australia
I'll be posting some photos and some memorable experiences shortly, meanwhile I wanted to share a little about my shopping experience in Melbourne.
I visited Digital Direct, Ted's & Michael's and bought:
GoPro Black 3+ and DJI Quad copter from Digital Direct (Elizabeth Street)
Two Extra Batteries for Quad Copter and BoPro Hero Black 3+ from Michael's (Elizabeth Street)
Sony BCQM1 Charger (for my Sony a7), LowePro Toploader Zoom 10 Rezo & GoPro Tripod Adaptor from Ted's (Chadstone)
What I learned shopping at these places was that EVERY SINGLE one of those stores tried to rip me off by charging anywhere between 20% to 100% more than the prices I eventually bought for. Michael's tried to charge me AU$ 1500 for GoPro Black 3+ & Quadcopter, Ted's tried to charge me AU$ 1589 ... so I took the Aussie CR member's advice and told the sales rep at Digital Direct that I was getting it for AU$1200 (DD's original quote was AU$1400) ... the sales rep consults with his manager and comes back willing to sell (DJI Quadcopter and Go Pro Black 3+) for AU$ 1200 and also throws in 2 additional (Watson) batteries for the GoPro 3+ and a Rode Smartlav Lapel Mic for free. Since I am a tourist, I also got the GST amount of AU$ 110 refunded from the Melbourne airport under TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme). So I got all of the above for AU$ 1090 (which I think is a very good deal) ... me VERY HAPPY
But when I tried to buy 2 additional phantom flight batteries for the DJI Phantom Quadcopter, Digital Direct tried to charge me AU$ 50 for each of the batteries ... so I went to Michael's and got those 2 batteries for AU$25 each (half of what DD was trying to charge me).
A few days later I went to Ted's Camera Store at Chadstone Mall, as I couldn't find a battery charger for my Sony a7 anywhere else. Ted's quote was AU$100 ... so I went to Myer who gave me a quote of AU$80 ... so I go back to Ted's and told them about Myer's quote ... Ted's immediately drops their price to AU$ 70 ... so I bought the charger and a LowePro Top Loader Zoom 10 Rezo (which fits perfectly for Sonay a7 with 28-70 with room for 2 additional batteries in the front comportment) ... but when I asked for a GoPro vehicle mount suction cup, Ted's wanted to charge AU$80 ... so I went to Myer and got the same thing for AU$ 40
I could not believe the difference in prices from store to store ... it felt as if I was haggling at an Indian fish market. But thanks to the excellent tips and advice from the Aussie CR members here, I'm very happy to have got some good deals ... best of all I'm also getting the GST refunded.
From my limited experience I found Digital Direct to have the best customer service as they were very patient and friendly ... they allowed me to try over a dozen different lenses.
Sales reps at Michael's were very friendly but their prices were quite a bit higher than Digital Direct. Ted's was the least friendly, they did not seem to be interested in a customer (me) asking them questions about the gear ... I would have preferred not to buy from Ted's but they were the only ones who had the Sony charger and it was difficult to that charger anywhere else in Melbourne.