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Author Topic: where to buy cheaper... Tokyo / Hong Kong / Australia / home + Australian Taxes?  (Read 5121 times)

Janco

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I'm new to this forum, so I wasn't quite sure where to post this thread... I hope it's alright  :)

I'm about to travel a year around Australia and wanted to buy some lenses and maybe also a new camera. I don't think the 5DII successor will be available by then but anyway...

Someone suggested me to stop over in Japan to buy my gear. I'm not sure if it makes sense. I started to google and found also suggestions about Hong Kong. Could someone give advice on that topic?

Desired lenses:
EF 16-35mm 2.8L II (Switzerland: 1340 CHF ~ 1615 USD)
TS-E 17mm 4.0 (2260 ~ 2725 USD)
maybe something else

I guess the price difference isn't that huge between different countries? I checked at a website from HongKong and had a price difference of about 10-20%. Is the warranty on Lenses internationally valid? And will I have to pay for the australian customs tax/fees even if I'm only travelling?

Last but not least, since it's my first post, I wanted to thank CRaig so much, it's a great site...!  :)

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wickidwombat

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hong kong is the cheapest

if you order from ebay sellers based in hong kong then anything under $1000 is exempt from import duty
anything over you run the gauntlet of getting slugged 10% GSt and 5% duty on top when it comes in
of course you might not get charged this too its a bot of a lottery

if you go to hong kong you can go into the big distributors like digital rev and most likely bargain a bit and get a good deal.
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sama

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I bought bodies and lenses in HONG KONG mostly. Grey market items, if available, are sometimes a lot cheaper. But that all depends on availabiilty. For Japan model, bodies may just have 2 languages - Japanese and English and the manuals are Japanese only.  For international models (as they usually call), bodies will include the firmware with all the languages same as the American models.

You may see the prices updating from the website of price.com.hk. Individual stores offer 7 days exchange if there is a manufacture defect. They will normally ask you to register as member for free and give them a positive feedback if you are totally satisfied. As a member, you entitle one year warranty covered by the shop. If necessary, they will send the defective item to the manufacturer in Japan to fix it. That's what I know but I never have a problem with the camera items I purchased from them.

Prices are normally not negotiable but due to the fluctuation in fx everyday, you may have to call to confirm the price and availability before you go. Bring your own camera body if you want to test a lens. Examine carefully the items you are interested before you make any decision. There may be a few of them selling refurbished and used items so you have to have the knowledge and judgement to distinguish between a brand new never used item and otherwise.

Better ask a friend residing in Hong Kong and who speak their language to accompany you ( of course a lot of salespersons there speak very fluent English too). For cutting operating cost, some shops are upstairs in old commercial buildings and that's why they can offer lower prices. I went there quite often when I visited Hong Kong every year and I was really astonished to see how much these small shops are selling everyday.

Have fun shopping in Hong Kong when you go there.

dr croubie

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Hong Kong, most definitely (although I don't know anything about Japan). If you're going there in person, go to Mong Kok Computer Centre and bargain around (and take cash, they'll charge extra for cards).

Price.com.hk has lots of prices for things from different shops, don't worry about the individual shops, but it's good to get ballpark figures. All in chinese, but just play with drop-down menus and the search box, you can find anything.

http://www.price.com.hk/product.php?p=111931 TS-E 17 i'm seeing prices around HK$17,000, which is just on AU$2030 (B+H has US$2300, plus shipping, and it will definitely get pinged on arrival for customs duties, a lens in your luggage you can maybe sneak through*)
*canonrumours and I take no legal responsibility for your actions.

http://www.price.com.hk/product.php?p=104946 16-35 II is HK$11,000, AU $1300 (B+H $1464)

As for warranties, canon aren't too nice, if it breaks in aus, you'll have to return it to the aus store (and or to canon with the aus store receipt) before they talk to you. Or at least that's my understanding, never had to thankfully (all my expensive stuff i bought in Netherlands, much cheaper there, even including their 19% sales tax)
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squarebox

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From my experience of just Japan and America, bodies and lens have all been significantly cheaper in the U.S.. So all my lens have been purchased in the states.  In general I've saved been $200-300 per lens by buying it in the U.S.

The grey-market isn't as bad.  When I dropped my U.S. lens here in Japan, which of course wouldn't be covered because it is shock damage, Canon Japan still fixed it, for a cost, without a problem.
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scottsdaleriots

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get ur gear from HK as everyone else has said. i'm a broke as(!) photography student and we only get 10% discount which is nothing since its only GST and that's only with the one store that's linked to the institution. i would def get all if not most from online HK dealers if it wasntr for the fact that it voids the warranty if it breaks.

wickidwombat

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get ur gear from HK as everyone else has said. i'm a broke as(!) photography student and we only get 10% discount which is nothing since its only GST and that's only with the one store that's linked to the institution. i would def get all if not most from online HK dealers if it wasntr for the fact that it voids the warranty if it breaks.
the reputable dealers on ebay have full warranty, you just have to return it to them in hongkong
1 dealer i have used is different and that is ozdigital online their return address is in NSW which makes it much cheaper to return if there is an issue.
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Janco

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Thank you all so much! After googling a bit I finally found some more information about Hong Kong prices and warranty.

for those interested:
http://rolandlim.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/camera-lens-street-price-list/
edit: It's not daily updated but I think more or (sometimes) less up to date.

I also read there, that the shops on the airport itself (between flights) are more expensive than those in the city, I'm used to get cheaper prices between flights, though I never bought equipment at such occasion and also never in Hong Kong... So is it still that way at Hong Kong airport that equipment is rather expensive?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 06:22:52 AM by Janco »

dr croubie

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Oh yeah, you can get better prices at Ted's than you can get at Hong Kong Airport. Even including the HK$100 each-way airport-express train to the city, it's much cheaper in Mong Kok, as long as you've got a 3-hour or longer stopover...
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adebrophy

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Warranties can be an issue but one thing to consider for HK is picking up some of the bargain lenses like the 50mm f1.8. I bought mine for less than GB£50 which was a steal as they were selling for twice that in the UK.

If this breaks I can rest easy writing it off. Likewise, things like some of the other sub £400 primes would be worth considering this gamble for. 
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