Canon DSLR - Buying in Hong Kong

nheather

Distinguished Member
Have been planning on replacing my Canon 350D for a few months. Originally, I was going to go with a 600D, but then held off as the 650D was due out.

I've yet to see a 650D in the flesh to handle and the reviews available are still little more than first looks so I'm finding it hard to compare the 650D with the 600D.

In my research, I've also become aware of the 60D and the 7D - the 60D does look like a possibility.

But I'm still holding off until I can see a 650D in the flesh and to read some more comprehensive reviews.

In the meantime, I have just booked my Christmas Holday to Australia to see relatives and managed to secure good priced flights with a Hong Kong stop over.

This has introduced two more options for me

Buy a camera in duty free (UK, HK or Oz)

Buy a camera when in HK

Wonder if anyone knows what the potential savings would be, what would be the best option.

For example, there are several UK based importers that I can buy from (650D body for £589 for example) which include a 3 year warranty (that they arrange) and I wonder whether buying duty free or in HK could beat that.

In theory, Dixons at UK airports should sell a 650D body for £584 (RRP - VAT) but in my experience they don't do this. The prices I have looked at are very rarely as low as they should be (with VAT removed).

Also does anyone know if there are any new models in the 60D, 7D range in the pipeline.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

magoo1

Novice Member
There are several issues here!
Firstly the idea of duty free at uk airports is long dead. you only save a few quid at best these days!
You could well buy cheaper in HK or Aus but be aware that if you get stopped by UK customs on your return you will pay import tax AND VAT on your purchases. You may think it worth the risk but...
Google Hong Kong camera shops for an idea of prices..
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Thanks,

Yes I'm aware of bringing it back into the country - I think that would be a small risk because I would remove it from the packaging and use it throughout my Australia trip.

However, having a quick look, the price for a 650D body is around the £540 mark. Given that would be a non-UK model that Canon would not warranty in the UK I'm not convinced it is a good deal.

Especially as I can buy one in the UK (imported but delivered from the UK) and with 3 years warranty for £589.

I can also buy from Comet\Currys\PC World\Jessops through a company benefits discount scheme.

Might give Dixons Tax Free a call to see what they are charging - as you say, and from my experience, it is anything but tax free.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

FlyingShrapnel

Well-known Member
I am from HK and I would say avoid buying in HK due to shops which con customers. it happens from time to time and it appears on the news every now and then, shops that sell refurbished for more than the price of new ones or forcing customers to pay for older models at extortionate prices. Makes me ashamed of my own "country" in a way :( The chances of getting conned is much smaller as I can see that you know your stuff but why risk it? And what about warranty if something breaks? Just get it via the importer for warranty's sake, at least there will be something you can fall back on if anything goes wrong... :smashin:

Edit: just re read your post and you won't encounter any of these scamming shops if you stay in the airport during your transfer, so you can shop with confidence inside the airport as they are all big, more trust worthy companies that can afford the rent to sell there. But I would still suggest buying through the importer you found for warranty's sake :)
 
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jian

Active Member
The days of buying bargain priced camera equipment from Hong Kong is long gone. There is no real price competition here because the major stores are run by the same billionaires. On top of that Sterling has weakened. Five years ago you could make savings of at least 25%. Nowadays, savings are closer to 5-10%. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. It all depends on the exchange rate. Some stores will throw in a lot of freebies though.

HK isn't the rip off central that some will make you believe. Of you stick wih the major chains such as Broadway and Fortress you won't have any problems at all. Although uou will be paying full HK retail prices. Specialist stores such as Coxel, Man Shing and Wing Shing are reputable as well and often priced lower than the major chains. Stick with these guys and I guarantee you won't have any problems.

The stores to avoid are the ones by the star ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui and other tourist areas. You can recognise them because they are usually full of people sitting around (with no clear identification that they are staff), they do not appear to have any store branding whatsoever, and prices are never displayed.

As always it's always about preparation. If you want to be certain the store is not a con go the manufacturers website and see if the store is on the authorised dealer list. Note also that some stores will sell grey imports known as 'water goods'. These are usually a lot cheaper and have store warranty only. The major chains won't have these but the specialists will sometimes stock them but will clearly indicate that fact. By the way, HK isn't Bangkok so don't expect people to haggle unless you're in the markets.

Enjoy your trip. HK is great for photographers because it's so vibrant. It's also one of the safest cities in the world. Violent crime and street muggings are rare.
 

cabanatuan

Banned
Sorry i disagree with people saying u cant get bargains in hong kong. please tell me how come 100's of people can get a 5d3 for only 2l/2,3k now?

some in this forum have bought from digitelrev and the likes and had NO issues whatsoever
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Sorry i disagree with people saying u cant get bargains in hong kong. please tell me how come 100's of people can get a 5d3 for only 2l/2,3k now?
I don't think he ever said that. He said that you have to be very careful because there are reports of sellers passing off refurbs as new. He did say the risk is a lot smaller if you know your stuff.

Even then, if I was given a well packed refurb I'm not sure I would spot it until the point (perhaps at registration) it was found to have a previous owner - by that time I could be 6,000 miles away.

By the way, airport prices are usually above retail. I wouldn't bother if I were you.
Dixons at the airport must be making a killing. At the airport, the wording used does suggest tax-free shopping but the reality is nothing like that. The very fact that Dixons at the airport advertise that they will beat any price from Amazon, Comet and John Lewis demonstrates just how much of a laugh they are having. Why would you go to the faff of buying at the airport when you can buy from John Lewis at practically the same price?

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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cabanatuan

Banned
nheather said:
I don't think he ever said that. He said that you have to be very careful because there are reports of sellers passing off refurbs as new. He did say the risk is a lot smaller if you know your stuff.

Even then, if I was given a well packed refurb I'm not sure I would spot it until the point (perhaps at registration) it was found to have a previous owner - by that time I could be 6,000 miles away.

Dixons at the airport must be making a killing. At the airport, the wording used does suggest tax-free shopping but the reality is nothing like that. The very fact that Dixons at the airport advertise that they will beat any price from Amazon, Comet and John Lewis demonstrates just how much of a laugh they are having. Why would you go to the faff of buying at the airport when you can buy from John Lewis at practically the same price?

Cheers,

Nigel
I have not heard a single person mention digitalrev selling a refurbished.

Stick with Dr and you can't go wrong
 

FlyingShrapnel

Well-known Member
The days of buying bargain priced camera equipment from Hong Kong is long gone. There is no real price competition here because the major stores are run by the same billionaires. On top of that Sterling has weakened. Five years ago you could make savings of at least 25%. Nowadays, savings are closer to 5-10%. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. It all depends on the exchange rate. Some stores will throw in a lot of freebies though.

HK isn't the rip off central that some will make you believe. Of you stick wih the major chains such as Broadway and Fortress you won't have any problems at all. Although uou will be paying full HK retail prices. Specialist stores such as Coxel, Man Shing and Wing Shing are reputable as well and often priced lower than the major chains. Stick with these guys and I guarantee you won't have any problems.

The stores to avoid are the ones by the star ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui and other tourist areas. You can recognise them because they are usually full of people sitting around (with no clear identification that they are staff), they do not appear to have any store branding whatsoever, and prices are never displayed.

As always it's always about preparation. If you want to be certain the store is not a con go the manufacturers website and see if the store is on the authorised dealer list. Note also that some stores will sell grey imports known as 'water goods'. These are usually a lot cheaper and have store warranty only. The major chains won't have these but the specialists will sometimes stock them but will clearly indicate that fact. By the way, HK isn't Bangkok so don't expect people to haggle unless you're in the markets.

Enjoy your trip. HK is great for photographers because it's so vibrant. It's also one of the safest cities in the world. Violent crime and street muggings are rare.
I agree with the Sterling being weaker and the savings less and that HK isnt a massive rip off central, yet. The way I see it going at the moment with more scams/theft/pick pocket etc targeting tourist in the more tourist areas it is going to turn into one eventually which is a real shame. HK built its tourist reputation as a cheap shopping heaven over many years and now its being destroyed by criminals :(

the bold bit in the quote is very well written, thats how you would spot the rip off shops :thumbsup:

Dixons at the airport must be making a killing. At the airport, the wording used does suggest tax-free shopping but the reality is nothing like that. The very fact that Dixons at the airport advertise that they will beat any price from Amazon, Comet and John Lewis demonstrates just how much of a laugh they are having. Why would you go to the faff of buying at the airport when you can buy from John Lewis at practically the same price?

Cheers,

Nigel
Thats a good point that, never thought of it that way round :facepalm:
 

tonyk79

Well-known Member
I am just out of dixons tax free at Heathrow Terminal 1 and I can confirm that Amazon are cheaper. I looked at a Sony 75-300 lens for £190 and it's £7 cheaper on Amazon. The canon 5d mk 3 was £3292 if I recall correctly and £2800ish on amazon. Give me 10 minutes and I will get you a price for the canon dslr
 

jian

Active Member
Sorry i disagree with people saying u cant get bargains in hong kong. please tell me how come 100's of people can get a 5d3 for only 2l/2,3k now?

some in this forum have bought from digitelrev and the likes and had NO issues whatsoever
I think the diffrent is buying while your in HK,and importing from HK.

If it was me i would buy before going,getting used to the camera,and if there is any thing wrong,you dont want to find out while in Aus.

:)
funnily enough it is sometimes cheaper to import from hk than to buy while you're in the city. The city has some of the most expensive commercial rents in the world, so mail order only outfits save a lot of money by not renting retail space.

Digital rev used to have a store in Tsim Sha Tsui but they closed it down. Their offices are in the new territories now and I don't think they have a retail presence anymore.

With the exception of the apple store, online retailing isn't a big thing here. Most people like to touch and try the item before buying.

I'm not a canon user so maybe the pricing in hk is more generous than it is in the uk. Every time I've gone looking for Nikon gear its been cheaper for me to import it from the UK.

I agree with the Sterling being weaker and the savings less and that HK isnt a massive rip off central, yet. The way I see it going at the moment with more scams/theft/pick pocket etc targeting tourist in the more tourist areas it is going to turn into one eventually which is a real shame. HK built its tourist reputation as a cheap shopping heaven over many years and now its being destroyed by criminals :(
C'mon, are we talking about the same city?

Of course there are scams but you make it sound as if a tourist can't move without being pick pocketed, scammed etc.

Where are you getting your information from?
 

cabanatuan

Banned
funnily enough it is sometimes cheaper to import from hk than to buy while you're in the city. The city has some of the most expensive commercial rents in the world, so mail order only outfits save a lot of money by not renting retail space.

Digital rev used to have a store in Tsim Sha Tsui but they closed it down. Their offices are in the new territories now and I don't think they have a retail presence anymore.

With the exception of the apple store, online retailing isn't a big thing here. Most people like to touch and try the item before buying.

I'm not a canon user so maybe the pricing in hk is more generous than it is in the uk. Every time I've gone looking for Nikon gear its been cheaper for me to import it from the UK.



C'mon, are we talking about the same city?

Of course there are scams but you make it sound as if a tourist can't move without being pick pocketed, scammed etc.

Where are you getting your information from?
here in the uk a 5d3 is 2.8k and in DR it is only 2.3k.

it is 2k if you buy it from another place i cant quite pronounce or remember but it begins with "P".

as you can see. thats nearly 1k price in savings alone!

Infact, you can pick up the 5d3 WITH the kit L lens for same price of 2.8k!
 

FlyingShrapnel

Well-known Member
jian said:
C'mon, are we talking about the same city?

Of course there are scams but you make it sound as if a tourist can't move without being pick pocketed, scammed etc.

Where are you getting your information from?
I get my info from staying in Hong Kong for 4weeks a year in the summer for the last 18 years. A tourist can move around but there are newer and newer scams out there. There's the photography crews who charge 100hkd or something for a couple of photos anyone can take. And they have tables/chairs set up on the street which are technically illegal. They never existed a few years ago. What I'm saying is you have to be fairly alert to stay "safe", not like constantly checking 360 degrees around you but gotta look out for things and hold your ground if confronted by scammers asking you for money for a photo you never wanted them to take for example.
 
FlyingShrapnel said:
I get my info from staying in Hong Kong for 4weeks a year in the summer for the last 18 years. A tourist can move around but there are newer and newer scams out there. There's the photography crews who charge 100hkd or something for a couple of photos anyone can take. And they have tables/chairs set up on the street which are technically illegal. They never existed a few years ago. What I'm saying is you have to be fairly alert to stay "safe", not like constantly checking 360 degrees around you but gotta look out for things and hold your ground if confronted by scammers asking you for money for a photo you never wanted them to take for example.
I must have been really lucky in my two years spent living in Hong Kong as neither me or anyone I know ever had any trouble of any sort...

As for buying cameras in Hong Kong, there are a large number of reputable shops out there, far cheaper than Broadway and Fortress.

I just bought the D7000 with kit lens from Echo photo shop in Tsim Sha Tsui for HK$9500, it was around $12000 in the high street stores.

http://www.echophotoaudio.com/en/about.html

There are a lot of dodgy stores in HK, particularly in TST but anyone who implies there are no decent non high street stores has not done their homework. My advice is stay clear of any store that advertises 'no tax', there is no sales tax inHong Kong at all, the main reason you will not save any money in the airport.

This website has just about everything you need to know about buying cameras and lenses in Hong Kong.

http://rolandlim.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/recommended-camera-shops-in-hong-kong/

Bargains are definitely there to be had with electricals in Hong Kong, you just have to know where to look for them.

P.S. Stock up on your memory cards either at Golden Computer Centre in Sham Shui Po or Wanchai Computer Centre.
 
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jian

Active Member
I get my info from staying in Hong Kong for 4weeks a year in the summer for the last 18 years. A tourist can move around but there are newer and newer scams out there. There's the photography crews who charge 100hkd or something for a couple of photos anyone can take. And they have tables/chairs set up on the street which are technically illegal. They never existed a few years ago. What I'm saying is you have to be fairly alert to stay "safe", not like constantly checking 360 degrees around you but gotta look out for things and hold your ground if confronted by scammers asking you for money for a photo you never wanted them to take for example.
So you don't actually live in hk?

Sorry, but the photographers on the Peak and Tsim Sha Tsui who charge you for a photo is a poor example. Starbucks and Pacific Coffee charge nearly $50 for a coffee anyone with a coffee machine can make. Does that make them a rip off? Fact of the matter is they are offering a legitimate service. Just because you don't like the price (which isn't actually extortionate) doesn't make it a rip off. I won't go into the other example that you have used to show criminality in HK...

The fact of the matter is that Hk is a safe place to visit and to shop. Scams exist but if you use your common sense you won't get caught up in it. Stick with the known shops and you can't go wrong. Even locals don't shop at the shops by the star ferry. As whether there are bargains here, there obviously are but from my experience at least and those of friends who have visited, the prices aren't as attractive as from a few years ago.

And it's probably better to buy a grey import than an official Hk model because the savings will be even greater. The warranty isn't really an issue because most tourists won't stand to benefit anyway. Just check that the machine has English menus.

I
 

jian

Active Member
here in the uk a 5d3 is 2.8k and in DR it is only 2.3k.

it is 2k if you buy it from another place i cant quite pronounce or remember but it begins with "P".

as you can see. thats nearly 1k price in savings alone!

Infact, you can pick up the 5d3 WITH the kit L lens for same price of 2.8k!
Sounds a bargain!

Those are the kind of savings I was talking about.

Pity I can't find a d800 for that kind of saving. The cheapest I've seen so far isn't that far off from the uk price. Maybe it will come down a bit more when production ramps up.
 
I second what Jian said about grey imports, you can make a huge saving on something that will most likely not go wrong in the first year. Just make sure you test the hell out of it in the store, a reputable seller will not mind you doing this.

Saying that though, the D7000 came with a HK warrant for the body (I'll be in Singapore from August and travelling back to HK often so that is fine) and a worldwide warranty on the lens.

Just check out the shops on the website I gave you and you will find cameras cheaper than in the UK or in the HK high street stores mentioned, Fortress and Broadway.
 

FlyingShrapnel

Well-known Member
jian said:
So you don't actually live in hk?

Sorry, but the photographers on the Peak and Tsim Sha Tsui who charge you for a photo is a poor example. Starbucks and Pacific Coffee charge nearly $50 for a coffee anyone with a coffee machine can make. Does that make them a rip off? Fact of the matter is they are offering a legitimate service. Just because you don't like the price (which isn't actually extortionate) doesn't make it a rip off. I won't go into the other example that you have used to show criminality in HK...
Well I do live there, but I also stay in England during university term times.

The photographers aren't legitimate. They are selling on the streets, with a set up of tables and equipment which makes it illegal instead of just being in the grey area of providing a service. They are using public space for commercial activities without a license.

The point I'm trying to make is rather be too cautious than not enough. Doing so has always served me well :) your right in my implications might be exaggerating the crime rates, but they do exist and they can catch any of us out if we aren't careful.
 

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