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Purchasing your projector directly from Germany can save you hundreds!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by johann1979, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. johann1979

    johann1979
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    Hello Guys and Girls,

    As promised I have started a new thread detailing my experiences in purchasing my projector directly from Europe. Sainthalo will document his experience importing his Z3 directly from Japan.

    Once you have taken the time to have a look at the prices of projectors in Germany, for instance, you will see that like cars, projectors are massively overpriced here in the UK.

    As the European Union is a free trade area, I believe it is every EU national's right to know that they can purchase their projector for literally hundreds less by using a German retailer.

    I hereby invite all feedback from all parts of the forum community and will vow to keep all the information here on my behalf factual.

    I have decided on the Hitachi PJ-TX100 - as I am a student it falls nicely into my price class and the savings I make by buying from Europe can be reinvested into my winter wardrobe.

    I have ordered the machine from a site called Hifi Components, Berhard Vehn at www.hificomponents.de. Funnily it is one of the few sites that will ship to the UK, can be viewed in English and is most definitely also the cheapest.

    Sadly it is not without it's obstacles. Due to the fact that companies cannot add a credit card surcharge to the price and must absorb costs themselves, I have discovered a sort of rebellion amongst German electronic retailers and found that 90% of the companies phoned today did not accept credit cards.

    So things must be done the long way. The machine came to €1,024 which included insurance, delivery, German VAT and the projector. Money must be transfered to the company before hand, upon receipt of the money they will dispatch the goods.

    At first this made me slightly worried, but after phoning every company I could lay my hands on I realised this was the industry standard over there.

    HSBC charged me a further £21 cash handling fee so the total amount came to £694 + £21 = £715. The very cheapest TX100 on British soil woul have come to £885 inc delivery - a saving of £170.

    The money saved is enough to pay for a weekend break to Germany, if you instead decide to pick up the projector yourself.

    I have done a lot of homework into the company I am using and I am satisfied that they are extremely reputable.

    I will post information here as I receive it.

    I have already received confirmation emails of my order, stating that goods will be dispatched once they have received the Prepayment.

    Yours,
    Johann
     
  2. sainthalo

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    Well done Johann - great to read about your purchase and it should be an opportunity for other members here to see first hand what the experience is like. Personally as a bit of travel freak I would have put the saved £170 towards a weekend break in Germany but if I was still at university I would have probably done the same as you. If you search the forum Kramer had some problems with hificomponents when he purchased an AE100 but there are also several members who report everything went well.

    I bought my projector from ROYAL in Akhibara, Tokyo. I also went to a projector store in Den Den Town, Osaka. At the time i puchased my Z3 for £800 it was retailing here in the UK for £1250. At the shop in Osaka I was treated to a fantastic demo of several projectors. The Z3 won out over the others but I did not purchase it there as I knew it was cheaper in Tokyo. The retailer said it was a "super value" in Tokyo when i told him! He offered me a fantastic deal on a Sanyo Z2 with a screen for approx £500 - again much much cheaper than in the UK.

    I did my research using a website called www.kakaku.com and a currency convertor www.oanda.com. Kakaku is the main price site and is updated every hour by the stores who price on there. Everything you need is there but it is Japanese only. You do not really need to know Japanese - just type in "sanyo z4" and it brings up the current prices for the Z4 which are around £880 thats over £400 cheaper than £1291.33. These stores dont do mail order as it is strictly prohibited by manufacturers.

    Another site to buy things mail order from Japan is www.pricejapan.com but you may get taxed when the item arrives reducing some of the savings made. Currently Ekko Star is purchasing a lamp from pricejapan so we will see how his prchase goes :)

    Well hope this has been helpful information :)
     
  3. Member 14847

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    Couple of points worth bearing in mind:

    The Hitachi PJ-TX100 has been discontinued. Price reductions reflect the fact that the last stocks are being sold off. The TX200 is now available.

    On the price from Japan: £880 + the 14% EU tariff on consumer electronics = £1003.2. £1003.20 + VAT @ 17.5% = £1178.76. Add to this whatever it costs to actually go and get it.

    From pricejapan.com Sanyo PLV-Z4 EUR1557 = £1053.15. If you get away with not paying the 14% tariff then you still need to add VAT giving a total of £1237.45.
     
  4. Save_Me

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    Wonderfull thread guys thanks :thumbsup:

    johann1979 you are an inspiration, and I shall be eagerly waiting for your follow up post, as this sounds like like a great idea, and as long as all goes well with your order, then I shall be following suit. :smashin:
     
  5. LV426

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    When I bought my Sony VW10 from Germany several years ago, the company were reluctant to accept credit card for presumably similar reasons. The way they got around their legal restriction, was to charge me for (otherwise free) shipping. Which I was happy to pay - cost less than the Bank fee for a transfer and gave me some added security. Possibly worth making that suggestion to them.
     
  6. johann1979

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    Not totally correct - Yes I agree the TX100 is now a virtually discontinued product however I still don't see the same type of savings here in England.

    It is indeed much cheaper now that it is discontinued, but that only means the price has come down from £1,300 to about £900 - not £694 as is the case in Germany...
     
  7. johann1979

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    They will be as regular as clock work - don't you worry. :) :thumbsup:
     
  8. johann1979

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    There has been some hoo haa about you parting with your rights when purchasing from a European Retailer. Let me assure you, it is not true. Please view this leaflet http://www.clsdirect.org.uk/documents/leaflet13e.pdf . There is a section on your rights when purchasing from a European retailer.
     
  9. Member 14847

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    That's true enough but the pricing of an end of line or discontinued product will be dictated by dropping demand and over supply. Imagine when the TX100 went end of line that Hitachi UK had 50 units left but Hitachi Germany had 250 units. Obviously Hitachi Germany has more stock to move and so will need to loose more money on these products to price them attractively. Last time I spoke to Hitachi UK they had no more TX100s but there are obviously units still available in Germany despite the release of the TX200. If the TX100 were not noticeably cheaper then no one would purchase it in preference to the 200.
     
  10. johann1979

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    It is a fair point, but once again I would like to differ (politely). You will find not only TX100's at a price literally hundreds of pounds cheaper but ALL projectors are cheaper. Let's take the Epson EMP-TW600 which will cost you around about £1134 when purchased directly from Germany compared to the £1293 you are charging on your site.

    That is a saving of £159 - perhaps not quite as much as end of line products but you can still get a free weekend break to Germany if you go and pick it up yourself...
     
  11. sainthalo

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    There is still a saving of up to 25% on the TX100 by buying from Germany - thats a fact- throwing words like discontinued etc doesnt change that!

    Please dont mislead the consumer - or do you really think Sanyo buy the projectors they import into europe from www.kakaku.com japanese retailers for £880? No of course they dont, they manufacture them so why would they go to retailers they sold them to in Japan and buy from them in order to import them to the uk?!:rolleyes:

    And of course the import tax does not apply as its classed as computer display equipment which is zero tax. VAT does apply IF you get charged it - try using EMS courier from pricejapan and you might well not get charged! Incidentally VAT does not apply for EU imports such as Germany to UK - and thanks to German consumer laws (which are much better than the UK's) the price you see is the price you pay:clap:

    Of course there are some people who will think forget the extra hassle I will get it from a good uk retailer at uk prices but please dont mislead or attempt to put off those that either like to travel or wish to save a few hundred pounds. And another point is that ALL projectors are cheaper in Germany and in France and in USA and in Japan. Someone just reported buying an Infocus Sp4805 for £490 compared to £800 average here - So yes you will probably save a fair few quid buying most any projector overseas.

    This thread is getting way off topic - please could we all keep it on topic as it will be helpful for forum members who are consumers in offering them an insight into importing.
     
  12. Bugblatter

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    Ok, looking at the new Z4:

    On the German site it's £1,193, on Ivojo it's £1,099 without VAT, £1,291 with.

    So the question is what extras get added to the German price? Is tax included or extra? If it's extra then it looks as though Ivojo's a hundred quid cheaper, otherwise it's a hundred quid more expensive.

    But what hasn't been mentioned is the quality of service. I bought my BenQ 7700 from Ivojo and Ken was extremely helpful. He wasn't trying to make a quick sale, for example he asked me whether I'd auditioned a DLP to see if I see RBE. When I said I'd had a brief audition and had seen some RBE he recommended that I have at least a half-hour audition to see if it bothered me.

    It's worth paying a premium for good service, to a point. Sevenoaks wanted £500 more than Ivojo was charging, which is ridiculous! Ivojo were the cheapest I found at the time. The German retailer may give good service if you speak German of course...

    If you don't support these specialist retailers then they'll die out. I hate rip-off Britain but I'm not convinced that this is a case of it.
     
  13. MikeK

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    You may have the rights, but enforcing them is another matter.

    If you need to take court action against a company in Germany for instance, how do you go about doing this.
    I seem to recall that all proceedings in a German court must take place in German - if that's true, that's a bit of a problem for a start. It's hard enough understanding legalese in English.. :)
     
  14. Member 14847

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    The saving on the TX100 is 25%. The saving on current line projectors is somewhat less.

    I believe that you are mis-leading people by failiing to mention that they may be charged VAT when importing from Japan, so increasing the price of the unit by 17.5%.

    Of course you get charged VAT if you purchase from Germany. If you purchase from Germany then you pay German VAT. If you purchase from the UK you pay UK VAT.

    The Infocus 4805 purchaser sourced his projector from the US, where all of this equipment is cheaper. In so doing he sacrificed his legal rights as a consumer.
     
  15. sainthalo

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    Lets not get this out of proportion. You are very unlikely to need recourse to the courts. This was raised as a "defence" it seemed by a retailer and I have to say it is a sad state of affairs that we judge retailers quality on how easy it would be to take legal action against them!

    Yes it would be harder to sue a German retailer, just as it would be harder for an englishman to sue a Scots retailer than to sue an English retailer.

    The fact is the number of cases going to court will be practically zero so please lets not overplay this minor issue.
     
  16. johann1979

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    It is still a saving of £100 which is not to be sniffed at. Pay £50 up and get your cheap weekend break. Not all projectors are massively cheaper, but all are definitely cheaper by at least £100 it seems.

    The object of this thread is not to take away the livelihood of British retailers, but to give consumers additional options when purchasing an expensive piece of kit. In the case of the Z4 I might very well have decided to buy it from a UK retailer as the difference might not be significant enough to import directly from Germany.

    This is however not the case with the TW600 or the TX200 which is priced at £1172 on the German site and £1431 on Ivojo which offers a massive £259 saving! - that is a weekend break for you and the wife and the two kids, or of course the money will look pretty good staying in the bank too... ;)
     
  17. sainthalo

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    errr... i clearly mentioned VAT... twice!!!! :rolleyes:


    I repeat:
    This thread is getting way off topic - please could we all keep it on topic as it will be helpful for forum members who are consumers in offering them an insight into importing.
     
  18. johann1979

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    I hope the atmosphere in this thread would soon change and that all retailers and happy customers of them would soon realise that the thread was not started with the object to discredit them, but to offer cheaper alternatives to prospective projector owners.

    I am sorry to point out, but each time somebody tries to discredit buying from a German retailer by doing a price comparison the only parties suffering embarrassment are the British retailers. Personally I don't think it is fair on them as they get charged different prices by the manufacturer's than their European counterparts.

    So let me clarify; the intention of this thread is to document my experience importing a projector for personal use. Some people might find it beneficial. As a student the £200 I save comes in very handy, and may I assure you will not be spent on any weekend breaks!
     
  19. Kramer

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    So where did you demo the TX100? As has been pointed out already, I had the misfortune of importing an AE100 years ago...............an experience I won't be repeating.

    Does this German box shifter offer a dead pixel check/guarantee? Have demo facilities? Available by phone to talk pre/post purchase (in English :D )?

    With the pixel issue apparently being of such importance & other risks involved with PJs (premature lamp failure, dust contamination etc.), I for one would rather deal with a reputable local (i.e. UK) retailer.

    Consumer goods sell for various prices in different markets. Always have done, always will.

    As for the repeated calls to keep this thread "on topic", I see nothing wrong with the discussion thus far.

    :smoke:
     
  20. Save_Me

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    as taken from the site in question

     
  21. sainthalo

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    Germanyhas highly protectionist consumer legislation in place so the price you see is the price you pay - they can't display non-vat prices.

    Also the minimum warranty is 24 months not 12 months which means Johann is getting an extra 12 months warranty and saving nearly £200 - not to be sniffed at.

    Maybe they will do a free pixel check Johann?

    Enjoy :thumbsup:
     
  22. William123

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    There was a wretched company called go2camcorder.co.uk/com (part of the Hificomponent.de group) which was brought to the attention of forum members here a few years back IICR.

    Typing in the go2camcorder.com link in google brings you to the site of this boxshifter in question.

    I remember some customers waiting over 10 weeks to recieve their goods, perhaps some are still waiting. The main complaint was that there was no telephone number available, all enquiries by email only

    At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to spend their money with any company they so choose, and to some it might be worth the risk. I like to purchase by credit card for that extra security, especially on considered purchases.

    Each to their own, personally, as another poster has remarked earlier in this thread, service and peace of mind to many far outweigh any perceived savings. For me, it's re-assuring if anything does go wrong with the order, delivery or unit then my retailer is only a phone call away, or better still, the company is represented by a contributor to these forums.

    I purchased my Sanyo Z2 from Mr Davies's company, Ivojo, just after he gave forum members here,a cracking deal on the Z2, probably the cheapest around at the time, not bad for a new model just out in the UK. Sometimes you just can't put a price on after sales service and I know that if I, or anyone had a problem they wouldn't have to spend their time and money on a weekend break hunting down some German box shifter across the water.
     
  23. sainthalo

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    If only they could sell at the same prices as German retailers we wouldnt even need to ponder buying from the gerrys!
     
  24. johann1979

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    I genuinly welcome all comments in this thread - the object is to give any prospective projector buyers more options when parting with a rather large sum of cash, however it deserves to be noted that this thread is not particularly for those who have made successful purchases in the UK. It is in fact intended rather to assist those who choose to purchase from another EU country.

    I felt it necessary to state that in the interest of balance...
     
  25. johann1979

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    I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune importing the A100 years ago. I would like to put your mind at rest though and point out misfortunes are not strictly reserved for those who would like to import their kit from a European Country. I, myself, suffered a huge misfortune trying to purchase a Sony NW-HD5HS from www.stoneaudio.co.uk. Only after a very stressful ordeal did I manage to cancel my order and get my money back. I have consequently read countless negative reviews regarding the site.

    I can offer you more examples. Have a look at www.pixmania.co.uk. I understand that they ship from France, but they nevertheless are a British based company as well, their reviews total on average 2 out of 5 stars.

    Personally I believe that if you are intelligent enough to want an LCD projector you are intelligent enough to weigh up all the pros and the cons and make an informed decision. In my case I am quite willing to run an 'extra risk' considering I am picking up a PJ-TX100 for £694.

    I have put this 'extra risk' in quotation marks as it is not in fact really an extra risk - please see the leaflet I linked here earlier about your rights when purchasing from a European dealer. I hope I am not coming across as politically incorrect, but I am not importing the unit from Timbuktu. I agree that should my projector be faulty I would indeed perhaps have more hassle having it exchanged, but by no means does it mean I cannot have it exchanged at all.

    I also strongly object to the notion that it would be harder for me to exchange my unit bought from Germany than it would be to exchange the same unit from Pixmania or a British Based Ebay agent.
     
  26. Anim

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    I have a few questions....

    What if the unit has a fault upon arrival to the UK?
    If you had to send it back to the German retailer for a new replacement is this round trip (delivery) going to be weeks or a few days?

    Can customs keep the item until you pay import duty? or is that non EU?

    What happens if the unit breaks down after a month? Do you ship it back to the german retailer or back to the UK manufactor? (I ask this because some UK retailers will give you a replacement unit while they repair/look into your old one) or do you rely on the manufactor warranty alone and just use a UK company for this?

    What is the german stance on dead/stuck pixel checks?

    I'm all for saving money, especially 100+ but I weigh that up against unwanted hassle and projectorlessness (a new word!)

    Thanks
    Anim
     
  27. MikeK

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    The fact is the number of cases going to court will be practically zero so please lets not overplay this minor issue

    Perhaps - all I'm saying is that while it's OK to state that you have all these rights when purchasing from another EU member state, enforcing those rights is not as simple as it is in the UK (not that it's always simple, as such, in the UK :) ).
    Most people would take the risk (small perhaps) on a couple of DVDs or a DVD player etc, but when the numbers start getting towards 4 figures, then for many it's a different matter!

    Yes, you can sometimes buy from abroad more cheaply - this is not news. You can get just about anything more cheaply from somewhere abroad if you look hard enough, especially when the exchange rate is in our favour, as it is at present!
    I'm not disputing this fact.
    What I am disputing is the assertion that you can do so with all the same safeguards you would enjoy as if purchasing from the UK - even if the EU states that you can. The reality will be somewhat different if something goes wrong. Of course, if nothing goes wrong (and fair enough, it probably won't) then it's a moot point, and you can pat yourself on the back for the savings you've made.


    Recently Ivojo (and a few others) had a special deal on end-of-line Z3s - £821 delivered, with a free pixel check and a free replacement lamp voucher!
    They'll do deals too when they get the chance!

    Oh, and lastly, it's not a minor issue to the consumer whose transaction has gone wrong :)
     
  28. William123

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    Yes and in the interests of balance, I'm just as entitled to post my reservations about dealing with these people as you are to promote them

    It was you who offered the link to these people, if you wanted to keep this conversation solely on the virtues of buying from the EU then fine, but don't start complaining when Ivojo, Kramer, or anyone else tries to offer an opinion or perhaps an air of caution to the debate.


    If people have had bad experiences with the company you posted a link to then your thread gives them an opporunity to tell other forum members about that. They can then make an informed decision and weigh up all the pro's and con's.

    To suggest the thread has went off topic, or post's by other forum members irelevant, does not stack up.
     
  29. benji_m

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    We recently had a customer come to us for help (locally) who had bought an AE700 from a well known european retailer, for £10 less than we were selling them for despite the fact that we offered a pixel check.

    Bulb went after 2 weeks, "contact the manufacturer" and "it's a consumable item"

    Just didn't want to know.

    Panasonic UK eventually helped out, but I'm pretty sure there was a cost to the consumer.

    In this country a retailer would be hung drawn & quartered. Distance selling regs, chargebacks you name it.

    I genuinely felt sorry for this individual, but for the sake of £10 they had themselves in a real mess.


    Oh, and about this TX100 example. It's a discontinued model! Hitachi UK have no spare stock so they don't throw box money at it!!! simple. The PTAE700 came down £300 towards the end because Pana UK needed to shift the stock and threw money at retailers brave enough to invest small house sized amounts of working capital in them. If you are going to compare at least make it a fair comparison, like use a current model!
     
  30. DEANO-B

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    Also you can't demo the Z4,Panny 900,Hitachi 200 like you can at Benji's place and take it home the same day! Just noticed Benji your sig. says '900 now here' - whats it like and when are ther Z4 and Hitatchi coming!!
     

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