Jump to content

- - - - -

So where do I buy new camera gear from?

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 tkr



  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 67 posts

Posted 21 November 2006 - 06:07 AM

Does anyone else buy their photo gear fom overseas?

Living in the UK I thought I'd see if I much my current Sea & Sea DX-D50 housing would cost if I tried to buy it from overseas:

In the UK this housing is listed at £1199
In the US I've seen it listed at 1495 dollars = £830
From Japan it can be ordered for 152800 Yen = £708

That looks quite a saving to me. Obviously there are shipping costs but these should be small for this value of item (approx £25 from Japan). Then there is the dreaded issue of whether you get caught for import tax!

I had never really thought about buying from somewhere like the US or Japan before but for a new housing perhaps it makes sense. Would anyone else like to add anything from their experience?

#2 pmooney



  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1236 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns Australia

Posted 21 November 2006 - 06:21 AM

Buy of your local dealer if there is one - after all it's probally them that you will look to for some advice and assistance should it be required.

#3 markdhanlon


    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 100 posts
  • Location:Landlocked Calgary, Canada

Posted 21 November 2006 - 11:25 AM

I buy everything from the US as the US prices haven't kept up with the drop in the value of the US dollar. Therefore, most things are significantly cheaper (20% or more) even after shipping costs, duty, etc. Most of the time when I have a problem I send it back to the manufacturer (Ikelite) anyway which is back in the US.

So far, no troubles, except when I brought a car back from the US, but that's another story.
Mark Hanlon

Canon 350D, Ike Housing, dual DS-125, 10-17mm FE, 60mm macro.

#4 stewsmith


    Giant Squid

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1595 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southampton and Sinai
  • Interests:World travel
    winding Drew up

Posted 21 November 2006 - 12:11 PM

we also live in the UK and imported the whole lot for Japan (nature photo) who were absolutely fantastic. We did pay import duty though, but still saved because we ordered lenses and focus gears etc.

we purchased the sea and sea D350 however, Alan James did have an offer on shortly after we imported ours they usually retail the housing at 1199 but were offering it for nearer to £800 for a few weeks around about the time of the dive show - must be worth an email to see if they are currently doing any offers.

good luck


Edited by stewsmith, 21 November 2006 - 12:15 PM.

Canon 5D MK2 - Sea and Sea housed - 17-40L 100mm - Sigma 15mm FE - twin YS250 pro's and gadgets galore




#5 bruceterrill


    Tiger Shark

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts

Posted 21 November 2006 - 10:07 PM

I would like to ask Peter Mooney how I am able to buy a S&S sync cord for $86usd and be quoted $246aud for the same item? Why would I support 'local' distributors when they are obviously NOT looking after their 'local' customers??
Just a thought... :)

Bruce... :)

#6 tdpriest


    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2181 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Solihull, UK
  • Interests:Diving medicine, warm water, scenery...

Posted 24 November 2006 - 12:21 PM

In the UK don't forget import duty: it's horrendous.

I also value Steve at Ocean Optics grinning evilly whenever I see him, because a transfer of money is likely to follow. It's almost worth the expense!



#7 pmooney



  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1236 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns Australia

Posted 24 November 2006 - 08:19 PM

I would like to ask Peter Mooney how I am able to buy a S&S sync cord for $86usd and be quoted $246aud for the same item? Why would I support 'local' distributors when they are obviously NOT looking after their 'local' customers??
Just a thought... :)

Bruce... :D

What a great question.

The pricing disparity usually comes as result of the distribution channels in place for a particular product / brand.

In Australia ( my home market ) the brand you mention is significantly more expensive ( on average about 20 % ) than other markets ( US & Japan ) - this is a result of the additional product markup by the local distributor ( not me ) and the inclusion of local taxes being included in the end price.

The USD price you mention is significantly lower than the recomended for this product in the US. ( MSRP $110.00 ).

Trust this helps.

#8 ralphy


    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 245 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Devon, UK
  • Interests:riding my motorbike(s)

Posted 25 November 2006 - 07:10 AM

Just opening up this topic slightly.........
I KNOW that I could probably buy most of the kit I own from somewhere cheaper i.e. abroad or Internet .....
BUT if we all did that then where would we go for our local assistance/support.

For instance, all my camera equipment has been purchased from Alan James in Bristol (my local u/w specialist). Both before & after I bought, I spent literally hours with Alan or his partner Heather obtaining advice, guidance , assistance and tips; all of which has helped me a lot with my enjoyment of u/w photography. Now I am quite sure that, had I have researched t'internet, I could have got my equipment for less somewhere else in the world - but if we all did so I'm sure that most independant retailers would go out of business.

The same applies to dive kit, my local dive shop owner was telling me about a lady who came into his shop, told him she was interested in going diving, spent over 2 hours getting advice, assistance & trying kit on, only to leave after saying she would return to buy all she needed. One month later, he was assisting at a student trainig session when same lady arrives, fully kitted out (as per his recommendations) and she tells him 'I got it all by shopping on thr internet, you are too dear'. I just wonder where she will be going to get her air fills in the future - if all the dive shops go out of business due to 'undercutting'/

Just my £0.02 worth.........

#9 Glasseye Snapper

Glasseye Snapper

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 688 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edmonton, Canada
  • Interests:Fish ID & behaviour and photos thereof

Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:48 AM

Good point Ralphy, but there are limits to my willingness to keep the local store alive. If I go to them for advice, or to see or try the actual product then I will also buy from them. If their price is competitive with online stores (after factoring in shipping, tax, duty, hassle when there are problems) then I will also buy local. But if the difference is hundreds of dollars on an item that I've done my homework on by studying the web and manufacturer websites then I don't feel compelled to buy local.

I actually find it quite frustrating to see 20-30% price differences between the US and Canada for no apparent reason. If it is really the local distributor that adds a generous markup then perhaps if enough potential customers start shopping across the border they will come to their senses. Personally I think it is the manufacturer that sets significantly different minimum sales prices for different countries, not based on what it costs to sell in that country but what they think they can get away with. Again, cross border shopping may put on pressure to change that behaviour. That will not only be good for the buyer, but also for the local store who can then more fairly compete based on the extra service they provide.

Olympus OM-D EM5/Nauticam, 12-50mm & 60mm macro
Sea&Sea 110a, iTorch, GoPro3 BE

#10 motionsync


    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 631 posts
  • Location:Greece & Sweden Lambis Stratoudakis
  • Interests:UW photography with available light<br />Freediving

Posted 25 November 2006 - 10:25 AM

Easy task.. Have you a lokal dealer in your country that can support you or help you so invest you money there.

have you just a guy that have no idea about anything and just sell the housings and gear and any question that you have must be send to the manufacturer so buy in Japan Hong kong .. or elsewere

I am living in Sweden and there is no one that have the support and service that i need.

Just Sea & sea have a good dealer .
Lambis Stratoudakis - http://www.lambisstratoudakis.com

#11 bvanant


    Sperm Whale

  • Team Wetpixel
  • 1871 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles (more or less)
  • Interests:Science, photography, travel

Posted 25 November 2006 - 04:21 PM

Don't I wish I could. If only I had a local dealer for high end UW stuff, and I live in Los Angeles (more or less). Unless you live in Monterey you are going to have to buy your UW stuff from the internet in any case. We have bought enough stuff from Gates that they know me and where to ship stuff and I always try to buy from one of the Wetpixel supporters when I can. As for cameras, there is where LA is great, there are lots of local guys with extensive presence both on the net and in person so that you can always try it out.


Canon 7d, Nauticam, Lots of glass, Olympus OMD-EM5, Nauticam, 60 macro, 45 macro, 8 mm fisheye, Inon, S&S, Athena Strobes plus lots of fiddly bits.