Buying camera equipment from another country.
I have recently purchased some equipment from an Ebay vendor totalling some £1300 approx and wanted to make other buyers aware of some of the pitfalls of doing so.
Firstly beware of rouge traders who are just scamming or trying to grab your money, read the feedback carefully and make the decision of who to buy from based on your feeling and also the quality of the feedback.
I did this and purchased some very high quality Nikon stuff from Hong Kong, after all the cost savings are attractive arnt they. Well I ordered and paid for the goods as one does. This went well and so did the shipment of the goods although the seller claimed to offer no vat or duty costs I was prepared to pay for these as this still represented a saving on the UK retail price. I did get fleeced on the duty costs, paperwork and VAT adding about 20% to the overall cost and dont forget you pay that on the total price including the shipping. Oh and another word of warning, Mr Customs and Excise are not stupid THEY KNOW that a D40 does not cost £50 so dont try it. Well the goods arrived, we well packaged and worked well however thats where the enjoyment ends.
The particular camera I received was a Japanese model and whilst my knowledge of some European tougues is OK my skills in Japanese are much less - needless to say that the manual and all other items such as software were useless to me. The seller knew this as they included a badly copied user manual in English but never mentioned in their add that the goods or manual was in Japanese.
Next major issue is that the camera serial number would not come up on the Nikon Registration site so I could not register the goods. I contacted Nikon and they claim that the item will not be covered by any form of international warranty known to them. Basically ALL the claims made by dealers in the far east are untrue and you will not be able to claim under any form of warranty. My unit developed a fault and basically whilst very helpful Nikon UK told me to send it to Japan!!!
I then ordered a new camera from Grays of Westminster and paid the full UK price it was here by 1PM the next day and everything is fine, the manual in English, full UK warranty etc etc.
Basically I would never ever buy any photographic equipment from the far east again. This is the second time I have been conned, the first with some memory fraudulent cards also bought off Ebay, yes they work but boy are they slow compared to the real deal.
So BUYER-BEWARE is the key word, yes you can save some money but if you have a problem then you are well and truly in the brown stuff and after spending significant amounts of cash this is not what you want. My advise, save another couple of months and buy the correct item from a UK source you can trust and get the service and back up you deserve.
Good luck and happy picture taking.