buying an imported camera

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ajmall, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. ajmall

    ajmall TPF Noob!

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    i live in the uk and am looking at buying a 20d from bhphoto as i will save almost 50% just by buying in the states! i was just wondering of any risks and potential problems i should be aware of? they offer international warranty which is good but do i need anything more than that?

    thanks
     
  2. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    Customs charges. Clearance fees.

    Good enough reason to deter most of us.....

    If you've found a way to bypass these, do let me know.......:)
     
  3. Daniel

    Daniel TPF Noob!

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    If you can get them to not include an invoice with the package and they declare it as a gift you should be fine.
     
  4. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

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    If i was in the UK and I was going to buy from the US BH would be the place I would buy from. They have great prices not to mention they have everything. They are very reputable. But they do have a stricked return policy so the only thing I would suggest is that you make sure you order what you really want and don't expect to return it. I have bought a lot of stuff from them and never had to or tried to return anything. They do have a return policy of course but it has many limits.

    But if you can save 50 percent I would say buy it from them.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Don't forget to factor in shipping, customs charges, duty etc.

    I'm sure you will find your savings to be much less than %50.
     
  6. ajmall

    ajmall TPF Noob!

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    i included shipping and all that and it works out at a saving of around 50%.

    i'm looking at getting the 20d, 18-55 lens, 2gb card, battery grip and 3 years international warranty. in the UK, body only is £1200 and what i've just mentioned works out as £1350 ($2600) if i buy it all in the states!

    how can i avoid import tax? can i get bh to send it as a gift? also, what happens when things are sent overseas- do customs open up everything?!
     
  7. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    "how can i avoid import tax?"

    You're not supposed to. That's why people move out of the UK to America and tax-havens. On second thoughts, you might double check: I believe there is some legislation in the UK declaring that digital cameras are exempt from Value Added Tax; film cameras are not. It sounds mad, but this is how 'pro-digital' British policy is. I heard that this was the case with the largest off-shore photographic supplier for the UK mainland which has wiped out most of the competition for prices for film; digital gear and batteries because of the tax issues.

    "can i get bh to send it as a gift?"

    You can but try..........I'm just wondering....doesn't that make you feel a little bit noughty? Just a teeny-weeny bit? A smidgeon perhaps? Ack, who cares....other than Customs...

    What happens when things are sent overseas- do customs open up everything?!

    Everything that comes in goes to Mount Pleasant which is actually very unpleasant. The bills mount up as inspection fees; value-added-tax and clearance fees are lopped onto your items. Even gifts which are over a threshold are subjected to the same procedures in customs: sending a valuable gift does not exempt from taxation. B&H will not be able to send it unsolicited and there is always a risk that your item could be billed or miss the screening altogether.

    Save the dosh and take a cheap flight to NY and go shopping - ditch the cardboard in America since Americans recycle things and the Brits are slower on the uptake.

    Alternatively, you might want to look at one of the internet shops in the Far East which sells cameras at prices which undercut B&H......they do specific sales with foreign customers.

    Does that help?
     
  8. ajmall

    ajmall TPF Noob!

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    thank you that was heplful if not a bit disappointing. i have family out in NYC this very minute but stock is scarce on the 20d.

    one thing though, i read on ebay all the time that overseas sellers can avoid import tax and charges and 99% of the time its true...
     

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