question about ordering a lense for B&H

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by shingfan, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i'm located in toronto, canada
    to order from B&H.....what am i subjected to on top of the product price?...like tax, duty, shipping, additional fee, etc?

    the reason i ask is because i'm looking at the sigma 18-50mm f2.8 macro.....the listed price on B&H is $420...but most canadaian stores are selling the same lense for $620 CAD.........and a salesperson from a camera store is telling me that there is a 40% duty when buying lense from the states?.....is that true? (of course i dont believe him without hearing more opinions)
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There is no 'Duty' on camera, lenses etc. The Free Trade agreement says somthing like 'photographic equipment or precision optics'. There may be duty that Canadian retailers pay to import the stuff from Japan or where ever it's manufactured...but there is no duty from the US into Canada. Sounds like that salesman is full of it.

    However, if you do order from B&H, you will have to pay shipping (obviously) and you will have to pay tax (GST for sure and maybe PST). The extra fee that can get you is Brokerage. This is the fee that the shipping company (FedEx, UPS) charges you for the service of bringing the item through customs. The brokerage fees will vary and there doesn't seem to be any rules as to how much or how little they can charge you. For example, UPS and FedEx charge way more for brokerage than the US Postal Service. Unfortunately, a lot of US retailers won't ship to Canada via USPS.

    Oddly enough, it seems that if you ship with UPS or FedEx and choose an airmail service...there is no additional brokerage...but the shipping cost is higher to start with.

    I think that every Canadian photographer goes through the same thing...trying to figure out which is better; ordering from B&H/Adorama etc. and paying the shipping/brokerage...or just paying more to buy locally. I don't know if there is a 'best solution'.

    What I have been doing, is using a Canadian retailer in my city, that will price match other stores in Canada. I don't get the cheap B&H price but at least I get a decent price and don't pay for shipping. Plus, buying from a local store saves a lot of hassle if anything goes wrong etc.

    The store I buy from is McBain Camera and I usually use Vistek or The Camera Store to find the lowest price.

    Another place with good prices is Camera Canada but McBain won't match their prices because those are website only prices...not actual store prices.
     
  3. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    very helpful information......thanks Mike
     
  4. ryyback

    ryyback TPF Noob!

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    I know this thread hasn't been used in awhile, but I thought I would update everyone from my situation.

    I ordered a 70-200 from a fellow in the US and it is now here in holding till I go get it and pay the $75 required to get it.
    After reading what Big Mike wrote, I did the math for PST/GST and it came to $84. So I guess I got 'lucky' they charge me the extra $9.
    I will look into the 'free trade' agreement later, and if I find something out-I'll post back.
    So in short it would seem the best idea is to find goods here in Canada or put up with the silly 'extras' at the border!
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    When I buy used, I prefer to buy in Canada to avoid this sort of thing...but the selection is obviously much smaller. When buying new, the Canadian prices are quite a bit higher for most all camera gear, at most all Canadian camera shops. Even with shipping and 'fees', it's often significantly cheaper to order from B&H than it is to shop locally. Especially with they way our Dollars are almost evenly match nowadays.
     
  6. ryyback

    ryyback TPF Noob!

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    True Mike. I didn't think I was going to get pinched for so much, but what did I know-:) The sellection in Canada for used as you said is pretty small so......off to the States in most cases.
    Prices at B&H and places like that are way better than what we offer up here in Canada, unless you hit a Canadian store at the right time. Could also go over to the States as well if you live on a boarder city like me, but the wait to get over now-a-days is crazy. Cars lined up for hours to get over-lol. I say no thanks to that.
    Should throw in Eaby as well-sometimes get more for your money-:) There was a Canon 17-55 on there with 'extras' for I believe under $1100.
     
  7. ryyback

    ryyback TPF Noob!

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    The lens I bought from the States ended up being charged out for $500, so the taxes ended up being the $75. Still all in all, not a bad deal really-$600 total-:)
    I might make a trip over to Gilbraltar in Mount Clemons Michigan to see what they have and just bring the camera with me, just in case:mrgreen:
     
  8. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Rick - had no idea there was a camera shop in Mt. Clemens. I live in Warren and shop at Adray Camera.

    Nice shots of the Blue Water Bridge.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    The last time I bought something on E-bay, I got lucky. The seller lived just south of the border by Vancouver. He crossed the border quite often, so could send packages from the US or Canada.
     
  10. ryyback

    ryyback TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Jon. The Bluewater Bridge was with the 18-55. I have the 70-200 now, so I'll get some shots later of the twin span-:)

    Not to sure if there is a camera shop per say in Mt. Clemons, but I know there is a Gibraltar there and in Taylor. I used to go to the one in Taylor Michigan quite often in the 80's for other stuff. My brother in law goes there from time to time in Mt. Clemons, but has no idea if there is camera stuff there or not? He didn't pay attention to that stuff-cars are his thing-:)
    If you go there, can you let me know if they have camera stuff or not?
     
  11. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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