Canon price variance

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Barney 4k, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Barney 4k

    Barney 4k TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I'm currently looking at buying my first professional level camera. One of the models I was suggested was the Canon 5D mk IV, but I discounted it because the £2800 price was a bit too high (price on the Canon website and a local major retailer).

    I've since seen it advertised as low as £1600 on other sites!

    So, what am I missing? They seem like reliable sellers (eg positive reviews), and reviewers claim to have received what they ordered - but I'm still apprehensive. Is there any common wisdom about this? Do the major retailers over-price, or is everyone except the major retailers selling grey market gear?

    On the one hand I want to buy a quality product, but on the other I am just starting out so don't want to be ripped off!

    I'd appreciate any insight!

    Thanks

    Barney


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The manufacturer's suggested retail price is where everybody starts. Then retailers will lower the price to help generate sales. Almost nobody pays full price.

    Oh, and welcome!
     
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  3. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another possibility is which of Canon's international divisions the camera was made-for or originally sold-to, versus how that camera has moved from Canon-affiliated seller to potentially non-affiliated sellers.

    For example, my 77D is not a North American camera. I knew this going in, and I got it body-only for $599 when they were going for around $300 more. My camera most likely was sold through Canon Europe, presumably through an Eastern European country, then grey-market imported into the US. I was willing to do this because first, as a non-professional I'm not going to approach the service-life of the shutter or mirror, and second, the Canon USA warranty is only one year anyway, which I'm already past. Plus since I don't make any money with it, it's not really a big deal if I do break it.

    Now, the downside of this, I most likely cannot download firmwares or other things through Canon USA. When I downloaded the .iso for the programs and manuals I went to Canon Europe's website to get what I needed, the serial number of the camera was accepted as valid to let me download, and off I went. So if Canon ever does release new firmwares I'll probably be able to get them from Canon Europe even if Canon USA doesn't want to provide support.

    My expectation for the price difference across markets is that while Canon wants to make profits, they also want to make sales, and that profits might be reduced on a camera priced lower in a less wealthy country or market, it's still preferable to not making sales there at all and letting other camera manufacturers establish dominance. This is what allows entities to buy-up stock where it's less expensive and move it to places where it can be sold below MSRP.

    When I've shopped for cameras online through sites like Amazon where I have a reasonable expectation of things otherwise being on-the-level, vendors selling here have been upfront about their cameras being import/international versions lacking US warranty or support, but the prices have been low enough to work for me. It is a risk, true, but not such a risk as to be unbearable when I don't need the camera functioning in order to support myself financially. For me it's basically a moderately expensive toy.

    For other online listings with cheap cameras I tend to be skeptical, especially if they're through Classified Ads ("Small Ads" in the UK?), and doubly so if the prices appear to be too good to be true. In those cases I'll often take the picture from the ad and do a Google reverse-image search, where it looks for all instances of that particular image on the Web. Scammers are usually lazy, and they'll make the same ad representing multiple locations. If I see the ad cropping up on my local Craigslist or Offerup, and then see the same pictures in ads in Atlanta, Boise, and Springfield, then I'm pretty much guaranteed to have found a scam and I either block the seller if the site allows it or report the fraudulent ad.
     
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  4. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Hello Barney and welcome, good luck with your camera choice it is a very competitive market.....
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    if you look long enough you can probably find it for 1,200 pounds Sterling. Check such reputable sites as Craigslist, let it go, OfferUp, and of course "some guy in a car down by the waterfront."
     
  6. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    A lot of the cheaper ones will be grey market imports which may cause an issue if your camera develops a fault and needs returned, or if you want it serviced by an official Canon service centre.

    Check here to keep an eye on prices, camerapricebuster: Canon 5D Mk IV Body UK Best Price Compare Now! and remember that Canon quite often offer a cashback scheme on a lot of new cameras and lenses. I ended up getting mine cheaper in store than was advertied online and sometimes if you can get a time when the Canon rep is in store they sometimes offer promotions like double cashback or further discounts.
     
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  7. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was curious so I looked it up, the 5D Mark IV body-only is listed for $2499 at Best Buy. With the current exchange rate that's a little over £1900, far less than £2800, assuming the latter is body-only.

    Bundled with the 24-105mm f/4 IS II lens, it's listed for $3399 at the same store, which is a little over £2600, so closer to the same price, and accounting for American retailers not listing prices with sales-transaction taxes as they vary across special tax districts, cities, counties, and states, while as I understand it British retailers inclued any taxes in the list-price, it might end up being basically the same, if not a little cheaper for the British version.
     
  8. Barney 4k

    Barney 4k TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,
    Thank you very much for all of the info. The camerapricebuster website suggested the places I was looking at were too cheap to be true. I emailed a couple of places and one of them has replied that they only deal with imports, and assured me that everyone in that price point would be imports too. I guess my next step is to work out whether I need the warranty!
     
  9. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In my case, the seller was through Amazon, and the seller itself offered a warranty. Presumably either they would send it back to their supplier to get it back to the right Canon international affiliate, or else they have so few warranty problems that they just eat the cost. They appeared to be a volume seller and had good reviews so I wasn't especially concerned.
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I usually avoid any stores (online or local) that offers a brand new Canon camera with a deep deep discount unless I know the store pretty well or the store had a pretty good reputation and good return policy.
     
  11. Barney 4k

    Barney 4k TPF Noob!

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    The more I look, the more it seems there are three pricing bands with imports; ~1200, buyer responsible for import duty. ~1600, seller pays duty but no warranty. ~£1800, seller offers their own warranty.

    As you’ve said, whether the supplier warranty is reliable probably won’t be known until it’s needed!
     
  12. TWX

    TWX No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd probably try to go with a locally available used example that I could try out before going with the 1200 or 1600 options unless there was proof that it really was a new unit. I'd probably go for the third option if the seller is in-country, because there's at least some chance of recourse if there are problems with the camera or transaction.
     

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