Buying a Camera at Duty Free

#1
I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of buying a DSLR at duty free?

Does it actually save much or are better deals to be had on t'internet?

Looking at a low end Canon EOS kit of some varying degree of shininess.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
why not get the prices off Amazon, et al on the internet before you leave and then make your mind up when you see the prices in duty free?

I saved a load of money buying mine in Jersey a few years ago - no VAT and GST hadnt really kicked in then.
 
#4
why not get the prices off Amazon, et al on the internet before you leave and then make your mind up when you see the prices in duty free?

I saved a load of money buying mine in Jersey a few years ago - no VAT and GST hadnt really kicked in then.
The problem with that is that if Amazon / eBay / pawn shop is a lot cheaper, I'll be left either paying over the odds complete with free bitter aftertaste, or getting on long haul flight to sunny climes with no camera.
 
#6
I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of buying a DSLR at duty free?

Does it actually save much or are better deals to be had on t'internet?

Looking at a low end Canon EOS kit of some varying degree of shininess.
Dunno about cameras/electronics etc, but I've found that the rest of the stuff at the "duty free" is not much cheaper than what you find elsewhere. This includes booze, perfume, and makeup (the last two according to my wife, and keep your smartarse remarks to yourselves...), can't comment on cigs as I don't smoke.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
Dunno about cameras/electronics etc, but I've found that the rest of the stuff at the "duty free" is not much cheaper than what you find elsewhere. This includes booze, perfume, and makeup (the last two according to my wife, and keep your smartarse remarks to yourselves...), can't comment on cigs as I don't smoke.
cigs definitely are...my smoking friends descend upon me like vultures if they hear I'm going anywhere.

on balance, for something like a DSLR, I'd shop around online. the comments re the warranty and whether you're covered for this country are worth bearing in mind as well.
 
#9
Look at DSLR | Dixons Travel

Phone the shop within 7 days of travel and ask the price (shops listed at the bottom of the page).

Compare with internet sales.

If Dixons is cheaper, reserve the item and pick it up at the airport.
 
#11
cigs definitely are...my smoking friends descend upon me like vultures if they hear I'm going anywhere.

on balance, for something like a DSLR, I'd shop around online. the comments re the warranty and whether you're covered for this country are worth bearing in mind as well.
Depends. In many countries they'll be as cheap if not cheaper in the corner shops. Only Aussie, New Zealand, Norway & Ireland have more expensive cigs than the UK.
 
#12
Check that the guarantee will be valid in the country you call home. If that's the UK then contact Canon UK direct and save their response if positive.
My Canon warranty from Spain is valid in the UK, it's pan European. Thge problem is where the camera is being bought "duty free", if it's in the airport, the 20% less tax you pay is set off somewhat by the 50% extra these places charge. Media Markt do some amazing deals at times - my new Canon was about 100 euros less than everywhere else, then as an Easter special offer they were including the lens, and as a "special today", another 80€'s worth of camera bag.

In the end I got it pretty much half price, all considered.
 
#13
When I was looking to replace mine I looked into Duty Free and found it was in the top third most expensive for the pieces of kit I was considering. In the end, I let my search be dictated by currency exchange rates and bought online from abroad.
 
#14
Do your research and know exactly what you are after and what to pay. Also beware that you'll owe duty on the whole thing if it costs more than your duty free allowance. Coming back from Hong Kong some years back the colleague I was travelling ended up with (a) not the latest or best model (b) paying more than the UK list price (c) having to pay duty.

But he was RAF Regiment
 
#16
Be careful when buying online. If it's an import and customs check, you will end up paying import duty and then VAT on top. Amazon marketplace is a nightmare in this situation.
 
#17
Shops at an airport can be expensive because the airport will charge extortionate rents. It's a major source of profit for most large airports. They have a captive market with people who are waiting for flights, and they take full advantage of it. I can't comment on what the situation with camera stores there might be though.

I would suggest also looking in local camera shops. I bought mine in one a few years ago, and it was actually cheaper there than in one of the discount chains. The place that I bought mine also offered courses on basic photography, I didn't take advantage of that as I was too busy, but it may be worth thinking about if you don't know a lot about photography.

You will also need to buy some accessories for it, and unless you really know your cameras (or have a friend with you who does) you will need to ask someone at the shop as to what works with what. In that case, you will want to be sure you are dealing with to someone who knows what they are talking about, rather than just a minimum wage cash register minder.

I can't make any judgements as to your situation, but I wouldn't go off on a vacation with a camera that I've never used before. Get the camera well in advance of the trip and take it out and practice with it so you'll know how to use it. The last thing you want to be doing is sitting in your hotel room trying to figure how the hell the bloody thing works. Even worse is finding out that you ought to have some extra bit or bob, and you didn't get it and now you need to find a camera shop wherever you are. Plan on taking at least 500 photos under different conditions just to get familiar with how it works and what you can do with it. It's not like it's film these days, so it doesn't cost any money to practice with it. Also, upload the practice photos to your PC to take a good look at the results. The pictures can look different on a large screen than they do in the small one on the back of the camera and you will want to know if you are doing something wrong.

Don't forget things like camera bags (including one that hangs around your neck for walking around with), spare battery, a second (different) lens, lens covers, cleaning kit, extra memory cards, etc. I put UV filters over the lenses just to act as protectors. I also got a cheap tripod that will fold up small enough to fit in my suitcase, which I use occasionally so that I can get in group photos. I would also bring a cheap point and shoot camera for taking pub photos.

I'm not a photography nut by any means and I don't really know all that much about photography, but I do appreciate having some nice photos of friends and family and of vacations. My DSLR is a fairly low end Nikon but there's no comparison between it and any point and shoot camera that I've tried. Someone handed me his DSLR camera to take a photo of him with his wife, and the difference between that and my own point and shoot was so day and night that I went out and bought one of my own.
 
#18
Although it is possibly not applicable to you I bought my (sorry, the wife's) Canon 550D when I was in Afghanistan. I paid full Amazon UK price but as soon as it is marked as dispatched they refund the VAT as it is being posted to a BFPO address. I did the same with a Kindle. Both got out without issue and in very good time.
 
#19
I've bought cameras and lenses from Digital Rev, who will pay the tax and duty, if any. Reliable and generally cheaper than Amazon. They do their own guarantee with repairers in UK.
 

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