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Thread: Buying Lenses in Thailand

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    Buying Lenses in Thailand

    Evening all,

    Early next year I will be traveling to Thailand, and have read that a lot of lenses are made there. Would it be worth my while waiting until I am over there to buy some lenses? With the Aussie Dollar strong, and the 7% VAT refund at the airport upon departure, as well as local prices possibly being cheaper I'm thinking it might be a good opportunity to buy a few.
    Reading the forum a lot of people buy "grey imports", and buying direct from the country they are made could be a way to save a few bucks.... or more likely simply buy more stuff!

    Any thoughts?

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    PS - talking Nikon or Canon lenses here.. (Still unsure about which system to head for.... more on that in another thread)

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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    Just because lenses are made there doesn't mean they'll be in abundant supply or even that the ones available will be genuine. Companies choose these countries for manufacture because of cheap labour but they still control their availability. Lots of things are made in China but you never see them in the shops there. Go on Trip Advisor and ask the Thailand experts if they recommend you buy lenses there and if so where from - you can usually get pretty good advice.

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    Lots of things are made in China but you never see them in the shops there.

    LOL ummm yes u do. I have bought plenty of stuff direct from factories or wholesalers in China for photographic gear ie. Yongnuo and other places like Ningbo.

    With camera lenses and cameras it is a different story. A large number of Pentax lenses are made on the outskirts of Hanoi in their new factory, I have even driven past it a few times - but it doesnt mean there are Pentax everywhere in stores, quite the opposite. Same for Thailand too. The only thing I can guarantee that you can buy for much cheaper in Thailand are Honda vehicles as many are made there, and Toyota to an extent too.

    Thailand has never been known for good camera shopping, and sometimes you are better off buying online via DWI etc for grey imports rather than tramping around Thailand to look for good bargains. Phuket sells mostly accessories and touristy stuff so no L lenses or Nikkor stuff. In Bangkok in the Sukhumvit area you will find a few camera stores stocking higher end gear but at tourist prices.

    In Asia it has always been HK for the last 30 years for electronics shopping, and now China too to a lesser extent.

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    Thanks guys,
    Have done a bit of googling, and as you say - it appears the stuff is for sale but nothing earth shattering as far as prices go. Some prices are good, but not fantastic. From memory things like bags etc are cheap though. Was planning on spending a few $$ on lenses over there, but might just do it here a month before I fly and claim the GST back.

    Thanks

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    Nikon have internat. warranty for legit stuff bought o/s
    Canon no longer have internat. warranty for any lenses
    so I say Yes if you want Nikon, No if you want Canon

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    you'd think that buying a watch in Switzerland would be the way to go, but it is probably the worst place in the world to buy a good watch.

    remember that anything over $1000 is subjected to import duties.

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    remember that anything over $1000 is subjected to import duties.


    Even if it is purchases overseas and carried home as opposed to being imported through website shopping?

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    yes..

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post

    remember that anything over $1000 is subjected to import duties.
    Not quite correct, it is actually $900.00. Also redbaron, remember that the $900.00 figure applies to all items. If you bring in 4 items valued at $200.00 each you are fine but if you bring 4 items valued at $300.00 each you will pay tax (and duties where applicable) on all the items.

    The customs website spells it out pretty clearly. http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4352.asp
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbaron View Post

    remember that anything over $1000 is subjected to import duties.


    Even if it is purchases overseas and carried home as opposed to being imported through website shopping?
    If you carry it home and it has boxes receipts etc then it's new and subjected to import duties.

    Now if you happened to carry a lens home that is 'used', nobody cares that you didn't take it out of here when you left.

    From what I know, a letter containing receipts sent to you is not subjected to import duties.

    From what I know, an empty lens box sent to you is not subjected to import duties.

    but if these 3 events happened to occur simultaneously, who knows if someone will have questions for you...

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    thanks guys. Will be sure to take my original (or photocopies of) receipts from Oz, as I will be traveling with a bit of new-ish gear - just in case I get pinged on the way home for stuff I bought here!

    There are no extra ordinary prices by the looks of things, will have a look and maybe buy a prime or two. Prices in the major Bangkok camera outlets seem to be no better than grey imports or Aussie online stores (sponsors of this forum).

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    ... this got me thinking...

    These include goods that are purchased overseas and goods that are purchased in Australia duty or tax free (that have been previously exported),

    Since the limit is $900 (thanks for the link I @ M) if I bought a duty free camera less than 30 days before my trip, I'd have to pay that duty back when I got home!

    Lucky I was not going to wait (buying the camera), and had already decided the extra money paid by not getting the GST refunded would be worth having my new toy by Xmas.. Could have come undone!

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbaron View Post
    Prices in the major Bangkok camera outlets seem to be no better than grey imports or Aussie online stores (sponsors of this forum).
    Yeh, except you get warranty (for Nikon, Pentax, Tamron gear).

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    Was in Phuket recently and did not find the lenses that much cheaper.
    However Samsung Galaxy 2 Phones at 18500 Bunt was 40% cheaper than in South Africa
    Last edited by Pine; 15-09-2011 at 10:41am.
    Bodies : Canon 450D, Canon 7D
    Lenses : Canon 15-85 f3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon 100mm F2.8 Makro USM, Canon 24-70 L F2.8 USM, Canon 70-200 L F4, Canon 100-400 L F4.5-5.6L IS USM
    Editing : Photoshop CS5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pine View Post
    Was in Phuket recently and did not find the lenses that much cheaper.
    However Samsung Galaxy 2 Phones at 18500 Bunt was 40% cheaper than in South Africa
    LoL. Prices of electronics in South Africa is madness. I was in cape town for 2+ weeks and looking at the prices of stuff. I'll be shopping exclusively on ebay. LOL

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