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Would it be cheaper in America?

pmcclure 5 11 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2012 12:31PM
I'm of too New York in a few weeks. I'm in the market for new lens.

Has anyone any experience of buying camera equipment when in the states and is it cheaper than buying off the internet?

If yes could anyone recommend a good Canon shop in New York



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cameracat 13 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
4 Jan 2012 1:17PM
Probably not....!!!

Check with these people , They are probably the biggest in New York....Wink

Don't forget to ask about local taxes and exchange rates, Then the possibility that customs will slap you with VAT on your return....!!!
Andy_Cundell 6 1.1k 5 England
4 Jan 2012 1:18PM
Can you claim the tax back when buying large purchases in the USA? I know in some countries, I have filled out a form when purchasing large goods and claimed the tax back in the airport. Maybe worth looking into Peter.
pmcclure 5 11 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2012 1:40PM

Quote:Then the possibility that customs will slap you with VAT on your return....!!!

Wasn't planning on telling customs

Bought a lens just before Christmas for 378 off the internet

Same lens from Adorama is 345. No mention of taxes at checkout
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2012 3:02PM

Quote:No mention of taxes at checkout

They never do - locals just know it will be added. If you present your return ticket as evidence you are leaving the country at some point, some shops are authorised to not charge tax in the first place so that may be worth checking.

Lenses are usually covered by an international warranty so you should have no problem there - it is just that if things do go wrong you cannot easily deal with the seller. I think that over the years, internet shopping (and shifting exchange rates) have eroded the advantages of buying abroad and if the difference really is 30 I personally would prefer to buy locally.
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2012 3:51PM
Another large store worth looking at: B&H Photo Video .
colin beeley Plus
14 1.1k 10 England
4 Jan 2012 5:09PM
when i was in new york i went to B+H , great to look around so a must go & see, & you have got to go & see grand central .
wing 13 454 United Kingdom
4 Jan 2012 8:07PM
I'm jealous already, I love New York and I'm sure you'll have a great time!
Regarding your question on buying camera equipment over there, especially lenses, I really wouldn't bother now. A few years ago it would have been far cheaper almost 30% to 50% but not any more. In most cases you will probably end up paying the same if not more than you would over here, once you have paid the local tax in NYC "around 10% on top of any prices you see advertised"
Yes, even though you are taking the goods out of the U.S you still have to pay U.S taxes at source. You can get your tax off your purchases at source if you buy from Macy's or Bloomingdales on production of proof that you live outside the U.S, unfortunately neither of those two stores stock camera equipment.
I asked the question about getting my tax back at JFK airport while buying some gear from B&H and was told by the store assistant that "he believes there is a department somewhere at the airport that would deal with that" but on asking him where it was located, he said with a wry smile "he didn't actually know, nor had he ever heard of anyone ever finding it or getting their tax back".
If you do find something that is cheaper and return to the U.K with it, you can expect to pay duty at 6.7% and vat on top of that, assuming you use the red channel and if you don't, I wouldn't shout about it too loudly here, someone will soon question your morals.
LenShepherd 9 3.3k United Kingdom
4 Jan 2012 8:54PM
Confident answer - it will normally cost you more Sad
If you buy in New York at somewhere like B&H (this seems what you intend) New York City and State taxes are added to the price - combined probably over 10% more than the advertised price.
If you pay by credit card they add about 3% to the $ to UK pound conversion rate.
When you get back to UK you commit a crime if you do not declare for taxes.
On DSLR's the VAT is 20% - on the ticket price plus USA taxes, you are unlikely to get a UK valid warranty, and if the battery charger is not CE certified it does not comply with European electrical safety regulations.
Lenses may come with a 12 month international warranty. There is import duty to pay as well as VAT - combined total about 27%.
scotty99 11 124
14 Mar 2012 12:56AM
What you do is, ...price up US price with local tax, if cheaper than uk, buy it in NY, put the new lens on your camera/in your cam bag. Post the empty lens box with all the original contents back to uk address, with some souvenirs/t shirts in if you like.It was just a box lying around to use for something else.......officer.......... No proof where the the lens came from, just like the rest of your gear in your bag............of course this is naughty and you should pay the Government every last drop you can and declare all the duty, and let them tax the money twice (because presumably this money for the new lens is what's left from your wages, which have been taxed once already) ...........what I'm saying is....................Grin
thewilliam 9 6.1k
14 Mar 2012 10:18AM
B&H are great people to deal with but bear in mind that they're closed on Saturday and Passover is coming up when they'll be closed for a few days. Check their website.

Peter, if you're not planning to declare the kit to Customs, bear in mind that you've just made a public announcement. EPZ threads come up on Google searches.

Serial number ranges are generally specific to market areas. One colleague was hit by HMRC about 5 years after he bought the lens. They fed the serial numbers into their computer and knew that the lens hadn't been officially imported and no duty had been paid.
KevSB 13 1.5k 5 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2012 10:30AM
Been a few cases of being caught years after by the above method, So unless you dont have any intension of taking it out of the country the risk will still remain that you could get caught at a later date and incur fines as well. For high Value purchases a few quid saved now can cost much more later
MeanGreeny 11 3.7k England
14 Mar 2012 10:40AM
It's simple for customs to track an item with a serial number [lens, camera etc] to it's intended place of sale [USA, Europe].

Just because you're doing this for the first time doesn't mean it's the first time they've seen it - it isn't.

Bottom line is - have enough money in the bank to pay your taxes AND your fine
LenShepherd 9 3.3k United Kingdom
14 Mar 2012 8:30PM

Quote:I'm of too New York in a few weeks.

Tough luck Sad
If you buy "in State" as distinct from buying from another State and having it shipped out of State you pay City and State taxes on top of whatever the advertised price is in B&H or similar stores.
I do not know what current taxes are - but probably about 15% extra to pay.
When you get back to UK it is a crime not to declare a lens to customs - current taxes on a lens are about 27% - so two lots of taxes.
If you buy a digital body the warranty is not valid in UK.
User_Removed 7 4.6k 1 Scotland
14 Mar 2012 11:21PM
You paint too gloomy a picture, Len.

The worst that is likely to happen is a 10,000 fine and the confiscation of the lens.

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