Sunday, September 18, 2011

Buying cameras online, is it worth it?

My favourite shop is a shop in pudu plaza where i can find anything i want at a good price. The guy running the show, Desmond, is smart young guy that pretty much knows what he is doing and have recently expanded another outlet in PJ.

But there are times when something i wanted just can't be found here. I very much prefers to buy locally anything i want even if the price is 10-15% more but gears like Sigma SD15 and Leica are not one of those. Sigma cameras are unknown to the public in malaysia and no marketing activities are done, so when i wanted Sigma SD15 (a DSLR with foveon sensor), i had to import from

The other gears whose pricing don't make sense here are the Leica's. I am referring to new gears, used gears you can pretty much source around. I love the Leica outlet in Ampang, its a beautiful outlet and i also met a veteran there, an elderly guy who have the patience to explain to people what are rangefinders. But i can't say the same for the pricing. I made a call to the Leica outlet but i felt the routine and mediocre response i get in negotiation for a good buy is pointless.

If you check shashinki, a local online shop, you will find the leica's are around 16% cheaper than the Ampang outlet, that translates to a whopping RM 3.5k, enough to be used to buy a decent lens. (i dont buy from shashinki, just a comparison example)

Sometimes you just have to risk and act as a vote against the local prices by buying online.
When the price of what you pay online + priority shipping is still 20% cheaper than what you get here, the option is clear. I do suggest that you negotiate with your local shops first, if the price higher but acceptable, by all means buy locally.

This is an example of transcript from FEDEX, a typical route u can expect to see if you track your online order via BHphoto and priority delivery (USD  270). UPS priority is cheaper, around USD 200, but the items travels to 2-3 more countries before reaching Malaysia.

There are no tax for cameras, but you can be taxed for batteries and filter kit, that is what i assumed since even if you order something around RM 6k, u get only RM 87 tax.

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