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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 21
Author
Buying a lens from the US

Mike
22/05/2008
9:39:11 AM
Not exactly climbing related, but I know there are some other keen photographers on here, so I thought I'd mention my experience with buying a new lens from bhphoto.com in the US, namely the hidden extra fees. The breakdown seems to be this:

Initial Product Cost
+ Shipping as stated on their website in US dollars (about $62 US)

Hidden Fees:
+ Currency Exchange fee around $60 AUD (is tacked onto amt charged to your card)
+ 10% GST as it enters Oz
+ Customs & Security Fee around $65 AUD

UPS holds the box until you pay those last two fees, then deliveres it to your door as expected.

Still seems to be way cheaper than retail here. The markup on lenses locally is staggering. But yeah, budget for those hidden extras. I knew about the GST needing to be paid, but was suprised by the others.

Dom
22/05/2008
10:14:01 AM
That exchange fee you're being charged is high. I'm with the commonwealth and I get an Fx charge of $2.50 up to $10,000 converted then a small percentage after that.

ajfclark
22/05/2008
10:22:00 AM
On 22/05/2008 Mike wrote:
>Hidden Fees:
>+ Currency Exchange fee around $60 AUD (is tacked onto amt charged to your card)
>+ 10% GST as it enters Oz
>+ Customs & Security Fee around $65 AUD

I've previously found it beneficial to contact customs before getting goods shipped so I know exactly what I'm up for. There's some bits about how they calculate import duty (on climbing gear but I imagine camera stuff is similar) and a contact address at customs here.

I've found it's sometimes cheaper to get an order shipped in several <$1000AUD packages than to pay customs duty and GST on a single order (though that doesn't help with items worth more than $1000AUD).

tnd
22/05/2008
11:50:57 AM
Who is charging the "currency exchange fee"? The vendor or the card company? Either way it's a rip-off. Card companies would normally only charge 1-2%.

If you could get the vendor to ship by mail you would most likely not have to pay the GST and customs fees - the shippers like UPS follow an official procedure and collect those fees.
gfdonc
22/05/2008
12:17:02 PM
I bought a lens from Adorama earlier this year. It cost me the US price, plus conversion at approximately the bank rate, plus a surcharge (1.5%?) by the card company, plus UPS shipping which I think was $US45.

No GST or customs fees.

Remarkably, I ordered it on Friday afternoon about 5:45pm. It was at my desk in Melbourne by about 10:00am on Monday. I was gobsmacked. It made the Friday shipping in the US, landed in Hawaii on the weekend, and reached Sydney on Sunday night.

The main camera shops in Melbourne didn't stock it so they would have ordered from the wholesalers anyway, and I bet that would have taken more than 0 business days to arrive!

- Steve

cruze
22/05/2008
12:53:15 PM
On 22/05/2008 gfdonc wrote:
>No GST or customs fees.
And how much was the lens?

I believe that the current threshold is $1000 before GST and customs kicks in.
gfdonc
22/05/2008
3:09:16 PM
I think you're right, and it was less than $1000.

ajfclark
22/05/2008
3:35:34 PM
On 22/05/2008 cruze wrote:
>I believe that the current threshold is $1000 before GST and customs kicks in.

Except for tobacco and alcoholic products the threshold in $1000AUD (on the cost of the goods, shipping can be as much as you want).

More detail and some examples: http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=5549

Capt_mulch
22/05/2008
4:29:02 PM
I buy most of my gear from the US using my credit card. I don't pay any GST if the value of the goods is under AUD$1000. The credit card gets charged a couple of dollars as an international exchange fee of some sort. It's easy and cheap. Saves me about 50% of what it would cost here.

GravityHound
22/05/2008
6:13:40 PM
another thing on this issue - i was told by customs that the US free trade agreement means that MOST things MADE in the US can be imported duty and GST(?) free. Doesnt help much because not much is actually made in the US but worth keeping in mind and perhaps checking out a bit more.
Duncan
22/05/2008
10:41:46 PM
I've had good experiences with the HK based ebay photography gear sellers. digital_rev in particular have been good for lenses.

mousey
23/05/2008
12:09:56 AM
i think i bought my sekonic light meter off digital_rev years ago, he's good
ive done a few orders from adorama/b&h that were well over $1000 and apart from one time (got stung by customs for about $250) ive never had to pay more than the cost + very reasonable shipping. im all for supporting local business but check this out- Nikon D3 retails for about $7k here, I've seen it retailing (not even on special) for less than 4 in the states. ridiculous.

wallwombat
23/05/2008
1:24:34 AM
Petrol is cheaper there too, Josh.

mousey
23/05/2008
2:20:48 AM
goodie gumdrops, ill get a self addressed jerry can in the mail pronto

Mike
23/05/2008
1:44:44 PM
On 23/05/2008 mousey wrote:
>ive done a few orders from adorama/b&h that were well over $1000 and apart
>from one time (got stung by customs for about $250) ive never had to pay
>more than the cost + very reasonable shipping.

Sounds like I was the victim of a spot check then. Oh well, what's done is done. Hopefully they turn up today. I'd gone the Canon 16-35 f2.8L II, and the Canon 100 f2.8 Macro. Should be fun times ahead :-)
malnosaj
23/05/2008
1:57:28 PM
Hmmm....I just recently bought the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L MKII from a guy on Fredmiranda.com/Dgrin.com. His forum name is Remford and he is an excellent seller. Paid $1235 USD (including shipping to Sydney) and for some reason didn't get taxed when it arrived in Australian customs even though the box clearly stated the value as $1500 insured.

I paid via wire transfer straight into his account and received the lens in 4 working days! That's way quicker than BH, which took forever last time I got a Canon 70-200mm f/4L from them. DigitalRev on ebay is good as well, bought my 17-55mm off em. Both BH and DigitalRev I got stung with tax and custom fees though....just unfortunate I guess.
SHANESHAW
23/05/2008
9:11:38 PM
best way is to look on e-bay and buy a 2nd hand one from someon ein Australia. I just bought a 17-55 f/4 l series for $690 and that included shipping from Victoria. The lens arrived and was in perfect condition.

Mike
26/05/2008
4:24:29 PM
Well the lenses turned up, 5 days after purchase, so not bad. I'm having a ball playing.

Here's one with the 100mm Macro:
http://chockstone.smugmug.com/gallery/2202398#301455960_kCpiw-A-LB
Not cropped, full frame camera.

And one with the 16mm from Mt Hotham last weekend:
http://chockstone.smugmug.com/gallery/2199212#301481199_MPqFG-A-LB

IdratherbeclimbingM9
26/05/2008
4:39:41 PM
>http://chockstone.smugmug.com/gallery/2202398#301455960_kCpiw-A-LB

Brilliant shot.
I imagine it is hard to get fast lense speed combined with reasonable depth of field in macro as an all in one.
Your water shot proves it to be possible.

Mike
26/05/2008
5:12:42 PM
>I imagine it is hard to get fast lense speed combined with reasonable
>depth of field in macro as an all in one.

Rod, little thing called a flash. Very useful for stopping action when it's (mostly) the only light source.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 21
There are 21 messages in this topic.

 

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