Shopping for cameras in HK
Our shop is located in the quieter part of Central, and we are tucked farther up on the 2nd floor hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the financial district. Needless to say our retail is not a hyper busy shop filled with customers 24/7 eager to buy anything to everything we have to offer ! Not that we would mind folks going bonkers on a shopping spree !! The best thing about not being too busy is we could spend more time talking to the customers, getting to know them as an individual, and basically having a good time in this dingy place of ours.
Among the many topics we have had with the folks (we prefer not using the word “customer”, because, frankly, you don’t have to buy anything from us), the question on where we’ve bought the cameras came up fairly often. So, this blog is about our experience and stories we’ve heard!
Used or New: For new and latest cameras and lenses, we would get them at the regular major electronic stores in HK. For example, we’ve got the Sony A7R at the Sony shop in Causeway Bay. For used equipments, we tend not to buy used auto focus lens or electronics for the sake of hassle free. We’ve got the classic equipments such as the large format cameras and lenses, they are bought through eBay or directly from members from the oversea forums. And a few many equipments were sold to us from friends who know we are not about flipping.
We don’t feel comfortable recommending anyone about any used camera shops, and it is not because the shops are all about ripping off anyone who would dare to walk in. There is a story about a shop who’d bought a truck load of classic cameras, rumour has it these cameras were damaged from a flood. It was uncertain whether the shop owner knew about it or not, and the cameras were sent out for repair before arriving on our shelf. To cut the story short, a friend of ours bought a camera which, like many of us, it ended up on the bookshelf for about a year. And, like many of us, out of the blue he decided to take it out for a shooting session only to find the camera to be jammed. The Rolleiflex was taken apart by a repair guy and found the inside to be completely rusted.
Parallel Import or Official products: The price of a grey import may be significantly lower than the official deal. Our Panasonic GH4 is a grey import item. We were comfortable with the price they’d offered, and a lot of the time the shop itself would provide the warranty on their sold items. (Please don’t expect a full refund or anything remotely close to that.) Take into consideration that we live in HK and the shops are within an hour away max, so it’s much easier for us to look them up for any warranty related issues than folks living in the UK.
We had seen “cheaper”imported Leica compared to the official suggested retail, but in our opinion, it was cheaper because of the possible overseas tax refund and along with the local currency exchange. Maybe the best time to buy a Leica is when the economy is sinking at the bottom, and the sellers are eager to rid the inventory for some quick cash.
Shopping in HK is no longer cheap as compared to the earlier days, the absence of a sales tax has been off set by the expensive rent, and our HK dollar is pegged to the US$ …. !! So, if you are looking for the best deal, know the shop well, establish a relationship with the seller and know the exchange rate !!
Lastly, we do not sell equipments ! We are passionate about photography. So we don’t sell, we buy !!