buying cameras overseas

Travel Forums Travel Photography buying cameras overseas

1. Posted by Peter (Admin 6866 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I have often thought of buying a camera when overseas or while in transit (singapore, etc). The prices can be so much lower than buying it at home and thanks to some great duty free discounts - it can REALLY be a moneysaver..

BUT, what has stopped me (besides not having the cash :)) is the fact that there would be no way of dealing with a warranty! If I found something wrong with a camera a few days after the purchase, it would be near impossible to arrange a refund or repair. I wonder what people's thoughts are on this. Has anyone bought a camera duty free while travelling or considered it? Is it just paranoia to not finalise the purchase, or is it a warranted concern?

Another option is of course buying it just before leaving and then opening it on the trip, therefore still profiting from the duty free deal - this would be my current preference, but it would be slightly more expensive than buying it in somewhere like Singapore.

Any thouhts/experiences?

2. Posted by sole (Full Member 208 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!


Don't the big makes have worldwide guarantee? Years ago I bought a camera lense in HK and there was a worldwide guarantee on it, the paperwork looked genuine, but of course I'm not sure as I've never had to use the guarantee. As far as I remember this was an Olympus lense. At least it's worth checking.


3. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I know people who have bought cameras and other electronics overseas and haven't had a problem. I've heard Singapore is a place to go, but Hong Kong is also- and being a free port it is really duty free. They also happen to be lightyears ahead of us (Canadians) technology-wise, too. One of my friends bought an expensive zoom lens while travelling in Africa- she's a really serious photographer. No one has complained to me about having problems. I don't know about the whole warranty bit, though . . .

4. Posted by iloveflyin (Full Member 159 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I guess, living in the USA give me a little advantage on buying cameras over some other parts of the world. I travel often to Tokyo, and found out that duty-free cameras and other electronic devices, COST MORE THAN IN THE USA, especially, when you order online. I don't know about Singapore. I also found that in most countries, local items cost more at the duty-free shops at the airport, when compared to the stores down town. One example, is a Thai silk necktie in the duty-free store at Bangkok airport cost around $US30. The similar quality tie cost around $3 downtown. Before you buy anything, you should check it out on the internet or the stores where you live, and compare with the duty-free store at the airport.

5. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Yeah, . . . I noticed that everything tends to be more expensive in airports (even, and sometimes especially, the duty-free stores)- except for food which tends to be around the same price as it is in the city. At least, that's the way it has been in my experience.

you know what's kind of funny . .. my friend noticed they have duty free stores in the airport in Hong Kong- but the whole place is a duty-free port!!!

6. Posted by iloveflyin (Full Member 159 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

DUTY-FREE store at the airport is also the name of a chain duty-free stores. If one had a chance going to town HongKong or Kowloon, you can buy cameras cheaper than at the airport, of course, in-town, you can bargain the price with the salesperson. Whereas at the airport, you cannot. Back during the Vietnam War, there is a store in Hong Kong called "China Fleet Club" selling cameras and electronic items to American military members and to other Allie military personels. Here the price is even cheaper than other stores in Hong Kong. Too bad, that store ceased to exist. If one travel to Japan, go to Shinjuku station, there are many camera stores which have pretty competitive prices. Even if you do not want to buy, it is a sight to see. Some stores are 5-story high, selling nothing but cameras and darkroom equipment from all over the world - and they are always busy. For electronic items, go to Akihabara. It has hundreds of electronic shops selling from a small capacitor to a giant up to date stereo system- and they do ship for you.