IS HONG KONG THE PLACE TO BUY A CAMERA
Is Tokyo better than New York, or should I buy in Hong Kong?
Lets assume you can shop anywhere in the world....
I am going back a few years but I think there are some themes worth highlighting. Let's take the example of the Canon G7X. I priced this in the Airport in Hong Kong at 4500 HKG$. In a branded shop in town they wanted 3600 HKG$. Via price checking on line the cheapest in Hong Kong was 3020 HKG$ plus 2% credit card fee. I visited one of the many shops offering this price and it was a real shop. This price appears to be 30% less than UK high street, where the price was around £355 - £400.
So is Hong Kong the place to buy a camera? Possibly not as it's not as clear cut as it appears. Firstly the warranty on a camera appears to only cover China. Buy a camera and then return to another country and you might have no cover. Detail on the Canon web site indicated that you might get six months cover but it was not clear.
What about B&H in New York, www.bhphotovideo.com. For this product they were not to far off the UK high street and this would also probably take you over the UK customs allowance. Yodabashi in Tokyo was also higher. These are the places to check as for other products, ie my Sigma Lens B&H were a great option. Obviously exchange rates change over time and you need to do your own research.
Other factors also come into play. While I was in Hong Kong I decided to buy the Canon G7X and take the lack of warranty as an acceptable risk. However as one shop did not have it in stock the salesman tried to sell me another camera. This was an error as he was able to get the Canon from another branch but instead he started to lie about the specification so I lost all trust in him and he lost the sale. This also happened in the second shop visited! So the moral of the story is.... Hong Kong has been cheaper for cameras but in my limited experience I did not get good advice or a warranty outside China.