What's going on with camera prices?

  Muergo 17:58 07 Mar 2011

I am looking at several different cameras but there is a tremendous variation on price for some, but very little for others.

Just taking the Amazon site alone, one camera is around £300 plus or minus £10 from several suppliers wheras another varies from £210 to £432 for exactly the same item, all UK sourced next day delivery.

What's the catch, why does a company offer at a totally uncompetitive price.

  Forum Editor 18:26 07 Mar 2011

for their pricing policies - one may have done a better deal than a competitor when buying in the wholesale market. Another supplier may have lower overheads, and can thus trade on a reduced gross margin.

There are all kinds of reasons for price variations, but 'why?' isn't relevant as long as all other things are equal.

  spuds 18:38 07 Mar 2011

Its not only cameras, check a few printer prices out, and you will most likely see a varied difference there.

Around December time, I was looking at wireless printers, and the Epson SX515W came to mind. The price of that varied at the time from around the £63.00 mark to near the £100.00 mark (Epson store price £69.00 delivered). I eventually purchased the same model from an eBay seller for £18.00 delivered as faulty (blocked print nozzle).

  oresome 19:13 07 Mar 2011

Many retailers put the price up so they can reduce it again in a sale.

Favourite time for a sale is a Bank Holiday when people are stuck for something to do in the usual Bank holiday weather.

  961 19:24 07 Mar 2011

Retailers know when buyers are absent and use that time to ramp the price up so that they can announce "50% off! Aren't we great" when they know you and me are out looking for a bargain

However, this year much stuff was ordered from the far east pre priced to take into account the rise in VAT to 20%

The simple answer for the consumer is to take care not to get caught in one of these "bump the price up so we can lower it again" periods

  sunnystaines 20:00 07 Mar 2011

some might not be meant for uk market, so warranty will be invalid

  Muergo 23:08 07 Mar 2011

I have had trouble with import of camera from Hong Kong, finding after duty I wasn't much better off than buying here but it was the genuine article.

I imported a camera myself on one trip from theUSA, that was a very good deal, but I did check before buying that it was the same model, then used it for a week so coming back it did not appear that I had not bought it Here and taken it with me, how many people take their UK receipts with them when they go outside the EC.

Coming back to my first question, the F.E. says different overhead costs etc, that no way makes a difference of half the price, the one seller on Amazon I quoted was asking £100 more than Canon list price, the other £100 less the list price which is a lot of money in proportion for a £350 camera., the rest of the offeres were in between.

Invoking the "Distance selling" regulations on the web, you can send the item back within 7 days without stating a reason, this does not apply if you buy on the High Street, you then rely on the retailers' goodwill unless it's faulty or misdescribed.

  spuds 09:17 08 Mar 2011

If I understand your comments right, it would appear that you might be suggesting, using a camera purchased in the USA "not bought it here and taken it with me", might fool the UK Customs.

Not so, they have access to a 'little black book' that tells them everything that should know. Cameras are no exception, and they would be fully wised up to where the camera came from, hence having a receipt is possibly the best evidence available. Confiscation of the item and possibly other actions are always on the agenda?.

  Muergo 13:26 08 Mar 2011

I wasn't saying at all that you could fool the UK Revenue and Customs, rather that if you don't make it obvious that it's new by bringing it back all shiny in the box, you stand a good chance of getting through without them suspecting anything.

It's a matter of statistics as my friends in Customs and Immigration at Heathrow (retired) say, there are tens of thousands going through and they can only catch a small percentage, you have to be very unlucky to be in that number.

These days they are far more interested in whether you are carrying drugs than bother about cameras and watches etc.

  woodchip 15:41 08 Mar 2011

As FE says, some even work from there garage, and Web site. not much in the way of overheads there. But wait while it goes wrong.

  Muergo 18:01 08 Mar 2011

You are quite right, when I bought my Canon camera from a little shop in Market Street San Francisco there was no way I would have gotten (sic) any after sales service, I think I used that point to beat him down on price by saying just that he would never see me again so knock another chunk of dollars off, also he gave me a nice cheap invoice in case I was stopped, but I know you will say that the Revenue boys are up to this and will charge you on the UK price if you try on a very silly amount like $50 for a camera that obviously costs $400

The Hong Kong sellers use another trick by giving you discount in free gifts of SDHC cards etc.

The recent business I did with China (proper) through e-Bay was broken down into lots of small packets, i.e. four little microscopes came in four envelopes.

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