Hi there, welcome back to my blog. Its been a while since my last entry, but there is no need to blog just for the sake of blogging. But today, I actually have something exciting I want to share with you.
Purchasing a Canon 6D Body (Wi-Fi & GPS)
There is always a lot to do about purchasing electronic equipment from the internet shops offering top brand products for low prices. Normally when you see pricing which seems to good to be true, it is just that, too good to be true. But there are honest sellers out there offering products at low pricing without any scams, hidden fees or obligated up-sells. Often these products are referred to as grey market or grey sets. Grey market sounds dodgy or illegal but in fact it is perfectly legal. What happens is that goods are imported from a country where the product is cheaper, but not through officially recognised channels. These official channels are approved or authorised by the manufacturer to import the products and sell on the local markets. When you purchase directly from these unauthorised resellers, you cut out a lot of extra margin. But these grey sets are cleared by customs, duty and tax paid and there is nothing illegal about it. Resellers just don’t like it, because they sell less units.
The difference from buying from a foreign reseller is the fact that manufacturer warranty is often a local warranty. Which means there is no international warranty offered, which will render grey sets ineligible for warranty claims with the manufacturer. Because of the nature of local warranties, importers of grey sets usually offer their own warranty schemes only valid in the country where the product was purchased. Worst case scenario, you need to ship your camera or lens back to e.g. Hong Kong.
Regardless of the warranty issue, the trick is to find an online store that is legit, which is not always easy. Sometimes you need to use common sense to determine if its to good to be true, or just your lucky day. You can try to find sources on the internet, normally on discussion boards or forums, to see if the store you want to purchase from is legit, if positive experiences are reported. Since I am a photographer, and posting on a few photography forums, it’s also easy to ask the question to fellow photographers, who might have experience with a certain web-shop. Also look for the PayPal logo or checkout. PayPal offers buyer protection, so in case you purchase a camera body full of sand, you can get your money back. In general, scammers won’t really offer PayPal as PayPal will freeze their account at the first single report of fraud. And a purchase with a credit card basically offers you the same protection. If the purchase has to be made with e.g. a Western Union transfer or MoneyGram, you need to step away from the deal. And you can check sites like Scamadviser.com, Trustpilot or Nextag to see if a website has too many red flags or negative comments. Web reputation is important for stores, check if they have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Check for recent activity, check for comments, and if the user comments are getting replies from the store. When a store keeps negative user comments on the Facebook page, it could indicate they have nothing to hide.
Anyhoo, after my purchase of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM at Onestop Digital, which was a positive experience, I was saving up for a full frame Canon DSLR. After a lot of reading and asking questions and comparing different bodies, I decided to go for the Canon 6D. The Canon 6D is an entry-level professional full frame DSLR which combines elements from the Canon 7D and 5DMKII. I wanted to purchase the camera from Onestop Digital again as I was happy with them. And I always stick to a store when the experience has been a good one. Onestop Digital offered the Canon 6D for €1,300 euro. So it was an easy choice to purchase from them again. I had added the Canon 6D to my shopping cart, to purchase the camera the next day when I had all my monies in one place in the bank, so I could purchase with PayPal.
When returning to the web-shop the next day I noticed the Canon 6D was deleted from my shopping cart. When I searched for the camera I found it for €120 euro more expensive. That was quite upsetting, so I emailed the store that I had the camera in my shopping cart for €1,300 euro and that I thought the overnight price hike of 9.2% was quite ridiculous. Its like shopping at Tesco, sticking a frying pan of €10 euro in your cart, and by the time you get to the register, it costs €11 euro. They replied that they couldn’t offer me any discount, and even me pleading being a returning customer and probably not returning for future purchases, didn’t make a difference. In fact, the Canon 6D now costs €1,491 euro. That’s €191 euro (15%) up from their original price. I was back to square one in finding a trustworthy online retailer, without having to pay the ridiculous high price of €2,000 euro, which the Canon 6D costs in Ireland.
Doing my research I ran into a few stores like ValueBasket.com, Panamoz and Applelectronic and a few more stores. Some of them could be dropped immediately because the pricing was not competitive or the offer was too good to be true. It was going to be one of the 3 mentioned shops. I did my due diligence as described above, and found out that ValueBasket was experiencing stock issues and Panamoz only ships to the UK. The only choice left was Applelectronic. They have the Canon 6D priced at €1,275 euro, which is really sharp, but not too good to be true.
Their FAQ on the taxes and duty wasn’t really clear to me. I have had to pay duty at my door before, so I decided to check their Facebook page and Twitter to see if I could find more information and I did. I found out that they are actively responding to comments on their Facebook page. They are tweeting offers, and they have positive reviews on Nextag and are verified by GoDaddy. I found some comments from them on shipping and taxes, but I decided to email them anyway and ask them about it. I left them a message on Facebook as well. Better safe then sorry, something might have changed in their policy. It’s not the first that time that something like that happened.
Q: Do I have to pay for any import duties or tax A: Our price is door to door price, which inclusive all charges until delivery to your door side. No hidden charge.
In the mean time I had gathered enough information to put my mind at ease and ordered the Canon EOS 6D (WG) and paid with my PayPal account. In case it was the perfect scam, I would still get my money back from PayPal. I was confident in paying Applelectronic the price they asked for the Canon 6D. I emailed them on Saturday morning and wasn’t expecting a reply till Monday. On Monday morning before going to work I checked my email and as expected I had an answer from Applelectronic on both Facebook and by email. Duty and taxes were covered and there was no shipping fee. At this point I was confident that things would go well. Now all I had to do is wait. Which is quite excruciating when you are as excited as I was about my first professional full frame camera. Mind you, I have only been selling my images for 18 months, and already managed to upgrade to a Canon L lens and full frame camera. I have only been taking photos for a little over 2 years. I never expected to end up with a dream kit like that so quickly.
On Tuesday I checked and the camera hadn’t been shipped yet, but the FAQ was quite clear about that, it would take about 2 days to ship and then depending on the location 3-5 days to arrive. I emailed them if they could ship asap as I have a shoot coming up with 3 gorgeous models. And since my 450D was broken, I needed the Canon 6D asap. They did reply and said they would ship it as fast as they could. The next day, Wednesday, I received my DHL tracking number. It didn’t show up on the DHL site, so I emailed Appleletronic about it. They said they would look into it, and they did, as their next reply was that the tracking number was now available on the DHL website. Here you can see the progress of the shipping. I was quite impressed by the speed of it. And I was quite nervous on Friday because I was sure it would be delivered to me just before the weekend. I couldn’t really focus at work and was refreshing the DHL website constantly to see if it had been delivered already. And at 11.03am GMT I noticed it had just been delivered. So I rushed down to the mail room, and there it was, perfectly packed, my Canon EOS 6D (WG)!! The mail room didn’t even had the time to register the package.
|Wednesday, September 11, 2013||Location||Time|
|1||Shipment picked up||HONG KONG||18:06|
|Thursday, September 12, 2013||Location||Time|
|2||Arrived at Sort Facility HONG KONG||HONG KONG||00:04|
|3||Processed at HONG KONG||HONG KONG||04:53|
|4||Departed Facility in HONG KONG||HONG KONG||05:08|
|5||Arrived at Sort Facility LEIPZIG – GERMANY||LEIPZIG – GERMANY||16:38|
|6||Processed at LEIPZIG – GERMANY||LEIPZIG – GERMANY||23:13|
|Friday, September 13, 2013||Location||Time|
|7||Departed Facility in LEIPZIG – GERMANY||LEIPZIG – GERMANY||00:42|
|8||Transferred through EAST MIDLANDS – UK||EAST MIDLANDS – UK||04:45|
|9||Departed Facility in EAST MIDLANDS – UK||EAST MIDLANDS – UK||04:48|
|10||Customs status updated||DUBLIN – IRELAND||06:05|
|11||Arrived at Sort Facility DUBLIN – IRELAND||DUBLIN – IRELAND||06:56|
|12||Clearance processing complete at DUBLIN – IRELAND||DUBLIN – IRELAND||07:18|
|13||Arrived at Delivery Facility in DUBLIN – IRELAND||DUBLIN – IRELAND||07:19|
|14||With delivery courier||DUBLIN – IRELAND||08:45|
|15||Delivered – Signed for by xxxxxx||DUBLIN||10:48|
With the package under my arm and a big smile on my face I went back to my desk and opened the box. There she was, my black beauty. A streamlined, lightweight, curved body. I couldn’t believe it how compact and light it was. And it felt really good in my hand. I charged the battery at work, and switched on the camera. The shutter sound is so beautiful, so decent. It was the perfect buy and the friendly guys at Applelectronic made it happen. A sharply priced Canon EOS 6D, at €1,275, from Hong Kong to Dublin in 5 days, no hassle, no hidden charges. Just as it says on the tin. Applelectronic will be my new go to store for other purchases. I still need an ultra wide-angle lens and I am also in the market for a battery grip and an external flash. I am more than happy to order it from Applelectronic.
So there you have it, it’s quite the blog for just a simple order, but I know that there not many good detailed reviews for every webs shop out there. I am hoping my experience will help some people make the right decision. I have to add a little disclaimer though. This is only MY experience, for this particular product, at this price, from Hong Kong to Dublin. It’s no guarantee your experience will be the same. None the less, the story is true.
My next blog will be about my first impressions of the Canon EOS 6D and I will for sure start adding new photos to my portfolio soon.