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ProCameraShop - any satisfied customers?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Malcolm_Stewart, Apr 28, 2012.

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  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I have to say that there are certain things that worry me. One is when new members sign up just to praise a certain supplier, especially a foreign-based grey market one. And we've had no fewer than 6 people sign up to do that in this thread. Historically, it tends to be that when people sign up specifically to do that, they are doing it on behalf of the retailer. I've no confirmation that that's what's happened here, but there's a massive warning flag flying over this supplier for me for that reason. If it wasn't for the fact that some regular forum users have recommended the place, that would've been enough for me to be convinced they were dodgy and probably remove the thread; as it is, I personally wouldn't trust them, quite apart from the damage this sort of thing does to the country.
     
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I'd be interested to know, from those who have bought from ProCameraShop, where was your package shipped from - UK or overseas?
     
  3. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Mine was from UK. As I say initially I was positive but lack of response to my post purchase query was not good so I wouldn't buy again personally
     
  4. JanzMoke

    JanzMoke Member

    Hi willie45, no worries - I wasn't offended. I'm too old and ugly to worry about that now:D - and thanks for your welcome. I certaily will stick around as banter becomes the spice of life... eventually;).

    It certainly seems that there is a lot of banter going on and also some very interesting discussions about what appears to be quite a sensitive subject.

    Concerning the VAT / duty issue, I tackled PCS about this before purchasing. They confirmed that the on-line price shown is the final price. There will be no duty or other costs to pay. Items arrive in the UK from wherever they are sourced - not necessarily Hong Kong BTW - and appropriate duties and taxes are paid at that time. Their website states that by purchasing from them, you agree to conform with appicable laws administered by HK government - this as far as I read it includes the appropriate customs declarations that are made by PCS on the purchasers behalf etc. The only statement relating to customs and duty is if there should be a dispute or complaint that arrises outside of the terms and conditions that PCS ask you to abide by, PCS would not be responsible for any additional CnD that could be incurred as a result. OK - what does all that actually mean? I'm not employed in the legal or tax profession - it would be interesting to find out more though. I personally think, like willie45 that if there had been problems in the past, they would have been dealt with before. My goods were certainly shipped from the UK, by UPS. The total turnaround time once payment was cleared was 2 days. I don't think they could get kit in from HK or wherever that quickly for my kit not to have already been located in the UK or EU at worst.
     
  5. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath


    Since I think Hong Kong is now Chinese, and China is not part of the EU, where does Import duty at 20% fit in? If you buy even a secondhand camera from the USA on eBay it arrives at Heathrow with a Customs Declaration form on the front. HMRC then pick up these details and the goods are bonded until you have received notification of the duty you owe, and have paid it. So even secondhand goods from outside the EU attract import duty on the price of the goods plus the shipping charge, and a handling charge of about £12 making 25% or so in all.
     
  6. Scphoto

    Scphoto Well-Known Member

    It's probably only missing VAT as there's no import duty on Camera (and Kits) - though it's levied on lenses at around 6% I think.

    As to how it gets in, from what I've read HMRC are unable to inspect all packages so a hefty majority get in that way (possibly labelled as something else). That explains the fast UK shipping that some companies manage to achieve.

    What I've not seen is paperwork from these companies as all paper work I receive has a VAT break down included. With out this I'd assume VAT hasn't been paid. It would be nice to see some paper work from companies mentioned (obviously with personal details redacted!).

    There does seem to be a big hole which HMRC need to look at. Panamoz was another odd importer, for some reason their prices have recently risen. From what I've read HMRC got involved.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  7. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath


    Yes - I've just checked - from most non-EU countries there are two taxes which total about 30% - but from Hong Kong it is zero in both cases.
     
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    Certainly the longevity of this thread represents a huge bit of free advertising. I am curious as to how the business model works. Certainly it ought to be possible to work out by calculation what the minimum delivered cost of a grey import might be of it were sourced in bulk from a free port somewhere and carriage costs might not be that large for small physical volume kit that is moved alongside other material on a regular shipment schedule. What I don't understand is the pricing policy. If you can make a margin and undercut the official supply route by, say 30%, on prices why on earth pass on that saving? Is this the risk persuader? Does the model work with 15%, 10% saving? I am inclined to start a poll to see what people's "risk" threshold is for buying sight unseen as we are heading fast to a world where it is impossible to hold something before you buy. My threshold is quite low. My local shop here in Brussels is getting a lens transferred from another branch so that I can see it - I know I want to buy one - have done for 2 years - all the reviews are great - better than great - but I need to see it. My persuader? i asked about this non-stock item in LCE 10 days ago and was told UK canon price list just increased. Here, not, which just shows the potential to differentiate prices according to market.
     
  9. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    I've been tempted to buy a Fuji X-Pro 1 recently and I can save a couple of hundred quid buying from Digital Rev. My only worry is whether Fuji UK would repair it if it went bust or whether there are reliable service centres for Fuji in the UK should the worst happen.

    I did start a thread asking this a while back but sadly I got no replies so looks like no-one knows ( or else no-one is interested ;) )
     
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    Just thinking how to frame a new post. So you are borderline to risk 800 on a 200 saving ?

    I thought someone had answered your repairs question - or one like it.
     
  11. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Hi Pete. I hadn't noticed the replies. Doh! Anyway I've apologised to the posters for my not noticing.

    Yes the £200 saving would be acceptable as long as the company was reliable in effecting repairs. I don't fancy having to send it back to HK though so if either Fuji UK or a reliable 3rd part agent would do them I'd be fine with it.
     
  12. JanzMoke

    JanzMoke Member

    It would be fair to assume that a retailer such as ProCameraShop might try to get people to write favourable reviews and they do. Once the shipping date of your item is confirmed they send you an e-mail with all details, tracking numbers and addresses as well as the particular courier used. They then ask you to reply to the same e-mail once the product has arrived to confirm that all is OK and that you're satisfied. Once you have done this - and believe me, the relief once that package actually arrives should not be underestimated - they then send you a reply - 'glad you are so happy - now why not write a review on Review Center' which you then gladly do.
    Much as I would love to make your dream come true and confess that I am that mystery person employed by PCS to infiltrate fora discussing their 'unbelievable' deals - unfortunately I can't. I am just a guy who is over the moon because he has finally bought some photographic kit that seemed so far beyond reach for so long. I was originally going to buy the 5D mk2 kit with same lens from Amazon for £1849. My poor EF-S 17-85 had recently failed while working in Djibouti and the fact that my trusty 20D I bought it with was now some 8 years old gave me an excuse to convince the boss (wife:eek:) that wasn't it time I deserved a new camera - and wasn't the 5D mk2 a bargain compared to the new price - we know we all do it... imagine the brownie points when I declared that what I had bought was actually over £300 less than I had threatened. I had got away with murder:D
    If anyone is bemused or bewildered by others so keen to shout about their new (beyond their wildest dreams) toys from the roof tops - imagine that they might be in the same boat as me:cool: - we aren't all in the position where we can get the latest kit when it comes out and discard the old - I still have most of my cameras and still use them regularly - including my F Ftn and F2 DP1. The old Nikkor lenses work great on my 20D - haven't tried on my 6D yet.
     
  13. JanzMoke

    JanzMoke Member

    Hi Thornrider - your statement is quite right and I have bought stuff from the USA via a popular online auction site and have been stung a few times. I find that quite acceptable and only really feel sore about the opening fee the inspectors charge, which can be more than the original duty payable. The difference with PCS is that I am not buying anything from the USA, or Hong Kong or wherever. The goods are shipped from the UK, customs cleared. Agreed, the goods probably came from somewhere outside of the UK - but then that would have been the case for Canon UK as well - Japan and China are outside of the EU whoever buys the product.
     
  14. Scphoto

    Scphoto Well-Known Member

    Cleared yes, inspected - who knows.

    Clearly the goods are from outside the EU, Canon make them in Japan. Canon UK import them, they are distributed to dealers who sell them and VAT is collected.

    What doesn't seem to be clear is what VAT have you paid? You might want to just reply with the VAT registration number that they use, it'll be clearly marked on the invoice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  15. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Problem is that, as I understand it, different camera cos. make kit in different locations and then move it around the world in different ways and sometimes via different wholly-owned/partly-owned/independent companies until a retailer eventually gets his hands on it. :confused:

    As can be deduced from the above, 'Government' also gets its sticky little mitts involved. :rolleyes:
     
  16. JanzMoke

    JanzMoke Member

    Good question - invoice is sent by Google Wallet - That is effectively who you pay.
     
  17. JanzMoke

    JanzMoke Member

    I hazard a guess PCS wouldn't tell you their secret - I have researched other fora and it seems they operate in a similar way to Digital Rev (without the 'social network' element) and a few others (forgot the names - but could check in history). Taxes / duty is paid by the retailer - it is then sold to customers tax paid (i.e. 0% vat) Bit like if you bought a camera from a shop and then sold it as new to me. I wouldn't pay the VAT again - would I. The VAT receipt would be made out to you - not me.

    Having said that - all of this detail is a bit academic - the thread is 'ProCameraShop - any satisfied customers?'. I have indicated that I am satisfied. If it helps, I will report back if at any time I become dissatisfied. BTW, registered the body and lens on Canon website - no problem - wonder if they would support such cases in case of problems?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  18. d123

    d123 Well-Known Member

    Over on TP it's been given a name now, Shills Law.



    A foreign retailer would not pay VAT (or even be in a position to register for VAT), the camera is basically smuggled into the UK and the HK retailer covers themself with a disclaimer that the buyer is legally responsible to pay any tax or duty required by UK law.

    You can register any number you like, make one up and try it.

    The registration process doesn't check for valid numbers, it's only when you try and get warranty service that the system will catch your serial as invalid and require a UK/EU invoice for warranty service. Expect to send the camera back to HK (at your own expense) for warranty work by Canon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  19. JanzMoke

    JanzMoke Member

    OK - it's clear. This thread could go on forever and has been hijacked by a new discussion - is it morally OK to buy Grey or not - and should those that have, be preached to endlessly by those that paid more.... I don't know. Perhaps another thread could be started on that.

    My previous post:


    says what I believe the thread to be about.....

    Love photography, so will now get out there, use my new, probably 'grey' 6D (although every time I look at it, it looks black to me... well, apart from that very smart red ring around the lens:cool: that I thought I would never ever own) and check out other topics on the forum about how to get the best out of it;)
     
  20. d123

    d123 Well-Known Member

    Morally there is no problem with buying grey, as long as you comply with your legal responsibility and avoid becoming guilty of tax evasion.

    If you buy from a grey smuggler (most of the HK retailers are) and do not receive a UK invoice with a UK VAT number showing the VAT has been paid you should query it with the retailer and advise HMRC of your importation and arrange to pay any tax or duty that might be owed.

    They even show on their website (I say "show" as it's an image file for some reason, and not plain text) that the buyer is legally responsible for paying the tax.

    [​IMG]
     
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