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Pentax in Hong Kong... Can be cheaper than B&H if you know where to look!!
Posted By: Malak, 09-15-2014, 01:15 AM

I have been using a Pentax K-x here in Hong Kong for about the last 4-5 years. I remember when I bought it, I had to specially order it through a local electronics store, who kept encouraging me to buy Canon or Nikon. But as it was a gift for my wife, who'd specifically asked for that model, my hands were tied... After living and shooting with that great little camera for all this time, I recently decided to upgrade to a K-3...

After searching around on the forums and looking everywhere online I could think of, it turns out, getting Pentax stuff here can be easier than I thought... There are very few (or no) specially Pentax places, but it turns out that's not a big issue.

Here in hk, there are a lot of unscrupulous businesses, who hardly even try to hide that they just want your money and want you to get out... Or, they look at the bag you're carrying, shoes you're wearing and decide on the spot how much they will charge your for something. I get the rough end of this stick all the time, cause despite speaking Cantonese and having lived in hk for nearly 10 years, I still look like a tourist...

Because of this, there is a great website ????? Price.com.hk

Just to be clear, I don't work for this website... But as I'm getting pretty passionate about Pentax, it is gonna be useful to me in the coming months/years!

It works like this... Shops advertise their products on the website, including clear info about how much it is, what's included for the price, whether it's from the local distributor or a 'grey' import and their address and phone number. Other users (customers) can rate the shops after they buy things there...

So, in my case, I found 4 shops selling the k-3 body for hkd$6950 and a few more selling it with the 18-135mm lens for $8750 (us$1,128). I called around, confirmed that the price was correct and went to pick it up. When I looked on B&H, they were asking for us$1,446 + shipping...

The shop I ended up buying from WAS in Mong kok (a touristy, shopping district) but WAS NOT in one of the big camera centers... Instead, it was in a commercial building. When I went to pick it up, I checked the local warranty card was present and the serial numbers matched (which they did)...I tested the body and lens (all in order) and then paid. No dramas at all.

As a comparison, I checked at shop@DCfever (which I'm told is a popular camera place)... They had a decent collection of Pentax cameras and lenses on sale in their Causeway Bay store...but the K-3 was hkd$9990 just for the body... So checking the prices online before rushing into buying saved me a heap!

If anyone is looking to buy camera equipment in Hong Kong (no matter which brand) I encourage you to check the prices on price.com.hk before you actually go visiting any shops, just to make sure you're getting the bargain you're hoping for!!!

Good luck fellow pentaxians!!!
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09-15-2014, 03:48 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Yep. That's the way I do my gear shopping in Hong Kong also. Search for the price in price.com.hk and try to locate the store via google maps. If too busy and out of time, just ask for a discount at stores your likely to pass along.
09-15-2014, 04:15 AM   #3
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Don't attempt to compare prices between a small, off-street store and a major retailers. Most retailers are required to sell goods at or higher than a minimum price set by the distributor. Off-street stores may bend the rules and ignore that restriction. Also, lots of the "special prices" require consumers to pay with cash instead of credit cards. I never carry more than a couple thousand HKD and walk on the street. Those stores certainly don't do shipping, and I doubt their return policy is comparable to B&H, Adorama or other major retailers.

It's also unfair to compare prices in Hong Kong and US. Think about the labor cost in Hong Kong and that in US. Minimum wage in Hong Kong is just half of that in US.

BTW, my white K-50 kit + AF-200FG bundle was over HKD2000 cheaper from B&H just FYI.
09-15-2014, 05:03 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
Don't attempt to compare prices between a small, off-street store and a major retailers. Most retailers are required to sell goods at or higher than a minimum price set by the distributor. Off-street stores may bend the rules and ignore that restriction. Also, lots of the "special prices" require consumers to pay with cash instead of credit cards. I never carry more than a couple thousand HKD and walk on the street. Those stores certainly don't do shipping, and I doubt their return policy is comparable to B&H, Adorama or other major retailers.

It's also unfair to compare prices in Hong Kong and US. Think about the labor cost in Hong Kong and that in US. Minimum wage in Hong Kong is just half of that in US.

BTW, my white K-50 kit + AF-200FG bundle was over HKD2000 cheaper from B&H just FYI.
Oh yes, of course... I'm just giving my experience.

---------- Post added 09-15-14 at 05:07 AM ----------

As an additional note, after reading whk1992's reply...

Standard practice at most Hong Kong independent shops is to charge a surcharge if you pay by credit card... I think this is ridiculous... My understanding is that they get charged 0.03%, but charge customers 3%... I might be wrong on the exact figures, and different shops have different agreements with their banks, but in general, I just pay cash to avoid the annoyance...

09-15-2014, 06:32 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Malak Quote
Oh yes, of course... I'm just giving my experience.

---------- Post added 09-15-14 at 05:07 AM ----------

As an additional note, after reading whk1992's reply...

Standard practice at most Hong Kong independent shops is to charge a surcharge if you pay by credit card... I think this is ridiculous... My understanding is that they get charged 0.03%, but charge customers 3%... I might be wrong on the exact figures, and different shops have different agreements with their banks, but in general, I just pay cash to avoid the annoyance...
You would imagine using a credit card in Hong Kong would be pain-free... No.
09-16-2014, 02:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Malak Quote
Standard practice at most Hong Kong independent shops is to charge a surcharge if you pay by credit card... I think this is ridiculous... My understanding is that they get charged 0.03%, but charge customers 3%... I might be wrong on the exact figures, and different shops have different agreements with their banks, but in general, I just pay cash to avoid the annoyance...
I suspect that you are way off in your estimate of "0.03%".
I cannot speak for HK, but you can read what the typical fees for the credit card transactions in the US are, e.g. here:
Credit Card Processing Fees & Rates | Credit Card Processing Insider
Those fees are combined from many components, but also can be bundled for the merchants.

But, the samples given in that writeup, including this: "For example, 1.51% plus $0.10 is the current Visa interchange fee for a swiped consumer credit card." - suggest that a typical average (per transaction) total fee is somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5%.
As far as I remember, Discover Card transactions are even more expensive.
And if you are using the right credit card, some of those fees come back to you, the customer, as "cash back", "points", "frequent flyer miles" and other similar perks.
For this reason (and, of course, first of all convenience), I'd rather pay extra 5 cents per gallon (when it costs over $3/gal) at the gas pump with my credit card that gives me 2% "cash back" (or sometimes even up to 5%) on the gas purchases, instead of paying cash.


QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
It's also unfair to compare prices in Hong Kong and US.
What do you mean? Unfair to whom?
Prices are different in different parts of the world.
There is no reason of not comparing them and benefiting from the lower prices if you have access to them.

QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
Don't attempt to compare prices between a small, off-street store and a major retailers. Most retailers are required to sell goods at or higher than a minimum price set by the distributor. Off-street stores may bend the rules and ignore that restriction. Also, lots of the "special prices" require consumers to pay with cash instead of credit cards. I never carry more than a couple thousand HKD and walk on the street. Those stores certainly don't do shipping, and I doubt their return policy is comparable to B&H, Adorama or other major retailers.
Again, why not?
Yes, at B&H, Adorama, Amazon you pay for some service and security, and that's fine if you need that.
But if you are ready to knowingly take the risks (caveat emptor) while paying lower prices, by all means, do it, and "may the Force be with you!"

... And while I haven't been to HK, and don't know if and when I'd be there, I appreciate the information posted by Malak. Thank you!
09-16-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by StR Quote
I suspect that you are way off in your estimate of "0.03%".
I cannot speak for HK, but you can read what the typical fees for the credit card transactions in the US are, e.g. here:
Credit Card Processing Fees & Rates | Credit Card Processing Insider
Those fees are combined from many components, but also can be bundled for the merchants.

But, the samples given in that writeup, including this: "For example, 1.51% plus $0.10 is the current Visa interchange fee for a swiped consumer credit card." - suggest that a typical average (per transaction) total fee is somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5%.
As far as I remember, Discover Card transactions are even more expensive.
And if you are using the right credit card, some of those fees come back to you, the customer, as "cash back", "points", "frequent flyer miles" and other similar perks.
For this reason (and, of course, first of all convenience), I'd rather pay extra 5 cents per gallon (when it costs over $3/gal) at the gas pump with my credit card that gives me 2% "cash back" (or sometimes even up to 5%) on the gas purchases, instead of paying cash.




What do you mean? Unfair to whom?
Prices are different in different parts of the world.
There is no reason of not comparing them and benefiting from the lower prices if you have access to them.



Again, why not?
Yes, at B&H, Adorama, Amazon you pay for some service and security, and that's fine if you need that.
But if you are ready to knowingly take the risks (caveat emptor) while paying lower prices, by all means, do it, and "may the Force be with you!"

... And while I haven't been to HK, and don't know if and when I'd be there, I appreciate the information posted by Malak. Thank you!
Does the term "parallel import" ring a bell?
It's true that you may get a cheaper price for a genuine product from smaller stores if you know where to find and how to check. I'd never recommend people (both tourists and local residents of Hong Kong) to buy products if they have no idea how to check if the product is warranted by its original distributor or not. Parallel imported merchandises are never warranted by their local distributors in Hong Kong. Similarly, if you bring a camera from Hong Kong to your place of origin, your nearest repairing center will most likely reject any service requests unless you pay a premium fee. If you don't care about warranty or don't mind paying $$$ to ship cameras overseas for repairing, sure, go ahead and buy them. (I wonder why electronic devices usually come with a warranty. Uhmmm....)

Testing a camera within a few days of your stay in Hong Kong (or any foreign location) is challenging. When you spot an issue with your purchase, good luck with the store's customer service. Lots of stores (even the larger ones) will simply reject refund or return, and direct you to the distributor's repairing center. From there, you have to drop off the camera for maintenance. Oh wait, did I forgot to mention that you'll be a tourist in Hong Kong? Are you certain that you have that much time on top of sightseeing, or maybe you don't plan on sightseeing at all? Being a tourists, catching buses and trains in Hong Kong and knowing where you are can be challenging enough already, not to mention that distributors' offices are nowhere close to major tourism spots.

Some other stores have bad reputations of taking away accessories that should come with the box. Again, if you know what you're looking into and do research of items that should come along with your purchase, then it shouldn't be a problem.

There are always reasons why things would be way cheaper in a place than others. Don't overlook the consequence of saving just a few bucks in here and loses big chuck of money and time in the end.
09-16-2014, 07:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by whk1992 Quote
Does the term "parallel import" ring a bell?
It's true that you may get a cheaper price for a genuine product from smaller stores if you know where to find and how to check. I'd never recommend people (both tourists and local residents of Hong Kong) to buy products if they have no idea how to check if the product is warranted by its original distributor or not. Parallel imported merchandises are never warranted by their local distributors in Hong Kong. Similarly, if you bring a camera from Hong Kong to your place of origin, your nearest repairing center will most likely reject any service requests unless you pay a premium fee. If you don't care about warranty or don't mind paying $$$ to ship cameras overseas for repairing, sure, go ahead and buy them. (I wonder why electronic devices usually come with a warranty. Uhmmm....)

Testing a camera within a few days of your stay in Hong Kong (or any foreign location) is challenging. When you spot an issue with your purchase, good luck with the store's customer service. Lots of stores (even the larger ones) will simply reject refund or return, and direct you to the distributor's repairing center. From there, you have to drop off the camera for maintenance. Oh wait, did I forgot to mention that you'll be a tourist in Hong Kong? Are you certain that you have that much time on top of sightseeing, or maybe you don't plan on sightseeing at all? Being a tourists, catching buses and trains in Hong Kong and knowing where you are can be challenging enough already, not to mention that distributors' offices are nowhere close to major tourism spots.

Some other stores have bad reputations of taking away accessories that should come with the box. Again, if you know what you're looking into and do research of items that should come along with your purchase, then it shouldn't be a problem.

There are always reasons why things would be way cheaper in a place than others. Don't overlook the consequence of saving just a few bucks in here and loses big chuck of money and time in the end.
Most of what you wrote sounds very reasonable.
Now, change HK to NYC (for non-NYC residents and especially for non-US residents). Then most of your arguments would still apply and would be correct.
That's not the reason for people, say, from Europe, where the prices are higher, not buying photo equipment at NYC stores (including B., A., and other reputable stores). What's so special about HK (again, - for people who understand the risk and have done their homework)?

As for the "parallel import", - you didn't make any point, just mentioned the term. (And yes, I know what it means.)
B&H in particular sells plenty of grey market products.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/HelpCenter/USGrey.jsp
Those do not have US warranty, and many people who know that , buy grey market products nevertheless. In some cases, for the amount of money saved, they could afford non-warranty repairs. In other cases, - the products were not otherwise available in the US (e.g. Pal/Secam video recorders/format converters).
You may have some philosophical problems with that (or you may not, - I am just guessing), but many people (including myself) - don't.


Last edited by StR; 09-16-2014 at 07:19 PM. Reason: link added
09-16-2014, 10:31 PM   #9
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I'm glad my post has created some discussion!!

There are of course pros and cons to buying stuff when you're away from home... But I think if you're willing to gamble on not having a warranty, then the significant cash savings are probably worthwhile...
09-24-2014, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Malak Quote
I'm glad my post has created some discussion!!

There are of course pros and cons to buying stuff when you're away from home... But I think if you're willing to gamble on not having a warranty, then the significant cash savings are probably worthwhile...
I want to know where to shop for film in HK. It is a heaven (next to Japan) for film photography...
09-24-2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by StR Quote
B&H in particular sells plenty of grey market products. U.S. & Grey Market Products | B&H Photo Video Those do not have US warranty, and many people who know that , buy grey market products nevertheless. In some cases, for the amount of money saved, they could afford non-warranty repairs. In other cases, - the products were not otherwise available in the US (e.g. Pal/Secam video recorders/format converters).
B&H does warrant the items themselves, however, which is unusual. With that said, I tend to avoid grey market unless it's for an item that almost certainly won't break. Luckily, dealers in the US don't sell grey market Pentax items.

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11-04-2014, 06:19 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Malak Quote
Oh yes, of course... I'm just giving my experience.

---------- Post added 09-15-14 at 05:07 AM ----------

As an additional note, after reading whk1992's reply...

Standard practice at most Hong Kong independent shops is to charge a surcharge if you pay by credit card... I think this is ridiculous... My understanding is that they get charged 0.03%, but charge customers 3%... I might be wrong on the exact figures, and different shops have different agreements with their banks, but in general, I just pay cash to avoid the annoyance...
0.03% is an unrealistic number for credit card processing. (Only banks have the audacity to pay us 0.03% for using our money LOL.). 3% is more the norm for small retailers. Major stores do pay lower rates. Things like SquareUp, PayPal now, etc. charge about 2.75%. Depending on one's margins you either absorb it or charge the customer for it.
11-04-2014, 09:32 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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I bought my brand new Pentax DFA 100mm F2.8 macro lens when I was in China this summer from jd.com(a Chinese version of Amazon, Ricoh China authorized dealer, very trustworthy website xD). There was a summer discount going on, so the final price of it delivered was 3800 China Yuan, which was equivalent to 614 USD.

Some fun facts:
Did you know that in China, many major online shopping websites allow you to pay at delivery? Which means you pay nothing until the delivery man knocks your door, and you get to inspect the package for damage before paying cash!(Some even carry small machine for you to slide your credit card)!

I saved myself once when I found out the Yamaha guitar had crack on the bottom, and refused to pay. Yayyyyyyyyy. No need to wait for refund.
11-05-2014, 12:12 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tip about jd.com!!!

I'm in the process of buying the sigma 18-35 this week, but it still worked out cheaper buying from a small, local shop I found on price.com than jd.com... I'm paying hkd$5,230 (us$675) for a non-grey import model, so I'm pretty happy wIth that... It comes with a 3-year local warranty from sigma Hong Kong...so that's even better!!

Happy shopping guys!!

QuoteOriginally posted by lawjie Quote
I bought my brand new Pentax DFA 100mm F2.8 macro lens when I was in China this summer from jd.com(a Chinese version of Amazon, Ricoh China authorized dealer, very trustworthy website xD). There was a summer discount going on, so the final price of it delivered was 3800 China Yuan, which was equivalent to 614 USD.

Some fun facts:
Did you know that in China, many major online shopping websites allow you to pay at delivery? Which means you pay nothing until the delivery man knocks your door, and you get to inspect the package for damage before paying cash!(Some even carry small machine for you to slide your credit card)!

I saved myself once when I found out the Yamaha guitar had crack on the bottom, and refused to pay. Yayyyyyyyyy. No need to wait for refund.


---------- Post added 11-05-14 at 12:15 AM ----------

I was just watching something on Digitalrev about this... Have a look on their YouTube channel... It might help you!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I want to know where to shop for film in HK. It is a heaven (next to Japan) for film photography...
11-05-2014, 08:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawjie Quote
I bought my brand new Pentax DFA 100mm F2.8 macro lens when I was in China this summer from jd.com(a Chinese version of Amazon, Ricoh China authorized dealer, very trustworthy website xD). There was a summer discount going on, so the final price of it delivered was 3800 China Yuan, which was equivalent to 614 USD.

Some fun facts:
Did you know that in China, many major online shopping websites allow you to pay at delivery? Which means you pay nothing until the delivery man knocks your door, and you get to inspect the package for damage before paying cash!(Some even carry small machine for you to slide your credit card)!

I saved myself once when I found out the Yamaha guitar had crack on the bottom, and refused to pay. Yayyyyyyyyy. No need to wait for refund.
Prices this morning were not that good on any Pentax lens.
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