Grey Vs Used. Am I missing something?

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#41
It always amazes me how many are willing to incriminate themselves on this forum by saying they’ve done it, what they bought and how much they saved vs UK high street price! Talk about making it easy for HMRC if they do eventually decide to act!

The grey vs used vs UK high street debate is always a divisive discussion :popcorn:
Hope we don't have a tax man on here;)

GC
 
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#42
Topics like this always end up with quite a debate, it's an interesting one for sure. It's an interesting one about the buyer being responsible for making sure the import duties are being paid and not the shop though. It is quite confusing for the end user when you check the FAQ's of people like Panamoz and HDEW who state that they do have UK warehouses (as well as others) and that they state "all import duties will be covered by us fully". Based on this one could assume import duties are being paid (I'm trying wanting to open up another debate on this though ;)).

I guess anyone looking into it has to make as much of an informed decision as they can, and then it's up to them. I do wonder how many people are actually aware that they are buying grey imports and just buy them because they think it's cheap?
 
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#43
Topics like this always end up with quite a debate, it's an interesting one for sure. It's an interesting one about the buyer being responsible for making sure the import duties are being paid and not the shop though. It is quite confusing for the end user when you check the FAQ's of people like Panamoz and HDEW who state that they do have UK warehouses (as well as others) and that they state "all import duties will be covered by us fully". Based on this one could assume import duties are being paid (I'm trying wanting to open up another debate on this though ;)).

I guess anyone looking into it has to make as much of an informed decision as they can, and then it's up to them. I do wonder how many people are actually aware that they are buying grey imports and just buy them because they think it's cheap?
I think the websites are deliberately misleading - by omission usually! They used to be much more explicit in their small print and spell out the buyers obligations as 'sole importer' and their role as 'agent', but that's disappeared from many now.

Some claim to have a UK warehouse, yet still ship packages direct from HK - I suppose they do have a warehouse, but it probably only contains an old Canon 300D sitting in a corner of someone's flat, but the claim is 'true' to an extent.

They certainly don't help the casual buyer in terms of information, and unfortunately, ignorance is no defence as they say.
 
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#44
Topics like this always end up with quite a debate, it's an interesting one for sure. It's an interesting one about the buyer being responsible for making sure the import duties are being paid and not the shop though. It is quite confusing for the end user when you check the FAQ's of people like Panamoz and HDEW who state that they do have UK warehouses (as well as others) and that they state "all import duties will be covered by us fully". Based on this one could assume import duties are being paid (I'm trying wanting to open up another debate on this though ;)).

I guess anyone looking into it has to make as much of an informed decision as they can, and then it's up to them. I do wonder how many people are actually aware that they are buying grey imports and just buy them because they think it's cheap?
HDEW have been discussed on here several times and are an interesting case as it’s not obvious how they can provide prices much lower than other UK high street sellers and they can provide a VAT receipt on request.

Have a read of this page: https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/terms.asp

It seems it depends if you buy from them or buying directly through their supplier. It also says you’re the importer on that page under intellectual property rights heading. I don’t think I’ve seen HDEW actually state on their website "all import duties will be covered by us fully” as they chose their words carefully, but other like Panama’s or e-infinity definitely do state that on their websites.
 

West Camera

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#46
I've carefully read through all of the contributions to the OP, and am still left with a question unanswered. After the three year warranty runs out when buying a new grey market item by an importer offering the in-house warranty, what then? I mean lets say something goes wrong in year 5. Where do you go for a fix? Here in the 'States both manufacturer certified repair facilities and those who are not certified will not touch a grey market item. Seems they know it is grey market by the serial number or something. So, where do you go to get the item fixed for out of warranty problems? I took a grey market camera that I purchased but, had arrived broken, to a general camera repair shop. They would not touch it because they said they would have to send it to a manufacturer certified repair facility for service and they would likely refuse to repair it. For this reason I have often wondered if the used camera I've bought for a 'very good price' was so discounted because it was originally a grey market item when new here in the 'States and now has no 'repairable life'. Does this mean your 3 year warranted cameras only have a repairable life of 3 years, too?
 
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#47
I bought a set of ten ink cartridges for my Canon printer
Came in a few separate packages from Switzerland, presumably so they didn't exceed the import allowance
Also declared as a sample, rather annoyed because nowhere did I expect to be taking part in a fiddle.
Company has offices here, UK tel no and email address, not even that much cheaper.

When I complained the bloke said, why do you care if you get them cheaper.
Told him I wanted a refund and a prepaid label to send them back, strangely wasn't to Switzerland this time
 
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#49
Bought a D500 last year from e-infinity - no problems AND it arrived within a couple of days. Looking to buy a D7200 from them for my better half.
 
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#50
After the three year warranty runs out when buying a new grey market item by an importer offering the in-house warranty, what then?
Not that I've tried but as I've understood it, if it's grey they won't touch it for warranty repair in a different region but they'll still offer you out of warranty repair if you're prepared to pay for it.

I can recall seeing a few articles about problems in the US but are there any brands which refuse to do it in the UK out of warranty?
 
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#51
I took delivery yesterday of a Canon 5D Mk IV and the EF 24-70 f2.8 IS II lens from Panamoz and combined they cost me almost £1200 less than they would in the UK.

They arrived in 3 days, two of which were over the weekend and both were brand new and fully retail boxed. I’ve registered them both successfully with Canon UK and so both are covered by the same warranty as I’d have got had I bought them from a UK store + an additional 2 years from Panamoz.

I fully understand the argument for paying taxes but £1200 is £1200. If you can genuinely say that you’d have chosen to pay that extra when you didn’t have to then you’re both a better man than me and / or considerably better off.
 
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#52
I asked for this...Having mentioned that I got a new phone earlier in thread, where seller has a valid (I checked) VAT No. - they are refusing to give me a VAT receipt... I think it is totally suspect. The listing says company is based in HK, but despatches from UK (correct - as shown by parcel label). But why list a VAT No if you have no intention of supplying VAT invoice? I think it is a smokescreen to cover up the fact they are sneaking stuff in under the radar by under-declaring. I doubt complaining to Ebay or HMRC will get me anywhere.
 
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#53
Not that I've tried but as I've understood it, if it's grey they won't touch it for warranty repair in a different region but they'll still offer you out of warranty repair if you're prepared to pay for it.

I can recall seeing a few articles about problems in the US but are there any brands which refuse to do it in the UK out of warranty?
Let’s be honest, if your out of warranty and paying for it I would be surprised if any authorised repairer or even main manufacturer would refuse to repair it.

I had my Nikon “tuned up” by Nikon with no issues, not sure if this is the same as a full/broken repair ?
 
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#54
I took delivery yesterday of a Canon 5D Mk IV and the EF 24-70 f2.8 IS II lens from Panamoz and combined they cost me almost £1200 less than they would in the UK.

They arrived in 3 days, two of which were over the weekend and both were brand new and fully retail boxed. I’ve registered them both successfully with Canon UK and so both are covered by the same warranty as I’d have got had I bought them from a UK store + an additional 2 years from Panamoz.

I fully understand the argument for paying taxes but £1200 is £1200. If you can genuinely say that you’d have chosen to pay that extra when you didn’t have to then you’re both a better man than me and / or considerably better off.
You can put any old b*****ks in and register it on the Canon website, go ahead and try it
Don't think you will have much joy though if you do try and get anything done under warranty on a Grey import
Pretty sure companies like Panamoz make that quite clear, same goes for any cashback offers
 
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#55
I’m fairly sure you can’t but any old b*****ks in when registering gear but I’ll have a go tomorrow and will get myself to Gold Canon Professional Service level by lunch time if you’re right so fingers crossed.

Panamoz state on their site...

This warranty covers all manufacturer's defects, and enables you to service the product with Canon UK for free.

Which to me reads like Canon will service it under warranty. Maybe I’m wrong and misunderstanding but it really makes no difference does it? Panamoz are covering faults for 3 years so whether a Canon service centre does it under warranty or they do it and Panamoz pays it really makes little difference at the end of the day.
 
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#56
Let’s be honest, if your out of warranty and paying for it I would be surprised if any authorised repairer or even main manufacturer would refuse to repair it.
Well that was my assumption too, I'd never heard of any places refusing to do repairs if they're being paid.

A quick Google does bring up a few cases outside of the UK, so I wondered if any places in the UK have the same policy.
 
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#57
I bought my EM1.2 from WEX used for pretty much the same as i could have bought new from one of the grey importers. It wasn't a difficult decision, I just prefer to buy from a UK company. But that's just my personal choice.
 
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#58
I took delivery yesterday of a Canon 5D Mk IV and the EF 24-70 f2.8 IS II lens from Panamoz and combined they cost me almost £1200 less than they would in the UK.

They arrived in 3 days, two of which were over the weekend and both were brand new and fully retail boxed. I’ve registered them both successfully with Canon UK and so both are covered by the same warranty as I’d have got had I bought them from a UK store + an additional 2 years from Panamoz.

I fully understand the argument for paying taxes but £1200 is £1200. If you can genuinely say that you’d have chosen to pay that extra when you didn’t have to then you’re both a better man than me and / or considerably better off.
A quick google brought up canon's product repair page which says 'Canon Service Centres cannot provide warranty repairs without receipt'. I guess they could work out if its covered by UK warranty by its purchase location. The proof of warranty, like insurance, is when you make a claim.
 
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#59
When I had some teething trouble with my 5d4 E-infinity said to take it to a UK repair shop and they'd foot the bill. I got it checked by a repairer who said it was fine (I.only use Canon lenses with it now, and find metering to be more reliable when in auto modes). Their customer service has been great. That doesn't mean they aren't dodging import VAT, though!
 
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#61
Note to self. Must pay minimum amount of as much tax as possible is legally required.
No you silly billy! - Corrected that for you.

Here's a few more in a similar vein...
  • Must not punch old ladies in the face and steal their handbags
  • Must not take a crap in a dead policemans helmet and then steal it from his Widow
  • Must not defraud the UK government and evade paying tax on income or purchases
 
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#62
Quick question for all those who’ve purchased from HDew or Panamoz. Have you ever been asked for VAT and/or import duties by HMRC?
If the answer is no, I suspect they are paying something - would HMRC really fail to stop the amount of parcels they send between them? Parcels from some countries routinely get more attention if you watch any of the tv shows that focus airports etc, I’m not sure they’d miss hundreds of parcels.
 
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#63
Quick question for all those who’ve purchased from HDew or Panamoz. Have you ever been asked for VAT and/or import duties by HMRC?
If the answer is no, I suspect they are paying something - would HMRC really fail to stop the amount of parcels they send between them? Parcels from some countries routinely get more attention if you watch any of the tv shows that focus airports etc, I’m not sure they’d miss hundreds of parcels.
Its not like they receive hundreds of the same parcel at the same time, it would be spread out across many different shipments in amongst other stuff. At present I think border control, HMRC etc all know it’s going on and turn the other way to it as they don’t have the resources and at present it’s not their highest concern that they have to deal with. I think we all know they can’t check every parcel that comes into the country to check the declaration is what it says it to be. The sheer volume of freight and their resource levels means that’s not possible. It’s not like they open every single parcel in every single container on every ship or every parcel on board aircraft that arrives in a UK is it? It’s spot checks at best and even then probably go by what’s on the declaration label rather than opening it up to look.

It also not down to HMRC to ask you for to pay duties, if you are the importer you’re supposed to declare it to HMRC and not the other way around. Just because they haven't asked you for unpaid duties doesn’t mean they have confirmed there is no duties to pay. It’s a bit like speeding, if you did 40 in a 30 zone and weren’t caught by a camera or speed check, just because you weren’t caught that time doesn’t mean the local police are condoning speeding because they didn’t catch you that time.
 
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#64
Quick question for all those who’ve purchased from HDew or Panamoz. Have you ever been asked for VAT and/or import duties by HMRC?
If the answer is no, I suspect they are paying something - would HMRC really fail to stop the amount of parcels they send between them? Parcels from some countries routinely get more attention if you watch any of the tv shows that focus airports etc, I’m not sure they’d miss hundreds of parcels.
What does it say on the customs declaration?
Not uncommon to see sample, toys, spare part etc
No doubt HMRC are as short handed as many other departments, so no i don't think they are paying anything.
Its more a case of if it gets stopped, you cough up as the importer and the company could reimburse you if that's what they promise.

Most buying Grey know they are not weighing in all they should having made an informed decision
The ones who try to deny or justify it come across as the real dodgy characters.
 
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#65
No you silly billy! - Corrected that for you.

Here's a few more in a similar vein...
  • Must not punch old ladies in the face and steal their handbags
  • Must not take a crap in a dead policemans helmet and then steal it from his Widow
  • Must not defraud the UK government and evade paying tax on income or purchases
I bet the winter nights just fly by in your house.
 
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#66
The ones who try to deny or justify it come across as the real dodgy characters.
HMRC are currently frying other fish (being busy implementing the full force of the loan charge). Their stated aim is to retrieve as much of the estimated £3,200,000,000 as they can from those who thought they could avoid their fair share: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...ax-avoidance-loan-schemes-and-the-loan-charge

Once they've exhausted that they may decide to take a long hard look at retail VAT and duty evasion...

:bat:
 
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#67
It always amazes me how many are willing to incriminate themselves on this forum by saying they’ve done it, what they bought and how much they saved vs UK high street price! Talk about making it easy for HMRC if they do eventually decide to act!

The grey vs used vs UK high street debate is always a divisive discussion :popcorn:
You really think there are loads of bored tax inspectors trawling not just this forum but other AV or electronic types (like drone sites, video), not to mention car spares or various other places where people buy grey goods from... trying to identify some of the people on here then billing them for £87 of lost import duty!
 
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#68
HDEW have been discussed on here several times and are an interesting case as it’s not obvious how they can provide prices much lower than other UK high street sellers and they can provide a VAT receipt on request.

Have a read of this page: https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/terms.asp

It seems it depends if you buy from them or buying directly through their supplier. It also says you’re the importer on that page under intellectual property rights heading. I don’t think I’ve seen HDEW actually state on their website "all import duties will be covered by us fully” as they chose their words carefully, but other like Panama’s or e-infinity definitely do state that on their websites.
I bought an EOS 80D body only from HDEW, but it came in a box for a body plus lens kit. A little research shows that camera bodies attract an import duty, but a body and lens kit has zero import duty payable for some reason. HDEW also sell a lot of lenses in a white box, so they obviously buy body and lens kits with no import duty and then split them.

A quick check of prices on HDEW and Panamoz shows camera bodies are much cheaper than UK retailers but lenses are about the same price, further giving evidence to them just importing body and lens kits to avoid import duty. As I said in my previous posts, this is a loophole that HMRC are quite capable of closing if they want to. Why camera bodies are liable for import duty but body and lens kits are not baffles me.
 
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#69
I bought an EOS 80D body only from HDEW, but it came in a box for a body plus lens kit. A little research shows that camera bodies attract an import duty, but a body and lens kit has zero import duty payable for some reason. HDEW also sell a lot of lenses in a white box, so they obviously buy body and lens kits with no import duty and then split them.

A quick check of prices on HDEW and Panamoz shows camera bodies are much cheaper than UK retailers but lenses are about the same price, further giving evidence to them just importing body and lens kits to avoid import duty. As I said in my previous posts, this is a loophole that HMRC are quite capable of closing if they want to. Why camera bodies are liable for import duty but body and lens kits are not baffles me.
Bear in mind that while bodies/kits are not liable for import duty, they are liable for VAT (which is the bulk of what you pay).
 
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#70
Bear in mind that while bodies/kits are not liable for import duty, they are liable for VAT (which is the bulk of what you pay).
Are you saying grey importers don't pay VAT?
 
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#71
It’s safe to say that there are some who sail close enough to the wind to be at great risk of losing their masts.
 
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#72
'My mates' Canon 5D3 from DigitalRev ('his' first grey market item) arrived safely, but marked as 'Toy samples' and valued at less than £200. Thats hardly exploiting a loop hole.

The idea is that you as the buyer are liable to pay the Tax and import duty. The grey market companies do all they can to ensure this doesn't happen, and re emberse yo uif it does, but again, its not a loop hole in the law, its finding a way in to the country without getting caught.

Still, i dont have a problem with buying Grey at all. just pointing out an observation.
 
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#73
I've been having a few problems with a 5d4 bought from HDEW. It was repaired under guarantee by their approved repair agent (A.J.Johnston) which also happens to be one of only two Canon- approved repair centres in the UK. They didn't fix the fault.

So I chased it up with Canon, who eventually agreed to examine it for me, but would NOT repair it under guarantee as it was a grey import. So back it comes to me and i send back to A.J. Johnstones. Bit of a palaver really.

As an aside, it appears to me that with many items there appears to be some kind of price-fixing going on. All the officially approved retailers charge more or less exactly the same price for the same piece of kit. If there was genuine competition between retailers prices would be much lower and there would be less incentive to buy grey.
 
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#74
If there was genuine competition between retailers prices would be much lower and there would be less incentive to buy grey.
I think that genuine competition exists but the retail margins are so tight these days that the prices cluster around the lowest point they can all get to. When "de guvmint" did away with Resale Price Maintenance in 1964 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_price_maintenance ) the law of unintended consequences kicked in with a vengeance: which is why we now have box shifters instead of retailers who can compete on quality of service.
 
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#75
You really think there are loads of bored tax inspectors trawling not just this forum but other AV or electronic types (like drone sites, video), not to mention car spares or various other places where people buy grey goods from... trying to identify some of the people on here then billing them for £87 of lost import duty!
Talk about making it easy for HMRC if they do eventually decide to act!
I never said they are currently trawling forums hence the IF in the sentence. I just don’t think it’s a good idea saying you’re done it and saved hundreds buying all your kit grey on an OPEN forum in a thread where it’s also pointed out you COULD potentially be breaking import regulations. You can’t exactly plead innocent that you didn’t do it or didn’t know you were doing something wrong.

I wouldn’t say they would need to trawl forums to find evidence, it would just need a key word search by a bot. It’s not like googling ‘grey import photography’ won’t bring up a talk photography as the 9th result where people have said they knowingly bought grey and saved lots. You don’t need a person to trawl web pages, just someone the review the search results which is much easier and less time consuming. Tech/AI is pretty good that it can do most of the work for you. The question is when the balance swings enough that it becomes more of an important issue and they do something about it. Until then everyone can fill their boots as much as they like.

It’s like posting videos of you speeding/driving like a t**t on social media. It’s not exactly recommended as you leave yourself we no defence!

Personally i feel its like the first rule of fight club..........
 
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West Camera

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#78
I think that genuine competition exists but the retail margins are so tight these days that the prices cluster around the lowest point they can all get to. When "de guvmint" did away with Resale Price Maintenance in 1964 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_price_maintenance ) the law of unintended consequences kicked in with a vengeance: which is why we now have box shifters instead of retailers who can compete on quality of service.
I think that one reason they are all selling cameras/lenses for the near same price is because those doing so are what were the deep discount cost cutters which drove out all the rest of the competition. So, there's no room to cut any further. Competition is through other means like one may offer a longer trail or return period. Or one may offer some sort of 'next purchase' discount. Etc. What this means is that the buyer has to compare all the fine print or extras that may be offered rather than simply price.
 
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#79
I got a 1DX a few years ago from Digital rev, needed sending off to canon for a warranty repair but they wouldn't do it as it was "grey" so I just had to stump up the money to get it sorted, it was cheap enough to sort so I didn't mind, but after that when I got my 1DXII I went through WEX, paid through the nose but at least if I had issues I know canon would sort it for free.
 
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#80
It’s like posting videos of you speeding/driving like a t**t on social media. It’s not exactly recommended as you leave yourself we no defence!
.... A few years ago a friend of mine who then had the same car as mine, had a friendly but very fast side-by-side dual carriageway speed test comparison with an Audi RS4. The passenger in the RS4 video'd it and foolishly put it on YouTube but then the Police saw it and were able to check my friend's speed (over 100mph) against fixed distance roadside posts. He was prosecuted and got a 3-year ban for 'racing on the public highway' etc. There was no other road traffic whatsoever and road surface conditions were good plus excellent visibilty but that's not an acceptable excuse and they made an example of him - It even hit the BBC News. He kept the car and is back to enjoying his driving I'm glad to say. I last bumped into him doing the standing quarter-mile at Santa Pod - The need for speed is in the blood!

This video of fellow petrolhead Henri has been enjoyed on YouTube for years without any problems. I got done for speeding on the same stretch of road in Belgium when coming home from the Nurburgring. The young lads in the Belgian Police were very friendly and liked nice cars so I just got a fine paid on the spot.

The video is hilarious if only for the Geordie guy in the BMW's exclamations, especially at the end! The Z4 sounds glorious! Tw*t to have his radio playing though :

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjgaxdl-z-g


*cough* Of course I would never do such a thing *cough* Petrolheads, eh?

But stay below the radar and stay out of trouble. Choose your imports carefully.
 
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