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  1. megaweb

    megaweb

    Messages:
    7
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I was interested in buying a newly released Sigma 16mm f1.4 e-mount lens, and saw it was $449 in the US, which I thought was fair. The same lens is now for sale in the UK for £449. Thats £130 more expensive! Its cheaper to buy from the US and have it shipped over. Is it just greed?
     
    wave01 likes this.
  2. twist

    twist

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    10,892
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    No
    450usd plus import charges and handling makes it pretty much 449 quid. Actually probably more after the shipping cost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  3. woof woof

    woof woof

    Messages:
    15,666
    Name:
    Alan
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    No
    No, I don't think it's just greed and if greed was all it was we wouldn't see so many UK retailers going bust.

    I think it's more to do with the cost of doing business in the UK, tax, rates, wages, utilities, transport costs and all the rest. The minimum wage is going up again isn't it? All these things have to be paid for by upping the price of the thing being sold.

    PS.
    Be careful buying from the US as when you answer the door to the postman he may just say "That'll be £130 quid mate."
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  4. GreenNinja67

    GreenNinja67

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    2,672
    Name:
    Terry
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    Yes
    Don't forget US prices are advertised without sales tax.

    UK prices normally include VAT.

    So not as cut and dried as you think.


    If you have a problem with UK prices you have 2 options:

    Emigrate or buy grey.
     
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  5. megaweb

    megaweb

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    7
    Name:
    Richard
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    Yes
    Thanks for the reply's! I understand that there will be some disparity between buying in the US and the UK, but this seems excessive. I am not alone with this view.

    “UK consumers are getting a raw deal by paying up to hundreds of pounds more for the same tech products on sale in the US," said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?

    P.S. I wont by buying from the US for the reasons you stated. Sigma will have to do better or give a good explanation if they want me business.
     
    davholla likes this.
  6. woof woof

    woof woof

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    15,666
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    Alan
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    No
    Well, yes and I feel the pain too and there is an element of rip off Britain but you simply can't expect a high street retailer in the UK to sell something for the price they can in some other places. In some other places electricity is cheap, business rates are next to non existent and the locals will work for $5 a month. How much does it cost to have a premises and employ someone in the UK? Reality bites.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  7. ancient_mariner

    ancient_mariner

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    7,761
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    Toni
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    No
    You are not alone, but in this case the apparent UK cost difference is entirely reasonable and easily understood as explained above. And if you've ever bought things in the US then you'd know that there is normally sales tax added to the label price, depending on state the item is purchased in.
     
    Craig_85 likes this.
  8. Retune

    Retune

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    393
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    No
    $449 is more like £337 in post-referendum pounds, £112 less. But the £449 price includes £75 VAT, so the true price difference is only about £37 (before tax).
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  9. jakeblu

    jakeblu

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    7,544
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    Steve
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    Yes
    Well you could pretty much say the same of any international company. Your not going to have many options left when it comes to buying cameras/lenses/IT!

    Alan makes a valid point about the minimum wage, its almost the same in $ in the US as it is in £ in the UK. Also Vat is 20%. Thats almost $90 on the lens your looking at. When you consider just those two things the difference is suddenly not that great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  10. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    Stewart (duh)
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    Yes
    UK retailers generally don't rip off their customers compared to the US, but there is one exception. When a product is newly released, as is the lens the OP is talking about, UK retailers do tend to charge high prices in order to extract the maximum possible from the must-have-it-now-at-any-price brigade. For some reason, retailers in the US don't do that, and I don't know why. But we should all be grateful that it does happen here, because those mugs are subsidising the rest of us.

    If you look at products which are not newly released, the economics are quite different.

    For example, since the OP is after a Sigma lens, I picked at random the 24mm f/1.4 Art. (Canon fit since I'm a Canon user.) At B&H in New York that's currently $749, which is £563 at today's exchange rate of £1=$1.33. But then if you wanted to buy it there and import it here, you'd have to pay 6.9% import duty, and then 20% VAT, and the full price would be £722. Meanwhile most UK retailers will sell it to you for £649, a few have it at £629, and currently Wilkinson Cameras have it at £599.

    Many people like to moan about "rip-off Britain", but the reality is much more nuanced. In the photographic sector, UK retailers are generally cheaper than US retailers when you do the comparisons properly (except for newly-release items as explained above).
     
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  11. ecoleman

    ecoleman

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    3,744
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    Elliott
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    Yes
    US prices exclude sales tax which is different for each state.
     
  12. woof woof

    woof woof

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    15,666
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    Alan
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    Could this be related to supply and demand too as when a product is initially introduced the chances are that there are more customers than stock and when that's the case early buyers could buy and sell on at a profit. You can't really blame retailers for bumping prices in that scenario. Same with beaniebabies or whatever they are and I've owned a couple of cars which were for a while worth more on the used market than I paid for them new.
     
    BBR likes this.
  13. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    21,442
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    Richard
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    No
    Do the sums. US prices are shown without local Sales Tax and other local taxes that can bump the price paid by up to 13.7%. It varies by state though most are around 8%, some zero (Alaska). If you buy from the US, you don't pay Sales Tax but you will have to pay UK import duty (varies with photo equipment) and VAT, so could be up to 28% or so extra. If anyone's ripping us off, it's the UK government though it's pretty much the same across Europe.

    Basically importing from the US doesn't work. If you want to save money, then buy a grey import from the Far East. They're cheaper because there's a very good chance the goods will slip through and you won't pay VAT, or if you get caught the retailer may pick up the tab. It's illegal, but a lot of people do it. Huge topic, hotly debated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  14. Byker28i

    Byker28i

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    18,928
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    Yup, which lets say you fly into New York, go to B&M and then discover that that nice $450 price needs to add sales tax of 8.875%
    Purchases above $110 are subject to a 4.5% NYC Sales Tax and a 4% NY State Sales Tax and the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge of 0.375%.

    Then when I went at new year it was close to $1.2 to the £1. Then you've got to consider warranty, fancy the cost of sending it back in the first year if it goes wrong?
     
  15. Dryce

    Dryce

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    156
    Name:
    Andrew
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    Yes
    There is also the issue of price points - so £449 is probably an invention of sorts. If they wanted to be more aggressive then you might see £399 which would be lower than the US price if they thought they would make substantially more with the extra volume. Also depends on what they see the competition charging.
     
  16. tijuana taxi

    tijuana taxi

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    8,720
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    Rich
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    Yes
  17. Chaz Photos

    Chaz Photos Jack Elam

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    6,475
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    Chaz
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    The price of anything will be different across the world. You have to have a price that reflects the country avg income, the selling price is nothing to do with cost of making it plus a % it's more about what you can sell it for that businesses
    I had some items I was selling which were slow movers, I put the price UP 66% and I sold out fast.
    IF the avg wage is low you will not get the same money for a country where the avg wage is high.
     
  18. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    1,392
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    Why do electrical goods seem to cost more in the UK? As others have said, because the USA price is often advertised without 'sales tax' and UK retail (as opposed to business/commercial) prices usually include the 20% VAT we pay.

    So the government is ripping us off then? Well, if people think that way then they can always move to the USA, and with the money they save on electrical goods, etc. they can put it towards their health care insurance bills... something we get free in the UK with the National Health Service, which is paid for by... you guessed it, the tax that UK citizens pay. So it's swings and roundabouts. Rip off Britain? Not when you weigh everything up and put it in context, which is one of the reasons I've not emigrated! :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  19. 4wd

    4wd

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    1,768
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    These days you can often buy items in the US or wherever but you will get the VAT and customs charge to pay yourself.
    Typically it works out about the same.
    It varies by state but usually the listed price has sales tax added on at checkout similar to VAT here.
     
  20. Pound Coin

    Pound Coin

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    44
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    Yes
    It’s not just employment costs. We have a significantly higher cost of occupancy. (Rent, rates, etc.) and of transportation. (Albeit over smaller distances within the country)
     
  21. Orangecroc

    Orangecroc

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    2,473
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    Ben
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    Yes
    $449 + average US sales tax then import duty would come to around £439 and that's before shipping, so you're not losing out much if anything.
     
  22. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    Yes
    But that's irrelevant. If you were importing from the US, you wouldn't pay US sales tax but you would pay UK VAT.
     
  23. Craig_85

    Craig_85

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    1,728
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    Craig
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    Yes
    Your attitude stinks, Sigma won't be giving you an explanation and nor should they.

    I'm sorry you were born in Britain which makes you one of the richest 5% of people in the entire world when PPP (purchasing power parity) is worked out.
     
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  24. Metal God

    Metal God

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    969
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    David
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    No
    You could always check out Panamoz.com. Often you can save yourself a fortune with them. I've just bought a 5D MK4 and it was over £1k cheaper (fully inclusive) than UK prices.
     
  25. Retune

    Retune

    Messages:
    393
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    No
    The problem with most supposedly 'grey market' importers (usually black market in practice) is that it's the UK taxpayer rather than the UK customer that's being ripped off.
     
  26. ancient_mariner

    ancient_mariner

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    Toni
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    No
    Richard seems curiously absent now.
     
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  27. ukaskew

    ukaskew

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    2,966
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    Chris
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    Yes
    We also take our extremely strong consumer rights for granted in this country (well, the EU), but having that level of protection is far from cost free to the companies actually supplying and selling the goods.

    It hit home for me on the Fitbit Community forum in particular, as the customer service team is all US based and were dealing with UK and US customers in the same threads. Trying to explain to US customers why those of us having the exact same issue in the UK basically had years instead of weeks to put a claim in was pretty challenging for them :)
     
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  28. rjbell

    rjbell

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    4,310
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    Robert
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    Yes
    All of the above (y)
     
  29. magicaxeman

    magicaxeman An Idiot

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    Not forgetting that when the VAT is calculated at this end for imported goods they include the shipping costs in the calculation, i.e. lens costs $449 , shipping & insurance $40 total $489 + import duty then that total is used to calculate the VAT and not forgetting the £10 processing fee this end!
    So with import duty @ 6.9% ($33.74) It gives us a GB pound cost of £392.93, then we have to add vat @ 20% (£78.58) and then the £10 customs processing fee.
    Now that "bargain" $449 lens has cost you a total of £481.51, so £449 retail here seems to offer an actual saving and isn't that bad after all.

    Finally we need to remember that Sony uk (the importers) will not only have to pay import duty and VAT on each product, but also all their overheads/staff wages/insurance etc and then the retailer will have to make enough profit on the lens to cover their overheads/staff wages/insurance etc.
    So now we not only understand why its cost the price it does but also how companies such as Panamoz undercut UK retailers because no matter what they say they do NOT pay UK import duties or VAT nor do they have the same infrastructure overheads costs such as staff/building etc that our importers and retailers do.
    This is why I am so firmly against them
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  30. Eloise

    Eloise

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    It appears HMRC are getting the ability to clamp down on VAT avoidance more... https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...n-increases-liability-of-website-marketplaces

    And don’t forget the 20% VAT when you declare it at customs on your way back... because you weren’t planning on passing through the “nothing to declare” channel with your imported camera were you?
     
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  31. davholla

    davholla

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    David
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    How is that calculated? When I travel to other countries, they seem to be able to afford much nicer housing than we can.
    If I can buy expensive cameras but only live in a studio flat am I richer than someone who lives in a big house but has cheaper cameras?
    (Serious question).
     
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  32. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    1,392
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    Do they own those 'much nicer' houses though? I believe a lot of property abroad is rented? Also, what are they actually built of? After seeing some of those photos of the aftermath of storms, hurricanes, etc. I think the 'story of the 3 little pigs' might have fallen on deaf ears in some parts of the civilised world?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
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  33. woof woof

    woof woof

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    Alan
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    I suppose we're getting off thread a bit here but when abroad I've seen people living under corrugated iron sheets in fields in Thailand and in wooden shacks with no services what so ever in temperatures of -20 in central asia. That's how much of the world lives. And on housing, maybe it's a British thing that we're obsessed with owning a house, much of the world rents.
     
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  34. sphexx

    sphexx

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    1,125
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    Richard
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    No
    I thought from the beginning that the clue was in the name and the OP was MEGA on the WEB
     
  35. StewartR

    StewartR Efrem Zimbalist Jr Advertiser

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    Serious answer: If you sold your studio flat, could you buy their big house?

    In the area where I live, you can spend £350,000 on a studio flat. In some parts of the country you can get a 4-bedroom house for under £100,000. I'm sure the discrepancies must magnify if you widen the search to other countries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  36. MatBin

    MatBin

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    matt
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    Yes
    Depends on what you mean by "richer" :)
    Am I richer because I enjoy my expensive camera more than some enjoys their cheaper camera - possibly.
    Financially, assuming you are in the same geographic location, so comparing apples with apples then possibly they are richer, but are they happier.
    All a bit off topic, but as the OP has had a zillion similar answers it's about time we drifted onto something else maybe.

    Matt
     
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  37. Craig_85

    Craig_85

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    I am not an expert, but...

    ...the way it's calculated is by taking the average wage in the U.K. of £21k per annum, and doing the same around the globe. Then scaling it up to what you would need to earn in usd in the USA to be able to afford the same grocery shop or car. Then you have a rough idea of how good your salary is in the global scheme of things.

    Don't forget more than 1/3rd of the worlds population live on less than $2 per day...
     
  38. sphexx

    sphexx

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    1,125
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    Richard
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    There are lots of reasons (more land, cheaper building systems, easier planning, etc etc ) BUT high and rising house prices are considered to be a good thing by many people, politicians included, presumably they are house owners.
     
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  39. davholla

    davholla

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    Lets assume that by moving there I would be unemployed because I don't have the right qualifications for that country. Or that their immigration controls don't let me in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  40. davholla

    davholla

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    720
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    David
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    Yes
    So how does it work out for housing? I find hard to believe that 95% of the world find it harder to pay for housing than we (I could believe it for other things, although 5% of the world seems a bit small, the USA, UK, France and Germany are more than 5% together).
     

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