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Author Topic: Buy US vs. Canada  (Read 3619 times)
kbolin
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« on: February 01, 2006, 04:34:09 PM »
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I'm looking at buying a Canon 500mm f/4.0L IS lens.  If I buy it here in Canada it's around $8,000 but if I go to B&H (or elsewhere) it's $5,500 + exchange (of about 1.2) for a cost of $6,600.  I could easily spend the $1.400 elsewhere.

Does anybody know why I shouldn't do this?  I believe Canon Canada wouldn't service the lens for warranty so I'd have to deal with that issue but I've never had a faulty lens.

Your thoughts?

Thanks,
Kelly
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2006, 04:59:17 PM »
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I've dealt with B&H several times and never been disappointed. There is no justification for the large differential between US & Canadian prices (taking into account the Canadian$ is approaching 88 US cents) The smaller market is not an excuse. The only way to "punish" the Canadian distributor is to buy from the States. Ironically when it comes to computers it's the other way round.
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TomN
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2006, 10:01:19 AM »
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Quote
I believe Canon Canada wouldn't service the lens for warranty so I'd have to deal with that issue but I've never had a faulty lens.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57269\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I took a lens that I bought in the US (B&H) in for warranty service here in Canada (Calgary)  and I had no problems.  I think Canon's warranty covers both the USA and Canada.
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kbolin
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2006, 09:46:32 AM »
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I'm going to call the local dealer and see what their best price is.  If there is only a couple hundred dollars difference I'll go for it otherwise "Cash is King" and I'll have to buy U.S to save myself $$.

I'm buying a 5D as well but I'll get it at the dealer.  Have to continue to support local business.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2006, 09:50:11 AM by kbolin » Logged

Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2006, 02:36:06 PM »
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With price differences of this size the only sensible thing to do is to buy it from B&H. When you order however, make sure you order the model that says "USA", because they often sell the same product designated as "Imported". "Imported" is a bit cheaper, but not covered by a US warranty. With Canon products, the US warranty is a North American warranty valid in Canada too. So it pays to buy the item designated as "USA". At today's exchange rate 5500 US will cost you about 6300 CAD. You will pay GST+PST on delivery, but the price difference of 1700 CAD will save you another 250 or so on taxes, far more than enough to compensate for the shipping cost from NYC. B&H is very reliable.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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JPlayer
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2006, 03:31:21 PM »
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Although not quite relevant, prices of lenses in USA are about 20-30% cheaper compared to UK
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2006, 03:52:31 PM »
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Not bad - UK VAT is a very high percentage of that! (Not Canon's problem).
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Phuong
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2006, 08:10:33 AM »
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me i live in Montreal so, for that 500mm i would just pay $100 to take a bus to NY, another $100 for lunch and dinner and to take taxi to B&H, buy the lens, and take a bus home  
the extra $1200 can be very useful elsewhere. i.e., a 24-105 f/4 IS  
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2006, 09:45:54 AM »
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Phuong, what value do you place on the time and physical exertion taking the bus back and forth to New York in a day? I mean if you're going to do this properly, you may as well find a cheap hotel room, spend the night, enjoy a Broadway show, and you'll still have enough money left over to buy that 24~105 L - which by the way is a REAL sweet lens.

More seriously, going back to the comment Kenneth made, the Canadian distributor in this case happens to be Canon Canada. So Canon is setting the international pricing policy on their own products. There's no question in my mind that scale is an important determinant of operating cost per item sold. This is a tiny market compared to the USA, operating a business here has relatively more tax overhead than it does in the USA, etc. etc. so if their policy is to make this full-service distributorship recover its costs, the prices will be higher. Some companies would assess local market conditions and cross-subsidize the costs between their various international operations in order to counter the inherent disadvantages of running a full-service distributorship in a small market. That's their choice and you can be sure they know the options local consumers have available to them. As consumers it is our choice to buy from where the price is right.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2006, 11:20:43 AM »
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If you take a bus to NYC to buy the lens in the B&H store, you have to pay sales tax, which I believe in NYC is 8% or 9%. Then you have to pay some Canadian VAT on top of it, when you import it, if you tell the Canadian customs people that the lens is new. However, there is no sales tax for articles sent by mail out of New York to other states. So the REALLY cheap way to do this is to mail-order from B&H, have it delivered to a friend somewhere in the states not in New York (a friend in Burlington, Vermont, would be just about perfect for a guy in Montreal) then take a bus to your friend's house. Of course, you're essentially smuggling a lens into Canada, and could wind up doing 3-to-5 in a Canadian lockup, but what the heck, you'd learn a lot.

Another way, now that I'm into this, is to pick out your lens at the Canadian dealer, have a friend from the states buy it for you, leave the lens at your house, then apply for the VAT refund (Americans don't have to pay Canadian VAT for items purchased in Canada.) Again, jail (or more likely, a fine) awaits people who slip-up.

A third way, of course, would be just to move to Vermont.  

JC
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redrockcoulee
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2006, 04:06:20 PM »
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I used to run a store in Canada that sold Pentax binoculars but would receive price lists for cameras as well. There was no way I could buy Pentax cameras from Pentax cheaper than the large mail order houses in the States could sell them for. But on the other hand in my small store selling perhaps less than two dozen pairs a year, I was selling for significantly less than those same mail order houses. Either the company was setting different prices in each country or there was duty differences. Whatever way it was, cameras and lenses were more expensive in Canada but binoculars were less expensive.
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