Hong Kong is a great place to buy cameras. Prominent photography blogger Roland Lim has shared extensively about this and I want to credit him for the information he has put up, which helped me a lot.
To add value and continue the discussion so that all photographers will benefit, I will share my 2c worth. My first experience was in April, when I bought my Nikon 5100D. Those shops along Tsim Sha Tsui gave ridiculously good deals. They offered me the 5100D at almost S$400, with kit lens, tripod, bag and memory card. WOW!
But being forwarned about the ‘come back later’ strategy which they used, we did not come back. We told them either they have the goods or did not. Anyway, I finally bought my Nikon at Hing Lee Camera Co (25 Lyndhurst Terrace Tel 25447593) near Stanley Street. I paid about S$850. In Singapore it would be S$1199.00. The shops here are not the cheapest but they are reliable. Roland’s blog has their details, so I wont go into them.
Now my second trip. I wanted to buy a Tamron 90mm Macro and a Nikon 55-200mm. I visited a few shops at Causeway Bay and the prices they offered are close to that of the price guide in Roland’s blog. ‘So far so good’ I thought. But when i went back there on my second visit to make the purchase, the sales person did not seem to know where the stock is, even though it was right in front of him. I had to point it to him, “There, and there.”
We tried the lens. All good. The guy is friendly and helpful and then he made a recommendation for me to buy a Pro Tama adapter lens – a macro and wide-angle adapter. I was pretty pleased because it was cheaper than the Tamron and i could shoot wide-angle landscapes and Macro. Then he said suddenly that the Nikon 55-200mm is HK$ 1900 instead of the earlier HK$1300. Reason – the HK$1300 has no VR.
I remembered that it was not so but at that moment could not be sure, but because i was quite happy with his service so far, i did not challenge him on the discrepancy. Also, i know the next best price i could get for the 55-200mm is HK$1500 at a chain store Sunlite. Quite a reputable one i heard.
So I bought a the adapter lens and the 55-200mm. it was my last day in HK and with the typhoon going on, i did not want to go hunting anymore.
But the nagging question was…did the guy pull a fast one on me? did he try to do a ‘bait and switch’ or did he geniunely helped me to save money by recommending the Pro Tama Adapter lens over the Tamron. I have no quarrels with the lens adapter – i love it in fact!
Did he really mix the price of the 55-200mm up? Another reason i bought it from him is because i know alot of shops dont sell it anymore. And with the typhoon going on, I did not want to search anymore. i just wanted to go back to the hotel. Did he exploit that and raise the price?
I really dont know. Overall, i paid less than what i would have paid if i bought the Tamron and Nikon. They even gave me a proper invoice with the shop name and guarantee to change things within 1 year.
but could i have paid less for the Nikon 55-200mm?
Anyone kind enough to shed light on this? btw, the shop is Yat Fai Photo supplies.