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Importing Photo Gear to Europe

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs)

Keywords: travel, photography, photographic, disciplines, guides, tips

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Importing stuff from abroad

Importing camera gear, from a European perspective.

Even if equipment in the USA may look way cheaper at a first glance, beware of the charges you got to pay at the customs and the additional costs arising out of paying with an international money order! You often have to add some 25% to the price before the goods are here. Typically, goods at online auctions are some 15-35% cheaper than in stores.

Stuff on a table in the city of Villingen, Germany

Stuff on a table at a market in the city of Villingen, Germany. July 1999.
Nikon F5, Nikkor AF 20mm/2.8D on Fujichrome Velvia.
Click for larger image



Online auctions are a thrill. Ok, granted, I never have been into auctions before; thought it was something for bored folks with lots of money to spend on things they didn't really wanted nor needed in the first place.


The internet has changed my mind - now I know I need things.



I have now been selling and buying a lot of minor things on different online auctions, such as the german online auction alando or at the american pendant "eBay".


So far, my experiences as a buyer has mostly been ok (except for a lady who got away with 60 DM without ever shipping the goods). As a seller I wish I sometimes never had thought about putting the goods for sale in the first place; it can happen that you get very little to nothing for the stuff and then you might be bound to sell it anyway (this is the case on alando, on eBay you can put up a "reserved price" and if it's not met, you're not bound to sell). Anyways...


What's the price difference between US online auctions and buying the stuff regularly in Europe?


I can't speak for the whole of Europe here nor of all of the online auctions in the States. It looks though like it's normally between 20-40% cheaper in the USA - before any taxes, shipping, insurance and other charges have been added.

(0 Votes )
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Originally written on July 26, 2002

Last updated on June 17, 2016


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