Anyone buy new lenses from Japan?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by tkbslc, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Ebay has a lot of very high-rated Japanese sellers offering brand new lenses at 20-25% off US Retail. Presumably taking advantage of the exchange rates. Sometimes they are as cheaper or cheaper than used. I've typically steered away from making large purchases internationally, but I'm also thinking new grey market new beats local used.

    Anyone have any experience buying from these Japanese ebay sellers?
  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    yep, as I expected Japanese eBay sellers are among the most honest (wish I could say the same about UK and USA experiences)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Boneyard

    Boneyard Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Bought my 12-35 from Japan. Saved about $400 doing so. No issues whatsoever.
  4. gravijaflare

    gravijaflare Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2014
    A planet called Gaia
    it's a good thing i have a friend based in japan and i can ask him to buy lenses and stuff there that are cheaper.

    the only risk is when getting a defective item. make sure their warranty will work for you. may be at least a month that you can have it replaced in case of factory defects?
  5. I bought my PL25 on ebay via Japan about three years ago now. At the time the price was a fair bit cheaper then I could get in Australia but I forget by how much. These days we seem to get quite reasonable prices through local onlinestores with full warranty so I'd keep buying from Japan as an option but wouldn't necessarily do it again. The lens I bought has been fantastic, BTW.
  6. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 6, 2014

    Only ever bought from Japan a few times, once for an expensive fountain pen and the others for less expensive camera items, one was a lens which was about 20% than in the UK, but that lens was the one item customs decided to play games with so by the time Import Duty, VAT and the Post Office Handling charges were added it eneded up being quite a bit more expensive than if I had bought it from the UK and it took a lot longer to arrive as it sat in customs at Heathrow for about a week, 2 days from Japan to the UK and then a week in customs ;(

    Buying from around the world can sometimes be a cheaper option but if there is a problem Customs or Guarantee it can ramp the cost up unexpectedly.

  7. trandg

    trandg Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    Any suggestions on where to buy in Japan in Tokyo? Akihabara was ok for pricing when I went last time...but I am sure there are better spots

    Sent from my SM-T705W using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    I bought a 35-100/2.8 from matsuiyastore on Ebay. No warranty support in America, but at the time the price was 1/3 less than Amazon or B&H and also less than any used 35-100 I saw.
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    So, I ended up getting my Leica 15mm F1.7 from Japanese seller winktokyo on ebay (who had excellent feedback):

    First, I could not find a U.S. shop that carries silver, and second it was $146 cheaper. Ordered Monday night at about 11pm and received the Lens this afternoon. That's only 3.5 days from Japan on the free shipping!! I received prompt email order confirmations and nice note of thanks in the package with customer service contact info. I had to pay no customs fees. Lens appears 100% genuine and new and initial tests are positive. Seller offered to handle warranty with Panasonic Japan if needed, but hopefully I won't have to try that out.
  10. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    I got my PL25 via ebay in the UK (UK seller), it was claimed new (I think truthfully) but clearly a grey import from Japan. Risk is no warranty, but gain is >25% price reduction. I also bought my VF2 used from Japan via eBay. Delivery was stunning fast (2 days to UK!) But it was then stuck in customs for circa 3 weeks whilst I paid import duty etc. My impression of the trustworthiness of the seller was very high.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  11. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've just bought an Oly 50-200 SWD lens (100% rating) from Japan so I'm hoping all works out well. I guess I'll eventually find out. Ah well, it's only money. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    Assuming that the price is on the wrong side of AUD1000, I hope you have budgeted for GST (10%) and import processing charge ($40.20). Sometimes you can be lucky, but my experience is that the honesty of Japanese vendors extends to the declared customs value.
  13. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It is used (maybe, as it it looks rather good) & will be declared as such, but with the low AU$ it's costing me AU$801 (US$603). I would never buy anything over $1000 from overseas anyhow.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    Used ... that makes the vital difference to price!

    I still haven't been sufficiently tempted to buy something above the threshold. The only times I've come close have been for goods out of USA, and their shipping charges are always high enough to negate any saving.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I bought my P7-14 and PL25 from Japan sellers on Ebay in order to get them before they were available in the US. Also bought my P14 gray market from Japan on Ebay to get a low price. No issues of any kind.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Johnny_Alucard

    Johnny_Alucard Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2013
    I'm in the UK, and it feels like we're stung for the highest prices in the World on camera gear, so I always buy from South Asian eBay sellers. Never had any issues, and I only get hit for duty roughly once every 5 or 6 orders. Even then it still works out cheaper than buying in the UK. I must have saved hundreds of £££ in the last 4 years.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    I've actually made a profit on selling my used gear that I've bought on rebate or refurbished in Canada/USA an then sold used in the UK once I didn't need/want it any more.
  18. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Maybe everyone might like to remember that when they buy from you here. ;)
  19. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    I've never managed to sell something here, even at a 20% discount compared to the eBay price. Anyway I don't think anyone has made off too poorly buying my old gear on eBay. It has generally been at a decent price (or it wouldn't have sold) and was in great condition. Win / win I think. I also accurately state the used or new condition. My UserID is the same on eBay as here :)

    The main reason for the price difference isn't the tax, nor the supposed better warranty in the EU.

    The major difference is the refurbished prices at or the lens/body combination rebates that are huge in the US and Canada. It makes sense to buy a couple of lenses with a body (look at the current $100 or $200 off lenses on offer now) and sell them on.

    If it makes you feel any better I had to buy my LX-100 at inflated euro-price as it is not a world camera an I needed PAL for video ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I bought my 35-100/2.8 from a Japanese seller on eBay. The discount is far more than I would pay as an up-charge on the Japanese price for a warranty, so it made sense to me. Delivery to the U.S. was prompt and as promised. Obviously, I'd check the seller's feedback before dealing.
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