Buy from Wex Photographic or risk the DigitalRev dodgy warranty?

Andym72

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I'm looking at getting a Panny 12-35mm.

The best deal actually in the UK is from Wex Photographic, £829. However DigitalRev is undercutting this by £240, which is a hell of a chunk of money. DigitalRev do claim that they are paying import duty on their prices, so the only downside is the lens won't have a proper Panasonic warranty, you have to take it to an authorised repairer, get a quote and then DigitalRev say they will pay for the work to be done.

I'd like your opinions and experiences on this.
 

Darren Bonner

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According to my maths, that is £589, you will have to factor in that you will be charge 3% import duty, about £17, 20% VAT on the lens and the import duty (yes they do charge VAT on import duty), around £121 and around £40 admin charge. That's a grand saving of around £60 for a new lens without warranty.
I recenlty bought a Hoson grip for my GM1 from Taiwan for £47 including free delivery and I was given a tracking code, when it arrived in the UK, it got held up in customs due to an incorrect invoice. I contacted Hoson about this and they got in contact with the UK customs. UK customs wanted someone to pay the VAT and other charges which came to £25, luckily for me Hoson paid for this, They could of easily said I would have been responsible for this and I would had to pay up.
I have notice on ebay you can get the Panasonic 12-35 from a UK dealer, new for £619.99, probably split from a GH3 or GH4 kit and you get the 12 month warranty from here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Panasonic-Lumix-G-X-Vario-12-35mm-f-2-8-Asph-LENS-Black-for-Micro-4-3-IN-UK-/390918311044?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item5b048c0c84 .
I have bought three lenses this way myself in the past.
 

Andym72

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So lets get this straight. DigitalRev state they pay import duty, but all other fees are up to the buyer. So I'm looking at that £121 VAT bill (plus admin). Is this the experience others have had with buying from DigitalRev?
 

Andym72

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Levster

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According to my maths, that is £589, you will have to factor in that you will be charge 3% import duty, about £17, 20% VAT on the lens and the import duty (yes they do charge VAT on import duty), around £121 and around £40 admin charge. That's a grand saving of around £60 for a new lens without warranty.
I recenlty bought a Hoson grip for my GM1 from Taiwan for £47 including free delivery and I was given a tracking code, when it arrived in the UK, it got held up in customs due to an incorrect invoice. I contacted Hoson about this and they got in contact with the UK customs. UK customs wanted someone to pay the VAT and other charges which came to £25, luckily for me Hoson paid for this, They could of easily said I would have been responsible for this and I would had to pay up.
I have notice on ebay you can get the Panasonic 12-35 from a UK dealer, new for £619.99, probably split from a GH3 or GH4 kit and you get the 12 month warranty from here http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Panasonic-Lumix-G-X-Vario-12-35mm-f-2-8-Asph-LENS-Black-for-Micro-4-3-IN-UK-/390918311044?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item5b048c0c84 .
I have bought three lenses this way myself in the past.
You pay no import duty or VAT when using DigitalRev. I have bought 4 lenses from them and have never had to pay any. Their website states that they pay import duty and VAT as part of the service.
 

Levster

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So lets get this straight. DigitalRev state they pay import duty, but all other fees are up to the buyer. So I'm looking at that £121 VAT bill (plus admin). Is this the experience others have had with buying from DigitalRev?
I have bought around 4 lenses from DigitalRev and not once have I had to pay import duty or VAT. I can not vouch for their warranties but I can vouch for their prices! I bought a 35-100mm from them for around £300 less than Amazon. They are not always cheeper though.
 

Darren Bonner

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You pay no import duty or VAT when using DigitalRev. I have bought 4 lenses from them and have never had to pay any. Their website states that they pay import duty and VAT as part of the service.
Hmm interesting, I stand corrected.
 

Levster

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I should have checked the DigitalRev site before posting, but it would appear that their Duty & Vat policy is more ambiguous than it was when I ordered my lenses. In the past they had a guarantee that said that any charges incurred would be refunded, but I can no longer find that guarantee. They also used to have little "Import Duties Included" tags beside their lenses, but again I can't see them now either. I did find the following thread on another forum and the first 2 pages are at least positive:

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?112704-DigitalRev

You could always try second hand instead! The Olympus 12-40mm and Panasonic 12-35mm can both be found for less than £600. A second hand dealer like MPB Photographic is also worth keeping an eye on if you're willing to wait. Dealers tend to offer some form of limited warranty on used lenses.

http://www.mpbphotographic.co.uk/used-equipment/used-lenses/used-panasonic-lenses/
 

mistermark

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DigitalRev sails close to the wind. I ordered one of my lenses there, I think the 35-100. When it turned up I noticed the customs label on the box. I think they'd declared the value to be £20. Presumably if the Customs people had checked and realised the true value, DigitalRev would have picked up the difference. But it's something to be wary of, as I've heard this is the firm's standard practice.
 

Andym72

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I went with the SRS unboxed option. I think the extra money is worth the peace of mind.

But now they've sold out and they are on backorder! I'm guessing they come from GH4 kits that get split.
 

zensu

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My first impression was of sympathy for you Brits having to pay a VAT Tax, then I realized that we in the States must pay State Tax, County Tax, and City Tax which for me comes to 10%! Now I'm feeling sympathy for myself.
 

wardo5

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Another option is Panamoz. I have used them once before and my GX7 arrived 3-4 days after the money was transferred by instant bank transfer which gives you a little saving in comparison to credit card. They state in the T&C that the price you pay is inclusive of all tax. While they are lesser known that digitalrev they have been around a while and if you search google they have brilliant reviews.
 

sgreszcz

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I bought my E-M5 from Panamoz, and my P35-100 and O75-300II from T-Dimension on ebay. No problems with any of the transactions, and I don't think that I needed to pay UK duty or taxes on any of them.

More recently I just wait until something goes on sale in the US and Canada and wait a few months until I see my family to pick it up. I usually buy a kit and sell the unwanted lenses in the UK to really reduce the price of the gear.
 
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