Japanese lenses

trolleytrolley Posts: 206Member
I've noticed quite a few Japanese sellers on the UK Ebay who seem to have, shall we say, 'competitive' prices on a number of Nikon lenses, like 500mm & 600mm f4.
I'm wondering why they're cheaper than European or US sellers - are the retail prices lower in Japan? Or is there less demand for used stuff in Japan?
Anyone bought anything from a Japanese seller?
I know I'd be done for import duty, but if I get to Japan on business it might be tempting


  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Some Japanese Uk importers seem to get away with out you paying Import Duty/VAT. If they have premises in the UK , Nikon Uk seem to accept warranty provied the Japanese Company has a UK address. but be warned, nearly all Ebay Japanese sellers state that Import duty is the buyers responsibility.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • NikoniserNikoniser Posts: 100Member
    Its the import duty. If you try to import something from Japan via post, you will be hit with an import tax ( about 80% of the time ) however on a large, obviously expensive item like a 500mm f4 I would rate that higher at about 95% chance. If you go to Japan its a great opportunity to load up on kit for personal use. Just be aware that on rare occasions if you are shipping it back in original boxes with receipts in checked baggage you will pay an import duty, however I have never found it a problem...never tried something as big as a 500f4 and I would hate to put it through in checked baggage, would only be viable as a carry on for my peace of mind.

    Several companies have sprung up to take advantage of this, for example DigitalRev which has created the Grey Market.

    I have bought a number of items from ebay Japan sellers... personally I am *very* unlucky, every item I have ever had shipped form the US or Japan has always had duty paid on it ! I have friends who import stuff more reguarly and that is where I get the 80% figure from above.

    Japan sellers are generally speaking very, very honest and straight and sell mainly really nice gear. Everything I have bought has always been described accurately. They try hard to protect their business and Ebay rating. If the seller has a good feedback score from multiple high value items you can usually trust them.

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