Buying Camera and Photography Gadgets in Vietnam

I was skeptical about buying camera equipment for in South East Asia because of the big price difference. The DSLR’s are 800-1000$ cheaper if you buy them here.

– Are they fake? Are they used but cleaned?

These are just few of the many other questions I had. I was doing researches on the net for two months, reading personal blogs, Flickr discussions. Also I spent lots of time on Tripadvisor and Thorn Tree but I haven’t found a good answer anywhere.

When I was in Hanoi and googled ‘Canon shops‘ a few links popped up. One was from the official store with the price 3100$+ for Canon 5D Mark III and the other like DIGIworld had the approx. 2400$ price. I went there the next morning, like a tourist that is just asking questions with no intention of buying, to see why there is such a big difference in the prices.

The first place was DIGIworld, clean and modern shop with lots of photo equipments. They were pretty helpful and answered all the questions I asked.

The price difference is because:

  1. The not official stores are not paying “VAT”
  2. The products are smuggled from other countries like Cambodia or Laos where the taxes are low.

I went to a few other smaller photo shops further down the road, but the people working there had poor English and not very helpful, but from what I understood 90% of them were saying the same thing as in DIGIworld.

I ended up buying a GoPro 4 and a Canon 5D MK III for 2900$ in DIGIworld and they are perfectly fine, I had no problems with them.

DIGIworld is located on 6 Hàng Bài street, 500m after the lake, south of the Old Ha Noi quarter.

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