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Buying from ZWO directly


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Hi All,

Has anyone purchased cameras from ZWO directly? I would normally be very supportive of purchasing from a local shop, or UK based but the savings I could potentially make on buying direct from ZWO are significant. Though I appreciate I could get stung for import duty etc. Hence the question, any real world experience from anyone would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ed

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I've bought replacement fans direct from them. I had no issues buying direct but on a camera I'd be very careful to work out import costs or you might get a nasty surprise. Personally I'd get one within the UK. For instance I recently had an issue with my 2600MC - sent it back to FLO and they deal with ZWO for warranty etc and just sent me a new camera hassle free.  

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I had an issue with a ZWO camera bought from 365 Astronomy. Zoltan sorted it all out for me. I doubt that it would have as easy dealing with ZWO direct.

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ok, thanks for replies. I do agree but when there is such a substantial saving to be had its worth exploring. Sounds like a UK purchase is still the way to go...

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On something that's likely to be in the 4 figures bracket it's worth having that go to home support by buying domestically. I don't doubt ZWO would fix something under warranty but would need to send it back to China if anything goes wrong and you need to run the customs gauntlet each time. They didn't exactly cover themselves in glory either with the 'oil leak' issue by suggesting customers clean the sensors themselves. Both FLO and 365 can repair things to a certain extent if you buy from them.

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Warranty is the reason to buy local- any issues are the responsibility of the retailer.

Buy it direct from China and you have to get it back to them (at your cost, at least initially) and run the gamut of Customs clearance. Others have struggled to get HMRC to understand the difference between a new/ second hand import and a returned repaired item.

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Remember the additional cost are not just import tax you also have to factor in VAT . I may be wrong, but I believe VAT also goes on transport costs.  Customs and excise may also apply an administrative charge.  Few years back I imported some Moonlite products from the USA (prior to them having UK distribution) and the savings all but disappeared. 

Jim 

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1 hour ago, saac said:

Remember the additional cost are not just import tax you also have to factor in VAT . I may be wrong, but I believe VAT also goes on transport costs.  Customs and excise may also apply an administrative charge.  Few years back I imported some Moonlite products from the USA (prior to them having UK distribution) and the savings all but disappeared. 

Jim 

You pay duty on the value + frt costs & insurance fees , you pay vat on the value, frt charges, duty! and uk clearance charges.  All adds up.

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On 06/06/2022 at 11:13, edarter said:

Hi All,

Has anyone purchased cameras from ZWO directly? I would normally be very supportive of purchasing from a local shop, or UK based but the savings I could potentially make on buying direct from ZWO are significant. Though I appreciate I could get stung for import duty etc. Hence the question, any real world experience from anyone would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ed

The issues with be import duty and servicing, I would go with a local shop with an established returns policy. 

Adam 

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Have done this twice on their cheapest cameras. One was a bargain (a discounted run out model which slipped past customs with no fees resulting in a good saving over buying locally) The other was also a saving on paper but worked out almost exactly the same as the local price once the customs and courier took their cut so probably wont do it again, certainly not on a big ticket camera.

Cheers

Robin

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ok, thanks all. Will be buying in the UK when I have the funds.... and can make up my mind as to which camera to buy, but thats a different story!

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