Ordering a camera from Grays of Westminster?

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jphendren

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Hello,

I live in Las Vegas, NV in the United States. I am considering purchasing a pre-owned Nikon F6 and have noticed that they are difficult to find in the U.S. Grays of Westminster has five in stock at this very moment. Would you order a camera body from them? Or should I just keep looking for one in the U.S. at a place like KEH? I have been watching KEH's website, and they never seem to have them in stock.

Anybody here buy a camera/lens from Grays that lives outside of the UK?

Jared
 

John Lawrence

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Although I live in the UK, I can vouch for the excellent service I've had in the past from Grays of Westminster.

Grading of their used cameras also tended to be on the conservative side - hence what would be described as mint by another seller would probably warrant an E++ (or less) from Grays.

I suggest you get in touch with them and have a chat with Gray himself, discuss the bodies and their condition and go from there.
 

Ian Grant

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Have to concur with John about Grays, they rank alongside Robert White as one of the best companies for second hand equipment, I wouldn't worry too much about international transactions, these days they are virtually as simple as buying locally.

Grays is one of the most reputable of all the UK dealers.

Ian
 

bill spears

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Agree about the grading of their secondhand cameras. I once sold them some FE2 kit which I swore was in mint condtn. When they received it I was told it would go as exc++. Reassuring for buyers.
 

RalphLambrecht

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I agree with all the comments so far. Grays of Westminster is a very reliable source.

I bought a new Nikon camera from them early this year over the phone. They had the best price. The pound had just experienced a sudden drop, and Nikon UK had not responded yet. Since I travel to London frequently, I paid for the camera when ordering it and told them that I would pick it up in 10 days. During that time, Nikon UK caught on and raised the UK price for that camera by 10%, twice!

I thought, picking it up may be a problem, and indeed, when I got there, the camera I bought 10 days ago was displayed in the shop window for 1,800 GBP and not for the 1,500 GBP, I had already paid. Of course, I expected to get it for the price I had paid, but I was also prepared for some resistance. But, they just got the box with my name on it, smiled and told me that I bought at the right time.

At the same time, another customer came into the shop. He had bought a kit and was told at the time that he could return the lens for a fixed refund if he didn't like it after 2 weeks. He didn't like it, and he had a receipt to verify his claim. The salesman told him that it was OK to return it, but whoever quoted him the refund price must have made a mistake, because this amount exceeds Grays purchase price of the lens, and he could not honor the deal. As soon as those words left his mouth. Gray shouted from the back of the store: 'If we told him, we buy the lens back for that price, we will'. Then he came to the front, apologized for any confusion and handed out the money as promised.

I was so impressed that I left the store and went onto the Underground, realizing that I had never looked into my box. Everything was fine.

Grays of Westminster is OK and a cool place to visit. Much smaller than you may expect, but big on service.
 
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jphendren

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Would shipping something like an F6 from London to Las Vegas be cost prohibitive? Also, would I be charged some type of tariff by the U.S. Government when it arrived in the U.S.?

Jared
 

RalphLambrecht

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Would shipping something like an F6 from London to Las Vegas be cost prohibitive? Also, would I be charged some type of tariff by the U.S. Government when it arrived in the U.S.?

Jared

First of all, make sure Gray's does not charge you the British VAT (15%). You don't have to pay that. They will also tell you about the cost of shipping to the US. You will be responsible for any import duty into the US. Check with US customs for those fees. I think they have a list on their website.
 

John Lawrence

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What may be of interest as well is a comprehensive discussion on Rangefinderforum.com, about importing cameras into the US.

This came about when Leica in the UK offered a rebate on new cameras and lenses earlier this year. This combined with a strong US$, made for some very attractive prices. Many UK dealers such as Robert White and Ffordes sold out of all their new Leica gear and couldn't order it fast enough to send to the US.

If I remember correctly, the subject of import charges (or lack of) was discussed at great length.

Unfortunately I don't have the computer skills to post a link, but I would imagine searching on that site should prove fruitful.

Hope this helps.
 

benjiboy

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I used to work in Photographic retailing and if you are a permanent resident outside the EU you pay the V.A.T (Value Added Tax) Currently 15% due to go up in January to 17.5 % which will be part of Greys price back from HM Revenue and Customs by filling in a form to get a V.A.T refund from Greys, and obtaining a VAT receipt from the retailer, the details are here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/sectors/consumers/overseas-visitors.htm, It would be a good idea to phone Greys and ask them before ordering, they will have done it thousands of times.
Greys are a blue chip company, one of the best in the business you can buy from them with confidence.
 
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jphendren

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"which will be part of Greys price back from HM Revenue and Customs by filling in a form to get a V.A.T refund from Greys"

So the price on the F6 that you see on Grays website already has the VAT included in it?

Because I'm not a permanent resident of the EU I am entitled to get the 15% back as a refund by simply filling out a VAT 407 form?

So what is VAT (value added tax)? A EU version of sales tax? Here in the U.S., we have sales tax, which is determined by the city/state that you live in. In Las Vegas for example it is around 8.25%, but up in Utah it is only like 6.5% or so.

Jared
 

AgX

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VAT means indeed Value Added Tax. It is not an EU tax but a national thing of the EU members.
 

benjiboy

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Yes J.P Greys price will already have V.A.T included, V.A.T is purely a UK sales tax and is the same nationwide you need to ask Greys to send you the 407 form or their own version of it and a V.A.T.receipt with your order, and you should be entitled to a 15% refund minus an admin charge that most company s charge for the service. I suggest you speak to Greys on the phone and discuss it with them.
P.S Don't forget the time difference.
 

benjiboy

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I just checked some receipts for used equipment I have bought from retailers, and I've been charged 15 % V.A.T so if It's zero rated for V.A.T purposes I've been robbed.
 

Matt5791

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It is optional to charge VAT on second hand equipment......I think. So if you have been charged then it's OK. If it is optional, whether you elect to or not would depend on a number of factors.

I could have a look and enjoy the delights of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs VAT website.......but I haven't the time or patience unless I really have to!

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/

Tom - The thing about VAT is it is a "Value added" Tax - ie. a tax on the increase in value. So A buys X item from B for £10 and sells it for £15. B charged VAT and so did A, but A reclaims the VAT back that he paid B on the lower cost price and pays to the Revenue the VAT he charged. The effect of this is that VAT has only been charged on the increase in value.

Any VAT registered business, or individual, will, every quarter or month, tot up all vat paid on purchases of stock (and also maintenance, fuel etc etc, where permitted) and then off-sets this against all the VAT they have charged.

Matt
 
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Tom Kershaw

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It is optional to charge VAT on second hand equipment......I think. So if you have been charged then it's OK. If it is optional, whether you elect to or not would depend on a number of factors.

Matt

So there may be some sort of exemption specifically for second hand equipment; is this based on whether the source is VAT registered?

Tom
 

John Lawrence

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My experience when I lived outsides the EU, was that I was never charged VAT for any of the items I purchased in the UK. Neither was I ever asked to complete any forms! The VAT was deducted by the seller at point of sale, and I assume any forms that had to be filled in were done by them.

The only time a query arised was when I visited London once and purchased a stereo at John Lewis and they asked me for proof of my residence outside the EU.
 

Matt5791

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I'm now pretty certain that as a dealer in second hand cameras (or most other second hand goods) you have a choice to:

1. simply charge vat on the selling price; or
2. opt to simply pay over to HMRC vat calculated on the margin you made - in this case no vat would be shown on the invoice.

If I was selling second hand cameras to predominantly personal, non-vat registered customers then the margin scheme would seem to make more sense, as by applying VAT to the entire sales price makes the item 15% more expensive for customers who have no way of reclaiming it. (It would be different of course for a professional photographer who is vat registered and would claim back the VAT)

It seems also that the business can apply the margin scheme to some cameras or charge VAT in full on others - for example, if the business had purchased a camera off a VAT registered photographer, he woudl be bound to charge VAT on his sale to the dealer. The dealer would then be required to charge vat in the normal way when sold.

In the end the business weighs up the pro-s and cons and makes a commercial decision on which is the best way to go.
 

RH Designs

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Jared - if the camera is shipped directly to an address outside the European Union you won't have to pay UK VAT, but you may be charged an import duty by your local Customs. Shipping charges will depend on the service provider, but as a guide you could go to Royal Mail and get an idea based on the weight.
 

Joe Brugger

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Benjiboy is correct as far as sales over the counter in the UK, but for mail order from the UK to my US address, I have never been charged VAT. It usually works out to about the amount of the postal charges, though.
 

benjiboy

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Benjiboy is correct as far as sales over the counter in the UK, but for mail order from the UK to my US address, I have never been charged VAT. It usually works out to about the amount of the postal charges, though.
I was a manager in photographic retailing for more than twenty years Joe, I admit I have no experience of exporting equipment, only over the counter sales to domestic customers and foreign nationals who were temporary visitors to Britain who were entitled to V.A.T. refunds, so you may very well be correct, as I recommended to the O.P It's best if he contacts Greys of Westminster and gets it "Straight from the horses mouth"
 
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