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Best place in asia to buy Leica M9/X1 - Singapore, Hong Kong or?


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#1 sparkie

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 14:16

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I'm thinking of going to Singapore in a few weeks and wanted to know what prices were like there and where are the best places to shop. Obviously Hong Kong is another good place to shop for Leica, but is it any cheaper than Singapore?

Would like to hear from any locals on this forum on pricing relative to the UK/europe and which dealers they would recommend. links appreciated. thanks in advance :D

PS I know the X1 probably wont be available till early 2010

#2 sparkie

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:42

Anyone?

#3 denniswong

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:56

I've heard that the retail price in HK is HK$57000, but this is not street price. Don't know about Singapore.

Leica's dealer locator listed a whole lot of dealers in HK, quite a few of them are within walking distance from each other, if you are in Hk, try to phone them and check for availability and price. I personally have had good experience with Universal and Man Shing and some others as well, Universal in Central is one of the easier shop to reach.

Edited by denniswong, 15 September 2009 - 08:06.


#4 sparkie

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:06

Thanks for the info Dennis. Much appreciated. Is the $57000 inclusive or exclusive of tax? Any ideas what the X1 is costing over there?

There must be Singaporean leica users on here. Please chip in with some local info!

#5 jimbo035

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:30

from your public profile I assume you are a UK citizen and more than likely intend to "import" it into the UK. Be aware that it will be liable to UK import duty and VAT if you declare it when passing through Customs. That may bring the price close to or even equal to a UK Leica Dealer's.
Of course you may elect to walk through the "Nothing to Declare" channel, and run the risk of being randomly picked out by a Customs official - who will probably confiscate and/or force you to pay Duty and VAT before you get it back.

(From within the European Community Countries, neither UK Import Duty nor VAT would be imposed, providing local VAT had been paid)

I stand to be corrected should another forum member's knowledge of such things be more precise.

#6 Guest_malland_*

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:48

from your public profile I assume you are a UK citizen and more than likely intend to "import" it into the UK. Be aware that it will be liable to UK import duty and VAT if you declare it when passing through Customs. That may bring the price close to or even equal to a UK Leica Dealer's.
Of course you may elect to walk through the "Nothing to Declare" channel, and run the risk of being randomly picked out by a Customs official - who will probably confiscate and/or force you to pay Duty and VAT before you get it back...

Yes, I hear that Customs have issued a special directive to their staff to search actively for new M9s and are now training their dogs to sniff not only for drugs but also for M9 sensors, which of course have a stronger odor than the smaller M8 sensor.

I'm sure the original poster is grateful for your unsolicited advice. BTW, how old are you? Sounds like you still are living in the early fifties.

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#7 wann

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:48

theres no question of vat or what if your M9 is already unpacked. while in HK, go to man shing ltd on tung choi street (852- 23962996). quite a sleazy area. you wouldnt have thought a lot of leicas are being bought and sold here every day, honest people anyway.

#8 vikasmg

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 11:34

I'm thinking of going to Singapore in a few weeks and wanted to know what prices were like there and where are the best places to shop.

From my experience of pricing the M8, Hong Kong was no cheaper than Singapore, but I live in Singapore and I know two or three of the local dealers here so I usually get a good price. However although they had a fancy "do" to launch the M9 yesterday they have no firm delivery date and only a suggested retail price (which doesn't mean much here). So far the word is "in the next week or two".
The people I have bought from are:
Cathay Photo in on the main floor of Marina Square (they also have another outlet in Peninsula Plaza - larger but not as pleasant a place and either outlet will get what the other has for you if they don't have it)
Paris Silk - a smaller outlet in Holland Village. Not as central but a lot of good restaurants and bards around there.
Gope's Foto & Film Pte Ltd on the 3rd (4th?) floor of Tanglin Shopping Centre on Tanglin Road - at the top of the Orchard Road Road retail and hotel belt.

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Edited by vikasmg, 15 September 2009 - 11:37.


#9 luxferous

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 11:43

AFAIK, HK seems to be cheaper in terms of camera gear compared to Singapore. Btw, the M9 was just officially launched here last night so it won't be available just yet.

#10 MP3

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 13:32

Yeah, Hong Kong used to be a good place to shop Leica (or any other brand) gear,
but I'm afraid it is only in the past.

Current 'mainland China effect' has in fact made here one of the most expensive place to buy newly launched Leica gears. Local Leica dealers have agreed on HKD57,000. However, I doubt you can get one at below HKD60,000 before November or even Christmas.

For me, I tend to wait for at least another year to let the M9 tech and price being iron out.

#11 MP3

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 13:36

Yeah, Hong Kong used to be a good place to shop Leica (or any other brand) gear,
but I'm afraid it is only in the past.

Current 'mainland China effect' has in fact made here one of the most expensive place to buy newly launched Leica gears. Local Leica dealers have agreed on HKD57,000. However, I doubt you can get one at below HKD60,000 before November or even Christmas.

For me, I tend to wait for at least another year to let the M9 tech and price being iron out.

#12 jimbo035

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 14:55

Yes, I hear that Customs have issued a special directive to their staff to search actively for new M9s and are now training their dogs to sniff not only for drugs but also for M9 sensors, which of course have a stronger odor than the smaller M8 sensor.

I'm sure the original poster is grateful for your unsolicited advice. BTW, how old are you? Sounds like you still are living in the early fifties.

—Mitch/Potomac, MD
Scratching the Surface©

Very droll comment "mitch". I fail to see the relevence of my age... or whether I am living in the fifties..
The fact is that people who try to evade customs duty don't always get away with it.

If anone needs more information about UK Customs Duty, Excise Duty and Import VAT, they can contact the VAT, Customs and Excise Helpline on Tel 0845 010 9000. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday except bank holidays.

#13 dng88

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 15:47

Try Tin Cheung Camera (search on the google that name and the price in HK$ was there). I bought my M8 and all my VC lens there. Normally quite cheap there (and sometimes below the web price). Not sure about Man Shing. Good shop but not sure they are cheap?

I went to Hong Kong Leica Main Distributer show room (Schmit?) today and test 4 M9; now reviewing the picture (of the showroom not real life photography). Not sure the improvement is so great that I would rush to get a M9. The sound is still quite loud and very unlike M3 still. Given that I am not in a rush as the sound is a key factor for my dislike of M8 so far. Hence, I think I can wait ... not just for the price but also wait for the real users real feedback.

What is the Singapore price, btw? And normally what shops to go?

#14 mgcd

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 15:57

Very droll comment "mitch". I fail to see the relevence of my age... or whether I am living in the fifties..
The fact is that people who try to evade customs duty don't always get away with it.

If anone needs more information about UK Customs Duty, Excise Duty and Import VAT, they can contact the VAT, Customs and Excise Helpline on Tel 0845 010 9000. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday except bank holidays.


I don't recall anyone saying they were trying to evade customs at all. I get the feeling you must be a Customs Agent of some sort or working for a UK retailer...
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#15 davecsl

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 16:05

Hi. Maybe another place to consider is going across to Malaysia if you are in Singapore. Generally cameras are relatively cheap as well because of the duty-free classification. Prior to the M9, I bought my M8.2 earlier this year for about USD5,100 new as well as a new 35mm Summilux Asph for USD3,400 which I think is not a bad deal. Only thing is you need to call and check for availability of stock and pre-order instead of walk-in.

#16 sparkie

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 16:06

Thanks for all the info and responses chaps.

I'm VAT registered so not a problem. I think duty is around 5% on cameras. But I'm based out of Australia at present and the prices here are ridiculous. I'm GST registered here as well so I can claim when I bring it in. I think I'd save a fair amount getting it from outside oz which is why I'm entertaining the idea of getting it off-shore.

I have to do more research and number crunching.

Edited by sparkie, 15 September 2009 - 16:11.


#17 sparkie

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 16:10

Hi. Maybe another place to consider is going across to Malaysia if you are in Singapore. Generally cameras are relatively cheap as well because of the duty-free classification. Prior to the M9, I bought my M8.2 earlier this year for about USD5,100 new as well as a new 35mm Summilux Asph for USD3,400 which I think is not a bad deal. Only thing is you need to call and check for availability of stock and pre-order instead of walk-in.


That's a possibility also. Did you shop in KL? and which dealer did you buy from..

I have often thought that its better to buy and pick up and bring back if possible. Not sure if I want UPS or Fedex to throw around such an expensive piece of equipment and whack the RF out of alignment.

But then again, I have had lots of M cameras delivered by courier and they have faired pretty well. But few were as expensive as an M9

#18 sfokevin

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 17:06

Yes, I hear that Customs have issued a special directive to their staff to search actively for new M9s and are now training their dogs to sniff not only for drugs but also for M9 sensors, which of course have a stronger odor than the smaller M8 sensor.

I'm sure the original poster is grateful for your unsolicited advice. BTW, how old are you? Sounds like you still are living in the early fifties.

—Mitch/Potomac, MD
Scratching the Surface©


I have seen this specially trained M9 sniffer on duty at the luggage carousels at Heathrow!...

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#19 efftee

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 18:18

Thanks for the info Dennis. Much appreciated. Is the $57000 inclusive or exclusive of tax? Any ideas what the X1 is costing over there?

There must be Singaporean leica users on here. Please chip in with some local info!


The prices as released by Schmidt Marketing -- M9: SGD11,388, X1: SGD3,2000; S2/P: SGD37,680/SGD45,680. All prices include 7% GST. If you do not reside in Singapore, you are entitled to GST refund, collectable at the airport, when you leave the country. The paperwork has to be done at the point of purchase though.

Expect M9 to be available end Sept, S2 in Oct and according to Sunil, the regional marketing director of Leica Asia, X1 in Jan, with an outside chance some may arrive before Christmas. All cameras will be available in Singapore before any other countries in the region, except HK/China but the inside track on any cameras heading that way will bypass stores and go directly into the hands of men with big names and bigger pockets.

Vikas provided a list of the more popular retailers but missed out Alan Photo, which is quite known for the business practice small margins big volumes, like Paris Silk. The D700 I bought from them was so attractively priced that I didn't lose a cent when I sold a few months later. But don't expect much discount, if any at all, on the M9. From what I hear, there will not be enough stock from the first shipment to meet half the demand domestically.

Hope that helped! :)

#20 jjjjuin

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 18:23

SH photo store placed a price 7xxxx HK dollars in Hong Kong ridiculously.

is there any other online store has M9 in stock?




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