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Digitalrev - their service is as bad as their YouTube reviews!

MacRy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 2, 2004
4,304
5,446
England
Just a warning to anyone wanting to buy a 40mm Voigtlander Nokton Classic lens from Digitalrev - their website states that it's in stock and ships in 24hrs. That's bull as I've had my order cancelled for one due to it being out of stock. Something that they neglected to mention to me over the last five days during my three telephone calls to them asking why it hadn't shipped. What a joke of a company. First time using them and definitely my last!
 

Ish

macrumors 68020
Nov 30, 2004
2,105
547
UK
Thanks for the info. I haven't bought anything from them so far but if I was looking I would have included them. One to cross off my list!

Sorry to hear of the problems. Hope you get it sorted soon.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
40,292
30,287
Behind the Lens, UK
Good to know. Looking at the prices on there I'm thinking grey import. Also they charge a 15% restocking fee, which under the distance selling act (in the UK anyway) is totally bogus.
I'd give them a wide birth. Head on over to
London Camera Exchange
WEX
Park cameras
Calumet
I have used all the above and haven't had any issues.
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
Haven't had any problems with a couple of purchases from H Dew Cameras, but then again I haven't had to return anything. Most of their gear looks distinctly greyish, but it's backed up by their own (free) warranties which (I believe) use the same service centres that Nikon/Canon/etc use themselves.
 

MacRy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 2, 2004
4,304
5,446
England
They've done me a favour with their incompetence actually as I've spent the money on a used copy of Fuji's excellent XF35 lens from a reputable seller on eBay. Looking forward to getting that bad boy.
 

Vogue Harper

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2008
410
23
Serenity
Never used Digitalrev to buy anything - the quality of thier reviews varies, but usually bears some correlation to the value of the camera equipment being reviewed. Compare their review of the Leica M to that of Canon's latest entry-level DSLR where it looks like the reviewer was actively trying to break the camera.

To be fair, Voigtlanders (the modern Cosina ones) are notoriously hard to source. I had my order cancelled at Amazon for the Nokton 75mm f/1.8 Heliar last year (despite saying it was in stock and ready for despatch) before I finally managed to get my hands on one. Took me a few goes to get the Nokton 50mm f/1.8 too as retailers were only receiving one or two of them despite having orders for more which meant lots of customers were disappointed.

On balance, it was probably a blessing in disguise if you ended up going for the Fujinon 35mm instead. Together with the new 56mm and the 23mm, it ranks as one of the best lenses for the X-series cameras. It's the one I use the most on my X Pro 1. I have had my Voigtlanders for around a year now and while they are fun to use and images from these lenses, in my mind, have a very distinctive look and feel I am not using them as much as I thought I would - mainly because Fuji's lenses are so good.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,308
Those reviews are meant for the entertainment of photo geeks.

I think they are entertaining.
 

Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,884
1,224
Birmingham, UK
Also they charge a 15% restocking fee, which under the distance selling act (in the UK anyway) is totally bogus.

They are based in Hong Kong, so distance selling act does not apply.

Haven't had any problems with a couple of purchases from H Dew Cameras, but then again I haven't had to return anything. Most of their gear looks distinctly greyish, but it's backed up by their own (free) warranties which (I believe) use the same service centres that Nikon/Canon/etc use themselves.

The problem with H Dew and Portus are you act as the importer for the (grey) goods, so you are liable for import duty/vat which they do not collect for HMRC - sure you get goods cheaper - but the warranty isn't with Canon/Nikon in the UK - they use 3rd party centres to fix problems.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,308
Why are people who are not from HK discuss buying from a store thats located in HK :confused:
If you buy there:
1. get ready for hefty import tax
2. good luck with a chinese warranty :D
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
The problem with H Dew and Portus are you act as the importer for the (grey) goods, so you are liable for import duty/vat which they do not collect for HMRC - sure you get goods cheaper - but the warranty isn't with Canon/Nikon in the UK - they use 3rd party centres to fix problems.
I know nothing of Portus, but I researched H Dew pretty thoroughly when I first bought from them a couple of years ago. To the best of my knowledge they're a 'real life' company with physical premises, VAT registration etc, and all orders are fulfilled via their own UK warehouse with all import duties paid, rather than directly to your door from their overseas supplier. I couldn't (and can't) find a single instance of an H Dew customer being hit for import duties.

I'd already acknowledged that your warranty is supplied by H Dew rather than the camera manufacturer. What I'd forgotten to mention is that the H Dew warranty is for three years. And, as mentioned, I believe that the repair centres they use are actually the same ones used by the manufacturers.
 

MacRy

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 2, 2004
4,304
5,446
England
Yes the website states that they pay import duties and VAT their end so you don't get hit with it. That was the enticement for me as it meant I could buy the lens I wanted a hundred pounds cheaper than in the UK
 

Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,884
1,224
Birmingham, UK
To the best of my knowledge they're a 'real life' company with physical premises, VAT registration etc, and all orders are fulfilled via their own UK warehouse with all import duties paid, rather than directly to your door from their overseas supplier. I couldn't (and can't) find a single instance of an H Dew customer being hit for import duties.

HMRC are utterly useless at preventing it to be honest - It doesn't make it right to avoid tax. Have you got an actual VAT number for HDew? It seems to be missing from their site, unlike an real UK retailer.

Yes the website states that they pay import duties and VAT their end so you don't get hit with it. That was the enticement for me as it meant I could buy the lens I wanted a hundred pounds cheaper than in the UK

From the bottom of their FAQ section:

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. Please note that by making a purchase on this website you will be acting as the importer of the product for all purposes including all customs regulations,copyright and trademark laws.You accept that the role of HDEW Cameras is limited to sourcing products and making them available for you to import directly from the country of origin.By purchasing a product through this website you authorise us to make arrangements for clearance of customs on your behalf for the products you have ordered.

Not sure if anyone can seriously believe that a camera like the Eos 6D which retails on average for around £1,300 in the UK is available from Hdew for £1,000 has had VAT collected on it.
 
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Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,456
4,308
I just looked at the webpage and the products are not cheaper than any retailer around where I live.

I rather go to the store around the corner where I have two years EU warranty that is honored, than waiting a long time for an inconvinient delivery with a chinese! warranty.

I still like the digitalrev show very much. Highly entertaining! :)
 
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mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
Have you got an actual VAT number for HDew? It seems to be missing from their site, unlike an real UK retailer.
Thank you, you've drawn to my attention the fact that I haven't a bloody clue where the receipt/warranty are. Bugger.

There are lots of message board posts claiming that H Dew supply 'VAT invoices' upon request (my understanding that this is for the paranoid who think they might be asked to prove the provenance of the camera when passing through customs; does this mean they still have their camera fully boxed?).

Will let you know if the VAT number is printed on the receipt as a matter of course, just as soon as I find it!

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. Please note that by making a purchase on this website you will be acting as the importer of the product for all purposes including all customs regulations,copyright and trademark laws.You accept that the role of HDEW Cameras is limited to sourcing products and making them available for you to import directly from the country of origin. By purchasing a product through this website you authorise us to make arrangements for clearance of customs on your behalf for the products you have ordered.
Hmmm. My order was fulfilled within a couple of days. I don't see how H Dew could have bought the camera from overseas, had it shipped to them, then shipped it on to me in that timeframe.

I might be naïve but to me the final sentence – "you authorise us to make arrangements for clearance of customs on your behalf for the products you have ordered" – suggests that they pay the duty as part of their 'clearance of customs'.

If there really is no payment of duty by H Dew, and given that H Dew appear to be a sizeable operation, couldn't Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs simply nab every box that emanated from their UK warehouse? If they did that every couple of months, and the purchaser was then pursued for the money, H Dew would be out of business within six months.
 
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Kebabselector

macrumors 68030
May 25, 2007
2,884
1,224
Birmingham, UK
There are lots of message board posts claiming that H Dew supply 'VAT invoices' upon request (my understanding that this is for the paranoid who think they might be asked to prove the provenance of the camera when passing through customs; does this mean they still have their camera fully boxed?).

If there really is no payment of duty by H Dew, and given that H Dew appear to be a sizeable operation, couldn't Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs simply nab every box that emanated from their UK warehouse? If they did that every couple of months, and the purchaser was then pursued for the money, H Dew would be out of business within six months.

Hmmm. My order was fulfilled within a couple of days. I don't see how H Dew could have bought the camera from overseas, had it shipped to them, then shipped it on to me in that timeframe.

A few points:

HMRC are utterly useless at finding things, due to staffing levels and quantity of goods coming into the UK - that's why companies like this get away with it.

VAT receipts shouldn't have to be asked for. No other retailer in the UK will give a non VAT receipt.

There's nothing to stop them having stock in the UK and it being allocated to you when ordered - Just because it's in the UK it doesn't automatically mean that Duty or VAT have been paid.

At the end of the day it's up to you where you buy anything from. I prefer to buy from a real vendor which pays its way in the UK - some of the online sellers (portus, panomox, hdew etc) don't appear to - or at least make it difficult to believe they do.

One word of warning - www.procamerashop.co.uk - they operated in the same way as others mentioned - very positive trustpilot/reviewcentre reviews - where are the now?
 

Nordichund

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2007
431
122
Oslo, Norway
To be honest I love Kai's reviews of the latest cameras at digitalrev. I am also amazed by the results when he challenges top photographers to go out and take shots using some of the crappiest cameras on the market. Just proves it's the person behind the lens who really takes the photograph.

Unless it is a hard to find lens or accessory I would NEVER buy new items from Hong Kong or the east. Though I have used B&H in the States several times for accessories and have always been impressed by their professional and excellent service. They also stock gear which is hard to find outside the States.

Due to the local guarantees offered by the likes of Nikon, Canon etc, if something does go wrong I believe you are better off buying your camera in the region you live in. For that I am wiling to pay a little extra here in Europe for the piece of mind.

I also travel quite a lot and always carry copies of my photography receipts to save any problems should I be stopped by customs on my return home. On a bad day they can be very difficult to deal with, especially if you have several thousand pounds worth of gear with you. Pulling out a receipt from Hong Kong or the US doesn't really help, unless you can also prove you have paid duty on the items.
 

Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
726
69
I like them for the entertainment value, the only thing I'd ever consider buying from them is the Bokeh-licious! t-shirt lol :)
 

bayvista

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2014
2
0
DigitalRev Scam!

Purchased a defective Canon and returned it - 15% fee charged, plus I had to pay postage to Hong Kong. Buy local, this was a nightmare!
 

576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
4,056
2,556
Their prices are worryingly low compared to RRP in some cases. I've heard it's because they shave off import duties but then I've also heard of people ordering from there and then being charged tax and import duties upon arrival in the country. They claim to be based in the UK but it seems everything is shipped from Hong Kong.

Their prices are too good to be true, probably avoid them.

Just a quick example: I was in the market for an MB-D11 battery grip for my D7000 about a year ago now and, to my surprise, DigitalRev were selling them brand new and genuine for about £150. That's immediately when alarm bells rang seeing as the RRP of the product on the Nikon website is £350. I know the Nikon website is the last place you'd buy anything because the prices on there are inflated massively over RRP but £150 was still way too low.
 

bayvista

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2014
2
0
Not an honorable company

I still wonder if my defective camera wasn't used and not new. Every email to them brings another absurd "reason" why they are deducting 15% and not paying postage ($57.80 to Hong Kong). This company will rip you off with no hesitation. I learned my lesson about buying without reading reviews or finding out where the company was located - low prices blinded me and now I am out over $100 assuming they will refund what they say (haven't seen that yet). Be careful and stay away from DigitalRev!
 
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