Jump to content
Khamûl

Buying electronics from overseas

Recommended Posts

Is it possible? Amazing.com stocks a very, very large range of things that I could use and they often do so at a decent price. Issue is they don't ship to where I live due to it being electronic, or something.

 

Are there sites (like amazon, which have everything) that are known to ship overseas to us normal folk? Are there work-arounds for this?

 

What are your views/experiences?

 

What about warranty and DOA? Do you look at feedback and pray to Jeebus that it works when it gets to your house? What if it doesn't?

 

This is regarding eBay, more specifically.

Edited by Khamûl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've bought stuff from Ebay that ship from Hong Kong to Aus for free, at great prices. For instance, my camera I got for $400 instead of $600+. If you're looking at smaller things like that, then it's very doable.

 

If you're looking at say, a fridge, then it's probably not worth it. Amazon is annoying in the stuff it will and won't ship. I constantly get emails from them informing me of deals on whatever, okay, looks good - oh, this item does not ship to your location. Well thanks, Amazon! Nice of you to advertise it to me anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, that reminds me of another question!

 

What about warranty and DOA? Do you look at feedback and pray to Jeebus that it works when it gets to your house? What if it doesn't?

 

This is regarding eBay, more specifically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing to be mindful here, is that as you're importing a device intended for a different market, you really do need to do your research as to whether that device will (1) work as intended, and (2) not cause problems.

 

Things to be mindful of:

  • Power requirements: A device intended to run on 110V only, will smoke when you plug it into 230V. (Rare these days, since most power supplies are switch-mode today and can run ~90V to 250V no problems.)
  • Communications standards: e.g. in the US they use ATSC for digital television, here in Australia we use DVB-T, in Europe they use DAB for digital radio, here we use DAB+. There's also a digital broadcast radio standard called DRM which is mainly used with Shortwave stations.
  • Emissions: Some countries are more lax about conducted and radiated emissions permissible from a device than here in Australia.
  • Operating Frequency: For wireless equipment, different countries have different spectrum allocation arrangements. e.g. in some parts of the world, 147MHz is an ISM frequency but here in Australia, that's smack bang in the middle of the FM part of the 2m amateur band, and you'll get fox-hunted should you try using devices such as cordless headphones, etc that use that frequency. In NZ they use 26MHz for HF CB whereas we use 27MHz here in Australia. In the US, 220MHz is the 1.25m amateur band, whereas here, IIRC it's in the upper VHF television frequencies.
  • Telephony devices: Any equipment that is to be plugged into the Public Switched Telephony Network must carry the ACMA Regulatory Compliance Mark.

There are a number of other traps one can fall into. Interestingly, it is not illegal to own a device that falls under one of the above categories, but it may be illegal to use it.

 

One really does have to do some homework … if you're unable to, then you should question whether importing the device yourself is such a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Amazon, be careful.

If you return too much, even if it's faulty, they might ban your account which will stop your kindle syncing and everything.

They don't give you a warning, and it's hard to get them to undo it, as they prevent their customer service staff accessing your account.

 

General issues:

Check voltage (230-250V appliances only), make sure you don't need an adapter (or have one if you need one) for items.

Check the returns on ebay.

 

Generally, I'd buy from an Australian seller on ebay, because you can make substantial savings, and still have a fair chance of recourse if you need to make claims etc on warranty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm,

 

Don't recall the last time I bought anything electronic from overseas - it's really not a good idea 0h wait - this useless GPS sitting on my desk - phone does it better :)

 

On the other hand I bought my Linksys wireless router in KL about six years ago and it is only now at end of life.

 

You wont really save that much, even with the strong dollar, and if it fails forget warranty - geez I'm having enough trouble with a locally bought printer that had a print head failure, hate to try that if I saved twenty bucks and bought it from Hong Kong....

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've purchased a few phones from ebay. When one broke down, I took it to the local service centre with a print out of the ebay transaction. It was fixed without issue. Motorola was the brand. Another shipped with a shonky power adapter, which the seller was happy replace free of charge. Less luck with my housemate purchasing a media player. It went band and when we sent it back to the seller, they claimed we had tempered with it, citing 'string tied to the motherboard' and 'use of glue'. When they sent it back to us, we opened it up and found his 'string' and 'glue' was the remnants of a blown capacitor.

 

Be sure to watch out for tax/customs obligations. 5% customs duty and 10% GST on items (or groups of items) over $1000. Google 'when buying over the internet' for the customs page that shows you how to calculate what you may need to pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×