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Electronics shopping in Thailand

  • sapierre

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd May, 2009
    Posts: 3

    Unfortunately I broke my DSLR camera in Laos and with 8 more months to go on my trip I am keen to buy a replacement soon. I am gonna be in Thailand next so was wondering how expensive it is to buy such electronic equipment compared to Europe and which place to go to? I will come from the North so if Chiang Mai has good deals I would prefer buying the camera there rather than wait until Bangkok.

    Any advice would be much appreciated! Cheers

    PS: I assume Laos is more expensive for electronics than Thailand but if I am mistaken please let me know.

    #1 Posted: 3/5/2009 - 17:12

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  • seagypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    5th February, 2009
    Posts: 136

    Sorry to read about your mishap. Quite a bummer.

    Anyways, your assumption about Laos being more expensive is correct and even worse is the selection given that there's not much demand by locals since the per capita income per year doesn't even equal the cost of a DSLR. Luang Prabang only has a few processing places that sell digital cameras so you'd have to wait until you get to Vientiane where there's a larger selection but value can't compare to Bangkok or even Chiang Mai . In Vientiane, there's a Fuji developing shop next to Phimphone Market/JOMA Bakery or across the street from Khop Chai Deu that sells cameras.

    I've only done a little shopping for electronics in chiang mai and think you can shop at either the Chiang Mai Airport Plaza, the Central Shopping Mall northwest of the old walled quarter, but there is an electronics complex on the mainstreet that fronts the northwall. There's also another electronics complex towards the southend of the night market area.

    Otherwise a lot more options in Bangkok within MahBoonKhong /MBK shopping complex or across the steet at Siam Discovery Mall or Paragon but there's also Panthip Plaza area. Don't know about Europe but camera prices in Thailand can't compete with the internet shops in the USA given Thailand's import taxes on electronics. You're also going to have to look at the international warranty.

    Good luck.

    #2 Posted: 4/5/2009 - 08:59

  • sapierre

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd May, 2009
    Posts: 3

    thanksa lot, seagypsy. I will try my luck in Bangkok then. I read something about being able to claim back VAT when you leave Thailand. Is that just a rumour or a real option? would you know?

    #3 Posted: 4/5/2009 - 09:06

  • neosho

    Joined Travelfish
    13th August, 2008
    Posts: 386

    I haven't really shopped for a camera here but in Chiang Mai there is Pantip down by the night market, Computer Plaza and Ikon across the moat on the north end of the old city as mentioned. There are also 2 malls (expensive), plus Tesco and Carfour.
    I am not sure but the VAT is tied to your visa and how long you will be in country. You redeem it when you leave the country. In my case I am here to long at any one time to use it. Plus I am lucky enough to not to be in a situation where I have had to do that. Such as a broken camera. Good luck to you.

    #4 Posted: 4/5/2009 - 10:23

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    sapierre

    VAT refund?, Yes, but there are time limitations and a minimum spend amount. With my passport in hand, I've found that some stores are able to take the VAT off before they charge me, others give me a cash refund. Otherwise, keep the receipt and hope its OK at the airport (they give in Baht, after you go through customs).

    As for camera and price, may I suggest you first determine what you'd like (make & model) and then do an internet check for prices in UK, Australia & US etc. for best options.

    As for camera, I used to lug an SLR around, but now I use a Canon Powershot A710IS. And, the convenience coupled to the surprisingly good results has impressed me to the point that my SLR sits gathering dust.

    The 'replacement' to the A710 is the Powershot A2000.

    I looked on the net (googled Canon A2000IS price - then nation) to find that the net seller prices (in AU$) are:

    Australia - A$240 + upwards
    Malaysia - A$295 + "
    United States - A$230 + "
    UK - A$375 + "
    Thailand - A$380 + "

    There are E-bay sellers being cheaper. But...

    So, work out what you want first so that you know what is a 'reasonable' price.

    Cheers

    #5 Posted: 4/5/2009 - 10:32

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 928
    Total reviews: 14

    Hi,

    Not sure how much time you have, but have you looked into getting your SLR fixed? My Nikon Coolpix 8800 had major "issues" after I got some water on it in Chiang Mai a couple weeks ago. I took it to Denchai Trading on Rattanakosin Rd. and they checked it out. They said that if they could fix it without ordering new parts they would have it done in 3 days for no more than 1500 baht. Well, they couldn't fix it but they gave me the Nikon contact info in Bangkok. (If you are looking into buying something, Denchai is def one of your best bets in Chiang Mai - look them up on the web).

    I really wanted to get my camera fixed so I changed my plans and snuck in to Bangkok a couple days after the riots, found the Nikon factory on Silom Rd., dropped off the camera then headed to Kanchanaburi to kill some time. They replaced the parts and fixed it. Took 1 week exactly. Cost 4000 baht. Now I'm back in business. It was a bit of a pain, I had to go about 10 days without my camera, and it cost $115, but it was certainly better than replacing a $1000 camera!

    Hope that helps

    #6 Posted: 4/5/2009 - 20:12

  • Jon_Mak_Mak

    Click here to learn more about Jon_Mak_Mak
    Joined Travelfish
    21st February, 2007
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 464
    Total reviews: 5

    Ahh shugar! I wrote a whole reply out here but it hasn't shown. :(

    Basically I just said I bought a camera from the new airport in bangkok and got a free printer. Then when I compared the price to that small electronic
    shopping centre at the end of the chiang mai night bazaar it was cheaper from the airport and with free printer too.

    So don't rule out airports coz they might have an offer on.

    If you are in Bangkok I would go check out Pantip plaza in Pratunum.

    #7 Posted: 4/5/2009 - 21:14

  • sapierre

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd May, 2009
    Posts: 3

    thanks everyone for your advise! i was thinking about getting it fixed. well at least I have contacted the Thai Canon customer service. Nikon I believe produces their cameras in Thailand so you were "lucky" to have broken a camera of that brand I guess, DLuek. still you never know, maybe the damage is much less serious than I thought. It's partially functioning, but the shutter-release doesn't which is kind of essential, isn't it. otherwise I have to find that one special deal for another Canon camera. Still have a couple of unharmed lenses so can't switch brand.

    #8 Posted: 5/5/2009 - 08:36

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    sapierre

    If the shutter release isn't working, can you open up and see if there is dust or similar preventing movement?

    That was a problem with a camera I had some years ago, and I managed to 'wiggle' it such that the offending grit (or whatever) fell out (or at least didn't further offend, till I got it cleaned).

    Just an idea...

    cheers

    #9 Posted: 5/5/2009 - 09:02

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 928
    Total reviews: 14

    sapierre,

    Sorry to hear Canon doesn't have an official service center in Thailand. If you will be in Chiang Mai, I'd give Denchai a shot. Good chance they'll fix it if you don't need new parts. They pay to have their technicians trained directly by the big camera companies, Canon included.

    Good luck

    #10 Posted: 5/5/2009 - 16:57

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  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Buying electronics in Thailand does not represent a great saving - but HEH! - you need a camera.

    #11 Posted: 9/5/2009 - 12:14

  • bedu

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 58
    Total reviews: 15

    Truth is that even though everyone seems to think that Thailand is good for bargains, it actually isn't.
    If you want T-Shirts, copies of designer bags and pirate CDs, this is the place. If you want anything electronic, then you're probably best to buy it in your home country.
    Cameras, laptops, watches and netbooks, are all expensive because of the overpriced sales tax the Thai government inflicts on it's population.
    If you have the money, they'll want a cut of it, if it is too expensive for you, then they'll say 'Well don't get ideas above your station, you peasant.'
    Just look at cars as an example, so expensive because of the tax, so owning a brand new car is the ultimate status symbol here, and why so many Thais ask us Farangs, 'Why you no have car yet? You make a lot money'. Because we poor fuckers can't get bank loans, or when we can, it's bloody hard to do so.

    #12 Posted: 23/2/2010 - 10:44

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    In the circumstances I would investigate a repair first.

    Thailand is NOT a good place to buy electronics goods.

    The range is usually limited and not up-to-date. The prices are quite hight even though the VAT rate is only 7%. This is largely a result of what appears to be a monopoly or CARTEL operated by importers and retailers.

    Furthermore customer service - i.e. post-sales is APPALLING! - you will be assumed to be at fault unless you have every last document connected with the product plus you''l need to locate the business who deal with it - quite likely not the stall you bought it from.

    #13 Posted: 24/2/2010 - 10:43

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