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I am travelling for work to Taipei in a month or so, and since I am lucky enough to be able to spend an entire day doing what I want (counted as holiday, of course, I'm not THAT lucky), I decided to do it by visiting the city.

Of course, since I am also an avid electronics-consumer, I'd gladly use this possibility to do some shopping. I am particularly interested in buying lenses for a Nikon full-frame camera (D610). I read that Taiwan is a pretty safe city to buy, but do you know if I can get good prices without having to deal with scammers (if I need to pay attention to something in particular)? Is there anything - apart from the obvious - that I have to be aware of (high risk of non-original items in certain areas, and so on)?

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    Don't know the specifics for Taiwan, but generally, there are no longer any significant price differences from one country to another once you factor in exchange rates and taxes, nor are there any significant differences in terms of availability (with a few specific items being the exception). Also, you'll be liable for currency exchange commissions and foreign payment fees, and may face issues with warranties, so take it all into account when making your decision. – jcaron Feb 15 '16 at 14:08
  • I do of course factor exchange rates (not taxes though, since I don't plan to import stuff to re-sell it). The question does not take into account availability, but only economic pros. I also am aware that warranty in EU may not be valid for some brands, but since they do produce there I may find anyway decent prices compared to the ones here. – Noldor130884 Feb 15 '16 at 16:03
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    Whether you're reselling it or not, you are supposed to declare the items you import, and pay taxes (import duties and VAT) on those, unless the value is below €430 (or similar thresholds for non-Eurozone countries). Whether you actually declare it or not, and whether you get caught or not if you don't is another matter, of course. – jcaron Feb 15 '16 at 16:15
  • Taiwan is a humid place, so you need to be aware of this problem: photo.stackexchange.com/q/14794/28357 – Count Iblis Feb 15 '16 at 19:03
  • @jcaron I am aware of everything you say. That still doesn't answer the question... – Noldor130884 Feb 16 '16 at 6:29
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+50

At the end I decided to visit "Camera Street" in Taipei (location here), which is basically a crossroad where both the crossing streets are full of photography-shops and... No, the prices are definitely different from the western ones (if you say specifically that you are not going to need the warranty).
My advice is to enter more than a couple of shops and kindly ask for their prices. A lot of the people I spoke to were happy to help (some of them spoke English), and they showed me more than one lens, even if I didn't buy them.
Those shops usually prefer cash payments, but often credit cards (provided you can bear with some commission) are accepted too.
Some shop-owners even accept foreign currency (since they are no exchange buro, their exchange rates are directly taken from the internet, so you can expect a decent rate).

From my personal experience (and a lot of Taiwanese people confirmed) there is no chance of getting scammed.

I've been around Taipei, but I don't recall seeing any other place worth having a look.
By the way, in Camera Street there are also a couple of tea shops that are worth going into.

  • Is that street specific to photography related equipment or other electronics gadgets are available too? – Prashanth Jun 20 '16 at 6:38
  • I don't recall seeing anything else that wasn't camera related. Small electronics gadgets (like memory cards and so on) are not worth buying, since the have the same price as in Europe. – Noldor130884 Jun 23 '16 at 6:38

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