I have a friend who flies to Hong Kong on a semi-regular basis. He takes the first flight in and the last flight out on the same day. He takes a big bag filled with a change of clothes and his camera, so that the authorities, at least, don’t find him suspicious of TNT. Upon touchdown he makes his way to the camera shops and splurges on several lenses for his Canon 5D Mark II. He has lunch (authentic siomai!) and then makes his way back to the airport. He justifies this by saying that it is still much cheaper to buy all your lenses abroad + the plane ticket than it would have been to drive to Hidalgo.
I have another friend who makes a little bit of business by flying to Singapore (EDIT: it also works in Thailand apparently) where certain mall purchases allow for a 10% (or was it 7% when I was there?) rebate. His friends give him a list of items to buy — cameras, MacBooks, phones and after completing the list, he’s able to log several receipts worth of gadgets. He usually does this during the Great Singapore Sale but to be honest I feel that the deals are pretty good all year round — it’s almost impossible to navigate through SunTec Plaza during the sale season. Anyway, what he gets in return is the airport rebate for the effort he put into getting around to fulfill the wish list. Or he’d offset his own gadget costs with the rebates. Neat!
Since we’re looking at deals, I’d like to do a shout out to anyone willing to let go of a 100mm macro lens for a Canon system. I recently bought this:
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