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    EU retailer leaned on by Panasonic to prevent affordable UK GH3?!
    #1
    Senior Member P13's Avatar
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    Photospecialist which is the UK trading name for Hotokonijnenberg in the Netherlands appears to have come under pressure from Panasonic as sales of the GH3 are being prevented to UK citizens when logging on via the .co.uk domain of the same website.

    It seems no UK retailer will match EU prices and few EU stores will ship to the UK at the equivalent EU price, I've only found one in Germany (and then only if I paid via bank transfer), the only way I can order from Hotokonijnenberg is by using a non-UK URL even though I can have it shipped to the UK that way!

    The website is one single website with the same IP address ( http://213.206.118.13 ):
    http://www.fotokonijnenberg.nl
    http://www.photospecialist.co.uk

    If you login to the Fotokonijnenberg you can buy a GH3 at the competitive EU price:
    http://www.fotokonijnenberg.nl/produ...gh3-zwart.html
    They even have a discount on the body plus lens:
    http://www.fotokonijnenberg.nl/produ...5mm-zwart.html

    Yet if you go to the .co.uk domain, guess what happens? The GH3 is being deliberately suppressed.

    Ironically, you can sign up at the UK site, hop onto the Netherlands URL (login with the same details) and order the GH3 (yes on your UK user details).

    Surely under EU law this kind of price fixing must be illegal, surely?

    So in summary the issue is the GH3 is being sold in the UK 400-500 more, UK dealers where they normally offer an EU price match are refusing on the GH3, furthermore there is evidence EU retailers are preventing sales to UK customers of the GH3.

    Prices in summary:
    GH3 UK: 1499 or above
    http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/index..._lumix_dmc-gh3
    GH3 EU: €1.219 (983.71 – usually after postage and currency conversion just over 1000)

    If you live in the UK and want to buy the GH3 for the same price as the rest of Europe please get on Twitter and contact your local MEP and BBC Watchdog: @BBCWatchdog

    Alternatively why not use a suitable hashtag such as #GH3UKRipOff

    One of the benefits of being in the EU is goods are supposed to be freely shippable without paying customs duty and import tax (as that's paid to the member state on purchase), so this situation where the GH3 is priced at 1549 yet sells in other EU member states for approx 985.69 suggests there are deliberate efforts by Panasonic to overcharge UK consumers.

    Other discussions on the net about the GH3 UK Price:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/42636646
    http://www.43rumors.com/gh3e-pl5e-pm...e-m5-in-italy/
    I concur (minus the spelling) with the comment
    UK prices are just ridicules, absolutely RIDICULES. 25% higher than Germany.
    26/10/12 NOTE: since highlighting the fotokonijnenberg website was suppressing the GH3 from their UK URL, today they've removed it from all of their URLs.
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    Last edited by P13; 10-26-2012 at 11:20 AM.


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    I've referred this matter to a member of the European Paraliament, Godfrey Bloom and asked him to read this post and investigate why Panasonic is selling the GH3 at a considerable mark-up in the UK over other EU member states, I'm also curious why UK retailers who normally price match the EU seem will not (or have been told not to) for the GH3 camera.


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    I've also Tweeted BBC Watchdog TV programme which here in the UK investigates consumer problems and I hope they read this post too as I've been trying for weeks to pre-order the GH3 and finding consistently it's being marked up by 400+ and UK retailers where they would normally seem to be prevented from price matching the EU Price. I attach a Tweet from CVP, where they thought they could price match the EU then suddenly fell silent.
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    It was good to see Philip Bloom who was even employed by Panasonic to do the GH3 promo video spoke out about the UK Price.

    You expect usually a big difference between UK and US prices but the puzzle really is why this is also going on within Europe too and why it's proving difficult for UK consumers to order from the EU for this camera.

    Philip Bloom even added
    I ordered mine from US. Cannot stomach uk price
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    Last edited by P13; 10-25-2012 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Typo


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    Quote Originally Posted by P13 View Post
    I've referred this matter to a member of the European Paraliament, Godfrey Bloom and asked him to read this post and investigate why Panasonic is selling the GH3 at a considerable mark-up in the UK over other EU member states, I'm also curious why UK retailers who normally price match the EU seem will not (or have been told not to) for the GH3 camera.
    Is Panasonic selling the GH3 at a considerable mark-up in the UK, or are retailers doing it? Because they aren't the same thing, retailers buy cameras from the manufacturer, and then sell them at whatever price they want.


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    Yeah, make sure it's not the retailers before you peg the blame on Panasonic. The other thing that I find just a bit odd, is that I am in Europe pretty much every year, and my friends over there travel routinely. From the UK it's just a skip and a hop to the continent - people do it for vacations if nothing else. Now, I'm not advocating not declaring goods you bought - say a camera + lenses - at the border, but it's not like your only choice is to buy in the UK if you are from the UK. Is it an issue of warranty?


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    *Scratches Head
    Did the GH3 come out yet?
    Why not order from the US?
    I'm just saying......


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    Quote Originally Posted by atarijedi View Post
    Is Panasonic selling the GH3 at a considerable mark-up in the UK, or are retailers doing it? Because they aren't the same thing, retailers buy cameras from the manufacturer, and then sell them at whatever price they want.
    Retailers need to make sales at the end of the day, someone already pointed out in another thread that Wex are normally competitive, I can't see retailers in the UK have decided all by themselves to add a 500 mark up, for retailers to have price fixed would still be wrong and seems very unlikely, and again it doesn't explain why an EU retailer has been caught red handed trying to block UK sales. Add to the fact Panasonic is even refusing to reply explaining the price the retailers are charging.


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    Quote Originally Posted by J.F.R. View Post
    *Scratches Head
    Did the GH3 come out yet?
    Why not order from the US?
    I'm just saying......
    This is a pre-order, US GH3's will not have PAL settings.


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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    Yeah, make sure it's not the retailers before you peg the blame on Panasonic. The other thing that I find just a bit odd, is that I am in Europe pretty much every year, and my friends over there travel routinely. From the UK it's just a skip and a hop to the continent - people do it for vacations if nothing else. Now, I'm not advocating not declaring goods you bought - say a camera + lenses - at the border, but it's not like your only choice is to buy in the UK if you are from the UK. Is it an issue of warranty?
    The way Europe is now is that it’s effectively “borderless” which includes trade, so you are allowed to buy from France, Germany etc, just the same as in the UK, so there’s no duty, no charges, in fact it’s even better because many EU states have a 2 years minimum warranty and warranties in one EU state will be honoured in another. So this is why I am concerned with the GH3, Panasonic knows full well UK consumers could simply buy from another EU state, likely getting next day delivery (once the GH3 is available), getting a 2 year warranty (instead of the UK’s 1 year) and for cheaper. The only way this could be prevented was if Panasonic deliberately tried to prevent this by for example sending a memo to its dealers threatening sanctions if retailers sold below price x or shipped to the UK.

    The EU has found companies trying to price fix across states and does act, it considers amongst price fixing “agreeing not to sell to a competitor’s customers or compete against them in a certain area” so a retailer not selling to a certain area such as the UK would be deemed fixing.

    An anti-competitive agreement doesn’t have to be formal, written down or even discussed to be illegal.
    ‘Shared understandings’, ‘gentleman’s agreements’ and ‘concerted practices’ that clearly restrict competition can also be illegal. Concerted practices are where businesses cooperate without actually reaching an agreement or decision.
    https://www.gov.uk/competition-law-u...ing-agreements

    I’m prepared to make an official complaint to the Office of Fair Trading, the penalties should Panasonic or its dealers be found to be acting improperly are:
    You could be sued, fined or prosecuted if you’ve dishonestly entered into a cartel agreement and you could receive an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to 5 years.
    If your business is found to break anti-competition laws, it could be fined up to 10% of its turnover and company directors of the company could be disqualified.


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