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://184.108.40.206 ):
If you login to the Fotokonijnenberg you can buy a GH3 at the competitive EU price:
They even have a discount on the body plus lens:
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
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:
I concur (minus the spelling) with the comment26/10/12 NOTE: since highlighting the fotokonijnenberg website was suppressing the GH3 from their UK URL, today they've removed it from all of their URLs.UK prices are just ridicules, absolutely RIDICULES. 25% higher than Germany.
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10-24-2012 05:29 PM
Last edited by P13; 10-26-2012 at 11:20 AM.
10-24-2012 05:55 PM
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.
10-24-2012 06:08 PM
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.
10-24-2012 07:07 PM
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 addedI ordered mine from US. Cannot stomach uk price
Last edited by P13; 10-25-2012 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Typo
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
10-24-2012 07:50 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
- Los Angeles CA
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?
10-24-2012 09:16 PM
- Join Date
- Jul 2012
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Did the GH3 come out yet?
Why not order from the US?
I'm just saying......
10-25-2012 12:36 AM
10-25-2012 02:11 AM
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.
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.