Importing dive gear yourself?

So, you want some shiny new gear and a quick google search shows that you can get something cheaper overseas than you can here in NZ. It's a very common experience for most online shoppers these days. Add in cheap international shipping and you can often land something here in NZ directly and save yourself a few $$$s right?

I've done it before, and I'm sure many of you have too. But, let's look at some of the positives and negatives of direct importing.

Positives:

  • Cheaper! Yep, often these items have a purchase price that is indeed less.
  • Choice! NZ is a relatively small country, with a proportionally low population. Because of this there is often less choice in terms of models, colour etc etc. If you're looking for a very specialist piece of kit - underwater scooters for example - often you have no choice but to bring it in yourself.
  • It's easy - just buy online, pop in your credit card details and in a couple of weeks new toys arrive. Win!

Negatives:

  • Cheaper! Wait.. why is this a negative? Well one of the first reasons that an item will be cheaper is that sellers from overseas don't have to charge 15% GST on your purchase. Sounds like a win right? Until we think what taxation is used for like, roads, hospitals, police, infrastructure etc etc...
  • Import Duty & GST. This one catches many, many people out. At the time of writing any items brought in that are worth $400 or more (including shipping costs) are liable for GST and Import duty when they arrive in NZ. NZ Customs have an awesome calculator ( https://www.customs.govt.nz/personal/duty-and-gst/whats-my-duty-estimator/ ) but as a guide an item in the 'computing' category that was $400 including shipping is liable for $60 in GST and $52.67 in entry fees. That $400 bargain now costs you $512.67... 
    This under $400 threshold looks likely to be removed in 2019, where all overseas purchases are liable for GST. 
  • Warranty & Support. We recently had a customer who was in a bit of a pickle. She purchased a dive computer from Europe because of it appearing cheaper than getting one here in NZ.
    The computer arrived... and she had to pay the import GST and entry fees (incidentally putting her to within 10% of the RRP of the same item in NZ). The computer arrived with a flat battery. If she had purchased this in NZ, the dive shop would have either changed the battery or replaced the computer for her. But an overseas purchase falls under the laws of the country it came from.
    As such, there was no warranty on the battery, despite the seller claiming at checkout it had an 'international warranty'. The overseas retailer was less than helpful and, as such, she ended up having to pay for a replacement battery on a brand new dive computer. Now this one does have a happy ending - the overseas seller eventually agreed to pay her back for the battery change after the manufacturer themselves intervened. Still meant a lot of stress and hassle for her sadly. 

Most NZ based retailers will do their very best to help you get the best gear you can at the best pricing. A great example is the new Deepblu Cosmiq+ Dive computer. We retail these for $649.99NZD. 

Now - you can buy these directly from Deepblu for $399 USD with free shipping which, at the time of writing, is about $612NZD. But... add in the entry fees and GST you'll be billed another $143.25 coming to a total of $755.25! That's an extra $105 than you'd pay here at home from us. 

Here at Waiheke Dive we have our "Price Promise" and we'll always encourage you to get in touch if you've found a bargain or even if you're buying from overseas and ask us what we can do. Even if you're looking at importing a specialist item, then give us a shout as we can often point you towards reputable suppliers even if we can't help directly. 

End of the day, we want you to get the best gear for your needs and to enjoy your diving as much as possible! We will always do our best to help you achieve that! 

Adam