In their time, the DP Merrills were premium priced cameras with Sigma demanding around £800 apiece for them. They had to be confident that the image quality justified the cost.
SteveBudd wrote:My (apparently 'superb condition') DP2 Merrill is presently en route from the land of the rising sun.
If you are importing from Japan, expect HMRC to add at least 20% VAT to the price you paid, which will include delivery charges. There might also be 6.7% import duty levied first. The situation is a bit uncertain, in my mind at least, as cameras do not attract import duty but lenses do. Without taking on the challenge of negotiating the HMRC website, I am not sure what happens with fixed lens cameras. The courier will also add an administration charge.
Time was when low value goods would often enter the country without customs taking much interest. In my experience, those days are long past. VAT is one thing, but the mixed approach to import duty is another. Tariffs have two main functions. Revenue raising and protection of indigenous industries. Aside from Leica, how many companies within the EU are manufacturing camera lenses these days? The only way to avoid the charges is if the seller deliberately makes a customs declaration less than the true value. That has its risks. Customs can seize the goods on entry and although the offence was committed by the exporter, have no jurisdiction over them. They do have the buyer firmly in their sights, however. Not to mention that if the package goes missing in transit, insurance will only cover the declared value.
Japanese eBayers tend to be very fastidious in their descriptions, so hopefully the condition will be as stated.
I await further news with interest.