Camera Street in Taipei

Taipei is a great place to purchase electronics if you are overseas. For the most part you probably won't be able to beat American prices; that is, unless you're willing to purchase grey-market items, which aren't counterfeits but which aren't exactly fully on the up and up either.

It is legal to purchase (and I believe even sell) grey-market items, but you don't get the same warranty protection as you would if you purchased the item in the intended country of sale, which is why the goods are so cheap in the first place: They are being sold in a country, or via a distribution channel, not originally intended by the manufacturer.

I was able to purchase my brand-new Ricoh GR III in Taipei for ~$435 USD whereas the same camera in the United States would have been $500 or more, and a non-grey market version in Taiwan would have been closer to $550. Of course, if it breaks I have to send it back to Taiwan, to the shop where it was purchased, for service.

The salesgirl who sold me my new Ricoh GR III; I triple-checked the price it was so low, which prompted me to ask Joy (her English name), Grey market? Yes, grey market, she said. I took this photo not with the Ricoh but with my 35mm film camera.

Camera Street is actually an area including more than one street, I think, but this is the street where I purchased my camera; I think it was the Canon storefront third from the left. But you can also see another Canon, Panasonic twice, Sony, Samsung, Nikon, Pentax twice, and if you have any money left there is a Rolex shop across the street.