Michael Hunter <>
Martin Butterfield <>
Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:09:27 +0000
I was interested in Michael's comments (not that I expect to visit anywhere
in the USA in the next 4 years) as the relative pricing seemed to go
against my experience. However he is, to use an appropriate metaphor,
right on the money.
I did a quick and nasty comparison, picking one shop in SF and one high-end
model of binoculars as a test case. I used my favourite Australian purveyor
of optical goods and the same model of binoculars as the benchmark. The SF
price was ~$US1950 and the Australian price ~$A2600. After adjusting for
exchange rates, saving GST on the Australian price and adding on SF sales
tax it emerged that the Australian price was much (~15%) better.
Of course that might reflect the model I chose and the shops I chose. But
I'd certainly suggest doing the research before devoting a chunk of limited
time in SF to acquiring the optics over there.
One further point is that saving the GST in Australia requires accessing
the TRS facility in the airport on departure. While that is now a lot
better than it was, I'd still allow at least an hour between clearing
Security and boarding your flight for that process.
On 16 January 2017 at 06:53, Michael Hunter <>
> Sent from my iPhone
> Begin forwarded message:
> > From: Michael Hunter <>
> > Date: 16 January 2017 6:49:43 am AEDT
> > To: "" <>
> > Cc:
> > Subject: Optics
> > Try googling " binoculars San Francisco."
> > Unfortunately prices in currency adjusted terms are about the same.
> > On top of that you pay State sales tax in California.
> > You might try buying them tax free in Aus before you leave but would
> need to declare them on your departure, and to be legal, on your return if
> you personally bring them back into Aus. when they might be recorded on
> computer even if you don't .
> > Good Luck. There is some good birding in the vicinity if you
> rent a car and drive, again check Google.
> > Cheers. Michael
> > Sent from my iPhone
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