September 14, 2011 (updated, September 15): Online retailer Kogan is now selling Canon and Nikon DSLRs through its website at dramatic discounts against local RRP.
The initial range of heavily discounted products will also include Samsung tablets and Apple iPads.
Camera prices are dramatically down on competing retail and online street prices. A Nikon D3100 with 18 – 55 VR kit lens, for instance, is advertised at $949 at Harvey Norman, $777 at JB HiFi, $729 in Digital Camera Warehouse – and $489 from Kogan. The current B&H online price is US$596 (A$580).
A Canon EOS 1100D kit (18 – 55mm IS lens) which is $749 in Harveys, $698 in JBs and $685 in Digital Camera Warehouse, is $479 from Kogan.
Kogan’s prices are also under those of leading parallel-importing online camera sellers such as Cameras Direct.
The new range will come with a 12-month warranty, which is extendable up to 5 years. From trawling though the warranty fine print on the Kogan website, it appears that cameras are shipped to a Kogan business in Hong Kong for warranty service – by-passing local camera repair businesses.
A Canon Australia spokesperson stated that, ‘Canon Australia has no direct relationship with Mr Kogan or any of his affiliated companies.’
Kogan’s PR consultant provided Photo Counter with an enigmatic three-sentence statement from the online renegade in response to questions about the source of its Nikon and Canon cameras:
‘To secure the prices we are able to sell these products for, we have cut out more middle men and gone higher up the supply chain. Beyond this, we don’t discuss specific details of our supply chain. This is confidential information.’
In the Kogan press release, founder and CEO Ruslan Kogan said the expansion was a natural extension of the existing business, ‘which will greatly benefit all Australian shoppers’.
‘We have learned from our friends at Dell, who decided to add to their existing core range of computers with a whole host of complementary products, including Kogan TVs,’ said Ruslan Kogan.
‘Just as Dell has become synonymous with best value in computers, Kogan is becoming synonymous with best value in other technology products.
‘We are experts at finding new innovative ways of delivering the latest technology at market leading prices. Whether it is manufacturing our own Kogan brand of products, or now sourcing the world’s biggest brands, we can cut out all the middlemen to guarantee the best prices and service,’ said Mr Kogan.
Ruslan Kogan has been a bugbear to established ‘discount’ retailers such as Harvey Norman and JB HiFi by severely undercutting the pricing of flat screen TVs and other CE products, and making strident public criticism of their pricing and business models.
Just weeks ago Kogan offered free TVs to anyone who could find an equivalent product advertised for cheaper at JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman. Prior to that he exposed JB’s pricing on HDMI cables as extravagantly inflated.
COMMENT: Leading CE website Connected Australia appears to have chosen not to run this story, even though it represents a major discontinuity in the CE retailing business and is clearly the story of the week. Current has done so, but seemingly with some trepidation and a lot of editorialising to indicate whose side it is on. But if anybody needs to know what’s going on in Australian CE and photo retailing, surely it’s Australian CE and photo retailers! Seems like the messengers are fearful of being shot. I sincerely hope that this fear is unwarranted. The bad man is not going to go away no matter how hard we squeeze our eyes shut.