Does it cost more to buy a GoPro in Thailand or North America?
In this article, I’ll talk about my process of buying a brand-new GoPro Hero 4 Black in Thailand. I’m going to compare the prices online from different retailers in North America vs the prices here in Thailand and show you which of the two places have the best price.
I’ll show the prices in multiple stores here in Hua Hin, Thailand at the local shopping mall as well as looking up online with a Thai eCommerce website. I can’t go to the physical stores in North America but I can check all the prices online to do the comparisons with online retailers like Amazon and BestBuy.
Lastly, I’ll show you my process on how I go about shopping and buying my electronics and other computer parts. It’s very straight forward. I look around online and in physical stores for the lowest price.
I didn’t hand pick this GoPro 4 Black to compare, believe me I wish I didn’t have to make this article.
Why I need to buy a new GoPro?
I had to buy a new GoPro since my last one will not turn on and the warranty has already expired.
Yesterday, I went to a location to start filming with my GoPro 4 and I tried to turn on the GoPro by holding the start button, but it would not turn on. I tried inserting different batteries and it still would not turn on.
I tried holding different buttons using different combinations and still no good. I had to return to my apartment, look up some troubleshooting online trying to fix it and nothing worked.
It’s very sad because when I first brought this, it had just come out and I paid about $600 for it, plus I spent another $500-$600 on the stabilizer and other accessories. It’s not cheap.
To find a replacement, I’ll be looking and comparing the prices for the GoPro 4 Black. I know the newer model just came out, but if I buy the new model, I will have to spend more money since it is new. Plus, I have to buy new batteries because the batteries from the GoPro 4 vs the new model are not the same. I would also like to keep using the stabilizer because it will not fit the new GoPro model.
If I were still in North America, I wouldn’t buy a brand new GoPro 4. Since the new model just came out, I suspect many people are trying to sell their GoPro 4 so they can buy the new model. If I were still in North America, I would buy this second hand from places like Craigslist and Kijiji.
I find it’s harder to buy second hand electronic items in Thailand. I’m not saying it’s impossible but harder than when I was doing back home.
I always thought a GoPro could be dropped a few times and it could take some damage since, after all, they do call it an action camera. People and professionals mount these cameras on bikes, surfboards, cars and airplanes.
After my GoPro stopped working, I now know it is a very delicate device still prone to drops. I have dropped this GoPro more than once and the last time I dropped it, things didn’t go so well. So, if you have a GoPro, don’t do what I did. A GoPro is like any other device. I will be more careful this time.
Prices were recorded on November 20, 2016
(1 week before US Black Friday)
Honestly, I wanted to buy a real camera like the Sony AX53 instead of the GoPro 4. Since the GoPro 4 is still about $400 USD, I might just add another $500 to get a real video camera with 4K, built-in stabilization and great zoom like the Sony AX53.
This is another reason why I don’t like to shop for electronics in Thailand. I went to the actual Sony store in Thailand and they do not carry the Sony AX53 because that was the 2015 model. They are out of stock. They only have the 2016 model, which is AX55, but that would cost almost double the previous model, or triple the cost of a GoPro 4 and way over my budget. My overall shopping experience in Thailand for electronics is very poor. That’s why I avoid doing it.
No, BestBuy and Amazon do not always ship products internationally. Plus, I heard some horror stories when people buy oversea and import them inside Thailand. I don’t want to take that risk and I don’t want to wait too long for international shipping into Thailand. It can take many weeks or months.
So, there you have it. Even if you add 10-13% tax for the GoPro in North America, it will still cost more in Thailand if you go to the physical stores. This is why I brought all of my electronics like laptops, cameras, camera accessories, external hard drives at home before I came to Thailand.
I’m not saying you won’t find a deal for electronics in Thailand, but don’t assume everything will be 10% or 30% off or more just because you’re in Thailand.
The other reasons why I don’t like to buy electronics in Thailand, one is because of the return policy. I talked about this before but in case you missed it, the return policy in Thailand for electronics is not like other western countries. If you buy something and you don’t like it, you can’t expect a full refund when buying inside Thailand. At least this is my experience, unless there is a defect with the product you purchased and you are still under warranty. Then they will fix it or get you a new one.
Better than GoPro?
If I hadn’t already invested in the GoPro, the stabilizer, extra batteries and other accessories. I would buy the Sony Action camera. It has a built-in stabilizer, and it can record in 4k. The GoPro 4 has no stabilizer, the GoPro 5 has a built-in stabilizer but it is digital not mechanical, and you cannot use the stabilizer in 4k.
I wouldn’t want to buy a GoPro for $500 and then spend another $300 for a stabilizer to record in 4K. I can just pay $500 for the Sony action cam, which already has a built-in stabilizer and the video/audio quality is just as good as the GoPro if not better.
Some people might say it’s a Sony camera, and just because it’s Sony they don’t like it. Which makes no sense to me. I think Sony has been in the camera business longer than GoPro.
I think if the GoPro doesn’t come out with a built-in stabilizer soon, Sony will eventual take the lead in the market share in the action camera market.
Why I hate shopping for electronics in Thailand
No Amazon – you can order from amazon in Thailand but I heard horror stories when it is being imported into Thailand. Therefore, I avoid doing this.
No refund or return policy – unlike BestBuy you can return and get 100% refund within 30 days. In Thailand, I was told by all vendors, they do not do refunds or returns. Unless there is a defect with the products and it is still under the vendor warranty (usually 7 days) then the vendor will try to have it fix or replace the product. If it’s over 7 days or over the vendor’s warranty period. You will have to contact the manufacturer for warranty. Online with website like Lazada, you get a little better warranty and return policy.
I had someone asking me if he should buy his equipment back home or in Thailand. I would definitely buy all of my electronic equipment back in Canada or the US before heading here because of the above reasons.