It’s a question I get asked sometimes. By email just recently, which is why this post exists. To have a handy reference to point others to in future. I have to say anyone buying a camera in Mexico, especially an expensive one, must be slightly mad. The taxes on imported electronics are outrageous. Expect to pay 50% minimum over the price you’d expect to pay in the US. Paying double the price is pretty common. Certainly when comparing prices with Amazon anyway.
At least there are shops selling this years models in Mexico these days. Maybe up to 6 months after the US release, but still. The Olympus EP-1PEN, the object of my photographic desires has just landed in Palacio de Hierro. At 14,500 pesos. Compared to the 9,600 pesos you’d pay north of the border. So yes, depending on what you’re buying, and how cheap the air tickets, you can feasibly fly to a US City, buy your camera, have a weekend mini break and still spend less than if you’d forked out for the camera in Mexico.
But still, some people either can’t get to the US, are in need of a camera this very instant, or are simply wealthy enough to shrug off the expense. For those of you who fit into one of these categories, you have a few choices. Liverpool and Palacio de Hierro, the two main department stores in the city both sell decent ranges, although some of their stores are better stocked than others. And their websites do not list their entire inventory, so really you do need to do some physical legwork. They both tend to charge top dollar, but sometimes they have special offers that make them competitive, especially if you’re paying interest free in 12 installments. Which, if you’re a visitor or immigrant, you’re probably not.
Which leaves the specialist photo shops of the city. The best place to look is on Donaceles, behind the big Cathedral in the Zocalo. As per the map below. There’s quite a few shops, with a decent range and pricing that is usually as good as it gets in Mexico. They’ll charge a couple of hundred pesos extra if you’re intending to pay by credit card though.