Category Archives: ripped-off

Hikvision applied shotgun to the foot and squeezed the trigger

I guess I will not be recommending Hikvision any more to anyone.

Here is why:

So in short, Hikvision decided to only sell their cameras to authorized installers. The same installers that want $800 for $80 camera.
Well guess what, screw you Hikvision this is not pre-internet era where greedy corporation can dictate what is happening on the market.
I guarantee that this move will not curb prevalence of Chinese sourced cameras on ebay and aliexpress.
Granted this only affects UK and EU. I think this is just a beginning.

I personally will not be buying Hikvision and will definitely advising against buying Hikvision (be that from authorized rip-off artists or aliexpress).

As a company you should not screw with enthusiasts, as the same enthusiasts will be making purchasing decisions for their employers, and you will be losing many million of dollars at the end of the day. I am glad we went with Dahua.

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I decided to replace the 6300k HID bulbs on one of my cars, with more sensible 4300k OEM solution.

I came across reasonably priced Toyota Genuine Bulbs on (NZ ebay type of thing).

The particular bulbs I was after were D4R, or Toyota Genuine Part 90981-20015 (alternatively Philips 42406).

They were priced (~$80NZD) similar to Genuine Philips 42406 in USA (~$50USD), so seemed to be reasonable. The Toyota Genuine are after all Philips 42406 in TGP box.

When I tried to fit the bulbs I noticed they were extremely tight. Then I looked closely and did some googling.

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HUSQVARNA rip-off pricing in NZ

So, I came across an interesting, but not surprising thing with Husqvarna MSRP prices in NZ compared to USA.

I recently looked at Husqvarna 445 and when googled for it, I got multiple MSRP prices (one for NZ, on for AU and another for USA).

Husqvarna 445 MSRP by country:
USA: 329.95 USD

AU: 899.00 AUD (~$690 USD)

NZ: 1019.00 NZD (~$745 USD)

According to NZ customs duty calculator using US MSRP price as base the fair MSRP price in NZ should have been $599 NZD (~$440 USD).

What is with the ~$150 USD price difference between NZ and Australia? According to Husqvarna Americans are twice better than Australians and more than twice better than Kiwis. They treat Kiwis like chumps that will buy thing at whatever prices Husqvarna feels like.

Guess what, from now on I will be avoiding the Husqvarna until these greedy corporate types will pull their heads out of their asses and set fair MSRP prices. In this global economy it is very stupid not to have standardised prices across the globe.

If I really wanted to buy one, no way in hell I would be buying it in NZ, as for about $150NZ I can get it shipped from the states.

Subaru Genuine Parts in New Zealand

I have owned numerous Toyotas in past.
When switching from Toyota to Subaru I did not expect to be shocked by such price difference of genuine parts between each brand.
Both Japanese, both of good quality vehicles, similar niche…

Oil and air filters are priced very close (about ~$20NZD for oil filter and ~$40NZD for air filter), beyond that Subaru parts are rip-off.

For example, for my 1998 ST205 Celica GT4, the genuine front brake rotors were ~130NZD each. About double of aftermarket from BNT or Partmaster.
Considering brake rotors are consumables that is very reasonable price.
When I inquired about rotors for my 2008 GRB Subaru WRX STI (JDM), initially I was quoted ~1060NZ each (retail), that came down to $900NZ each. After shopping around I found the cheapest price in New Zealand for genuine front rotor would be ~$695NZ each (trade price BTW).

What is the difference between Toyota Celica GT4 and Subaru WRX STI rotors:
dimensionally they are very close:
315mm x 32mm
326mm x 30mm
So please explain to me why such a price difference?
Genuine Brembo rotors can be bought in USA for about $160USD retail (it would cost uneconomical amount of $$$ to get them shipped to NZ).

Another example is another consumable, brake pads, Toyota Genuine front pads for ST205 Celica (very similar to STI pads) cost about ~$90NZD.
Subaru, at first I was quoted ~$730NZD, then I got “trade” price of ~$620NZD (from Winger). In USA same pads cost around $200USD ($260NZ).

So given the options I got rotors from Partmaster (“Italian made”) for $90NZD each, and pads (Bendix SRT) from BNT for $280NZD a set. Bendix SRT pads were later replaced by Ferodo DS2500 all round (a bit better pad in my opinion).

When I imported my STI it had rear cargo blind missing (BTW Subaru calls it “TONNEAU COVER”, Part number 65550FG002ML).
I enquired about it locally, Winger quoted me ~$430NZD and that was “trade” price (fuck that differentiation). The retail was about $630NZD. For piece of vinyl on a stick with a spring, FFS!?!?
Same part in USA costs around $140USD ($180NZD).
In Japan I got price of 22000JPY, which works out to $235NZD (I don’t have to pay shipping due to special arrangements).
So how does $250 (retail) item becomes $630 item, by just arriving to NZ?

I don’t even dare to think about how much Subaru will charge me for wear items like shocks (Toyota price is ~$140NZD each) and bushes…

Hopefully due to Toyota’s stake in Subaru will have some culture changes, which will lead to price standardisation, making consumables cost like consumables (and not gold-pressed latinum). One would only hope.

Buying Hikvision cameras in New Zealand

This is how you buy genuine Hikvision cameras in New Zealand:
You don’t.

All I wanted to buy is a genuine Hikvision camera locally (with correct Language flag set in firmware, and basic support).
I went onto global Hikvision website and checked listed distributors for New Zealand. I also e-mailed Hikvision regarding the New Zealand distributor.

The Hikvision website lists Atlas Gentech as their distributor. This was confirmed via email as well.

From quick look on Atlas Gentech website it appears that they are deal with trade only (ie wholesale shop).
I have contacted Atlas Gentech, and they confirmed that you need to be a company to deal with them.
They provided me with couple of their customers I could enquire regarding buying Hikvision cameras.
Both of the contacts given were security companies (not a retail shop), as well as what appeared to be “one-man” operations. The security companies naturally have no interest in selling hardware to customers, they are more naturally inclined to sell services (ie. installation and monitoring). There is simply a conflict of interest there to start off.

I have contacted these companies. Only one responded.

Originally I have enquired about DS-2CD2032-I with 12 mm lens. I have been told that it is unavailable and was given two options:
DS-2CD2232-I5 for approximately $700NZ + GST (~$620USD). BTW I have bought DS-2CD2232-I5 from Aliexpress for $95USD. The most expensive DS-2CD2232-I5 on Amazon was around $240USD, while the US version (with correct language flag) is sold around $170USD.
and DS-2CD4232FWD-I a vari-zoom/vari-focal camera for approximately $1200 + GST (~$1073USD). The DS-2CD4232FWD-I can be bought for about $400 USD on Aliexpress.

The camera bought from Aliexpress physically does not differ from cameras that being sold here. The only difference is the language flag (which is fixable), and obviously support/CGA.

I also found that the Aliexpress sourced camera can be bought on trademe for $250NZ ($194USD).

I had expectations of paying maybe 2 times of the US Version, the expectations were completely shattered when Atlas Gentech confirmed that quoted $700NZD + GST was reasonable (and not bullshit RRP price). lets assume that US Version retails for $200USD (a bit higher than $170USD on Amazon). The $620USD is over 3 times of the retail price of US Version.
Remember when camera sold on Aliexpress for $95USD the Alixpress makes a cut, the seller on Alixpress makes a cut and the Hikvision still makes a profit. Looking at the cost of Ambarella SoC (wholesale around $20USD), the cost of making the camera is around $40-50USD. Selling camera for $620 USD is pure greed.

Hikvision is blatantly ripping off New Zealanders, because they can. Shame on you Hikvision for doing so, and shame on you for artificial differentiation of the markets by setting the language bit. Geo-locking in Internet world is stupid and futile.

Shame on you Hikvision for violating GPL as well, since when I bought the cameras there was no mention of the licence, and the camera definitely uses GPL licensed software. The GPL code requests were fallen to silent ears. This company is behaving like a greedy parasite, taking from community and not giving anything back.

plastidip – awesome, but not in NZ

Rubber Dip Spray Gallon

Plastidip! What an awesome idea, change your car colour without the actual damage and cost of actual paint job. It is completely reversible, and creates a protective rubber like layer.

Made by Performix, here is some official info

Heavily promoted on social media by
Here is their youtube chanel.
They explain really well what is plastidip:

They sell nice kits, like this one:
Professional Large Car Extra Coverage Kit 4 Gallons
For very affordable, $384 USD (~$500 NZD) it has everything that is need to do a reversible colour change.
What an awesome product.

Not in New Zealand. will not ship to New Zealand due to it being dangerous goods. That is understandable.
I don’t really need a kit, all I need is about 10L or so of actual dip, so I enquired with Performix regarding who can sell me 3.78L cans of the stuff, to which I was sent to their local distributor Griffiths.
When called Griffiths regarding the price and availability I was sent to their resellers as they do not deal with public (very common in NZ, goods pass resellers two or three times, while each takes a cut before they get to public).
Their reseller could not give me price immediately, but upon calling back they came up with ridiculous ~$550+GST for 1 can of 3.78L plastidip.
Compared to $59.74US (~$78NZD)
With that price, it would cost me about $2500-3000 to dip my car. A quality respray job is about $5000, and good old wrapping in vinyl is about $2000-$3000 (without me doing anything). It makes no sense!

I bet that still makes a lot of money by selling these cans at $60USD.

Since then I found another retailer that sells these cans for slightly more affordable ~$250. So now it would cost me about $1000 to “dip my car”. Still that price is over 250% mark-up.

As usual kiwis being ripped off by fellow kiwis.
How dare these greedy business owners to complain that online shopping is killing their business if their business is 100% based on ripping people off?
This is why people go to length to pay retail prices in USA, get things shipped for exuberant shipping costs via Youshop, pay Duty+GST for importing goods and deal of limited support due to shipping costs.
It is not like the sellers in USA do not make money of the sales to kiwis…

Most common excuse I hear from such greedy businesses is it is expensive because of Consumer Guarantee Act, but hold on a second, what about Amazon, and how easy it is to return the items, they still didn’t run out of business, did they?

What I think is actually happens is there is an old breed of greedy and lazy types of “business” people who think that by marking up 1000% on the price will guarantee easy wealth. Suckers will pay anything right? Wrong. This is slowly dying off, thanks to age of Internet.