Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Red Dot reopens for mail-order business on Monday

Red Dot reopens for mail-order business on Monday


It’s good to report that some sectors of the economy are beginning to come out of Covid hibernation. And I’m delighted to report that London’s Red Dot Cameras will restart trading on Monday, May 18. For the time being, however, this is restricted to mail-order but it is a good start on the road back to normality.

Having spoken to several dealers who have continued mail-order deliveries during the lockdown, I’ve discovered that there has been a steady demand for second-hand equipment, often taking precedence over new stuff. One of the problems is that no used stock has been coming in, but a lot going out, so the cupboard is getting bare.

The shutters remain down for now, but from Monday you can browse the website and place mail orders with Red Dot Cameras

Red Dot’s large inventory of Leica cameras, lenses and equipment has been in hibernation since mid-March, so the display cabinets remain full of stock. Demand for the used gear is sure to be high but new Leica stock is now starting to come through.

You can find full details of stock on the shop’s website here. Despatch could take a little longer than the one-day turnaround usually achieved, so some patience is needed.

We will keep you updated on developments, including when the shop itself will reopen for business.


  1. A good sign. It’s also one of the best browsing sites around. Clearly laid out, good information, and excellent phone service for discussing potential purchases.

  2. I spotted this on their website earlier – I can feel my credit card burning in the background.

    I can see a purchase coming soon if things pan out well. 🙂

  3. They do seem more interested in UK buyers than international ones — which helps me keep the credit card in the wallet!

    I always expect to bear the extra costs associated with international postage but I’m not up for the fees and added complications attached to having to make an international bank transfer to pay rather than use the card or PayPal — options not available to me at Red Dot.

    I guess international sales just aren’t part of their target market.

    • Steve,

      I will make Ivor Cooper aware of your comment. I always had the impression that international sales were important, although obviously things are easier within the EU.

    • Steve, I had a word today with Ivor and Elaine Cooper and they explained their policy on payment methods:

      Regarding credit card and Paypal transactions, these come with certain caveats.

      UK store sales.   

      If a customer comes into the store and wants to pay via credit card, they have to input pin number into our terminal, therefore the liability lies with the credit/debit card company.

      UK Mail Order transactions

      All UK mail-order transactions are processed via our website but we still have to make sure the goods are being dispatched to the registered card address.

      International orders

      The credit/debit card companies will not give us a guarantee on these transactions, even if they have given us an authorisation number. We have even had a bad experience when an item was dispatched overseas and, three months later, the credit card company took back the funds (approximately £1500). We work on fairly low margins and don’t feel we can take this additional risk.

      From time to time we get calls from other shops and Leica themselves telling us models and serial numbers of items that have been purchased fraudulently in this way. While we understand that the vast majority of buyers are genuine, it unfortunate that the small number of fraudsters spoil things for the majority.

      Regarding Paypal, this is also a system geared up to the consumer and they are very quick to take back funds. While we understand that using a card or Paypal as is much easier and safer for the buyer, the risk to us is just too high.

      While we love having overseas customers, sometimes the risks involved with keeping them all happy are just too great.

      • Hi Mike, thanks for following up, and for printing the very comprehensive response from Red Dot.

        I completely understand the reasons given; trust is such an issue when it comes to online sales, particularly international ones.

        As a consumer I am always wary of buying from overseas as there are so many things that can ‘go wrong’ and having those consumer protections are a boon.

        I would trust Red Dot simply because they are associated with this site but there are some stores where I keep my fingers crossed until the moment I unwrap the parcel.

        • Also, buying second hand gear, particularly very old lenses, from abroad can be fraught with difficulty. I know that Red Dot will only sell stuff they have confidence in.

  4. How about bank transfer and release/postage only when funds have been cleared on to Red Dot’s account? Alternatively – not I know possible for all – use a UK friend (preferably in London !) to pay and collect and settle between you and the friend in the order you choose. That’s how I’ve done it on two occasions and it was still possible to have a valuable conversation with Red Dot before going ahead.


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