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Author Topic: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?  (Read 15958 times)

haring

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Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« on: September 07, 2014, 09:51:44 am »

Have you ever bought a grey market Nikon camera or lens? Currently all my Nikon stuff is USA not grey market. The price difference is close to $1000 between a grey market Nikon D4s and its USA Nikon counterpart. It is just too tempting....

Did you have any problems servicing your grey market camera or lens? Did you find a third party service center after Nikon had refused fixing it? Are those third party service centers reliable? Are they more expensive than the Nikon USA Service center?

I just want to find out whether it is worth it to save $1000 now and service a grey market product in the USA.

Thanks so much!

JohnBrew

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2014, 10:49:49 am »

You can always buy it from B&H and have 30 days to try it out.
I did buy one grey market 45 PC-E from them as the US version was not available at the time. Unfortunately the lens had issues and I returned it.
According to Nikon there is no difference in their products sold in any country.
Mine is of course only one experience.

Some Guy

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2014, 01:03:14 pm »

Personally, I wouldn't take the risk of paying premium price for a camera or lens and not being able to get it fixed - warranty or not.  Then you have the issue of resale value being nil if it breaks and cannot be fixed.  Independent shops can't buy Nikon parts now, and their authorized ones do not always have all the equipment (e.g.  A VR "shaker table.") to fix some models so they have to forward them to Nikon who will promptly turn down a grey.

Now if it is something that is cheap and disposable like a flash or a P&S Coolpix, maybe not an issue as they can be trash-canned easily.  Moving up to some $18K lens I wouldn't own a grey if it cannot be fixed if dropped, etc.

We had a local camera store that sent an old Nikon (grey market) in and they actually pulled a key component out of it and refused service.  Guy sold it and second buyer sent it in.  Came back unfixed from Nikon again.  He found an independent shop who tried to order the part, back when Nikon sold parts to the independents, and Nikon refused shipping them the parts from the serial number.  Thing couldn't get fixed anywhere as they "black-balled" that camera body.  Store manager gave the guy $10 for it and kept it on the shelf as a selling point on the grays verses buying from them.

SG
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Some Guy

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2014, 02:17:41 pm »

This pretty much covers what Nikon USA does with regards to service and greys:  https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/331/~/what-is-gray-market%3F

They can decline service easily if it is grey market.  Additionally, they have declined even USA warranty claims too if they see a small scratch leading to "Customer abuse."

Of course you could try and send it to the Nikon importer who might charge you to forward offshore too.  I bought some stuff from Ireland weighing 3 pounds and it was $200 for the damn shipping alone.  If it were a camera that I needed to send to Germany to fix and get back, that pretty much would eat the grey market savings alone.

SG
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 02:21:15 pm by Some Guy »
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langier

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2014, 11:29:34 pm »

10 years ago when my truck and contents were stolen, I needed to replace my 70-200 Var in a hurry and all I could get at B&H was a gray gray market lens. Worked great for two years.

I was on a shoot and the focus locked up at 6 feet in the middle of a shoot and I was nearly SOL. As I chased along, driving and shooting, I did my best to get it going at least on MF and was successful in keeping my shoot on track.

That was the first of three repairs out of my pocket with that lensI sold it and got the VR II USA this time, and I've had no issues with 6 months to go on warrantee. 

Perhaps I'd buy a gray body from a dealer with an in-house warrantee in the future but probably not another high-end lens at this time.
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Larry Angier
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melchiorpavone

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 10:43:14 am »

Have you ever bought a grey market Nikon camera or lens? Currently all my Nikon stuff is USA not grey market. The price difference is close to $1000 between a grey market Nikon D4s and its USA Nikon counterpart. It is just too tempting....

Did you have any problems servicing your grey market camera or lens? Did you find a third party service center after Nikon had refused fixing it? Are those third party service centers reliable? Are they more expensive than the Nikon USA Service center?

I just want to find out whether it is worth it to save $1000 now and service a grey market product in the USA.

Thanks so much!

No.
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haring

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 09:02:11 pm »

Personally, I wouldn't take the risk of paying premium price for a camera or lens and not being able to get it fixed - warranty or not.  Then you have the issue of resale value being nil if it breaks and cannot be fixed.  Independent shops can't buy Nikon parts now, and their authorized ones do not always have all the equipment (e.g.  A VR "shaker table.") to fix some models so they have to forward them to Nikon who will promptly turn down a grey.

Now if it is something that is cheap and disposable like a flash or a P&S Coolpix, maybe not an issue as they can be trash-canned easily.  Moving up to some $18K lens I wouldn't own a grey if it cannot be fixed if dropped, etc.

We had a local camera store that sent an old Nikon (grey market) in and they actually pulled a key component out of it and refused service.  Guy sold it and second buyer sent it in.  Came back unfixed from Nikon again.  He found an independent shop who tried to order the part, back when Nikon sold parts to the independents, and Nikon refused shipping them the parts from the serial number.  Thing couldn't get fixed anywhere as they "black-balled" that camera body.  Store manager gave the guy $10 for it and kept it on the shelf as a selling point on the grays verses buying from them.

SG



This summarizes everything I guess. Thanks so much!!!!

dwswager

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 01:40:26 pm »

Have you ever bought a grey market Nikon camera or lens? Currently all my Nikon stuff is USA not grey market. The price difference is close to $1000 between a grey market Nikon D4s and its USA Nikon counterpart. It is just too tempting....

Did you have any problems servicing your grey market camera or lens? Did you find a third party service center after Nikon had refused fixing it? Are those third party service centers reliable? Are they more expensive than the Nikon USA Service center?

I just want to find out whether it is worth it to save $1000 now and service a grey market product in the USA.

Thanks so much!

Maybe!  I probably wouldn't buy a camera body Grey Market, but a lens...  It really depends what type of issues you might have and if an independent shop can repair it.  I would buy it from B&H or someone like that I would count on to stand behind the sale.  Nikon USA is a beast that really needs to die! 

My 18-200mm VRII and 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII both were Nikon Refurbished products.  I regularly check their refurbished page.  They only have 90 day warranties, but if you work them out, you'll find a problem in 90days and you are actually less likely to find a problem with the consumer bodies as a tech has to calibrate and verify functionality to sell as factory refurbished where off the line it could be out of spec and non functional and go right into the box!  Notice the D800 on the refurb page now for $2399.  When the D810 hits that page, I might actually pop for one.  They have a D4s for $5499.
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Misirlou

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2014, 02:08:30 pm »

I lived in Tokyo for three years, just as consumer level digital cameras were starting to be sold. I bought my first Olympus (I think about the equivalent of $600 for 1.2 Mp) from a dealer in Akihabara who went to great effort to ensure the one he gave me would be acceptable to Olympus USA for repairs. I really appreciated that he was looking out for me that way, even if that thing did become obsolete long before it wore out.

In the past, I might have thought about going gray market because I've never had anything fail while it was still worth fixing. But this year, I had to have both a lens and a camera body serviced by Canon (dropped the camera). First times I've ever sent that kind of gear out to the manufacturer for work. Based on that experience, I won't even consider gray market in the future.
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 06:22:36 am »

I'm in the UK but I assume that being a 'grey' market item would only affect the warranty side of things.  Surely if the camera or lens breaks or develops a fault then one could still pay to have it repaired or serviced even if grey.

Am I wrong in this assumption?  I should add that I have only ever bought through normal importer routes anyway.

Jim
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Misirlou

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 10:32:44 am »

I'm in the UK but I assume that being a 'grey' market item would only affect the warranty side of things.  Surely if the camera or lens breaks or develops a fault then one could still pay to have it repaired or serviced even if grey.

Am I wrong in this assumption?  I should add that I have only ever bought through normal importer routes anyway.

Jim

No, some manufacturers will refuse to service the items even if you agree to pay. Your only choice in that case is to send the unit to be serviced in whatever country it was intended for sale. Really depends on the company.
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JayWPage

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 12:19:45 pm »

I have bought camera equipment, including a camera body, from B&H along with their extended warranty. The extended warranty was far better in terns of coverage and was for 3 years vs 1 year for the manufacture's warranty. The total cost of the package (camera & warranty) was still much cheaper than buying the camera in Canada.
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SeanBK

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 02:38:08 pm »

I use a Gray mkt D800e, bought overseas. Works like a charm, just like my other US Nikon Digitals. Bitched @ Nikon @ repairs if needed, they said & I quote, "We have to honor our agreement w/US trade, so they make their profits. Our company line is 'cause we give our products to school, charities, ... so we've to cover our costs (consumer has to pay)." There are lotsa local dealers who can fix it if needed. :o
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2014, 02:16:05 pm »

This may be a stupid question but I'll ask anyway. How do they decide what is grey market and what isn't?  What if you live overseas for a few years, buy equipment there, then move back to USA (or Canada), bring the equipment with you and it needs service. Can you get that equipment repaired by companies that would normally not service grey market gear?

What if you're just on vacation, your stuff breaks, and you buy a replacement overseas that you then bring back with you. Is that stuff grey market?
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Misirlou

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2014, 07:01:57 pm »

This may be a stupid question but I'll ask anyway. How do they decide what is grey market and what isn't?  What if you live overseas for a few years, buy equipment there, then move back to USA (or Canada), bring the equipment with you and it needs service. Can you get that equipment repaired by companies that would normally not service grey market gear?

What if you're just on vacation, your stuff breaks, and you buy a replacement overseas that you then bring back with you. Is that stuff grey market?

Some companies look at serial number ranges and so forth. Depends on the company and where you happen to be. In Japan, it is extremely important to be in physical possession of the manufacturer's official warranty paperwork, for example.

I have no experience with Nikon, but Canon used the serial numbers from my lens and my camera body to determine if they would accept them for repair here in the US.
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maddogmurph

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2014, 04:15:24 pm »

Have you ever bought a grey market Nikon camera or lens? Currently all my Nikon stuff is USA not grey market. The price difference is close to $1000 between a grey market Nikon D4s and its USA Nikon counterpart. It is just too tempting....

I've heard horror stories, no first hand.  I've also had a personal horror story in trying to purchase grey... the product is still on order 6 months later for only $400 below market price... It likely will never be delivered.  They just want to call you and scare you into purchasing a USA model, and if you don't they never deliver.  Nice bait and switch tactic for a company not even registered with the BBB
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joneil

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Re: Would you buy a grey market Nikon camera or lens?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2014, 09:56:00 am »

 Would not touch the stuff.  If you need to save money, look at refurbished gear directly form Nikon.  Bought my used D700 directly from Nikon Canada that way, the camera came with a one year warranty and has never failed me.

  On the flip side of things however, i did buy, years ago, a D40 while on vaction in Florida because my other camera was either lost or stolen.  Anyhow it was gone and I was just starting my trip, and wanted something.  A couple years later, I forget exactly who now, but I got some "attitude" about buying a USA camera and bringing it back into Canada.   I laid right back into the guy and said my camera was stolen, needed another one, and "WTF" did you guys at Nikon expect me to do - go the who trip with no camera?  Maybe I would of been better off buying a new Canon instead? Attitude changed considerably once I explained myself.   :)

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