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What is greymarked??
I know it is a very dumb question but as a non-English speaker, newbie etc..

Thanks..

Comments (23)

...and not from the official distributors within a region. Might be cheaper that way, but it may give you difficulties getting warranty repair...

Comment #1

Leejay Wu wrote:.

...and not from the official distributors within a region. Might becheaper that way, but it may give you difficulties getting warrantyrepair..

Thanks for answering my dumb question..

Possible to find official distributors on Nikon page for every country? Other ways of making sure to buy from an official distributor?.

Don't want warranty issues...

Comment #2

"Grey market" is a pejorative term invented by multi-national corporations to make it sound bad and somehow connected with "black market". The correct term, as used in the TRIPS agreement and elsewhere, is parallel importation. For all or nearly all camera manufacturers, all the examples of a particular product are made in a single factory and from there shipped to all the different countries. But the manufacturers do not charge the same price in all those countries, and the differences can be big enough that a retailer can buy stock in (say) Signapore, ship it to (say) USA and still sell it at a profit but cheaper than the offiical US price. Prices in Europe, for example, are twice those in the USA. If the manufacturers did not price gouge in some markets there would be no parallel importation..

Parallel importation is 100% legal under the TRIPS agreement and the older international conventions (Paris and Berne), but TRIPS allows each country to decide how to restrict it if they want to. In the USA parallel importation has always been legal, but in the EU it is not, except within the EU. Hence, eg, B&H has lenses etc marked as "USA" or "imported", with the latter cheaper, but European sites do not..

Manufacturers, however, do not like this, because profits are higher where prices are higher (doh). The serial numbers of cameras etc are different according to the market they are destined for (and, often, model numbers are different as well), so they can tell where you bought your camera or lens. In order to stop parallel importation they will (or threaten to) refuse to honour the warranty issued by (say) Nikon-Singapore in (say) USA. They can get away with this because, technically, Nikon USA is a different corporate entity to Nikon Singapore..

This stinks. The corporations are happy to globalise the labour market by moving production to low-wage countries, so forcing workers to compete with those in other countries, but they resist attempts to globalise the sales market and compete even with their own subsidiaries! Everyone should subvert this process by buying parallel imported product at every opportunity...

Comment #3

LesVery clear post..

Question?.

I was told by Nikon that one reason they can not sell some of their products in the USA, that are sold in other countries, might have to do with that particular model not having FCC approval for the USA market. Yet the product may be identical to the other counties model, just not submitted for FCC approval..

I am not sure I really understand what they are saying, or maybe I got it wrong. Do you know if this is true and how it effects the importing of these models?I am somewhat confused..

Ed..

Comment #4

Re>I am somewhat confused.<.

Not surprising. International trade is very complicated, and international rules and regulations are hard to understand, even by pros at such organizations as the World Trade Organization..

Official importers, which may or may not be subsidiaries of manufacturers (Nikon in Canada and the US now, but not in the early days of Nikon in both countries; not Sekonic in Canada, probably Sigma inthe USA but not in Canada,...) operate businesses that provide brochures, market research, oversee advertising, send sales reps to retailers, conduct seminars at trade and consumer shows, and run warranty departments, plus more..

Grey market distributors do not do these things..

So some whiner can complain - perhaps in a deliberately misleading fashion or perhaps misleading because of lack of knowledge about price differences, but generally, value is provided for the extra fee. Whether you think the vbalue matches the fee, or even exceeds it, is up to the customer..

Relateed is the whole issue of direct importing from a foreign retailer; on Monday I picked up a Sekonic meter, a Canon cord, and two umbrellas from the post office in Canada, imported from New York by me, for a saving of more than$100..

BAK..

Comment #5

Gray market items are legal imports but not from the authorized distributor..

Example: Canon USA, Inc. is the authorized distributor of US-model Canon cameras..

But many firms also buy non-US models of Canon from non-US companies and legally import them for sale in the U.S.A. as long as they are not falsely described as US-versions..

Gray-market imports are often not covered by warranties offered by the U.S. distributer so service for the cameras may require shipping back overseas..

The name "gray market" is a a play on the phrase "black market", where black market goods are often sold through illegal means (e.g. in violation of government bans), indicating that gray market is more acceptable than "black market"...

Comment #6

Ed,.

I don't know about Nikon, but yes radio frequency products are different in different countries. The company for whom I work imports products from Germany. The RF products which they use in Europe are on a frequency that is not available for civilian use in the US. Therefore we make a special unit for the US and have to have FCC approval. It is a costly process, so I can see where camera manufacturers may not make all products for the US..

DavidDallas, TX.

Ed Grenzig wrote:.

LesVery clear post..

Question?I was told by Nikon that one reason they can not sell some of theirproducts in the USA, that are sold in other countries, might have todo with that particular model not having FCC approval for the USAmarket. Yet the product may be identical to the other counties model,just not submitted for FCC approval..

I am not sure I really understand what they are saying, or maybe Igot it wrong. Do you know if this is true and how it effects theimporting of these models?I am somewhat confused..

Ed..

Comment #7

The following makes the rules about FCC approval perfectly clear..

"Pursuant to Subpart K of Part 2, and specifically Section 2.1202(a) of the Commission's rules, cameras are excluded from the importation rules. Pursuant to our marketing rules under Section 2.803, cameras must comply with our Verification standards and should therefore be labeled prior to marketing. However, if the camera is marketed to be connected to a personal computer with a wire, it is a Class B computer peripheral and should instead be subject to Declaration of Conformity (DoC) Sections 2.1071-2.1077 of our Rules, or Certification Section 2.1033, et al.".

Http://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/faq_form_740.html.

Differential pricing is not explained by marketing costs, tax differences, warranty costs etc. Big Camera Corporation's US subsidiary does all the things it's European subsidiary does, but it's European prices are twice it's US prices...

Comment #8

Clearly people have a very low knowledge of how international distribution works thus The amount of misinformation here..

Any manufacturer that sells it's goods(any product, but cameras is a very good example) worldwide face a very difficult problem:.

Each country has his own culture, import laws and it's very particular distribution structure.

Advertising is different, competition is different, warranty issues are different, consumer habits are different..

So how to solve the problem. The usual solution is to get a distribution contract with a local distributor who has all this knowledge an has.

The working capital and resources to develop the marketing strategy and "fight" in that market for the manufacturer..

Since the local distributor is going to invest in the advertising, promotional material, sales structure (on a wholesale basis not retail) it usually demands exclusive rights..

This explains why you have a different company in each country distributing Nikon products for example..

Very rarely the distributor is a subsidiary due to the big investment required to do this..

The distributor is responsible for all marketing related issues in that country an also all logistics of importing, warehousing and the repair assistance in the country..

Obviously it makes a profit on doing that and it does not want competition importing the same products. The manufacturer is not going to sell (export) to any other company in the.

Same country due to the exclusivity rights of the distributor, but this does not prevent somebody from buying directly from another country store.This is the gray market..

Sometimes I (if I were a store buying wholesale) can buy a camera cheaper in Panama (Balboa's free market) or Hong Kong (at wholesale distributors) than I could buy at Nikon USA distributor.'This creates the gray market..

Sometimes is cheaper to do this because I am smuggling the camera (very common in markets where the inport duty is very high or the camera is not available at all)..

Sometimes the distributor wants a higher profit margin than the one in another country (Mamiya's were more expensive in USA than many countries due tho this margin).

In some countries there is some regulation that requires the importer to do some changes, for example, the user's manual has to be in the local language or the box must have the name of the distributor printed..

In another words, the gray market product is any product which was not sold by the official distributor of the country..

Warranty depends entirely on local distributor, this explains why he is unwilling to honor a warranty on a product that he did not import...

Comment #9

No. Nikon, at least, uses agents only in small markets, and has subsidiaries in all the big ones (USA, Europe etc). Agents are squeezed out in favour of subsidiaries whenever the market is big enough, as happened recently with Nikon in Singapore...

Comment #10

When I worked for a major photographic manufacturer, we used to get a lot of complaints from people who bought grey market products. We told them you didn't buy it from us, the official distributor for our product so you really never paid for the warranty..

For example, Nikon sells a digital camera to an authorized dealer, ABC Store. ABC Store sells that camera to you. This is a legitimate sale. But some people want to save major $$$ and buy from some dealers who sells "Imported" or "Grey" products. To take advantage of better monetary rates, the product is purchased from another country at a cost less than what the authorized USA dealer can buy it for. BUT.be aware, buying grey means you might not get certain accessories that are packed with a USA model..

I remember Canon had a camera called the Canon A2. In Europe it was called the EOS 5. This camera was the exact same camera as the A2 BUT it had an automatic pop up flash. The A2 you had to press a button to pop the flash head up. Canon saw a lot of water damaged EOS 5 where the top cover had to be replaced and guess what? That top cover part for the EOS 5 was not availabe in the United States because of patent issues (the auto pop up flash feature was not on the A2 because Canon would have had to pay big bucks to the patent holder of that feature!)..

When I bought my EF400/2.8L IS lens it sold here in the states for about $6,800. Grey market, it sold for $6,500. I bought the USA warranteed version. Is $300 worth it? to me, NO!..

Comment #11

More dys-information from Big Business folk..

Patent protection is (at least as far as the USA and Europe are concerned) international. Whatever reason Canon had to remove the pop-up flash from the USA model it was not that the feature was patent protected in the USA but not in Europe..

And the warranty fairy-tale goes on! Warranties are cheap - that is why they offer them so readily. When you use your Amex card they double the warranty. Does anyone think that costs Amex money?.

The perspective from the USA is misleading, because in the USA parallel to official price differences are small - about 10%. The difference between USA prices and European prices is much bigger: prices in Europe are twice as high as official (NOT parallel import) prices in the USA. When I buy a camera in USA, from Nikon Corporation, the owner of Nikon USA, via an authorised distributor, "a legitimate sale" not parallel import, I have paid Nikon Corporation, who made the camera and owns the distributor, for a warranty. But when I move to Europe to work, Nikon Germany (eg), also owned by Nikon Corporation from whom I bought the warranty, will refuse to honour it. Explain that!..

Comment #12

The only DUMB question is one that you do not ASK. Take this from a teacher. Any major camera manufacturers make cameras. They sell to various people. Not necessary camera people. These people buy the cameras usually at a much lower price.

When you purchase a camera from a reputable dealer the manufacturer stands by his product since he sold it to the reputable dealer. You have a warrantie. Gray market no warrantie and you have to pay to get it fixed no matter when you bought it. So buyer be ware...

Comment #13

Ed Grenzig wrote:.

LesVery clear post..

Question?I was told by Nikon that one reason they can not sell some of theirproducts in the USA, that are sold in other countries, might have todo with that particular model not having FCC approval for the USAmarket. Yet the product may be identical to the other counties model,just not submitted for FCC approval..

That's only true of radio-frequency devices, such as the WT series of 802.11 (WiFi) transceivers that have slightly different firmware for various markets, or any radio-frequency triggers. In that case, you're generally not allowed to import a non-compliant part..

One of my biggest grumbles is that Canon and it's country affiliates honor it's warranty globally, no matter what, it's Nikon USA who's being protectionist and asinine in it's refusal to work on grey market gear under any circumstances..

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #14

When you buy a Nikon grey market camera, lens, flash, etc in the USA, will it have warranty papers from the original country it was intended for, and can you still send it to that country for warranty work?..

Comment #15

In most cases there is absolutely no difference between the cameras imported through the "official agent" and "other importers" (grey market). They are produced on the same assembly lines from the same parts by the same workers with the same quality and specifications..

The only difference is.... "who will honor the warranty?".

The "Official Importers" are responsible for warranty work on the cameras they sell, and have invested money in maintaining their own "service centers." This adds cost for them, so they must charge more for their cameras. So naturally they don't want to service cameras they didn't sell..

The grey market imports STILL have an international warranty, but these are usually only honored by service centers abroad. Which usually means you must ship your camera back to Asia for service..

MartyPanasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2Olympus C4000, C7000.

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Comment #16

Patents are applied for on a country by country basis, with fees associated with each country application. It is common to see patents only in selected countries due to these expenses..

Our company does not manufacture consumer products, however our sales and support models may have some relevance. The support organization has a separate P&L, and profitability is one of the parameters by which they are measured..

Our product pricing includes a component that is credited to sales, and a component that is credited to support to fund their warranty operations. Grey market products deprive our support group from necessary warranty funding..

Best regards,Doughttp://pbase.com/dougj.

Http://thescambaiter.comFighting scammers WW for fun & justice..

Comment #17

International application of patents is required by Paragraph 3, Article 1 of the TRIPS agreement (and by Berne, Paris etc conventions, but TRIPS now rules). US patents are valid in Europe and vice versa. Multiple applications are made because it can be easier to take legal proceedings in a country where the patent is held, not to extend validity to more countries. Note also Paragraph 6, the one that deals with exhaustion (exhaustion is the rule that says that when someone sells you something they can't impose restrictions on what you use it for, who you sell it to etc). The WTO website can provide a copy of TRIPS..

Other industries have portable warranties even when dealers are genuinely independent. If you buy a Ford in New York and find yourself broken down and busted flat in Baton Rouge the warranty is honoured by the dealer in Baton Rouge, although s/he has no connection with the dealer in New York, and the costs are dealt with either on a swings and roundabouts basis or by rebates arranged centrally. If you buy a Rolex in New York and it breaks down in Geneva they fix it under warranty. But Nikon USA and Nikon Europe are not genuinely different companies, except in a legal sense, so if car dealers can do it why can't Nikon etc?.

Ii is odd that there is so much emphasis by Nikon/Canon etc on warning people not to buy parallel imports in the USA because the warranty is invalid in the USA, but so little on warning them that if they travel to Europe for a three month holiday and their brand new D3/1D breaks down the first day the warranty will not be honoured in Europe and it will not be repaired (or even accepted for repair). Or suggesting to Europeans that if they are coming to the USA on a photographic holiday they really ought to buy the camera when they arrive because their European warranty will not be honoured in the USA...

Comment #18

The patent coverage might have changed as you indicate. It's been some years since I was involved in selecting countries in which to apply. Corporate charged us about $10K per country, so we had to select carefully..

The warranty issue is strange for sure. As I mentioned we have this set up for support funding on a country by country basis, and we transfer the $$ for warranties across borders to accommodate customers with legitimate needs. This is essentially the same as the non-camera examples you mentioned. Generally a reasonable, customer-focused policy. I think more companies pursue this approach than do not..

The refusal by Nikon, Canon and selected others to honor other countries warranties really looks more like protection of their local high resale prices. And perhaps a desire to simplify their processes at the expense of the customer. Refusing to repair a camera purchased elsewhere is nothing less than hostile..

There is a new thread posted by a user querying the travel scenario - new Canon camera purchased in the US, traveling to Europe for a few months, what happens if he needs service? Maybe he should have purchased a Sony..

Best regards,Doughttp://pbase.com/dougj.

Http://thescambaiter.comFighting scammers WW for fun & justice..

Comment #19

HI Marty,Sorry to disagree, about specifics..

1) Yes the products are made in the same assembly process, usually, except for country specific electronic issues (menu languages, broadcast formats, etc.) and mandated market specific content..

2) The only difference is NOT just "who will honor the warranty". That is ONE difference. Many other problems can be realized between manufacture and consumers....

Some of the things that should be considered:.

A. Many gray products go through two, three or more transfer points (trans-shippers). The issues of storage and shipping conditions are very relevant because of where (climatically) these can be located, their specific business practices and local content tailoring from the manufacturer..

B. The gray market is largely a function of: international exchange rates, VATs and other taxes, local cost of distribution, advertising, and other disparities in individual local market cost of business..

Film, for example, had a huge margin from cost to market at retail. Drugs (ethical) is another example of very high margin items. Cameras do NOT enjoy similar margins because of the difference in manufacturing requirements..

While I have enough faith in the Canadian drug distribution system to believe that most drugs coming across the border are fine (because of local distribution mark ups and ethical standards). I would NOT believe the same about drugs coming from Mexico or Panama or Indonesia or China...

C. American authorized distributors are faced with American market costs, which are different than those elsewhere. as you noted. They receive NO revenue for gray market products and they feel no reason to accrue expenses against non revenue occurrences, which modify their real effectiveness in the market place, especially since the intended country of origin offloads expenses to them via gray market. (Remember, not all companies have unified, company owned distribution world wide. Many countries have non subsidiary distributors.

Bears the cost of warranty at all and that only the local distribution arm is responsible for those costs. ).

Most companies are actually abandoning international warranties in favor of localized warranties..

However, some (not all though) companies DO still honor resident aliens warranty terms (from the country of origin) as a courtesy, if you have a retail sales receipt from that country. "Buy a Germany intended camera in Germany, paid in Germany. We'll fix it in the USA under the same terms as Germany would, while you are in the USA.".

D. The logical conclusion of gray market success: if everybody chose gray market, would be that there would be NO authorized US distributor needed (or existing) and the repair, maintenance and market making activities would fall to retailers, who are not equipped to do it. Therefore, it would not get done. And the result would be the suffering of photography and photographers..

Marty4650 wrote:.

In most cases there is absolutely no difference between the camerasimported through the "official agent" and "other importers" (greymarket). They are produced on the same assembly lines from the sameparts by the same workers with the same quality and specifications..

The only difference is.... "who will honor the warranty?".

The "Official Importers" are responsible for warranty work on thecameras they sell, and have invested money in maintaining their own"service centers." This adds cost for them, so they must charge morefor their cameras. So naturally they don't want to service camerasthey didn't sell..

The grey market imports STILL have an international warranty, butthese are usually only honored by service centers abroad. Whichusually means you must ship your camera back to Asia for service..

MartyPanasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2Olympus C4000, C7000.

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Van..

Comment #20

Sorry to disagree John, but your claims are BS..

John p vansteenberg wrote:.

B. The gray market is largely a function of: international exchangerates, VATs and other taxes, local cost of distribution, advertising,and other disparities in individual local market cost of business..

Film, for example, had a huge margin from cost to market at retail.Drugs (ethical) is another example of very high margin items.Cameras do NOT enjoy similar margins because of the difference inmanufacturing requirements..

While I have enough faith in the Canadian drug distribution systemto believe that most drugs coming across the border are fine (becauseof local distribution mark ups and ethical standards). I would NOTbelieve the same about drugs coming from Mexico or Panama orIndonesia or China...

Parallel importation is not driven by taxes, exchange rates etc. In 2001 the euro was worth 1.06 US$, in Jan last year it was 1.28 and now it is 1.5. Meanwhile euro prices relative to US prices have not fallen 50%: they have remained stable and double the US price. US prices are about 10% higher than parallel imports and the US is one of the cheapest official markets in the world: the US perspective is simply not relevant elsewhere..

Do not let's get started about the pharmaceutical industry and it's profit margins. Drugs are a false analogy because the problems you are hinting at are counterfeit drugs, not parallel importation of the primary manufacturer's own product. The only similarity is that Big Pharma, like Big Camera, runs a campaign of fear, rumour and dys-information to scare people into accepting price gouging. The other difference about fake drugs is that the industry knows but doesn't want the community to know the prevalence of fake drugs in the "official" US market...

Comment #21

John p vansteenberg wrote:.

D. The logical conclusion of gray market success: if everybody chosegray market, would be that there would be NO authorized USdistributor needed (or existing) and the repair, maintenance andmarket making activities would fall to retailers, who are notequipped to do it. Therefore, it would not get done. And the resultwould be the suffering of photography and photographers..

Just to be fair, that's not the only "logical" conclusion..

Others might be:.

A) The manufacturers would have to support repair and maintenance facilities, which would either be the part of the country affiliate's mark-up held back and normalized globally, or the non-manufacturer defect part of the warranty would be passed on to the consumer with the defective unit..

B) The manufacturers would support third-party maintenance facilities, either unsubsidized or subsidized with extended for-pay warranties. (Such as Apple does, for instance with it's AppleCare and authorized repiar centers, or such as the old appliance repair shops and TV repair shops that used to dot the US and finally as is likely done with the Mack warranties.).

Neither of these other logical conclusions would be at the suffering of everyone. Indeed, the first scenario might actually produce better QA feedback, since the manufacturing defects would directly affect the bottom line of the manufacturers, and it'd be a great differentiation (Lets face it, in terms of Nikon, this is essentially what happens anyway, it's just the repair centers are owned by the country affiliate instead of corporate.).

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #22

Paul Robertson wrote:.

A) The manufacturers would have to support repair and maintenancefacilities, which would either be the part of the country affiliate'smark-up held back and normalized globally, or the non-manufacturerdefect part of the warranty would be passed on to the consumer withthe defective unit..

B) The manufacturers would support third-party maintenancefacilities, either unsubsidized or subsidized with extended for-paywarranties. (Such as Apple does, for instance with it's AppleCare andauthorized repiar centers, or such as the old appliance repair shopsand TV repair shops that used to dot the US and finally as is likelydone with the Mack warranties.).

While it is certainly in the interest of Official Importers to NOT service grey market items, it is not in the interest of the Manufacturer to have them go unserviced. So, I agree completely with your points..

The major profit center for the manufacturers is SALES, not SERVICE. But later is essential in order to maintain the former. The manufacturer seeks volume, in order to reduce unit cost and increase profitibility, and it essentially cares little who the middle man is as long as they can achieve that volume..

As an example.... would Nikon defend Nikon USA at the expense of overall volume? Since Nikon USA is a whole owned subsidiary they would perfer it to be highly profitable. But if too many folks want to buy Nikons from "unofficial dealers" then Nikon has a real dilemna. They cannot discourage these sales. If they made it impossible to obtain service, they would be limiting their own market share..

The ultimate goal of all manufacturers is selling cameras, not selling service. This is precisely why they price out of warranty repairs so high to encourage you to go elsewhere. Just like Auto makers do..

They intentionally price repairs relatively high and price new cameras relatively low, so you will replace a camera whenever a repair costs almost as much as a replacement.MartyPanasonic FZ7, FZ20, FZ30, LX2Olympus C4000, C7000.

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Comment #23

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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