Grey Imports

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Damien, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Damien

    Damien
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    Looking at a new lense and keep seeing 'Grey imports', do they make any difference, should i avoid and if yes why?

    Cheers
    D
     
  2. sdb123

    sdb123
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    Grey imports will likely be without UK warranty and therefore prove to be costly should they need repair/service.
     
  3. jonnypb

    jonnypb
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    as sdb123 said they may not come with a uk warranty so you might have to send them back to the US or Hong Kong etc. It's worth spending the extra few £ to get a UK warranty.
     
  4. Damien

    Damien
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    Ok cheers guys.

    I have been lead to believe the camerabox sell grey imports but they offer 2 years warranty.......confused now.
    D
     
  5. Pirate!!

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    As you are buying from a company with a 2 year warranty, there is no 'grey' area. They (the company) are supplying the warranty, so you sleep peacefully. If you buy direct from HK or USA, then a different set of rules apply.

    Some 'grey' goods are actually of higher spec than European spec ones. Yes I know what you are going to say, but it's a matter of fact. Take the Sony A700 for example. Non European versions don't have the grip sensor activated. . . Asian/USA versions do. Just one poor example.

    I bought a Toyota car made in Japan in 1985 . . . and it ran on petrol sold in the UK . . . RESULT!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  6. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz
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    This is a bit of a "red herring".

    A "grey" import is one which has not followed the manufacturers "approved" route. This is the route that keeps the prices at the level that the manufacturer and not the consumer wants them. The best examples of "grey" imports are Levis, etc in Asda at half the price in an "approved" shop.

    The warranty on an item is the responsibility of the retailer, NOT the manufacturer, so to say that there is no UK warranty is not correct. If the item goes defective outside of the warranty period you will have to pay to get it fixed whether it is "grey", "pink" or whatever !

    The most important thing is to pay for it on a credit card to get full protection under the Consumer Credit Act.
     
  7. Alistair

    Alistair
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    Well, Canon lenses have worldwide warranties, so technically it doesn't matter where you bought it. Bodies have local warranties so yes, importing a body is a problem and more than likely you would need to pay to get it fixed.
    Not sure what you are planning on buying but I and other people I know have got lenses from abroad, had a problem or needed a calibration and Canon UK have completed the work under warranty for free. Perhaps it is different with other manufacturers.....
     
  8. RichGK

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    I've got first hand and current experience with this. My Canon 17-55 purchased from One-stop had faulty optics. The warranty is worldwide but it doesn't mean that you can get it fixed in this country under warranty. UK Canon only recognise the European warranty.

    My 17-55 wasn't recognised by Canon UK for servicing.

    To be honest I think it depends upon what mood they are in!
     
  9. moonrakerz

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    That is why the Law is what it is - as you quite correctly say, it is completely up to Canon as to whether they honour their so-called world-wide warranty - which in effect makes the warranty potentially worthless.

    The LAW states that the retailer is responsible for any non-performance claims on an item - not the manufacturer.
    There are certain examples where, to simplify matters, the retailer subcontracts (in effect) warranty work back to the manufacturer. Domestic household appliances are a good example of this - you don't 'phone Comet when your Hoover washing machine goes wrong (again !) you 'phone the Hoover service dept and they fix it, until the next time.
    This system works most of the time, but there was a recent case where a financially failing retailer had not paid the manufacturer for warranty work (I believe this is a set sum per item), the manufacturer then refused to carry out warranty work on items supplied by this retailer after a certain date. Very annoying to the people with a huge pile of laundry - but the manufacturer was totally correct.

    The responsibility for rectifying your defective Canon lens lay with One-stop, not Canon UK, Canon Europe or Canon anywhere. If One-stop said that the warranty was Canon's responsibility, I am afraid they were talking out of their nether regions !
    If anyone tries this on you, go immediately to your local Trading Standards people.
    There is a LOT of info here:
    Sale of Goods Act - BERR
     
  10. Boynielaad

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    Whatever the reality, if you're going to rely on a retailer for the warranty, make sure you select one which will survive for the duration of the warranty.

    How do you know whether the retailer will survive? Tricky one that in this environment.
     
  11. moonrakerz

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    That's why you must pay on a credit card.
     
  12. m488dkw

    m488dkw
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    The Sale of Goods Act doesn't function as a warranty though - if the item is more than 6 months old you have to prove the item is defective and that the fault is severe enough to render the item 'not of merchandisable quality" and potentially have to argue this in the Small Claims Court.

    Also, I believe One-Stop are Hong Kong based, so UK law won't apply. Anyway, saying that the retailer is liable doesn't actual fix your purchase, and if Nikon UK say they won't touch it where does the retailer go ?

    I suppose the question to think about with grey imports is that whilst technically the law may be on your side, are you really prepared for all the hassle and lengthy time delays to fix your product ? Do you calculate that the financial gain offsets the risk ?
     
  13. moonrakerz

    moonrakerz
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    It is generally accepted that an item should function for 12 months, the 6 month figure is not generally enforced - anymore than the 6 year figure that some people like to quote from the Sale of Goods Act.

    If you deal with an overseas based retailer, you do so at your own risk, but I believe that the UK Courts now hold the Credit Card issuer equally liable for an overseas transaction.
    The retailer doesn't go anywhere ! HE is responsible - if he won't/can't fix it the credit card company HAS to.

    In some cases, most definitely - YES. I have an expensive wrist watch which was openly described as a "grey" import by the UK retailer, who gave a 2 year warranty himself. I could have got the same watch, a bit cheaper, from a Far East source - probably like the Omega and Rolex I bought in a Hong Kong street market for a tenner the pair ! (my watch is still going strong after 6 years - and on the original battery !)

    When you buy anything, you have to weigh up the pros and cons of price against the potential reliability of the supplier. Was One-Stop, selling a non-"grey" item a better bet than a UK based supplier offering a "grey" item ? - Discuss !

    I have just bought a TV from John Lewis - on this very site is a thread from very unhappy people who bought theirs from a "cheaper" source. you have to make a judgement.

    To say that all "grey" imports are to be avoided is not really a logical statement.

    As I keep saying, whatever you buy, and from whoever - always pay by credit card !
     

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