Difference between US & Import

Started Jun 4, 2003 | Discussions thread
John Hassard
New MemberPosts: 13
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Re: Difference between US & Import
In reply to Billie, Jun 4, 2003

From B&H website

"

About USA and GREY MARKET (DIRECT IMPORT)

What are the differences as far as a customer is concerned?

How much the item costs, and where you'd send it for warranty service. Generally, "direct import" items cost less than their "USA" counterparts.

A "USA" warrantied item is a manufacture's warranty that would be repaired in any manufacturer's authorized service facility worldwide if the item required in-warranty service. The "direct import" item would have to be returned to B&H Photo-Video Corp. in New York City if it required in-warranty attention. A resident of the USA may wish to make the buying decision based on price, since the cost of shipping to an American service center or to us should be about equal. A non-USA resident may want to consider the cost of returning the "direct import" item to us for warranty service, compared to the expense of buying the "USA warrantied" item and having warranty service available locally.

How much the item costs, and where you'd send it for warranty service. Generally, "direct

Simply put, "grey market" means that the item is not covered by the manufacturer's warranty, because the manufacturer's licensed or authorized agent or representative did not import that item into the USA and did not sell it to the retailer to sell it to you. We import the product directly from the overseas manufacturer or distributor, bypassing additional distribution levels. Many manufacturers and distributors therefore coined the negative sounding term, "grey market", for this perfectly legal money-saving activity, namely "direct import".

What kind of warranty is available?

Any "grey market" item B&H Photo-Video sells includes a B&H warranty which covers the same particulars the USA warranty would cover for one year. The only difference is that you would ship the item to B&H for warranty service, and you need your B&H Photo-Video invoice instead of a warranty certificate.

Why offer "Direct Import"?

To give you the option of buying what you want, based on your priorities and budget. Often a "direct import" item is less expensive; sometimes there may be subtle feature or cosmetic differences (examples of which are below); and occasionally -- with some unusual or discontinued items, for instance -- it is the only way to have the item in stock.

So, how did it get into the USA for B&H to sell to you?

Quite simply, B&H bought it from another source, and either they imported it for us, or we arranged to directly import it into the USA. In most cases, there is no difference between the "directly import" item and its USA counterpart. They have the same specifications, same number of elements in the same number of groups. They were manufactured side-by-side on the same assembly line, by the same workers, to the same tolerances, using the same raw materials. They look, feel and perform the same because they are the same.

Are there ever differences?

Sometimes and when there are we'll say so. For many Nikon, Canon, or Minolta cameras, there are name differences. The Nikon N90s in the USA is marketed as the F90x in Europe and Asia; Minolta's Maxxum line in the USA is their Dynax line overseas; and Canon's EOS Elan IIE in the USA is their EOS 50E elsewhere. Occasionally, there are more substantial differences. Two examples:

The (now discontinued) Canon 430 EZ flash was available with USA warranty and had a distance scale in feet; in a "grey market" version its distance scale was in meters.

Canon's EOS A2E in the USA has a "grey" counterpart in their EOS 5. The EOS 5 includes a date back, while the EOS A2E has none, and Canon does not offer one as an add-on. Also, while they share the same exposure circuitry and software, they offer different ways of showing that data in the camera viewfinder to the photographer.
What are the differences as far as a customer is concerned?

How much the item costs, and where you'd send it for warranty service. Generally, "direct import" items cost less than their "USA" counterparts.

A "USA" warrantied item would be repaired in any manufacturer's authorized service facility worldwide if the item required in-warranty service. The "direct import" item would have to be returned to B&H Photo-Video Corp. in New York City if it required in-warranty attention. A resident of the USA may wish to make the buying decision based on price, since the cost of shipping to an American service center or to us should be about equal. A non-USA resident may want to consider the cost of returning the "direct import" item to us for warranty service, compared to the expense of buying the "USA warrantied" item and having warranty service available locally.

What happens after the warranty expires?

Any customer, no matter where he or she lives, would take an item requiring repair to any repair shop that is convenient, and pay for the repair.

Which will B&H sell?

B&H will sell whichever you prefer. In the B&H store and on the phone, if both types are available, a sales associate will advise you of this and give you the choice. If only "direct import" is available, we will inform you of that, as well. No mention of an option is an indication that only USA is available.

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