Grey Market?

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
Jim Lee
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Grey Market?
May 4, 2012

Against my better judgement, I purchased a 5DIII from a dealer on eBay (getitdigital.) They listed it as being a Canon USA model with a Canon USA warranty. The dealer has 33000+ feedback rating that is 99.8% positive, so I took a chance.

The box is slightly different than the one for the 5DIII I bought from B&H last month. The battery charger is different, has a power cord instead of plugging directly into an outlet (I actually prefer this style of battery charger.) And instead of the usual Canon USA warranty card there was a card with instructions on how to register the camera online with Canon USA.

I sent them an email claiming that it was a grey market camera and their eBay listing said it was a Canon USA camera. The emailed me back saying that it is indeed a Canon USA model. They also said that none of their other customers have had any problems registering their camera with Canon USA and they resent instructions on how to register the camera online.

I have no problems with the camera, everything seems to be fine otherwise. I guess my main concern is, if this camera is grey market, will I be able to get it serviced if the need ever arises? Has anyone knowingly purchased grey market and tried to get service from Canon?

I know Nikon has a strict policy and Nikon USA won't touch grey market cameras/lenses, even for money. But I thought I heard once that Canon doesn't care, as long as you have a receipt. Does anyone know for sure?

I'm inclined to keep the camera instead of dealing with the possible headache of returning it, but if there could be bid problems down the road with service, i'd rather deal with the headache now.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III
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Brad Durack
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to Jim Lee, May 4, 2012

Ultimately, they all come from Japan...

In my experience service applies world wide. Shops in USA will tell you otherwise as they are making a margin on your sale.

Either way it will need some stickily tape to fix the light leak, grey or not
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EvokeEmotion
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to Jim Lee, May 4, 2012

I read elsewhere that it varies depending on the country. I have no experience dealing with Canon USA, but I brought my US market 5D to Canon Singapore and they were more than happy to clean its sensor and change out the flash hotshoe for me, for a price of course. They knew full well it's a grey market (to Singapore) because the guy looked up the serial number and commented that it was not a Singapore market camera.

Nikon's policy seems really restrictive. What happens when a foreign tourist visiting US needs his home-bought Nikon looked at?

Jim Lee wrote:

Against my better judgement, I purchased a 5DIII from a dealer on eBay (getitdigital.) They listed it as being a Canon USA model with a Canon USA warranty. The dealer has 33000+ feedback rating that is 99.8% positive, so I took a chance.

The box is slightly different than the one for the 5DIII I bought from B&H last month. The battery charger is different, has a power cord instead of plugging directly into an outlet (I actually prefer this style of battery charger.) And instead of the usual Canon USA warranty card there was a card with instructions on how to register the camera online with Canon USA.

I sent them an email claiming that it was a grey market camera and their eBay listing said it was a Canon USA camera. The emailed me back saying that it is indeed a Canon USA model. They also said that none of their other customers have had any problems registering their camera with Canon USA and they resent instructions on how to register the camera online.

I have no problems with the camera, everything seems to be fine otherwise. I guess my main concern is, if this camera is grey market, will I be able to get it serviced if the need ever arises? Has anyone knowingly purchased grey market and tried to get service from Canon?

I know Nikon has a strict policy and Nikon USA won't touch grey market cameras/lenses, even for money. But I thought I heard once that Canon doesn't care, as long as you have a receipt. Does anyone know for sure?

I'm inclined to keep the camera instead of dealing with the possible headache of returning it, but if there could be bid problems down the road with service, i'd rather deal with the headache now.

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alien3333
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to Jim Lee, May 4, 2012

grey market for sure, if you don't have the USA warranty card.
Canon will take care of you for sure within the first year. Plain and simple.

Nikon USA will charge to fix anything grey market, otherwise you need to ship it back to the original country (given that the grey market seller, give you the warranty card)

-a

Jim Lee wrote:

Against my better judgement, I purchased a 5DIII from a dealer on eBay (getitdigital.) They listed it as being a Canon USA model with a Canon USA warranty. The dealer has 33000+ feedback rating that is 99.8% positive, so I took a chance.

The box is slightly different than the one for the 5DIII I bought from B&H last month. The battery charger is different, has a power cord instead of plugging directly into an outlet (I actually prefer this style of battery charger.) And instead of the usual Canon USA warranty card there was a card with instructions on how to register the camera online with Canon USA.

I sent them an email claiming that it was a grey market camera and their eBay listing said it was a Canon USA camera. The emailed me back saying that it is indeed a Canon USA model. They also said that none of their other customers have had any problems registering their camera with Canon USA and they resent instructions on how to register the camera online.

I have no problems with the camera, everything seems to be fine otherwise. I guess my main concern is, if this camera is grey market, will I be able to get it serviced if the need ever arises? Has anyone knowingly purchased grey market and tried to get service from Canon?

I know Nikon has a strict policy and Nikon USA won't touch grey market cameras/lenses, even for money. But I thought I heard once that Canon doesn't care, as long as you have a receipt. Does anyone know for sure?

I'm inclined to keep the camera instead of dealing with the possible headache of returning it, but if there could be bid problems down the road with service, i'd rather deal with the headache now.

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Jim Lee
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Thanks for the replies
In reply to alien3333, May 4, 2012

This makes me feel a little better. I was once a Nikon user and their strict policies were scary. It's usually easy to know when you buy new if it is grey market or USA, but what if you bought a used lens and it turns out to be grey market? Nikon's policy won't allow any work to be done on it, even for their normal fees. (and as one responded, what if someone is touring the US and needs service, or moves here from another country, or buys a camera while they are traveling overseas?)

I'll go ahead and keep the camera. There is nothing wrong with it, the price was reasonable (most of the one's on eBay had heavy mark-ups.) And I do rather prefer the charger with a cord. But it still makes me mad that the dealer was not honest about it being grey market. I looked back at some of their other listings and all the Nikon gear they sell clearly states that it is a "direct import" and covered under a store warranty. Obviously they are taking advantage of Canon being more lenient that Nikon, but they should be honest.

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mac west
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to Jim Lee, May 4, 2012

just go on the site and click on the question mark about USA model and read the definition. It is grey market and they should not be allowed to get away with that. It reminds me of " it depends on what your definition of the word is is" I wouldn't ask them for change for the bus. I guess you are lucky they didn't mail you a wet rag in the box.
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mac west
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to mac west, May 4, 2012

http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=219779 read this CROOKS

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Nikon1977
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to mac west, May 4, 2012

B&H sells what is termed "Imported". But they tell you up front that such items are imported and/or distributed by other entities and are warranted by B&H. This means that Canon will not service them. You must contact B&H for service.

Canon, as well as Nikon, produces cameras to be sold in specific countries. Please don't assume that Canon will provide warranty service at a USA/Canada service center for a camera distributed in, let's say Spain.

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Gary Jean
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Re: Grey Market?
In reply to Jim Lee, May 4, 2012

Charger with cord (LC-E6E) is not US.
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GaryJP
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Perhaps not
In reply to Jim Lee, May 5, 2012

You don't say if you actually tried to register it online.

If you did, and it worked, I think you are covered.

In my market, HK, you are given a "purchase record card", but then told to register within 14 days of purchase. I don't even see a warranty card with many models.

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CameraCarl
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Re: Perhaps not
In reply to GaryJP, May 5, 2012

Unless you got a USA warranty card and bought it from an authorized Canon dealer you may have difficulty getting Canon USA to service it under warranty. I'd call Canon and ask them what their policy is before your window for returning the camera closes. If Canon won't fix it under warranty then you need to decide if you saved enough to pay to get it fixed if it breaks. (By the way, another reason not to buy from any old reseller. Keep with those we all know and trust such as B&H, Adorama, Roberts, Hunts, Norman Camera, Samys, etc.)

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mrahmo
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can someone explain
In reply to Jim Lee, May 5, 2012

all bodies come from a single factory

so what is the meaning of grey market or not, there is no serial number that is outside canon serials, isn't it?
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CameraCarl
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Re: can someone explain
In reply to mrahmo, May 5, 2012

Grey market, as implied in all these messages, is when a reseller does not import a camera or lens through the local nation's official distributor, in this case Canon USA. Canon USA may or may not at its discretion honor the warranty of a camera or lens not bought through the official distribution chain. The cameras and lenses are more than likely all made in the same facilities, but manuals and accessories may vary depending on the market for which they were intended.

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EvokeEmotion
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Re: can someone explain
In reply to mrahmo, May 5, 2012

Yes, there's serial number on the outside of box. But all this grey market BS is just anti competitive measures by the manufacturers to extract the appropriate amount of profit from each market.

Arbitrage is being suppressed by manufacturers when they impose warranty and service restrictions to grey market products. This is contrary to the spirit of free market. I wish there's a federal law that compels manufacturers to honor warranties of their products no matter where they are bought, or which market they're intended for.

mrahmo wrote:

all bodies come from a single factory

so what is the meaning of grey market or not, there is no serial number that is outside canon serials, isn't it?
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