Z6 kit eBay listing $2,049 plus taxes.. too good to be true?

Started 1 month ago | Questions thread
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
it's often, maybe mostly, not currency arbitrage
1

Horshack wrote:

Most likely these come from Europe or Asia rather than Japan (typically wherever the currency arbitrage was greatest to allow the import to be obtained at best price),

It doesn't really matter, but just FYI: a great deal of the wholesale international gray market is not enabled by currency arbitrage. It's very seldom the case that currency arbitrage can give a gray market importer much of a price advantage over the authorized importer. (There has to be a short-term asynchronous 3-currency shift to make it worthwhile, at the wholesale level.)

Most gray market product in the camera industry actually comes from authorized distributors, who are buying the product from the factory at prices far below retail. Some of them sell excess inventory to importers who will take it to other markets. This is a violation of their distribution agreement, but it's rarely punished. In many industries there are multiple layers of regional distributor and sub-distributor before the product reaches retail. All of those are stages where product can escape sideways at low wholesale prices.

By low wholesale I mean in the neighborhood of what the distributor pays. (Nikon USA, for example, pays Nikon Japan somewhere around $1,100-1,200 for a Z6 when it imports one. So there's a lot of room there for them to undercut retail prices in, say, Europe if they were inclined to ship it sideways to some enterprising importer in Prague or Milan.)

Also not important, but just FYI: in 30+ years in and around the camera industry, I've never seen any significant amounts of gray market product that originated in Europe. Historically, most of it has come from Asia; Hong Kong in the old days, and, I'm 99% certain, China now. I've also known of it coming from Latin America (primarily because I was involved in importing it from there).

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