Author Topic: Grey imports & warranties  (Read 243 times)

ColinM

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Grey imports & warranties
« on: March 02, 2019, 13:35:26 »
 Having looked at a few of these recently it appears that
  • You can either buy through an approved supplier in your country and receive Nikons own manufacturers warranty
  • or if you buy a grey import (e.g. imported by someone else directly from Hong Kong) you then rely on that supplier’s own warranty, 
    with the possible lottery of who they will choose to handle repairs and problems and also what the turnaround time would be

It seems that by making this choice, for the kit that grey importers choose to supply, large up front savings can be made. I guess the risk is how long you’d be without your kit if problems do crop of up later on?

Anyone care to comment, or point out other aspects to consider?

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 13:42:06 »
The practice differs from region to region I presume. In my country the national dealers tend to accept the warranty as being local  thus repairs also are handled locally, other countries might fall back to the world-wide warranty thus requiring the faulty gear to be shipped back to the country of origin.

Any initial saving in the purchase thus might be lost later if something goes amiss.

ColinM

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 13:56:03 »
Thanks Birna.

This came up when considering a D500 and walkabout zoom.
Since we’re talking about the risk of a fault not spotted in manufacturing QA for a known model, I can see why some people take the gamble.

But in effect, it appears that Nikon are selling their goods with an insurance policy to local retailers, but allow the sale of the basic product without insurance to specific channels in Hong Kong.

Akira

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 20:35:11 »
Having encountered factory defects of the products of virtually all of the known manufacturers, I avoid at least grey market lenses and cameras.
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Roland Vink

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 21:51:10 »
If you do buy a grey market/parallel import camera or lens, only buy from a reputable dealer, and check their after-sales guarantee carefully. For complex the items, there is more to potentially go wrong, so I would lean towards the approved supplier who can better deal with any issues which occur. For items which are relatively simple or cheap, it might be worth taking a small risk and save a bit with a grey market supplier.

For what it's worth, my D600 (the model with shutter-splatter problem) was a parallel import. In the 5 years i had it, it continues to perform flawlessly, and I only needed to give the sensor a wet clean once, which I did myself.

CS

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 22:34:04 »
If you do buy a grey market/parallel import camera or lens, only buy from a reputable dealer, and check their after-sales guarantee carefully. For complex the items, there is more to potentially go wrong, so I would lean towards the approved supplier who can better deal with any issues which occur. For items which are relatively simple or cheap, it might be worth taking a small risk and save a bit with a grey market supplier.

For what it's worth, my D600 (the model with shutter-splatter problem) was a parallel import. In the 5 years i had it, it continues to perform flawlessly, and I only needed to give the sensor a wet clean once, which I did myself.

Here in the USA, it's not easy to know who is servicing your grey market goods, should hey require warranty work. Not even B&H lists that info on their website, and there are few other vendors that I trust as much as B&H. In the case of Nikon, is the vendor sending the gear to Japan for service, which would include an extended time frame before the gear was returned to the buyer? We know that Nikon USA facilities won't touch a grey item, and we don''t know who else has the correct equipment and knowledge to service modern Nikon digital gear. We also know that Nikon USA refuses to sell parts to their own Nikon dealers that have repair facilities, even the simple AF/MF focus collar on the 20-35/2.8 AFD.

So, how does a service facility such as APS in Morton Grove, Illinois get the parts they need to do service work? Do they import directly from Japan? It was a Nikon Service Center, at one time, but is now privately owned. Does that give them an edge that Nikon dealers don't have?There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. It's a cloudy situation here,  IMO.

I'm happy that your D600 didn't suffer any issues, Roland, but my vote goes with Akira's position on grey market digital gear. At least Nikon USA will service my gear, under warranty, or after that expires.
Carl

ColinM

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 08:24:05 »
Interesting reading guys.
So there are two things that led me to this question

  • How Nikon makes this all work.
    It kind of makes sense that "sending your kit back to Nikon" won't happen
    unless we can prove we paid the extra for what now appears to be an extended service guarantee.

  • Whether to buy a D500 and 16-80mm from E-Infin.com
    I'd hoped that this model of body had a much cleaner track record than some others.
    However if I end up being one of the <5% of people on their customer feedback site
    that did experience service issues, that's small consolation.

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Grey imports & warranties
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 09:02:37 »
As far as I understand it, Nikon sell their new product to every one knocking on their door for roughly the same price from Japan.

Some local Nikon distributers seem to be independent such as Nikon USA, some seem direct representations of the Japanese company such as Nikon Europe.

My equipment since I use Nikon starting in 1988, is used or new, local dealer or, later mail order / internet. All of the mix are serviced by Nikon Professional Service here in Germany, no question asked. I am sure that a NPS outlet in the USA would service my items if one of these should fail on a journey. NPS is a worldwide thing, is it not?

In my life I spent roughly 30.000€ to 40.000€ on Nikon Equipment, so Nikon might have earned a few cents from my purchases by now.

What Carl says is important though: Do not buy equipment that will not be serviced in case of service being necessary!

And yes, there can be issues with Nikon equipment, even if the equipment itself is very reliable. I once tried to mount an Ai-S 1.4/35mm in the wrong orientation and destroyed the aperture mechanism of my D600. Cost me 260€ to repair. After a short while the F-mounts of my D3 and a few lenses failed, could be repaired. The D70 failed with "film transport mechanism defect" written on the receipt, a defect inherited from the F80 ... of course there was no film transport in the D70 :-)
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