Gray market cameras
If the price of the digital camera you’re about to buy sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Before buying, find out if it is a gray market model and, if so, be cautious. Get complete information about the warranty, included accessories and if they are valid or usable in your country.
The bad news about gray market digital cameras
Some merchants sell gray market digital cameras that seem the same as name-brand but are not approved by the manufacturer. Gray market cameras may not come with a warranty and are ineligible for repair.
Specifications and components such as video output, electrical adapters and camera drivers are often not compatible in the country other than where it is purchased. These items usually can not be changed to another country’s specifications.
Visit a camera manufacturer’s website and read their gray market advisory. It typically states that gray market items are not eligible for warranty service from authorized distributors or service centers. Warranties may only be valid in the country where manufacturer’s products are distributed.
Some good news about gray market digital cameras
Not all Gray Market digital cameras are disapproved by the manufacturer or ineligible for repair. The camera may simply be direct imported with a valid warranty that is backed by the selling merchant instead of the manufacturer.
Make sure. Get it in writing!
Before buying a gray market digital camera
If you decide to buy a gray market digital camera, make sure it is from a reputable, well-rated merchant.
Tip: Check that the barcode with the serial number on the outside of the camera box matches the serial number on the bottom of the camera.