What are people's thoughts on the grey market area websites?

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#1
I have noticed there are some websites out there with some ridiculous prices on Photography equipment that rival all the main websites.

It come to my attention that these websites are of the grey market area. I'm not fully aware on what this means so if someone could give some insight, that would be great. I have ordered from one of these websites in the past and not had any problems and customer service was amazing and very helpful.

The two websites I am aware of it e-infinity and digital rev online store. The one I have used is digital rev and their delivery times are so competitive, and also their prices. This makes no sense to me so would like to know.

Also if anyone has any experience ordering from e-infinity could you tell me your experience with the delivery and customer service.

Thank you
 
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#3
Always used Panamoz, you get a three year warranty from them and their CS is great (Tina)
E-infinity just give a year I think and I have never used DigitalRev although they do pop up on here time and again.

If you shoot Canon you could try HDEW as they have a base down south, somewhere in Essex I believe.
 
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#4
Grey imports where destined for another part of the world where retail prices, import taxes and local taxes all differ and are generally much cheaper than U.K. prices.
They are exactly the same as a U.K. model, the only differences are sometimes you won’t get an English manual, I have heard of one coming without a three pin plug on the charger but I believe this is a rare occurrence.
They normally come from the far east, especially Hong Kong, in the old days sometimes buyers got stung for the import duty, but not heard that for a long time and the bigger importers claim to have paid the import tax.
Your warranty with Nikon is usually null and void as they don’t like this practice as they like to protect their markets and income, however the bigger importers will give you a warranty and it will still be repaired in the U.K. by a Nikon authorised agent.
The two biggest players seem to be Panamoz, they offer 3 year warranty and E-Infinity who offer a 1 year warranty.
I have used E-Infinity a couple of times with no issues, delivery is usually about 6 days.
Hope this helps
 

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#5
They can have printed out manuals instead of original, the wrong box and other differences. Its buy at your own risk
 
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#6
The goods may be shipped in direct to the customer without paying duty like normally imported products, and that is sometimes why grey is cheaper.
 
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#7
I have bought a couple of lenses from e infinity with no problem and very significant savings,I am not sure if I would use the grey market for a big ticket item I would have to be very sure before I did but thats me being ultra careful
 
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#8
Just ordered a D750 today from e-finity, so I'll let you know

I only ordered from them as a) they were cheapest, but especially as b) a mate of mine bought 2 Sony bodies and 5 lenses from them last year, saved himself about £3,000 on UK prices !!!

Dave
 
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Grey imports where destined for another part of the world where retail prices, import taxes and local taxes all differ and are generally much cheaper than U.K. prices.
They are exactly the same as a U.K. model, the only differences are sometimes you won’t get an English manual, I have heard of one coming without a three pin plug on the charger but I believe this is a rare occurrence.
They normally come from the far east, especially Hong Kong, in the old days sometimes buyers got stung for the import duty, but not heard that for a long time and the bigger importers claim to have paid the import tax.
Your warranty with Nikon is usually null and void as they don’t like this practice as they like to protect their markets and income, however the bigger importers will give you a warranty and it will still be repaired in the U.K. by a Nikon authorised agent.
The two biggest players seem to be Panamoz, they offer 3 year warranty and E-Infinity who offer a 1 year warranty.
I have used E-Infinity a couple of times with no issues, delivery is usually about 6 days.
Hope this helps
Helps more than you know, thank you so much for your insight into the grey area and I feel so much better ordering from one in future.

Again thank you so much
 
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I have bought a couple of lenses from e infinity with no problem and very significant savings,I am not sure if I would use the grey market for a big ticket item I would have to be very sure before I did but thats me being ultra careful
Well I have order a 70-200 from digital rev for £1200 and come no problems and the lens is just like it would be from a normal shop. Just wanted other experiences
 
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#14
Ordered from Panamoz, DigitalRev & HDEW in the past - no issues with any of them - no quibbles about any returns or repairs. Camera came with a charger with a US plug (still 100-250V charger) - big deal: simply plugged it in to an adaptor or I could have bought a UK charger andd cut my saving from 33% to 30% (VAT receipt included)

One lens I bought specifically stated it came with a UK plug... I asked about it tongue-in-cheek and when it arrived it came with a separate 3-pin plug in the box (and the website was updated to remove the reference to the plug).
 
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#15
Just ordered a D750 today from e-finity, so I'll let you know

I only ordered from them as a) they were cheapest, but especially as b) a mate of mine bought 2 Sony bodies and 5 lenses from them last year, saved himself about £3,000 on UK prices !!!

Dave
Fingers cross for you mate, I have no doubt it will be fine. How much did you pay if you don't mind me asking. Nikon D750 was the first photography equipment I bought used. Got it for £700 with only 8000 shots taken
 
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#16
Ordered from Panamoz, DigitalRev & HDEW in the past - no issues with any of them - no quibbles about any returns or repairs. Camera came with a charger with a US plug (still 100-250V charger) - big deal: simply plugged it in to an adaptor or I could have bought a UK charger andd cut my saving from 33% to 30% (VAT receipt included)

One lens I bought specifically stated it came with a UK plug... I asked about it tongue-in-cheek and when it arrived it came with a separate 3-pin plug in the box (and the website was updated to remove the reference to the plug).
I bought a couple of ram sticks grey and guess what they arrived with a plug!!!!
 

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#17
I get a 2 day turnaround for repairs from canon with anything I buy in the UK .. Not so much if I buy grey... so the extra is worth it for me as I cant spend time without equipment..... If its a backup or spare then I wouldnt have a problem and indeed have bought grey in the past.. but for pro stuff..I pay the full price to have the manufactureres warranty :)
 
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#20
I got the Nikon D500 grey quite close to release from Panamoz, but because of that the saving was only about £150. That was enough to also get the fastest 32 Gb Lexar XQD and SD cards at the time. Whereas I would have had to wait an extra month or more for UK stock of the camera, and also be £150 short for the cards.

At the moment, they are selling a D500 for £430 cheaper grey than the UK price. A D500 + 16-80mm is £4 cheaper than the UK price for the D500 body on its own. :oops: :$ The UK price for the D500 + 16-80mm is £784 more expensive for the same combination in the UK. So basically you can get a free 16-80mm for the same UK price as the body alone.

With savings like that, there will always be some buying grey and take their chances.

Btw, I bought a Nikon D200 grey from Digital Rev many years ago, and part of the deal was that they would pay any Duty that was charged. And I got a letter from Customs asking for payment, which I paid, and was reimbursed by Digital Rev. :) I didn't know that Nikon UK would not honour any Warranty for grey imports, or even repair them at that time. Thankfully nothing went wrong with that camera. ;) I bought the D300 and D300S in the UK because of Nikon's stance on grey, and I had the money at the time. :)

As I said, I bought the D500 grey, for the slight saving, and to get it as soon as possible. A few months after I got the camera it was was in a back pack that fell off a table and damaged the rear LCD, after quotes of £350+ for a 3rd party to repair, and that was if they could get the part because it was so new. I got in touch with Nikon on the off chance they could do something, and they said they would work on it even if it was a grey import, and gave a quote of £173, which they stuck to, because nothing else was wrong.

I can see how not touching grey imports could be a deterrent to some going down that route, which it was to me, but a lot may still have been doing it with saving like the above, so while Nikon UK may have lost the money on the sale, they can get money for the repair. ;) Thankfully for me at least.

As long as you go into buying grey knowing all the possible consequences, you pays you money and you make your choice. ;)
 
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#21
I’m not sure where the myth about grey imports not being repaired came from / started from. I believe it may have been a while ago - but manufactures now repair any camera you send them - you just have to pay. It’s no different than buying a camera on holiday and it needing a repair outside of the original warranty ...

I recently had my d810 repaired under the panamoz warranty ... their cs was great. I was advised to contact Nikon U.K. and arrange a repair. Camera sent and repaired by Nikon U.K. and then panamoz simply paypal’d me the money after I sent a receipt of my bill from Nikon. No questions asked - in fact - because of this I’m looking only at using panamoz from now on simply due to their 3 year warranty agreement
 
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#22
Bought Dig rev. Had a problem sent it back and got refund. Hong Kong is a long way to send an heavy item insured expensive too. They did cover the cost but it took a good while. So purchased different camera from Hdew no problems and would use again.

Gaz
 

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I’m not sure where the myth about grey imports not being repaired came from / started from. I believe it may have been a while ago - but manufactures now repair any camera you send them - you just have to pay. It’s no different than buying a camera on holiday and it needing a repair outside of the original warranty ...
It's not a myth, and it was 'a while ago'. Nikon, in particular, were known to refuse service on parallel imports (grey imports) in some countries. I can't speak for the UK, but it was certainly the case in SA and the local agents claimed that it was a global policy. Canon would do it, but not as a warranty claim unless you got lucky.
 
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#24
There is already a sticky thread coming all aspects of grey imports.

https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/t...rey-imports-and-other-assorted-topics.512133/

If you use the search function with the words ‘grey imports’ there are enough previous threads that cover this subject without needing to start another :popcorn:
That would apply to almost all threads, there will be a discussion and answers on the web for everything, but fresh new ones are always better than trying to read 100,s of old posts.
 
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#27
Have used Panamoz previously.

Tend to use E-infinity for camera and lens purchases now.

Only issue I've had so far was a camera went missing in the post when sent by E-infinity. However they quickly sent another one.
 

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#28
If you use the search function with the words ‘grey imports’ there are enough previous threads that cover this subject without needing to start another :popcorn:
Given how long talk photography had been going and the amount of threads.. I am guesisng you could say this to around 90% of posts other than critique..
 

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#29
I’m not sure where the myth about grey imports not being repaired came from / started from. I believe it may have been a while ago - but manufactures now repair any camera you send them - you just have to pay. It’s no different than buying a camera on holiday and it needing a repair outside of the original warranty ...
Canon wont give me CPS coverage on grey imports
 
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#30
Importing goods without paying the due customs charges and vat is called smuggling and the goods are contraband.
Irrespective of what the retailer may claim. you are the importer and you are responsible for these costs. If you don’t pay them, regardless of if you are directly asked to or not, you are committing a criminal offence.

It is this criminality that makes grey goods cheaper not some inherent price differential from one country to the other.

Do you wish to engage in criminality?
 
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#31
Do you wish to engage in criminality?

I suspect most people on TP do illegal things most days just driving their cars

Anyway, online research clearly states buying genuine products through the grey market is not illegal, the black market yes, but the grey no

Dave
 
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#32
Importing goods without paying the due customs charges and vat is called smuggling and the goods are contraband.
Irrespective of what the retailer may claim. you are the importer and you are responsible for these costs. If you don’t pay them, regardless of if you are directly asked to or not, you are committing a criminal offence.

It is this criminality that makes grey goods cheaper not some inherent price differential from one country to the other.

Do you wish to engage in criminality?
It's actually not against the law. It may be for the companies but not for the consumer. You're buying online and people aren't to know this. There would be no problems with the law and buying equipment. I I went to the police station and told them that I bought a camera online on grey market they would probably say so...
 
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#34
Canon wont give me CPS coverage on grey imports
Kipax
E-infinity -Bought a D500 18 months ago and no problems. Just bought a Z50 plus 2 lenses for my better half. Oh, and a 24-85mm lens as well. All good.
are you saying that if I bought a canon camera in the USA whilst living there and brought it back to the UK 10 months later that CPS would not cover me? If that is the case it is pretty poor show.
 
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Kipax

are you saying that if I bought a canon camera in the USA whilst living there and brought it back to the UK 10 months later that CPS would not cover me? If that is the case it is pretty poor show.
I personally think they would repair it, it's all about what you say. I'd always say I bought it abroad as I forgot to take my camera with me. That way they feel sympathetic and also love that you chose their company abroad
 
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#37
Canon wont give me CPS coverage on grey imports
How do they know though? Canon have offered me CPS simply through my qualifying gear (I no longer qualify due to age of gear etc) however even though this was purchased used (so original source was in doubt) it didn’t seem to be a problem.
 
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#38
https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-abroad

My underscore.
Of particular note

Your goods may be seized if you don’t follow the rules. You may also be fined or prosecuted.”

“Overview
Anything posted or couriered to you goes through customs to check it isn’t banned or restricted and you pay the right tax and ‘duty’ (customs charges) on it.
This includes anything new or used that you:
  • buy online
Yeah but if you buy it online all of that comes in the price, if it comes to you, you have done nothing wrong. It's all a legit process

From a secure website that is
 

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#39
Bought from Panamoz and E-Infinity with no problems. Shop around as sometimes one is cheaper than the other. Customer service seems to be better than certain UK dealers.
 
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#40
It's actually not against the law. It may be for the companies but not for the consumer. You're buying online and people aren't to know this. There would be no problems with the law and buying equipment. I I went to the police station and told them that I bought a camera online on grey market they would probably say so...
Yeah but if you buy it online all of that comes in the price, if it comes to you, you have done nothing wrong. It's all a legit process

From a secure website that is
The point depends on who is the importer. For majority of these grey sellers the buyer is the importer and it’s down to the buyer to declare it to customs & exercise and to pay any applicable import duties. The sellers aren’t liable even though they often say they will assist in clearing customs and pay the import duties if they occur. That often means they put something else down, often lower value, on the import declaration, and pay the odd one that may be caught. HM customs & exercise can’t check every parcel so don’t spot these so most get through. HDEW are the oddity in that they will give you a VAT receipt if you ask for one but still have you down as the importer on their website. No one knows how HDEW have done it for years but the fact they have stopped selling certain brands probably means something chsnged and they can’t do it any more for specific brands.

It’s not a police matter it’s a HM customs & exercise matter. The easiest way would be purchase it and declare it to them then see what they say. If there are not duties applicable then they would say nothing to pay. If there are they would give you a bill. Don’t think just because you bought on a website you don’t have any responsibilities because it’s often the buyers responsibility and not the sellers. This explains it quite well:

https://www.moneywise.co.uk/bills/s...ectronics-grey-market-dos-donts-it-even-legal


How do they know though?
pretty simple really, Serial numbers.


To be honest I don’t care two hoots if people purchase grey imports or not. What does bug me when people give incorrect information on TP about it and class it as fact. You can do what you want but at least be fully aware of what you’re doing and the potential implications.
 
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