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Firstly, a grey product is a product that is sourced from outside the UK. Whilst we realise that at face value this provides a product that is sometimes cheaper, you might want to consider the following:
If there is a fault with the product it will most likely be rejected by the manufacturer for repair under warranty and you may not be able to secure any after-sales support either. In addition it is unlikely you will be able to register for any manufacturers’ extended free of charge warranty. Many manufacturers now run cash back campaigns – grey imports will not qualify for these promotions.
Grey imports may not include VAT. However, the purchaser is legally required to pay both import duty and VAT and may be required to clear the product through customs. This may not be a simple task if the vendor has not properly declared the goods and these ‘clearing fees’ are separate to customs charges. If the goods go missing during transportation responsibility falls to the purchaser, so unless expensive insurance has been secured the goods will be lost with no recompense.
Some grey products are not supplied with a 3-pin UK plug and English instructions. Some importers do, however, add this in to the box but the product may still not be designed for use in the UK and may not adhere to UK safety standards.
You may also wish to consider how these products have been stored and shipped. Retailer standards in many countries will not be as high as they are in the UK with packaging and warehouse facilities often being rated as sub-standard.
Some retailers have also been known to set their websites up in such a way, that to all intents and purposes it appears as if you are purchasing the product from a UK retailer. The website will have a UK domain name and may have a UK address and telephone number but if you look carefully, the company will be based in the Far East. By using such websites, you may not even be aware that the product you are buying is a grey import.
Suddenly, the concept of purchasing cheaper grey stock might be less appealing. When buying from T4 Cameras you can be guaranteed of UK stock, UK warranties and extended warranty options. You will of course also receive T4 Cameras excellent knowledge, service and back up support.
But don’t just take our word for it – here’s what some major manufacturers have to say:
Canon - Canon Grey Imports
Nikon - Nikon Grey Imports
Sigma - Sigma Grey Imports
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