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Nikon D200 - Grey Market camera

Sanjay Agarwal , Jun 02, 2007; 06:22 p.m.

I recently bought a Nikon D200 from a website. However the camera did not come with a manual and says 'Made in Thailand'. The box has two letters (hk) next to the D200. I called Nikon USA and asked if it is an original one(from the serial number). They mentioned that its original but made for Hongkong market and will not cover warranty(1 yr) in US. Has anyone had experience with grey market Nikon D200? Should I worry about the warranty and return the camera?

Responses

Arnab Pratim Das , Jun 02, 2007; 06:54 p.m.

No grey market products are covered under warranty by Nikon US. That's one key reason why grey market products exist (at a lower price) in the first place. If you must have warranty coverage you should return the grey market product and buy an authorized US product.

What could be more worrying is that I once heard Nikon US doesn't service grey market cameras, not even for a fee. That restricts you only to 3rd party repairmen should something ever go wrong.

Michael R. Freeman , Jun 02, 2007; 07:34 p.m.

Let me guess - you bought it from "Best Price Cameras"? "Express Cameras"? Or some similar "unbelievable price" website?

All D200's are made in Thailand. But yours was imported by a third party other than Nikon USA, and will not be covered under warranty and as Arnab notes above they won't touch it even if you pay them to fix it should something go wrong.

Were I in your position, I would be looking to return the camera, but I suspect you'll be facing a pretty high "restocking fee", probably on the order of 15%. If you do return it, buy a USA model from SOMEONE ELSE who is an AUTHORIZED Nikon dealer.

Good luck.

Andrew McLurkin , Jun 02, 2007; 09:06 p.m.

Sanjay, on the bright side your camera is the same as the U.S. market camera until (IF) it breaks during the first year of use. After that grey market becomes a non-factor. One option is to enjoy your camera at the reduce purchase price.

Shun Cheung , Jun 02, 2007; 09:19 p.m.

Andrew, what you said is not entire correct. Nikon USA will never fix any gray-market camera, even though you are willing to pay for the repair. Therefore, should your gray-market D200 develop some problem in 2 years, you'll have a hard time getting it fixed. For DSLRs, in the US, nobody outside of Nikon USA has the experties to repair them. So the situation is very different from a gray-market 50mm/f1.4 AI-S lens, which a lot of local repair shops can fix.

Sanjay Agarwal , Jun 02, 2007; 10:25 p.m.

Thanks to all of you for responding. Looks like its better to return and buy a US one(piece of mind) than to hope that nothing will go wrong ever. As Shun and others pointed out that Nikon USA will never fix grey-market camera even after the warranty period, it makes sense to go for the US model.

Its a strange policy from Nikon USA that they will not fix it even for a fee as what if I happen to be in transit to Hongkong and buy this camera from a duty free shop there.

Shun Cheung , Jun 02, 2007; 11:57 p.m.

It is not at all a strange policy for Nikon USA. Nikon USA makes its money from selling cameras and lenses, not from repairing them. When you buy gray market, you are by-passing Nikon USA, who makes no money from it. If everybody buys gray, Nikon USA will out of business. Not fixing gray-market products is their way of discouraging people from buying gray. If Nikon USA were willing to fix gray-market products, they would be helping to put themselves out of business.

The same thing happens for Nikon Canada. Since Canadian prices are much higher, Canadians like to buy from the US, but a Nikon US product is gray-market in Canada for the same reason.

If you travel to Hong Kong and buy one there, as long as you have a receipt from a store in Hong Kong, then your camera is not gray as far as Nikon USA is concerned.

The entire problem is price differences in different countries.

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