Nikon lens - grey import?

  exdragon 12:41 21 Jun 2012

Hi - I've just looked at a Nikon 50mm f1.8D lens on Amazon and it's quoting around £90. I rang our local Calumet to check their price and it's £106. I heaved a sigh and said, 'Oh well, I expect it's back to Amazon' to which the chap said that it would be a grey import from China and I wouldn't be able to get it repaired.

I wasn't really expecting them to do an exact price match, but how do I know if he's right? I have a vague feeling he said the same thing when I was price checking for a friend who wanted a Canon G12.

  siouxah1 13:43 21 Jun 2012

exdragon. I purchased a Nikon lens a while ago and came to the conclusion that it was a grey import. Good price LOL.

I emailed Nikon UK and they said that the lens would be covered by warranty in the UK as long as I had proof of purchase. This would not be so with the camera body.

However for peace of mind email Nikon. They answer quite quickly.

  dms_05 13:44 21 Jun 2012

It's a standard reply from UK retailers who are made uncompetitive by their suppliers (in this case Nikon but I'm not surprised to hear Canon mentioned). Over the years the UK seems to have had long periods where we've been uncompetitive on the price of imported goods. One reason is the variability of the exchange rate but more serious is the desire for some suppliers to charge more in the UK. The goods offered on Amazon are probably 100% genuine items that happen to come from another country where the price is lower than the UK. However they are 100% genuine and if the UK supplier is so sure the item will go wrong within the guarantee period and a repair will be necessary then I'd avoid the items concerned from any source (UK or not).

  BT 17:28 21 Jun 2012

I would hope that even a 'Grey' import would still be a Nikon lens not a third party fake. Most grey imports are the genuine article just not UK imports, and I would still expect them to be of the same quality, and not expect them to normally need repair within the normal guarantee period.

That said to pay your money and take your choice, and the difference in price is probably within the normal variation between retailers.

  Forum Editor 19:44 21 Jun 2012

My immediate reaction is to say that I've been using SLRs for many years, and have never once had to have a lens repaired.

Provided this lens is a genuine Nikon product it wouldn't worry me whether it came from China, or from anywhere else for that matter.

  exdragon 19:51 21 Jun 2012

Perhaps it was just sour grapes on Calumet's part! Touch wood, none of my camera gear so far has gone pear-shaped.

  morddwyd 21:06 21 Jun 2012

Amazon are known for being more than generous in honouring guarantees, both their own and manufacturers'.

I don't recall them being big players in the "grey import" market, though a company that size wills source wherever they can.

  spuds 23:28 21 Jun 2012

But Amazon might not be so generous if the item was purchased from perhaps a MarketPlace seller?.

  Forum Editor 00:39 22 Jun 2012

Having checked the item I can say that it's being offered by an Amazon Marketplace seller, and not by the company itself.

  interzone55 21:56 23 Jun 2012

I was in the market for a Sony camera a couple of months back, and the best price I saw was from SLR Hut, and was in the process of completing the sale when they sneakily added VAT.

There was no mention that the prices quoted in big print were ex-vat, and that purchases were subject to VAT and a hefty delivery charge from the US.

I ended up buying a second hand from London Camera Exchange

  siouxah1 17:28 24 Jun 2012

EsDragon. This is a copy of the email I received from Nikon.

Managed to find it in my records.

Thank you for contacting Nikon regarding your lens,

Quote -- All Nikon lenses have a worldwide warranty, so any warranty issues with your lens will be looked after by Nikon UK for you. You will need to provide a proof of purchase, so please keep your sales receipt in a safe place in case you need it.

If you have any further queries regarding this matter, please click the link above to update your question. -- end quote

Kind Regards By the way , the lens had a USA serial number.

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