What are Grey Market products?
Most products we carry are covered under warranty from the manufacturer or from a manufacturer's licensed importer. We may also sell some products obtained from sources other than the manufacturer or its licensed importer—these are "grey market" products. Grey market is not illegal, not factory seconds, not demo merchandise, not cheaper or inferior quality. In fact, in almost every instance, a grey market product is absolutely identical to its USA-warranted counterpart. Grey market items are manufactured in the same factories from the same components and sub-assemblies, to the same specs and tolerances, by the same workers, as their USA-warranted counterparts. In terms of the item itself (excepting PAL video; see below) there is no difference at all. The terms "grey market", "direct import" and "imported" refer to the same thing. For example: a grey market Nikon 50mm f/1.4 D-AF lens is exactly the same in every possible way as a USA-warranted version.
What are the differences for me, the customer?
In most cases the difference between a USA product and a grey market or imported product is the cost of the item and the terms of its warranty coverage. The products themselves are otherwise identical. As a rule, grey market items cost less than their USA counterparts. Grey market products never qualify for manufacturer's rebate programs.
What kind of warranty is available?
For IMP items only, provides a warranty identical to the provisions and limitations of the manufacturer's warranty for such items, with the exception of the time period, which is equal to the term of the manufacturer's warranty or one (1) year, whichever is less. Your dated sales receipt is all you need to obtain warranty coverage from FASTPHOTOCARDSfor a grey market product purchased from us.
Should you experience a problem with a USA-warranted product, it can be sent to any of the manufacturer's authorized service facilities for servicing (and some even to any worldwide authorized service facility, depending on the brand). A "direct import" or grey market item would have to be returned to FASTPHOTOCARDSif it required in-warranty service.
For film cameras, lenses and speedlights, a product with a USA warranty should be reciprocally warranted by the manufacturer's service centers worldwide.
A resident of the USA may wish to make the buying decision based on price since the cost of shipping to a US service center or to should be about equal. A non-USA resident should consider the cost of returning a product to in New York for servicing as opposed to the cost of taking the product to a local warranty service center.