When you go out to buy some camera equipment, you would think that people would do their research, right? Wrong!
Price is very important in todays world, its January just after the Christmas rush and people are eager to snap up a bargin at a moments notice. I mean who could blame them? With overdue credit card bills piling in through the front letterbox you can understand it! But sometimes you have to stop, and think why so cheap?!
Throughout my time working in photography, I'm always the first to barter on price. Until I realised there must be something wrong, when something is hundreds of pounds cheaper than someone else, so I did some digging!
I did a quick Google search for a popular Canon camera provides me with a list of results , most are similarly priced, unless used of course, but then there is always one that sticks out!
After seeing this! I then have a look at three popular retailers who are all selling the camera at exactly the same price. at £999! Which makes this guy £228.99 cheaper than everyone else! Hmm....
I have seen some of the trade prices of these expensive electronic devices in my time, which retailers make little or next to no margin on, so this in my mind it just didn't make sense. Where are they making there money? Then.... I realised why!
These items are sold as "Grey Goods" or "Grey imports" which means they can be classed non genuine items, or be packed with the wrong accessories. Furthermore, they may be applicable for VAT at the border as you will be classed as the legal "importer" as these guys are mainly based overseas. For us in the UK thats an extra 20% straight away. Here's Canons' definition...
They also may not be applicable for those nice chunky Cashback claims (again because they are not actually classed as "real"). That warrantee you thought you had too, forget it. Grey imports arn''t normally serviceable either for the same reason!
They are very sneaky and put a UK phone number at the top of the page to entice you to buy. Some have even developed lots of testimonials to convince others of there authenticity. Some of these may be real (for those who don't realised they have been duped) or just fake claims to make themselves look better. Again all a bit of a show. I've heard of story's of people separating cameras and lenses and selling them separately too! Maximizing there profits! Say WHAT!!?
My advice? Don't buy Grey!
If you are looking at buying a camera, I would head to a reliable camera store such as Jessops, Park Cameras or Wex. They all stock genuine UK stock and you won't have any nasty surprises after that big purchase!
Happy Snapping! Oh and heres some happy kittens, smiling that you've not been duped! :D
What is Grey Market [online]. (No date.). Available from: <https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/groups/gray-market/!ut/p/z1/jdBLj4JADADgX8NRWkURvI2CMkY0GhTsxYDBkYiMQVyy_17UvawPYm9tvj5SIAiAsvAnEWGRyCxMq3xN-sadO4bDBzgxXLuJzPaWhjXvjLxpF_w7wA_BEOib_hpA9eN9oP8rZsOWjcz1VhNX4xrO2s8AF2YXmW7pjjntI-evYNVvV8C0BlpreFvzB2quGAOJVEaPh7Es0gwBlMe7OI9z9ZJX5X1RnM49BRUsy1IVUoo0VrdSvRwUfNe0l-cCgmcLp-MywIQ3KPotr_zmdTI!/#hazards>. [Accessed Sun 22nd Jan 2016].