There is a lesson here for all, particularly when purchasing expensive gear. Expensive is really a relative term with a value that differs per individual and can’ t end up being generalized, the stuff being stated here applies to all values associated with items. It comes down to how much worth the item has to you and whether you are prepared to risk that value versus the guarantee programs being offered. Obviously the bigger the cost, the higher the risk.
I usually continually buy my all of my camera gear right here in the US of A, because which is where I live and I like to go purchase the expensive stuff in person at a Tracks Photo and Video store to ensure it arrives safely.
Well, 4 years and? several weeks ago I broke that individual rule to buy a Nikkor 600mm F4 VR lens from Canada. The main reason I did so was because the zoom lens had been unavailable in the USA for over 6 months and I was tired of waiting. Therefore one week when we were on vacation we all drove up to Montreal Canada plus purchased the 600mm there. All of us made sure it was an ‘ Certified Nikon’ dealer before purchasing and when all the paperwork was finalized all of us happily drove back to the US associated with A with our new lens. Notice: after tariffs and Canadian fees it wasn’ t any less expensive than buying from the USA.
Lets move forward 4 yrs and 9 months to these days and the VR on my valued? 00mm decided to play up. Nikon Canada has a 5 year guarantee on lenses from authorized Canadian dealers so we are in good fingers right?
Well the solution is not so simple.
I know we have a global community, what exactly I want to recommend to everybody is certainly buy local, not just local yet from ‘ Authorized Local Dealer’ for anything expensive in the digital camera department. At the very least check cross edge warranty coverage before making overseas buys.
Here’ s our experience in bullet points:
- Bought the zoom lens from Canada – live in the united states ($10, 000 lens).
- Bought from an authorized seller (Canadian).
- Kept all my receipts plus store information.
- Have got my warranty card.
- Have problem with VR and the zoom lens definitely needs servicing.
- Contact Nikon USA to repair
- Nikon USA doesn’ capital t honor Canadian Warranty, no certain reciprocal system of warranty
- Maybe can get special treatment, yet really up to Nikon USA restoration center
- OK – no problem, Canada not too far aside, send to Canada for restoration.
- Run into problems on staples (UPS Shipping Center) – spend an hour there with them trying to puzzle out shipping options
- In fact that, they run into a tug at and can only insure for $5, 000, remember the lens price $10, 000 to replace
- What to do now, turns out only a firm label or UPS store may insure higher (up to fifty dollars, 000)
- Call the UPS store, turns out they have various insurance rates – $200 just for insurance plan, let alone boxing and shipping.
- To be sure your insurance may have maximum chance of being paid it truly needs to be packed by the UPS shop.
- OH, and there might be customs tariffs involved because of delivery overseas (international)
- Therefore my hair turns gray and am decide to ship from local EPISODES Staples at their $106 cost, versus $350 plus from EPISODES store.
Today the waiting game begins, await arrival at Nikon Toronto restoration center and wait for news associated with repair status, then safe come back of lens. Some items like delivery would still apply if I acquired made the purchase local, yet I have definitely made my life definitely harder by purchasing such an expensive product across country borders. I will get worried every day until that lens earnings safely or I will be crying in the event that something happens and there is not sufficient insurance to cover the item. Had I purchased it at my favorite store such as usual, I would just have driven this there and avoided all these small roadblocks.
EDIT (below updated/added) 4/17/2014
- Lens arrives in Toronto services center – UPS sends shipping confirmation (my $5000 insurance danger OK – phew)
- 24hrs since Nikon received the lens – no contact through Nikon to confirm from they the particular received it
- I actually call them, they say I have not really included any paperwork which is why they didn’ t contact me
- 36hrs since delivery – We contact them again (international contact rates) – They find our paperwork after I tell them its within the steel Nikon camera box the particular lens is in.
- Rofl – they have had it for more than 36hrs and not even opened the situation to find the paperwork (on a 10 great lens)
- 54hrs considering that Nikon received my lens – No official email or telephone contact from Nikon to confirm shipping or receipt of the lens however: (
The lesson for everyone here in a nutshell is, until you don’ t care about warranty plus repairs to your gear, you should buy from the country’ s authorized dealer.
- In Australia, buy from an Australian certified dealer
- In UNITED STATES, buy from a USA Authorized dealer
- In Canada, buy from the Canadian authorized dealer etc…
Buying from an additional country is easy to do, but getting things repaired under warranty or even with out warranty across borders can be one more matter.
Quite simply, you would like warranty or repairs to your gear without fear of problems, buy inside your countries border and make sure they are authorized any kind of, make sure you keep your receipts. There are some mix border warranty that will be honored, several are worldwide, but not always as well as the time periods of the warranty coverage can differ dramatically. For example my lens includes a 5 year warranty in Europe but to get it repaired in the united states the warranty period is much lower than 5 years. Nikon is very stringent about cross border warranties.
On a special note, the things i did was not a gray marketplace purchase, that is a whole different matter. Huge camera companies usually have subsidiaries in various regions of the world to import, cost and repair the manufacturers product. Grey market is defined as a product not brought in by the subsidiary. In USA the official subsidiary would be Nikon USA Inc. plus Canada it would be Nikon Canada Incorporation. etc . Because each subsidiary is in charge of warranties, they set and associated with rules.
So the gray market Nikon camera product in the USA would for example be a digital camera that was imported by someone besides Nikon USA. The chances of any kind of warranty being honored by the producer on gray market items are usually slim to none or just that offered by the original seller who seem to imported it. I used Nikon here in this example, but it might be Canon, Sony, Sigma or any additional camera / lens manufacturer.? This probably gets even worse when buying from places like auction web sites .
In closing, be cautious and thoughtful before you buy your costly gear. I did not buy my zoom lens from Canada to save money, it had been because of availability, but if you are purchasing from another country you much better understand how it will affect future maintenance and warranties. Good Luck.
EDIT: 15th April 2014 – Some of the comments I have received below existing very helpful content that expand more on ones understanding of shipping restrictions, Nikon Warranty and worldwide problems and might be worth reading, nearly as an extens