Misled into buying a grey-market camera - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chaoticbear, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    I recently bought a Nikon D40 from jandkcameras.com's eBay Express site. They had 11000 good feedbacks, and the price was good, and it seemed legit. I read through the description and must have just skimmed the sentence " Manufacturer's Accessories & 1-Year Store Warranty Included" to mean that the manufacturer's warranty was included. Needless to say, I'm pissed. Mostly at myself for getting suckered in like that, but I even read their feedback, and apparently, hardly anyone else has noticed it! Do you guys have any experience dealing with this kind of thing? I figure that when I call them, I'm going to ask for an original US D40, with manufacturer's warranty, and waiving of the restocking fee. If they can't do that, I'll accept either a grey-market small upgrade (even a d70s or something would work!), and failing that, just ask for a refund, no restocking fee. I don't have the packaging on most of the stuff, because I didn't even notice anything amiss until I unpacked everything (I dumped the battery on the charger first thing, and then got down to unpacking the accessories.)

    Why do I think that it's grey market? I called Nikon USA and gave the serial number, told them about the box that's mostly in Japanese, the "JP" tag on the power cord, and the obviously computer-burned CD that accompanied it (it's blank on on side!?), and they concurred that it was most likely grey-market.

    So am I completely hosed? I'm going to call them anyway, because I haven't left feedback yet, and I hope that will give me some leverage. I'm not going to be a dick about it or anything; I wouldn't have bought the damn thing if I'd known that it was grey-market.
  2. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    If they've got a longstanding feedback record thats generally positive, your options are to:

    (a) complain and maybe try to return it, even though it seems that they were fairly upfront about the store warranty part.
    (b) live with the fact that its grey market because its still the same camera, just a different (probably worse) warranty at a lower price.

    EDIT - Thats not a very good price actually. Not worth the gray market hassles. I take back what I said. Try to get a return and buy it from a reputable vendor.
  3. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Oh man, J&K Cameras is not someone I would ever buy from. Some time ago, a friend was visiting from the UK and ordered a camera from them without speaking to me first (she used our address for delivery). The camera was fine, a good price, but they misled her into buying "high speed" SD flash cards, which turned out to be normal, cheap SD flash cards that were available for a fraction of the price elsewhere. And they sold her a "high capacity" battery that was actually of lower capacity than the one that came with the camera, for twice the price of a spare from the camera manufacturer.

    In total, she could have bought the same camera along with high speed, higher capacity SD flash cards from Costco for less.

    They wouldn't take back the overpriced articles - she did in fact get exactly what she ordered. They didn't accept returns for any reason but faulty equipment.

    Edit: Reseller ratings - http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Best_Price_Cameras_6
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    toss in a threat to contact the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or District Attorney for New York State. That helps speed the process along nicely! :D
  5. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Doesn't make any difference - a lot of these cut price camera stores are run by the same people and already have a terrible BBB rating.
  6. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I do notice that it does indicate that there is no manufacturer's warranty in standard description portion of the listing.

    They didn't exactly write "greymarket!" all over it, but the included bundle is suspiciously large for the price.

    Really, if I were them, I would take it back in resalable condition, but I'd charge you a restocking fee.

    Look on the bright side: at least it wasn't an out-right scam.
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    That's why I like B&H - they clearly mark the grey market products so you know which is which. The price difference is small enough that I don't see the point getting a grey market product unless you're looking for something really hard to find.

    You might be able to get them to play ball but if the stuff you ordered is not defective I'm afraid you'll have a hard time trying to get an exchange.
  8. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    I wouldn't say you were misled, it does say in two different places on that page that it has a "Store Warranty." It's the same camera as a US Market, probably just different packaging and you have to go through the store for warranty service instead of to Nikon.

    So FWIW, I don't think they're going to be willing to lose money on the sale because you didn't understand what you were reading. Just MHO.
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    1) BBB is just a marketing firm that company pay a fee to so they can show a BBB logo. This it. I doubt they paid for the logo. The only thing BBB can do about a complaint to refuse a renewal fee, but of course they hate to do that

    2) The DA will only care in a case of fraud and this appears to be not fraud but got a un-informed buyer and an aggressive salesman doing his job

    Nothing wrong with a grey market camera. Half my Nikon equipment is grey market. After the one year warenty period is over there is exactly zero difference between USA and grey.
  10. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    How were you mislead, it clear states "1-Year Store Warranty Included"
  11. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC

    Don't focus on being "misled" with them. Tell them it was not clear from the posting it was grey market and that you'd like to return for a refund, with you paying shipping (both ways). Try to avoid restock fee.

    If you have to, threaten that you'll make clear in feedback that their posting could do better to inform buyers it's grey market.
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I'm sorry. I have little symapthy for you. If the price is that much more attractive than others can offer, that should be enough for anyone to question how and why?
  13. sblasl macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2004
    Heber Springs, AR
    The 3 Pc. Lens Cleaning Kit is quite impressive.:rolleyes:
  14. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth

    I'd recommend 'playing nice' based on you "missing" the Grey Market issue and see how they respond nicely.

    Hold off on providing feedback as long as you can.

    Ideally, you want still giving them negative marks regarding the Grey Market "not being prominent", but don't want to tick them off until you get your money back. Also, this way if they give you a hard time, you'll be able to make sure that that's in the feedback too.

    FWIW, consider drafting what you think you want your feedback to read and post it here first...we can help wordsmith it :D

    Overall, this is an example of why I don't use eBay for important purchases.

  15. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    BBB Report on jandkcameras.com AKA Best Price Cameras

    I don't see the BBB logo on either the Ebay store or the website? What are you referring to?
    Do you have any basis for your statements about the BBB?

    In order to display the BBB Online logo, the website and the seller's written policies have to be reviewed and conform to the BBB's criteria, and the seller has to sign a contract stipulating that they will follow the BBB's policies.
  16. chaoticbear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    You know, other than the warranty difference, I guess this isn't that big of a deal. I'll definitely call them on Monday (if they're open), and see what they're willing to do, but I guess that if I'm stuck with the camera, I'm stuck with the camera. I was just REALLY angry the other day, but I've kind of calmed down.

    Thanks for your help everyone - I'll be sure to report back next week.
  17. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    No, that's not true. Nikon USA has the asinine policy of not touching an out of market camera for repair work regardless of warranty status. So, if it breaks and you want to pay to have it fixed by Nikon USA, it can't ever be a grey market camera. A Nikon USA imported body they'll fix for money after the warranty period.

    The OP should just consider insuring the camera or pricing 3rd party extended warranties from Mack or someone.
  18. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Right at the very top of the page, on the second line of the item description, in big bold black print, on a line by itself, it clearly states there is no manufacturer's warranty. Soz.
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    While it does clearly state that the warranty was a "store" warranty, I think that people who aren't into electronics and would never post on computer-related forums are likely to have never heard of the word "grey market", and don't realize that the camera market is full of grey market items, even sold at legit stores like B&H. Sure, you and I know this, and by knowing this, we can look out for it. However, no matter how much some people research the camera before purchasing, many people would just see the word "warranty" and feel reassured. They wouldn't know (until there's a problem) that Nikon wouldn't fix their new camera. After all, why wouldn't Nikon offer a warranty on a camera they made themselves?

    Anyway, I can think of many smart people who would probably miss that little detail because they don't know what signs to look for. If my stepfather was buying a car, he'd feel right at home.....even moreso than me. However, ask him to buy a camera, and I'm sure he'd ask me for advice beforehand.

    HOWEVER, the fact that the OP is internet savvy enough to even purchase on eBay (which isn't something my stepfather would even do), and the fact that he found this place, registered, and has posted here means that he's likely knowledgeable enough to know better. :eek:

  20. jcdancemom macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    okay..so after reading all this and trying to absorb it...and yeah..i'm new to this forum...i'm trying to decide what to do. i've been researching, reading info on the nikon d40 by ken rockwell and skimming ebay for camera kits. jandkcameras.com has a good deal. but....is it bad to buy grey market? would i be better off just getting the camera and the lens it comes with from a local dealer? i love the idea of being able to get a couple lenses, one being the newer VR lens. are there any reputable dealers on ebay that sell US Nikon in the kits? thanks!:)
  21. tsk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2004
    First, it may be more useful for you to repost this in a separate thread rather than piggy-backing here.

    My experience is that eBay is almost always a waste of my time when I shop for a camera. I would look at places like Amazon, Beach Camera and B&H Photo and Video (of those, only B&H sells gray market and they label them). Generally, on eBay, I find that you have to worry about what you buy. Not stating a camera has a US warranty may mean it is a gray market. In addition, the eBay cameras are almost always more expensive than reputable online stoes. I also would not buy any kits that include things like memory cards, bags and several (generally cheap) lenses. I would purchase the camera alone and buy any accessories you want separately (since they are almost always overpriced, and you can select exactly what you want).
  22. sblasl macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2004
    Heber Springs, AR
    I would look on the Nikonian.com site in their classified/marketplace section. Very good deals and very reliable sellers in my experience.
  23. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    Follow your plan and if it doesn't go the way you planned...

    then chalk it up to experience and move forward with your life. If your D40 is functioning, then just use it. It's really not that much money. Says a lot when Costo has them for under $500. I like the D80 for the sensor & for the money. Sell the D40 when the D80's replacement comes out. Should be in about 6 months or so.

    I'm not that big a fan of B&H (though I've never had a problem with them, I've never had friendly service there). I'm the idjut that prefers my local brick-and-mortar store that I have to pay tax at.

    It's just...
    after developing a good rapport with a very friendly local salesperson, we get prices that are slightly lower than B&H, except I pay sales tax (which I'm stupid enough to report on internet purchases anyway)

    If we don't like a product or have any issues with it, we just bring it in. I don't have to try to get somebody to pick up a phone or try to get my money back from somebody in another state who doesn't want to take the time to help me, much less refund my money. I like accountability.

    It's worth it in the long run. IMHO, it's stupid to spend my time and effort trolling for a slightly better deal when I just spend a few bucks more for peace of mind, easy returns/refunds, and I get what I need sooner.
  24. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    First off, it's much better to buy a camera and lenses at a local camera shop so that you can establish a rapport there, get valuable service as far as advice, instructions on using the camera, classes on using the camera (if they're offered), and just general all-around good will between customer and store.

    Secondly, if you HAVE to order online, for heaven's sake don't order from anywhere without first checking http://www.resellerratings.com or Don Wiss' excellent site (http://www.donwiss.com) where he has a number of photos of the interesting "photo stores" in Brooklyn, many of which are owned by one company and which are not actual stores at all....

    In ordering online go to reputable places:

    Penn Camera
    Berger Brothers
    Ace photo
    (there are more, these just come to the top of my head right now)

    Unfortunately, I think the OP has been suckered by jandkcameras.....

    That particular outfit has been discussed on here before. It's always a good idea to do a search on these forums, photography forums and an overall google search before actually entering into any sort of transaction with an online camera dealer. Especially when buying a consumer camera the few bucks you think you may be saving by going online, especially to a place such as jandkcameras as opposed to your local brick-and-mortar shop may be wasted or the amount you spend far exceeded by the time you get through with these shysters..... Go to your local brick-and-mortar shop. Handle the camera. Talk to the knowledgeable people there, get an idea of what you REALLY want and what you REALLY need.... and when you get the camera home and run into problems, your local shop is just a phone call or a quick drive away.

    Someone on here mentioned Ken Rockwell. He is not the end-all-and-be-all authority on Nikon cameras and lenses. Take his writings with a huge grain of rock salt and look for more authoritative and accurate information elsewhere. Thom Hogan, for starters, is much more respected.....
  25. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I'd just add Adorama, KEH and Ritz Online to that list for camera bodies or lenses, and Amvona (via eBay[1]) for lighting modifiers. For DC area folks, I'd put Ace at the top of the list.

    [1.] If you're patient enough, you can get significant discounts on softboxes by just underbidding on their auctions until you win one.

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