Here’s a list of online camera stores to avoid, these commonly pop up on Google Shopping, and Google doesn’t seem to care enough to take them down.
These vendors are generally shady, try to upsell you on accessories or “the real version” of what you’re trying to buy. Almost all of these vendors are not Nikon or Canon authorized vendors.
What you shouldn’t do
- Buy their product direct from their website, especially if using a credit card number
- Buy their product on eBay without carefully reading the listing
What you can do:
Buy their product on eBay or in store, after carefully reading the listing/ what they have to say
- These vendors do have some loopholes they can go around like the “US Warranty” badge when selling a gray-market camera
- Gray market cameras are cameras imported from other countries, that Canon or Nikon will refuse to service from a US Warranty.
- The US Warranty the seller offers is mediocre at best, don’t rely on it at all.
- Always make sure to check what’s inside the box, make sure the lens they say you’re getting is what you actually get.
- A lot of these lens+body bundles were “split” to be sold separately for profit, then bundled with another cheaper lens. A Canon reputable dealer is not allowed to do this.
- In the end, if you don’t get what you paid for, you do have recourse if you bought on eBay.
- eBay generally sides with customers for complaints and will refund you if you receive an item that wasn’t as described
Vendors to avoid include:
- Gadget Circuit
- America Cameras
- Nice Electronics (upsell scam)
- fumfie (sells gray market but doesn’t inform buyer)
- Abe’s of Maine (upsell scam)
- Chat and Vision
- 6th Avenue Electronics/Express (use eBay only)
Most of these vendors sell gray market cameras without letting the customer know. How can you tell though? The price is lower than a popular site like B&H.
Unlike these sites, B&H, Adorama, etc are genuine retailers and have a minimum sale price set for their products, anyone who goes below this price can’t be a genuine re-seller of camera products.
It’s fine to buy a gray market camera, just don’t expect any warranty support. If you need warranty support for a gray market camera, try a third party service like squaretrade.