With so many gadgets coming out left and right, people want to get the latest gadget on their hands. But, I am sure you would want to make the most out of your hard-earned money. Many people resort to buying in the gray market for so many things, including gadgets.
However, is it really practical and wise to buy your next electronic device in the gray?
Well, I had my fair share of buying gadgets via gray market. While I may have been lucky, most of the time, I did encounter some hiccups and nightmares buying from the gray stores.
So, as a reminder to myself, and others like me, here are few things to consider when buying your next gadget:
You don’t get fake items from authorized distributors and resellers. This is the first and most obvious reason why people don’t buy from the gray market. In the advent of technology, so is the advancement of cloning. The abundance of fake or clone gadgets does not only hit the Philippine market, but also, the international gray market electronics. Even some of the gadget guys abroad got spooked by online resellers.
Obviously, if you purchase your gadget from authorized distributors and resellers, you can be assured of the standards of the device.
Worst case scenario is that you’d be getting a gadget with factory defect – which consideration number 3 would likely be able to address.
3. Return Policies
In cases that you get a faulty unit or with factory defect, you can always return your device/s within the period covered by the return policy of the store. Plus, if the service of any staff suck, then, there always a supervisor or manager you can call or a website that you can address.
Sometimes, when you buy from the gray market, it is hard to return items. Either you have to prove that it is really a faulty device or you will be thought of mishandling the item. It can be pretty messy if seller won’t accept the good/s as faulty. Arrgh.
This is probably one of the most important aspects of buying from an authorized store – WARRANTY. The gray market stores may tell you that your device/s have warranty, but you have to be clear of the coverage of the warranty.
Some may have warranty, but only in a very limited time, like one week, one to six months. While other gray market stores only offer warranty on services.
A few thousands of difference between the gray market store and authorized stores may be catchy, but may not be all worth it in the long run. Parts of electronic devices do not come cheap. And this can be a pain in the neck if you have come to overlook this aspect.
Like Thinkdharma Inc., the exclusive distributor of Nikon cameras in the country, has a comparative table of some of their Nikon DSLRs compared to prices in the gray market.
Warranty in authorized distributors, resellers and stores may cover both for parts and services. This can be pretty handy, when the need arises.
5. Payment Options (Credit Card or Cash)
For those with a tight budget, gray market may not always be cheaper, as it would spell CASH basis. For those with credit cards, payment options for installment in authorized stores is a sweet deal. Especially nowadays when 12-to-24 zero installment programs are easier than before. Like what Beyond the Box did last month in their campaign for Macbook Airs together with their partner credit cards.
6. Add-ons, Perks and Support
For people wanting the most out of their devices, many authorized stores have promos for accessories, services and even special access to events when you purchase your products through them.
Like the Thinkdharma, when you buy Nikon DSLRs from them, you get 2 years of free cleaning, free introductory DSLR training and discount on their advance photography seminars with Nikon Professional Photographers.
While other gadget stores have special add-ons like casings, memory cards, etc.
You also have a way to communicate to the gadget store online through their social media accounts. That’s the beauty of having an authorized distributor or store – knowing it is backed up by people employed to do their task.
7. Security and Peace of Mind
Fortunate are those who did not encounter any mishaps in their transaction in the gray market. But, it is not a secret, than many get scammed buying from unauthorized resellers. Sadly, it hard to get back on those unscrupulous people selling online or through “easy-to-get-away” rented stalls.
As for legitimate and authorized stores, it is easy to spot them and also easy to know how to get back to them in cases of concerns. Making easy for transactions to happen and after-sales services to be accommodated.
As for me, I would want to comfortably use my gadget with ease, knowing my device is covered by a legitimate and authorized seller.
Shopping for gray market electronics is not for everyone. If it works for you pretty well to shop there, even if there are few risks, so be it.
But if you want security, peace of mind, assured quality and after-sales services, then buying your gadgets from authorized distributors and resellers is THE way to go. Best of all, it saves you time trying to figure out if the goods are ok or not. All you need to spend your time for is knowing what specific gadget to buy.FOLLOW MY ADVENTURES ON:
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