A Grey Market product, which can also be known as a Parallel Import, bypasses the Australian wholesaler distribution framework. While it is not illegal to import directly from a manufacturer, the buyer needs to be aware of what this means for them. Any item you purchase online should say if it is a parallel import, but sadly, this does not always happen.
The world of online shopping is a wonderful place. But, all too often we are contacted by people who have purchased a product online at a bargain price that is not behaving as they expect and there is no support. It is quite common to see brands, such as Hikvision, whose cameras, NVRs and other CCTV equipment are being sold at unbelievably low prices compared to other reputable online websites.
But the advert said it was not grey market...
There are two main indicators to be aware of that may signify that the product may be a grey market import: OEM and low price.
The words OEM in the product information listing informs the buyer that the product is made by the original equipment manufacturer. However, be aware that is may not be to the same standard as the branded Hikvision products. Many OEM products are made to a price with fewer quality parts or lower grade software/firmware, which makes them considerably cheaper than the products imported for the Australian market.
No online purchase comes without the risk of making sure what you have ordered is the product you will receive. When purchasing a grey market product, either intentionally or unintentionally, the buyer needs to be aware of the risks.
No manufacturer's warranty.
The buyer is unable to return the product to the manufacturer in Australia for a repair or replacement of a faulty item. The buyer will need to deal directly with the person who sold the product for a warranty claim and they may not honour the same warranty period as a non-grey market product.
The buyer will be unable to access local distributor technical support if the product fails or is not working correctly.
No firmware upgrades.
The product will be unable to accept Australian firmware upgrades and may not work in the Australian local environment.
There are precautions you can take before you purchase a Hikvision product. Hikvision has a dealer partner program where you can ask the seller to provide the Hikvision dealer partner certificate to show they are an authorised supplier of Hikvision products suitable for the Australian market.
My product has arrived, how do I know it is not a grey market product?
If you are ever concerned that the product you have purchased is not genuine and maybe grey market, give us a call. As an authorised Hikvision dealer we can check the serial number of your product direct with Hikvision Australia, ensuring that your product was made for the Australian market.
What are the benefits of buying non-grey market products?
Purchasing a genuine Hikvision product gives you access to three year warranty, technical support, firmware upgrades, and the confidence that you are dealing with a local Australian distributor. As always when buying online, remember the old adage; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.