The World Is Smaller


I needed a piece of camera gear for an upcoming trip. After checking around, I decided to order a ‘grey market’ version. Grey market means it isn’t intended for sale in the US. It’s not covered by a US warranty.

That’s the only difference–except price. I saved around 35%.

My purchase on EBay from a ‘store’ in Hong Kong was made early Friday afternoon in SoCal. Eight hours later it was out-the-door and on its way. FedEx has a daily non-stop 747 from Hong Kong to Memphis, which is how it probably travelled.

My package cleared customs in Memphis then took another flight to LAX. By early this morning it was on a truck in Irvine, delivered to my door before 10:30 AM.

The world is smaller than I thought. I’m impressed.

3 thoughts on “The World Is Smaller”

  1. I’ve bought beads and findings for making jewelry from ebay stores in china. Shipping was impressively fast and the quality was better than I expected. I have a chinese god carved in a large piece of lapis bought and shipped direct from China. It’s is one of the most beautiful pieces I own.
    Glad you found what you wanted. Ebay is great for that.

  2. Geoff,

    Is it really of comparable quality? Is it really made by the brand you believe it to be? Sure, we all know that stores and big websites make a big thing out of what’s meant to be sold in the US and what isn’t. And I recall as a kid — maybe you do, too — of finding out how (and for cheaper) you could buy slide film and snail mail to Kodak in Canada and have it mailed to your house with the same quality (and about 1/3 less the cost) than using the neighborhood stationery or pharmacy.

    Finally, why was this gear not meant for sale in the US? Just to save the warranty cost?

    1. It’s exactly the same. Camera companies choose to sell at different prices in different places. That’s always been the case. I remember grey market goods when I was a kid.

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