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B&H discounted some grey market Nikon lenses

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Today B&H discounted several grey market Nikon lenses, probably as a result of the new Nikon price policy that will take effect on October 16th. The best deal seems to be the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G lens for $1,689 ($310.95 discount, regular price of US version is $1,799.00).

The rest of the discounted grey market Nikkor lenses:

Please note that those are all grey market products but they still carry 1 year warranty from B&H (see this post for details or check directly with B&H).
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  • AnoNemo

    I wonder whether this new Nikon policy makes it violation to carry grey market lenses. Now the second question is that if so then whether it is legal. I think requiring the dealer not to carry certain items (e.g. grey market products) could be illegal in the US. But you never know…

    • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

      Well it’s not that you can’t carry grey market cameras but if you do you jeopardize relationship with your domestic distributor. That’s not to say you can’t be a small online store that only deals in grey market.

      • AnoNemo

        What I was trying to say that we may have some very interesting situations with these “Recommended Retail Prices”

      • billy

        Yes, I have read the FULL policy. If a dealer sells ANY of the products on the “MVP” list below MAP price they may lose their right to sell that item. This applies to grey market product as well “Add to cart” prices.

        The way Nikon worded it was that “A seller may choose to sell a product for whatever price they choose, but then Nikon may reserve the right to no longer sell to that dealer.”

        It’s a really strict 1 strike and you’re out policy, and you’re going to see everyone snap into compliance with MAP pretty fast I think. Thats why Amazon and everyone else are unloading stock now.

        • Leuf

          I’d love to see the retailers call their bluff. What is Nikon going to do if all the major players just keep doing what they were doing? Pick up their ball and leave the US market? But the big fish don’t really care, if everyone’s prices are the same people are going to go to the bigger names solely on reputation, so it’s in their interest to fall in line while the little fish don’t have enough sway to do anything about it.

          • dyna

            Nikon is doing this to even the playing field. If B&H and its ilk continue to use Nikon product as a loss leader (which is often the case), brick and mortar stores will simply vanish… among other consequences.

            I’ve heard plenty of people lament the loss of the knowledgeable camera store and the rise of the know-nothings… a lot of this has to do with profitability of which there is little to be had in the modern digital market. When MAP policy has a lens that is marked up 10% over net, and B&H decide to sell it at net, what is a local retailer to do to cover their costs when needing to match the price at cost because the “photographer” tells them they’re “irrelevant” if they can’t meet the online dealer? Especially when B&H keep their profits to a minium for tax purposes (this is nothing secret).

            What happened is Sony’s unilateral pricing bought major loyalty from brick and mortar dealers who could use their greater level of service to their advantage KNOWING they could answer “no you won’t” to the question of “I’ll find this cheaper on the web.” Sony did right by the specialty retailers, and Nikon is tired of watching their marketshare shrink at brick and mortar stores because of the pricing policies and excellent technology Sony bring to the table.

            What will happen: Canon will become the online darling for the time being until they, too, begin to hear it from the brick and mortar retailer about ridiculous price discrepancies between online and brick and mortar, until the brick and mortar retailer simply begins turning that prospective Rebel customer into an A65 customer (which we will any way, the A65 is a superior product) on a regular basis, a 7D user to an A77 user, and, thanks to Nikon’s new policy, a Full Frame Canon cat to a Full Frame Nikon cat. It’s not hard. The vast majority of the market remains NEW buyers, not system owners… and the stores have all the power in the world to influence the market and influence it they have. Nikon got smart.

            You internet buyers have it wrong: the stores aren’t price gouging you, you’re gouging the stores (not to mention the local tax fund… you wonder why prices keep going up, keep buying tax free and asking that ridiculously obvious question). They are stuck offering the best price they can in an unprofitable environment and you put them against the wall.

            This pricing was bound to happen eventually. Everyone, especially Nikon, watched Sony like a hawk when they announced, noted the surge, and will learn to follow. I’m surprised it took this long.

            • http://www.modifiedphotographics.com Jason

              Best post ever… on this subject. And so true.

            • Anonymus Maximus

              you raise many valid points, but Sonys rise in market share might also have something to do with the fact that they actually can deliver product.

            • Jabs

              @dyna

              Nice DREAM of yours, but no basis in reality in America though.

              Fantasy for sure!

              Sony sells more products in Japan and perhaps NOT in America, as a bit player here.

              Sony’s reputation is NOT stellar in America while Nikon IS.

              People dream about a conquest while fabricating the evidence themselves = presenting a case dishonestly to AGREE with your assumed facts or wishes – baloney.

              Sony is NOT a Pro contender and their gear is TOO CHEAP for anyone to want to do what they do with Nikon or Canon with in the grey market, so perhaps you live in another country or another time bordering on the future in YOUR dreams.

              Business person here and well aware of what is happening IN America now.

              Sony has NO $8,000 bodies and sells less DSLR’s totally than even a lowly Nikon D3100 = facts!

              D7000 and D5100 are the number one and two selling DSLR’s in America as far as I know.

              Canon used to be the top dog, but Nikon ran over them recently in America as far as I know.

              Grey market importation is about DOLLARS and brand preferences or even high buck spenders and NOT idle dreams!

              Sorry!!!

              Sony has nothing to offer the high end spenders in America = you dreaming and wishing upon a star or such maladies.

              Nikon brands as used gear probably sell more than ALL that Sony sells yearly NEW in America = get real.

  • Jabs

    Seen this before.

    Called the ‘revenge’ of NikonUSA on ‘grey market’ or parallel imports as they cautiously called it in the past – LOL

    Told ya’

  • Not Surprised

    I’m weakly informed on these points –but I heard this sort of this would be illegal.

    Also, Nikon would need to have a corporate (Foreign) presence in the United States in order to exclusively control its products. It does not as far as I understand. It has a domestic (US) corporation established to take care of its affairs (NikonUSA), which could be a subsidiary or third-party.

    But I could be wrong. This is what I understand from another business. In some way it should make obvious sense however — if NikonUSA only controls products it imports, then unless it imports Grey Lenses (not to sell, just to hold??), then how can it control how others sell these items?

    They would be called side-imports. “Grey market” sounds illegal, like “Black market” — but that’s not true at all. They are just “Side-imports” (side-stepping the primary importer).

    Nikon could get angry about this and stop providing US-lenses to these companies — but, quite frankly, for the value, if you are going to lose anything — lose the US items. The side-imports are much cheaper usually. Unless you are a pro or a very abusive user, you’ll value the savings.

    Also, its not like the US lenses cover breaks or damage. It only covers defects. But side-imports (grey market lenses) are NOT of lower quality. Buy grey just to skip the NikonUSA middle man!

    • Banned

      Yes you do seem to be misinformed. Nikon USA is an american corporation 100% owned by a foreign parent company. That doesn’t change the fact it’s an american corporation for all intent and purposes. You would be surprised if I told you of all american corporations owned by European or Asian parent companies. It’s the same the other way around don’t worry…

      • PHB

        It has been considered illegal since the Sherman anti-trust laws were passed.

        The current SCOTUS has overturned a lot of precedent in this area. But a corrupt judge does not change the law.

        Ginny Thomas took $800,000 in bribes from people with business before her husbands court and the money went straight in his pocket. He didn’t bother to declare it until he was found out though. Probably because taking bribes would embarrass the people who bought him.

    • venancio

      good one… it’s like asking what will happen if a dealer will ONLY carry grey market items, can Nikon actually stop them from importing grey?

    • Jabs

      @Not Surprised and others here.

      Let me see if I can delicately explain this without hurting anyone – lol

      Basically there is a ‘cartel’ of people who have connections in other countries that buy large quantities of Nikon gear and then hoard it while waiting for the currency of that place where it is hoarded to now fluctuate in their favor versus the Yen or the US Dollar or even the Euro and other major currencies.

      Because Nikon is now making or manufacturing in so many more Countries, then this becomes crucial for them to reign in this long done and ongoing practice from say the 1970′s.

      Remember now, there are now Foreign Enterprise Zones that in effect are LOCATED in certain countries BUT are not considered as really ‘manufactured’ there as they are Enterprise Zones set up for TAX purposes, or to hire local workers plus equipment or sub-assembly takes place there and then things are shipped around the world to offset money valuation fluctuations and maximize profits.

      The ‘grey market’ tries to anticipate where the goods will be shipped from or claimed to be (LOL) and then benefit by buying in bulk and then beating the real Importers (NikonUSA here) at this game and outsell them PLUS undercut them, hence 5 years for items like lenses imported AND Distributed by Nikon’s USA official arm or Subsidiary versus a 1 year ‘penalty’ for the so-called parallel imports or ‘grey market gear’ sourced from abroad in countries with more favorable money ratios to US dollars.

      Like playing the Stock or Futures Market but with Nikon’s gear and also at Nikon’s expense or loss (their US Subsidiary that is).

      Hoard, ship all over and sell in quantities to beat NikonUSA – basically!

      • AnoNemo

        I wonder what would happen if one large company (e.g. Amazon) would only sell grey Nikon products and not buy anything from NikonUSA. Now that would be interesting.

        • Jabs

          @AnoNemo

          An interesting comment for sure – lol

          Amazon probably is one of the major Companies that this is aimed at, since they sell worldwide too and probably sell more Nikon gear than most.

          Nikon’s Subsidiaries worldwide have the challenge of reversing the trend of them becoming irrelevant in the Internet age as people buy Online more and more.

          I don’t know where Amazon gets its’ gear from, but they probably have many sources and perhaps do their ‘best’ to bypass Nikon’s middlemen as much as possible in each country.

          Therefore, Nikon will probably increase their Internet Sales presence especially as we see a convergence of still photography and videography in the upcoming bodies.

          Basically, as the pot gets larger, the various players get craftier as money drives them.

          They are Businesses.

          Nikon wins in sales due to all these new outlets for their products but loses in profits without a Direct Channel of Internet Sales, so perhaps they now wish to sort of level the playing field.

          With your success comes new challenges too.

  • texasjoe

    I’d rather buy a refurb rather than a gray market because if something happened to the refurb nikon usa will still handle it… Gray markets have to be sent off to another country (or at least thats what i understand)

    • Ken Elliott

      In the USA, there are places that can repair gray market Nikons. Nikon USA will not, but other can and will. I’ve used these guys and they do a good job.

      http://www.nikoncamerarepair.com/

  • The invisible man

    I bought one last week (USA lens, with free shipping) for $1799

    For $1689 you get a GREY version with only 1 YEAR warranty but for just $110 more you can buy the US version with 5 years warranty ! (and good luck to have your GREY lens repair by Nikon USA)

    I prefer pay $110 extra and get a 5 years warranty !

    • http://www.TheJordanCollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy

      Did you buy another 14-24 f/2.8G? What did you do with the back-focusing one you had?

      • The invisible man

        @CaryTheLabelGuy
        Trash
        :(

        • http://www.TheJordanCollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy

          Hahaha. I would of happily taken it off your hands. Remember, I’m in Jax, too. We should get together. Any lenses you don’t want, I might be able to use. There are several lenses we still need.

          Nikon USA wouldn’t repair the 14-24?

          • The invisible man

            I did sent it to Nikon, they can’t fix it, too busy woking on making shit like the Nikon F1.
            :(

            • The invisible man

              And I was also tired calling Nikon repair and having to talk to Indian person (paid $0.50 hourly) saying:

              “sir we don’t durstand…send samples…send samples…sir”

              Now that Nikon raise his prices they may be able to hire American people (year right…)

          • T.I.M

            @labelguy
            Did I bought bunch of alf-letter size blank stickers from you on Ebay few months ago ?

        • Jabs

          WHO would trash a back focusing lens like that?

          Geez!

      • T.I.M

        call me 721 0285 (alex)

        • Jabs

          Call me too at 1:800 DO NOT DISTURB

          LOL!

          • T.I.M

            @Jabs
            That was not for you dude !
            But you can call me if you want to give away your lenses !
            :)

            • Jabs

              Yeah right – why thanks buddy – BIG ‘Trojan Horse’ style grin too.

              NOT two years old pal.

              I DO look a ‘gift horse’ in the mouth – lol

              I prefer to earn my way in life and not win it ‘lottery style’ as that causes you to lose character and not put much valuation on your own hard work and ingenuity, so NO thanks!

              IF it is too good to be true, then it probably is WHAT?

              Thanks anyway!

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    The reason a gray market even exists is Nikon undersupplies the US market and oversupplies certain other markets which have a lower price structure. If they transferred inventory around the way Canon does, none of this would be necessary. Unfortunately, this sort of price regulation is legal in the US once the dealer signs a contract with its supplier. It is used heavily by Oakley, TAG Heuer and Rolex.

    • Bip

      Your first half of the first sentence is true “The reason a gray market even exists is Nikon undersupplies the US market and oversupplies certain other markets…”

      But not the second half “which have a lower price structure.”

      The only country that I have come across that can compete with the US in term of the price is Hong Kong (partly due to duty-free and also no sales/consumption tax). I have never come across other markets that have a lower Recommended Retail Price.

      • Jabs

        @Bip

        Yup – that is exactly where most of the ‘grey market’ stuff seems to come from too.

        Look at the web sites there.

        They sell Nikon gear is very large quantities Online.

        Hong Kong is like a giant “Electronic Flea Market” too.

        Near Japan and China too.

  • hlshcd

    It may be a slightly good deal for americans, but definitely not for canadians
    B&H 1689+16.02(Purolator Ground)+tax/duties(218.32)=1923.34 USD(Grey Market)
    Local broadway camera offer:1799.99+216(HST)=2016 CAD(5 yrs warranty)
    assuming the exchange rate @ 1USD =1.046CAD.
    B&H:1923.34USD=2011.81 CAD

    ONLY COUPLE DOLLARS DIFFERENCE with ONE yr warranty
    Em,I would buy it local

  • Bill

    Holy Cheese Batman, has Nikon violated their own policy?
    I got an email today from the Nikon store offering the Nikon D3100 at $50 instant discount…didn’t say rebate and Free Shipping. Does that violate their own policy? Will they have to be spanked on the hand for selling at a lower rate….TSK…TSK!!!!!

  • Been there guy

    Price fixing is illegal in U.S., don’t believe me, just read the anti trust law.
    All competing retial dealers have the right to compete freely in price, and or in services.
    Gray Market issue has nothing to do with pricing fix what Nikon wants.
    We need to make sure Nikon undersatnd that their pricing fixing policy is against our little known law called anti trust law.
    We can start by sending comments to NikonUSA. If we all do it together, we can make an impact on their policy decision.

    • Jabs

      @Been there guy

      You are way off and possibly uninformed too.

      It’s like hedging your bets (the Importers) in a Futures Market on predicting WHERE Nikon will manufacture an item, plus ship it from and then BUYING things there in huge quantities and run over Nikon itself with its’ OWN products which you bought from them – LOL.

      Beating Nikon’s REAL Importers or Subsidiaries worldwide at the ‘importation game’ with Nikon’s own Products too, because you bought so much of it by using a ‘cartel’ of buyers or buyers agents connected worldwide.

      Nikon is the victim HERE!

      This has been going on for decades too!

      WHY do you think Canon has different names for cameras and gear abroad?

      Nikon did that also, but with the Internet, that became a pointless ‘solution’ as the Internet has no borders.

      In America now, there is an ongoing movement to stop On-Line Retailers like Amazon from doing Business or SELLING any item in their States or shipped there without paying the State Sales Tax and California has now decided to collect Sales Taxes from On-line sales, so MAYBE Nikon is trying to make sure that they do NOT end up footing the bill or Sales Taxes for all their gear sold by OTHERS.

      US States are looking to Internet Sales to make up their budget shortfalls and someone is going to pay sooner or later!

      That to me is what Nikon is also trying to distance themselves from possibly?

  • Jabs

    @Administrator

    OFF Topic but relevant.

    Look here:
    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/358614/Virtual_Vexations

    • T.I.M

      @Jabs
      no porn on NR please.

      • Jabs

        @The Invisible Man or T.I.M

        Sorry but virtual vexations about Server problems while using VM’s or Virtual Machines in Servers and NOT Virtual Vixens of such malladies – lol

        Get yer mind outta de gutter before ya become visible and spook ‘em fer real!

        LOL!

        Glow in the dark WHAT now?

        • T.I.M

          @Jabs
          I was about to send you my broken 14-24mm but I guess I’ll give it to Thelabelguy then.
          :)

          • Jabs

            @T.I.M

            Sorry, but not interested.

            Like my privacy.

  • http://ThePhotoExperience.com Photo Mike

    I was hoping Nikon would introduce a new 80-400 VR AFS lens instead of a new price fixing policy. Oh well, looks like the lawyers are taking over Nikon. I’ve been using Nikon lenses since the 1960′s but don’t have to worry about Nikon grey market anymore as I just switched to the Sony 70-400.

    • Jabs

      Now when Sony does grow, you will then now have to worry about the Sony ‘grey market’ too – lol

      Volume sales make Nikon vulnerable plus Nikon has an esteemed reputation and Sony does not – moving the problem to the future then by going Sony – LOL.

      Both Nikon and Canon have the problem and that’s lost on many here.

      Canon is bigger and thus has a bigger problem than Nikon.

      Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Lotus and others have the same problem and that is why Mercedes-Benz bought AMG.

      U.S. importers were buying their cars abroad or even older crashed cars and then bringing them to America, modifying them to be faster and selling them cheaper than the official US performance models too.

      Same thing with the once elusive Nissan GT-R and the various Porsche European tuner cars like RUF.

      Happens in the reverse to US specialty cars like the Boss series of Mustangs, Shelby Cobra Mustangs, Corvettes and now ZL-1 Camaro’s plus Z-28 and even US made large SUV’s. Happened to the Mitsubishi and Subaru Rally road racers too, as movies like the Fast and Furious ratcheted up desire for these smaller import tuner cars and the Factory or Official U.S. Importer could not or would not sell them here because of stringent Federal Rules and thus Performance Car Importers took up the role of supplying them and now when the quantities got large enough, the Factory stepped in and now does the same thing BUT with proper U.S. certification and often with a Gas Guzzler Tax to boot.

      LOL.

      It’s called a product of Globalization and the ability to use computer driven systems to reproduce or produce an item in sufficient quantities to beat the original Manufacturer or OEM at their own game.

      Look to SEMA!

  • broxibear

    Bad news about the Nikon plant in Thailand.
    Bloomberg reported a few minutes ago that the floods were “swamping factories operated by Honda Motor Co., Nikon Corp. and Canon Inc.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-07/thailand-floods-reach-crisis-level-threaten-bangkok-prime-minister-says.html

    • Jabs

      OUCH – there goes some of those Enterprise Zones.

      Time to move Production to Brazil maybe – LOL.

      Sad for the local people though.

      Jobs and livelihood now lost!

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I guess it got worse since I posted a link two days ago. Will publish this online shortly. Thanks!

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Thai floods, no rest for the weary.

  • Chris

    Nikon lenses are a rip-off.

  • Been there guy

    I hope the D800 is not producted at Thailand, or we would have more delays.

    • T.I.M

      At $4000 better not be made anywhere else than Japan (I can’t wait testing my 40 years old Geiger counter !)
      :)

  • NyconNeoColonialist

    How many of those saying Nycon is illegally price fixing are typing on an iMac or iPhone?

    One company does not an Anti-trust make.

  • Keith

    They marked up the import $250 so they could take $310 off the price? How funny. We have a furniture dealer in our neck of the woods that always takes 1/3 off the prices he’s doubled.

  • The invisible man

    @Peter,
    So, are we doing anything special for the D800 announcement day (oct 26 ?)
    As I said several times in the past, I offer 5 of my Test Charts, what about a drawing contest ?
    I already know for sure that I’ll get drunk that day ! (Champagne of course, real French guy)

  • Tonny

    http://ow.ly/i/iVa4

    Nikon plant in Thailand face the disastrous flooding. Stop working completely.

    It will definitely impact to the old and new camera that is going to release.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      oh wow, this is bad

      • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

        Place looks like almost a total loss. Only the shell of the building remains. Everything in there must have been destroyed.

    • One More Thought

      I do feel for all of the Nikon employees worldwide so impacted by natural disasters this year.

      But so far as the new Nikon D800…I doubt that’s made in Thailand…

      And remember…the best thing we can do for Nikon and its employees is to keep being excited and purchasing new Nikon products…

  • north

    And to think I only paid $1400USD for the US version only a few years back.

  • Jabs

    Someone else also suffering from the ‘grey or gray market’ issue.

    Apple’s iPad

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220701/Half_of_iPads_sold_in_China_from_gray_market

  • Bill

    NOW, is the time for Nikon to move their plants to Death Valley. Saves them from “most” earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and, gives them a chance to check out their product with extreme heat and cold in one shot.

    Plus, I can visit the plants while shooting there

  • AM

    Grey or Gray, that is the question. But since B&H is in the US, it should be gray market. Just saying.

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