Nikon D800E for $2,399.99 on eBay

A grey market Nikon D800E camera is currently listed for $2,399.99 on eBay with free shipping. Here is more on "grey market" products from Nikon USA:

Generally, a manufacturer works with a single importer who can sell and support their products in a given region. The importer usually has local dealers and distributors who resell the imported products; this is called a "distribution channel". Gray Market refers to merchandise that is imported and sold by methods other than these normal channels.

For local safety regulations and certifications (FCC, CE, UL, etc.) and government requirements a manufacturer provides special packaging (manuals in the appropriate language, power cables designed for the local receptacle, etc.) and product engineering designed to meet local codes. Manufacturers also have service and support agreements with the authorized importer.

Gray Market items are not designed to be sold in a particular market and cannot be supported by the authorized importer because they may not meet mandatory safety and certification codes. Because these items are not designed for a particular market they may not function properly, or the authorized importer may not be equipped to provide service, support or software.

With the opening of international borders and the use of the Internet to sell goods, Gray Market equipment has become extremely common in the photographic and consumer electronics markets. Many different types of equipment are brought into North America for sale without the proper documentation and US consumers do not always know what they are purchasing.

Because the resellers' cost is less they can sell Gray Market items for less. Unfortunately this price savings is only on the initial purchase; because service and support is more difficult to obtain it may end up costing the consumer more in the long run.

Who is the authorized importer of Nikon Equipment into the USA?

Nikon Incorporated USA is the sole authorized importer of Nikon Corporation of Japan for photographic devices. Nikon Inc. USA pays shipping into the USA, import duties and taxes, and provides service, support and downloads for these products. Nikon Inc. USA ensures that the products they import are fully certified and safe for use in the USA market.

Nikon Inc. USA cannot provide service, support or downloads for products that have not been imported by Nikon Inc. USA.

How do I know if my Nikon product is "Gray Market"?

If the deal was just too good to be true, it probably was. One of the first indicators that a piece of Nikon merchandise might be Gray Market is if the price is considerably less than most other resellers.
Additionally, a genuine Nikon Inc. USA product will include an Owners' Manual and Warranty Registration card in English. It will also include power cables (if applicable) designed for US style plugs. Any other language on the printed material or wrong cables indicates a Gray Market item.

Another indication of a Gray Market product would be photocopied manuals or manually created software CD's.Nikon Inc. USA always provides professionally printed or duplicated materials with genuine products.

What does owning a "Gray Market" Nikon product mean to you?

Nikon Inc. USA cannot provide any technical support or warranty service on Gray Market items. Additionally Nikon Inc. USA cannot perform any fee-based repair work on Gray Market items. Please do not contact Nikon Inc. USA for help with any Gray Market products. Please contact the reseller or importer of your Gray Market items for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads.

Does owning a "Gray Market" Nikon product mean I don't have a warranty?

No! All Nikon products come with a warranty by the manufacturer. The designated Nikon service center will always repair "in warranty" Nikon products and perform "out of warranty" repairs. If you own a Gray Market product it will need to be returned to the reseller or importer for service. Refer to your reseller or to the warranty cards included with the product for service contact information.

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  • mikeswitz

    Here we go again.

  • trekamg

    good deal

  • doge

    Has anyone ever sent in a Grey Market camera for warranty repairs? What happened? Did Nikon repair the camera? Did they send it back to you unrepaired? Did they charge you for the repairs?

    • koenshaku

      They officially do not support the products, so soon as they see it is not from USA they will likely send it back to you. If it is a D600 they probably wouldn’t care.

      • doge

        I know that’s their official stance. But I can’t imagine some minimum wage kid working the service counter at Nikon USA really gives a crap if a camera comes in from an authorized seller or not.

        • broxibear

          I doubt very much it’s “minimum wage kid working the service counter at Nikon USA” who decides.

        • suffered

          For new products, if seller is not authorized nikon seller… either in USA or any other country,,, then Nikon USA will not service the equipment even if you are willing to pay. Had that issue with a lens.

          When buying used, get a Nikon USA product (check via serial numbers). Nikon has hangups for servicing non-USA items.

        • WDF

          So you have never been to the service counter. Do you own anything Nikon?

      • Global

        You shouldn’t have speculation like this. I personally called Nikon USA and asked them about grey market lenses. They mentioned that “It doesn’t matter where you bought it, as long as it has a receipt. However, if its not a USA version, we won’t repair it under warranty — you will be responsible for the costs.” If someone wants to ask about Bodies, just call them. It takes 5 minutes.

        • Global

          What I gather is that as long as a Nikon product was BOUGHT in the USA (you have evidence it was purchased in the USA and/or you have proof of ownership) they will work on it, but USA warranties get manufacturer defects fixed for free under warranty, whereas Grey markets get fixed at a cost.

          P.S. They will give you a quotation for repairs, so its not like you have to say yes to their cost without knowing the amount.

          • Darkness

            Lenses have a Wolrdwide Warranty, Bodies do not. Its related to import duties. same goes for non US manufactured cars, Canon, Sony, everyone. But then if anyone here actually BOUGHT something, they would see this on their warranty cards in the box. You guys are hilarious…

        • Royl

          I have talked to Nikon about this. They will repair a gray market item only if you bought it from an authorized Nikon dealer in another country (in my case, Henry’s in Canada). You must have a valid receipt. You would be charged for the repair. I seriously doubt they would touch one of these cameras coming out of China or Korea.

          • If it’s a genuine Nikon legally acquired, why should they give a toss where it was purchased? In the case of the grey market retailers operating out of Hong Kong, Nikon sells to them knowing they will sell into other countries. If Nikon didn’t want them to do this, they wouldn’t supply them. In a global market (not to mention a highly competitive one) Nikon’s failure to support customers who legally acquire product ultimately supplied by Nikon themselves, is pissweak.

            • Bruce

              As I understand it, it’s because Nikon isn’t necessarily Nikon. Nikon USA (or substitute the name of the Nikon importer for your country) is a separate company that buys product from Nikon in Japan and has it shipped to this country. They are not interested in supporting equipment they didn’t sell, possibly because there isn’t enough money in it to make it worthwhile, possibly because they can’t trace it back to ensure it is not counterfeit or stolen, and also because the product may be different from what they sell in some way and they don’t have parts, techinical information, or test equipment that works with it. As they say, if it didn’t come from Nikon USA and it needs repair, then you need only to ship it to whomever it did come from. Whatever the source of the equipment, if it was from a legitimate dealer I’m sure Nikon of Japan is interested in supporting it. Can anyone confirm that I am right?

            • Richard

              You are not wrong!

    • Molesworth

      Serial numbers on Nikon bodies and lenses are set by region. The serial number gives away the country or general area where the product was supposed to be sold.

    • Jeffnky

      I bought a grey market macro flash about 10 years ago and when it broke I sent it to Nikon USA and they sent it right back to me untouched.

    • john doe

      I was at Nikon USA counter. A customer before me brought in a camera with a broken built in flash he bought in Europe..the counter guy told him “you have to contact the seller in Europe to send it into Nikon EU for warranty service, we cant accept this camera”. Whenever I bring something in for repair, the first thing they do is take it behind the counter to check its serial and see if they can take it in. I wont touch gray D800E even if it’s $1500

      • Professional Photographer

        You are totally right. This is exactly my experience. Due to the stupid behavior of Nikon, a gray market product is worthless. There is a high likelihood that a D800E would need repair (for instance, the pin broke on my body after 60,000 shots), but you simply could not get it repaired if it was a grey market body. Nikon USA thinks they are being smart, but they are cutting into their own corporate sales because they would sell TONS more cameras and lenses if they would simply service the grey market products at a higher price. And they would also make more money on the repair side as well. I for one, would be willing to pay a higher price for a grey market repair, if at least I could get it repaired. I hate having $1500+ lenses or cameras lying around that I are worthless because one element came loose, for instance. The worst thing of all is that all my local camera shops are no longer authorized Nikon repair centers. One man who has sold Nikon for 40+ years and is an absolute guru level Nikon repairman (he was the ONLY person who was ever able to fix some of my equipment, after Nikon itself and other repairs shops failed) told me that Nikon asked him to pay $107,000 simply to remain an authorized Nikon service center… and this despite the fact that he has proved himself to be more capable of conducting sophisticated repairs with both modern lenses and the latest digital cameras than Nikon USA’s own service center. Nikon USA simply has the worst customer service I have ever experienced. The only way to be a Nikon photographer is just to put up with it. I hope that something changes someday because I really want to keep believing in Nikon.

        • ArGeeBee

          Excatly HOW would Nikon USA sell more stuff if they fixed stuff sold in Hong Kong thats ends up in US. They would love to know I am sure…

      • Thom Hogan

        This customer was misled. A common problem, unfortunately. Nikon’s official policy and as practiced by NikonUSA is that if the customer could have shown that the item was purchased in Europe as an official European import (via having an invoice from the European seller that lists the serial number and the serial number being an official European serial number), NikonUSA should repair it.

        The problem is as someone mentioned above: Nikon subsidiaries are independent companies that buy from Nikon corporate. They also get parts, warranty recovery, and other things from corporate that are isolated to units they purchased from Nikon corporate (e.g., NikonUSA can’t claim warranty repair recovery costs for more cameras than it sold ;~).

        But the policy is nuanced in that it has to take into account folk who move from one country to another, or are traveling, etc. The bad news is that for every one of those claims that get denied, the subsidiary makes a bit more profit, so there’s no real incentive to see that everyone in customer support or at the front desks actually explains it correctly ;~).

    • Jorge

      How many times do we have to go over this?

      • Thom Hogan

        Until Nikon grows up and becomes a truly global company that doesn’t punish customers arbitrarily.

        • WDeeF

          Thom has been on his grumpy anti-marketing mission for years, just ignore him, everyone else does.

        • Global


    • Professional Photographer

      Yes, I have sent Grey Market items multiple times to Nikon. Nikon absolutely REFUSES to repair them no matter what. It has made me extremely mad sometimes. They will not even accept any amount of payment. The best experience I ever had was simply being told to send it to an address overseas in Japan. You cannot fool them. They know exactly which lenses and camera bodies are legitimate Nikon USA imports, even with no paperwork from me.

  • mikeswitz

    You know what will happen if you even think about buying this grey market camera.

    • Aldo

      a few things come to mind… I’m all ears.

    • photoroto

      If you buy a grey market camera, your name will go a terrorist threat list at the NSA and you will never be able to buy photo gear in the US again. And your **** will fall off.

  • Global

    Questions about Grey Market without “most likely” answers. Takes 5 minutes to call.

    Nikon Service and Repair:
    800-645-6687 (most accurate)
    –> Press 1 – US; then press 5 – Repairs

    Nikon USA New York HQ:

    • John Doe

      Well thank you very much! I called from here in Australia and my phone bill was astronomical!!

      • Aldo


      • Global

        Well, at least you know the answer for US vs. Grey and the matter is settled! Enjoy your new found knowledge, it is invaluable. lol..

  • Aldo

    Whatever you do DO NOT buy grey market… your wife will leave you and take your checks with child support… You will be miserable… then once you lose everything in life… when you try and take a picture… your camera will break… at that point the only thing available will be a cyanide capsule.

    • broxibear

      Wait…you can take pictures with these cameras ?…who knew ?
      I thought you just kept it in the box, read internet forums about how crap it is, wait for the next model, buy the next model…then start the whole process again ?

      • photoroto

        Making an unboxing video can turn all that into a profound experience.

      • broxibear

        Just to clarify when I say “you” I mean people in general not Aldo, lol. Incase anyone thought I was being rude to Aldo, I wasn’t.
        The comments you read on various forums do make you wonder if some have forgotten the purpose of a camera and why they started taking pictures in the first place.

    • mikeswitz

      Oh, so you did know ;= 0

  • Mike

    Used cams don’t have warranty either, so if the choice is a new grey market or a used cam I’m not sure which one people would rather buy? If $2400 is the new benchmark low for a new body what does that do to the used market?

    • William

      You will most likely paying the same for USA used one vs. Grey market new.

      What does owning a “Gray Market” Nikon product mean to you?

      “Nikon Inc. USA cannot provide any technical support or warranty service on Gray Market items. Additionally Nikon Inc. USA cannot perform any fee-based repair work on Gray Market items. Please do not contact Nikon Inc. USA for help with any Gray Market products. Please contact the reseller or importer of your Gray Market items for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads.”

      • Richard

        I’m never sure how well Americans understand English! There is a big difference between “Nikon USA cannot provide…” (which is not true, or to be blunt, a lie) and “Nikon USA will not provide…” Ignorant or dishonest?

    • Thom Hogan

      NikonUSA will repair the used camera if it is broken, they will not touch the gray market camera under ANY circumstance, forcing you to use independent services to fix it.

  • Bokeh Monk

    $2749.95 for a legit D800E on line in Canada. Grey market stuff is baaadd karma.

    My local Nikon dealer told me a story how he once received US branded items by mistake from Nikon and could prove it on the invoices and they STILL gave him a very difficult time about it!

    • Darkness

      yada yada

  • “May not function properly”? So what, you work for the official distributor? The only difference is that they don’t have the specific custom instructions. Otherwise it’s the same product.

    • Jason Hermosa

      “Nikon Inc. USA cannot provide any technical support or warranty service on Gray Market items. Additionally Nikon Inc. USA CANNOT perform any FEE-BASED repair work on Gray Market items. Please do not contact Nikon Inc. USA for help with any Gray Market products. Please contact the reseller or importer of your Gray Market items for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads.”

  • Dima

    Now that’s just silly. It’s been discussed many times – cameras intended to be sold in different regions are very different. For example, cameras intended for Japan, UK and India have grip on the left side, so you hold it with the left hand. Cameras destined for Australia are also designed to be used upside down. Cameras intended for Norway have bigger buttons so you can use them with mittens on. Cameras made for Russia have special reinforced case, so bears won’t crack them open. Same for the Hawaii – to protect from shark jaws. Cameras made for Mexico have worm (con gusano) inside. No wonder Nikon USA won’t repair grey market cameras – they just don’t have neither equipment, nor part, nor skills.

  • ronin

    What specific “safety and certification features” are missing in grey market pieces sold in the US?

    • Richard

      Me, I’m just wondering whether Nikon kit sold in Grey Market is of the same quality as “the real thing”? Does Nikon dump the grade 2 items that nearly passed QC into the Grey Market, rather than destroying them, as they should?

      My D5300, delivered in UK at an excellent price from (I think) HongKong (ValueBasket are a little vague about who and where they are!!) came with English manual, UK clunky plug for the battery charger, and has the EU certification mark moulded onto the body (not on the Serial # label). It is light weight, handy, eats batteries, with GPS, but does wierd things with file numbering. I just ask myself if it scored 98% at QC, so went grey, as being “very nearly as good”?

      • William

        For entry level camera that are under $700, maybe worth a shot to go with grey market to save few. The grey market camera is as good as if not identical to the USA version as they from the same factory. However, things can broke, out of tune..etc. If you willing to spend $2,3000+ on a camera and something went wrong down the road you are stuck. Nikon USA will ignore you for any type of service even with a fee. Isn’t peace of mind important to you when you invest so much?

    • umeshrw

      Maybe the safety precautions like “Do not put the plastic bag over your head. You may suffocate.” Or ” Do not remain in contact with the camera, battery, or charger for extended periods while the devices are in use as it may result in low temperature burns.”

  • decisivemoment

    I really think Nikon should repair it. It may make sense to charge a higher fee schedule on grey market; it surely does not make sense to deny service altogether. At least in this release they’ve been crystal clear about the policy — “Do not contact us!” about grey market.

  • frank

    So you buy a product in country X which was intended to be sold in country Y. The service center in country X says: Sorry, but if you want it serviced under warranty, you’ve got to send it to country Y.
    Now, will country Y say, sorry, but your receipt shows that the camera was purchased in country X and NOT Y, therefore no warranty?

    • Art

      I think that it is important for people to realize that Nikon doesn’t actually own Nikon USA. Somebody (sorry, don’t know who) has paid Nikon a huge number of $$$ for the rights to be the exclusive importer for the USA (or whatever country). Nikon USA, Nikon Japan, Nikon Australia, etc. are all separate companies with separate owners — just in the same way that Nikon Japan and Cannon Japan are separate companies with separate owners.

      Grey market goods undermines the people who have paid dearly for this privilege. I can’t blame them for not wanting to service a camera that was not purchased through them but a competitor. (Yes, the other importer from other countries are competitors — at least as far as grey market goods are concerned.)

      • broxibear

        That’s not quite true.
        Many of the subsidiaries are infact wholly owned by Nikon, Nikon Holding Europe BV who supply the whole of Europe is completely owned by Nikon Corporation.
        I don’t know if Nikon USA is wholly or partly owned by Nikon. Thom will know the structures of the companies…if you say his name three times he appears like magic.
        Thom…Thom…Thom…are you there, lol ?

        • Thom Hogan

          The subsidiaries are wholly owned by Nikon. See my other post for the rest of the story.

        • Ol’ Pickle Pony


          It actually worked…

      • fjfjjj

        Nikon USA is wholly owned by Nikon since 1973, according to this forum post:

  • trickster

    So Nikon USA doesn’t support gray market cameras..I wonder if grey market ones are supported?

  • nikond700

    why is so expensive? it used to be only $3,299

  • Thom Hogan

    A more interesting question is not the gray market policies of NikonUSA, which have remained consistent for decades and which I described in articles on the net over 15 years ago.

    The question you should be asking is this: where do these gray market cameras come from and why?

    Nikon now owns the subsidiaries in virtually all the world. We have very few exceptions now, almost all of which are low volume in sales (Africa, Middle East, a few Eastern European nations, for example). Yet gray market products continue.

    As I’ve outlined before, gray market exists because Nikon wants it to exist. Why? Because these are ways to dump excess inventory without future liability (no warranty reserve accounts needed).

    • broxibear

      Another question is are Nikon dumping cameras into the grey market that have failed quality control for whatever reason ? And because they’re grey market they don’t have to deal with them under warranty.
      If it were to get rid of stock then why not just label them refurbished and sell them at a lower price ? Give them to pro dealers as refurbished stock, Nikon make money and move stock, the dealer makes money, and the customer not only saves money but gets a better warranty compared to grey market.

      • The Way Is Grey?

        OK, so how many folk have bought “grey” a Nikon product that turned out to be a dog, compared to the numbers bought through legit channels that was canine?
        I suspect the relative proportions would be pretty similar, but I’d be interested in the data.

    • Global

      Again well-said. Asian companies, in particular, are having a hard time with globalization. The “National” fervor is too strong to resist. Where Europe has long since opened up to the idea of “us AND them”, and the US has long been, “WE the many”, Asia is still stuck on “us VS. them.”

      In some sense, its understandable — they exist in a hypercompetitive environment, and the loss of one industry (for example, if Samsung or LG died out in South Korea) could destroy the national economy. So there is this strong sense of nationalism and INTERNATIONAL business.

      But what businessmen know is that INTERNATIONAL business is NOT the same thing as GLOBAL business. In fact, the two are not even similar. At some point a dramatic transition must be made. And for whatever reason — probably person reasons of personal influence and power and social relationships — Nikon, like many Japanese and South Korean companies, simply refuse to properly globalization, even in the face of weakening international positions.

  • Jon Ingram

    Grey Market isn’t too risky as long as you don’t need more than one
    major repair. Most of my Nikon equipment has never needed repairing. If you buy a camera for $800 less than US price, you save $800. Sure, you may have to spend a good chunk of that money shipping it overseas to be repaired, but who cares? You might just get lucky and never have to do it.

  • Mee7dan


    check the dates of reviews !! most of them before 2013-2012 !!
    (( Created: 09/12/12))

  • espeto68

    Nikon “grey market” only exists in USA, and i can understand why: they’re trying to protect their business.
    I travel to usa several times a year, and have bought, several times, Nikon grey market equipment, cause it makes no sense to pay more to have the extended warranty (5 years) since i live in EU.
    Nikon EU will honor the international warranty (here in EU is 2 years), regardless the origin – it worked with me several times.
    So, if you live in US don’t buy grey market, if not, buy it with confidence, and you won’t have any problem.
    Only US costumers don’t understand this.

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