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A number of posts have come up lately regarding various Canadian on-line retailers and I would like to to pass on the following warning.

Many on-line retailers are NOT authorized dealers for the products they are selling which means they could be selling Grey Market products.

In most instances, there is nothing wrong with Grey Market Products and often it's the exact same product you would buy through authorized dealers.

The potential problem with buying Grey market product is two-fold:
  1. Grey market products are NOT usually covered by Canadian warranties. This means if your expensive projector or flat panel breaks down, you will likely have to pay for repairs yourself.
  2. Grey market product may not have Canadian specfic documentation or be certified for use in this country. This could be a minor irritant (perhaps missing French documentation) to a major issue (may be an insurance problem in the case of damage)
The decision to buy grey market product or not is a personal one, however, you should know beforehand when buying on-line whether you are buying grey market goods or not.

My recommendation is for buyers thinking about ordering from an on-line source is to do the following before buying:
  • Check to see if the on-line retailer is an authorized retailer for the manufacturer;
  • Contact the manufacturer and ask them if they will service product sold by the on-line retailer;
  • Get the return policy and defect policy in writing from the store for any product you are buying.
Final Note:

I am NOT suggesting that members should avoid buying Grey Market product!

Anyone who posts that Digital Home (or Hugh) says you shouldn't be buying Grey market product will have their posts removed and be issued an infraction.

What I am saying is to be knowledgeable about the retailer and the products they are selling so you understand the risks involved.
 

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Member #1
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Discussion Starter #2
Starting in the near future, I will start a separate thread on this forum listing that lists various on-line retailers and what manufacturers they are authorized retailers for.

Authorized Retailers may Private Message me with details and I will post the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Members may wish to add their own helpful hints here when dealing with on-line retailers, however, please don't:
  • Discuss any specific on-line retailers;
  • Rant about why manufacturers won't warranty Grey market products;
  • Rant about the price of CE equipment In Canada.
Doing so will simply result in your post being deleted.
 

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# Check to see if the on-line retailer is an authorized retailer for the manufacturer;
# Contact the manufacturer and ask them if they will service product sold by the on-line retailer;
These are absolute musts, especially for big ticket items.

When I bought my plasma I checked the dealer with the manufacturer and they were OK.

Another important thing to check/confirm is the delivery method and where the responsibility transfers from shipper to you.

The shipping company that delivered my very large and very heavy plasma sent a single person with the truck. If I hadn't been home there was no way that the TV could have safely gotten from the truck to inside my house.

One unlucky bump would have meant a cracked panel and this would not have been evident until it was completely unpacked.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This thread was really meant for Canadians buying from Canadian online retailers but if you are buying from a U.S. online retailer, you can pretty much guarantee that its not got a Canadian warranty and will have extra costs.

See this related thread: Purchasing From U.S. Vendors: Taxes, Duties, Shipping, other Issues, etc. for discussing the added costs of buying from U.S. Retailers. Please do not post about duties and taxes here!
 

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This thread was really meant for Canadians buying from Canadian online retailers but if you are buying from a U.S. online retailer, you can pretty much guarantee that its not got a Canadian warranty and will have extra costs.

Just had to say that my PC was purchased from a US retailer and has a Canadian warranty so extra costs may not be guaranteed as you suggest.
 

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I have a question for those that may know...

If a Canadian place (that is an authorized Yamaha dealer) sells you a product via e-mail/phone...is the warranty covered?

For the sake of argument, lets say that Yamaha was asked and they said that the Canadian place...(although a Yamaha authorized store)...was NOT an authorized "Yamaha on-line" dealer.

So how does Yamaha know that you didn't buy the thing by visiting the store and having it shipped to your home?
 

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I really don't know too much about the subject, but I do own a Yamaha receiver. Seems to me that I once read that there are different sales channels. For example, the mass merchandiser stores such as future shop sell a certain Yamaha brand. An authorized Yamaha dealer sells the same hardware, but it is branded differently. Whether this effects the warranty or the length of the warranty, I don't know.
 

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I've found that some retailers use the net to dispose of damaged goods. I purchsed such a car part that was damaged and written off by a retailer , then they double dipped and sold it cheap on the net -- kinda like from off a pickup truck.

It took 3 months for the part to fail and shipping it back and forth costs more than the part.. was worth to me.

buyer beware :(
 
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