Welcome to the new year 🙂
As you read from the title, this blog post is all about gear, and buying it abroad.
Recently, I was subject to a number of issues with the gear that I bought from another country, so I want to make myself heard, and share the facts of my findings.
We all know those eBay stores on the internet that offer brand new gear for the best prices around. We also know that they are based in Hong Kong! Many of you might have even bought from such retailers, but I am here to tell you to stop dealing with this re-sellers for your more expensive/important goods.
I bought a Canon 5D Mark III body from an online eBay shop earlier this year. At the time of purchasing, I was not aware that the models/versions vary from country to country around the world. Though this soon became apparent when I found a faulty part on the camera.
I contacted Canon, who took my details, and model number of the 5D, and they returned with disappointing news, that my 5D was not covered under warranty within the UK (GUTTED). They advised me to contact the seller, and try to sort something out that way, but that there was nothing that could be done via warranty coverage directly through Canon. I was also prompted that they have had no-end of requests such as mine with camera’s from outside of the UK. They also told me that the seller’s usually carry their own terms and conditions & warranty with the body’s, so that gave me a little hope.
I cracked open the original box, only to find no warranty card inside (DISAPPOINTING). Then contacted the original seller (eBay Shop based in HK), who gladly searched for my details to find my order number. I was then told about the warranty policy from body’s that are shipped to the UK.
Cutting to the chase…
I described my problem, they agreed to take the camera in and fix it, but it would take up to 8 weeks, and would involve shipping the camera back to HK, and getting it fixed under their warranty (as presumably, they keep all of the warranty cards). This means, that when you buy ANY gear online, you need to make sure it originated from a UK warehouse, otherwise you won’t be covered by warranty. I got off extremely lucky with my case (Still yet to receive body back 03/01/2014).
The next plan of action was to take the 5D to one of three reputable Canon CPS Repair services in the UK, who agreed to take the body, and fix it at a price. The original seller agreed to pay this amount, on their behalf, as the problem appeared to be from the factory and not during use.
- NOT Covered by Warranty outside of the country it was manufactured in.
- NOT applicable for CPS (Canon Professional Services).
- Longer return time if item gets damaged.
- Endless frustration…………………………………………..
- Limited to the repair services that will touch your camera.
The price I would have had to pay, should I have bought the body in the UK. Would have equated to about the same if not less than what it is to fix the problem on the 5D. Save yourself the stress, and pay that few hundred extra to buy from a reputable UK warehouse. Also be warey of buying used gear, that could also have been bought abroad! Always request the model number for the item, and check with Canon first before you make any purchases.
- Don’t. Buy. Abroad.
Canon has a very strict policy with which camera’s they can touch, and there is no way of getting around it. The model number defines where it was manufactured, when and which. Then Canon determines whether they can touch that specific model or not.
In the future, I will be buying expensive New & Used, strictly from within the UK, to avoid this very issue.
Of course, there can be exceptions. These problems will only persist at all, if you need to claim on your warranty. Certain items which are perhaps worth less overall value, or ones that you feel are less likely to break, or even would just replace if it did. Then sure, I can see that buying from HK may benefit you in that sense. Just not for the important stuff! 🙂
Don’t get caught like I did! Lesson learnt.