So-called “gray market” products are popular in the world of photography, but buying your Sigma gear through an unauthorized reseller will cost you in the long run. Not only will Sigma not honor the warranty on gray market products, they’ll actually charge you extra to fix them.
Gray market usually refers to buying genuine gear through unauthorized channels. Unauthorized resellers will sometimes repackage or sell cameras over international borders, offering steep discounts that look good on the surface, until you realize your gray market lens is not covered under warranty. Well, that, and one more thing.
Sigma added this tidbit to their service and support page at the beginning of this year (emphasis added):
“As of January 1, 2017, any product that is not imported by the Sigma Corporation of America or purchased from an unauthorized Sigma USA Dealer will not be serviced under warranty regardless of the service required,” writes Sigma. “The Sigma Corporation of America Service department will service these products for a minimum $250 charge in addition to the required parts and labor charges at the owner’s expense.”
So it’s a good news bad news situation: Sigma will service your gray market camera or lens if it breaks, ensuring you get top notch service and genuine parts… but you’ll pay a premium to make up for the money you saved buying the thing gray market.
Of course, this is no real surprise—Sigma’s attitude towards gray market products has been posted online since 2013—but it is an interesting policy that adds a touch more risk to the prospect of saving a few bucks buying gray market.
(via The Digital Picture)