What is a grey imported unit?
We are sometimes asked to match pricing or deals on our Garmin and DJI items in Australia from other retailers. The majority of the companies we are asked to match against are grey importers. A grey importer is someone who sells products that doesn’t have specific permission from the manufacturer to sell that product in the Australian marketplace. Occasionally these items may be slightly cheaper, but what are the risks?
Are grey imported goods different?
Sometimes, YES. For example, Garmin’s genuine Australian watches are typically loaded with localised content such as mapping that suits our region. Grey imported goods will NOT come with local mapping or content specific for our region, and is a common trap that we unfortunately hear about daily.
Your Australian Consumer Guarantee
If the seller is based overseas (i.e. the company is legally trading from outside Australia) then you will most likely have extreme difficulty enforcing your consumer guarantee rights. In fact, most of the time this would be practically impossible. When buying from an Australian business, your items come with a statutory guarantee on top of the manufacturer’s warranty, that include your rights to a repair, replacement, or refund. No Australian business can take these away from you.
The Manufacturer’s Warranty
If the seller has grey imported the goods into Australia from another country/distribution channel, then the customer may not be eligible for a local manufacturer warranty. For example, we have heard countless stories of DJI drones being purchased from grey importers that have failed, and needed to be sent back to China for warranty service. The freight charges involved in this are very high, and it has not been uncommon for customers to be without their drones for 2-3 months due to the long turnaround times.
Department of Fair Trading and the ACCC
State departments of Fair Trading and the ACCC are constantly warning consumers about the risks of grey imports, and sometimes going as far as instructing customers not to deal with them https://www.finance.nsw.gov.au/about-us/media-releases/public-warning-do-not-deal-digital-skies-group-pty-ltd). However, some customers are insistent on taking the risk, or more likely unaware of the risks above until something goes wrong.
Johnny Appleseed GPS only stocks products through genuine Australian distribution channels, so you can be assured when purchasing through Johnny Appleseed GPS that you will be covered by a genuine local warranty (either through us, or the manufacturer distributor – your choice!), your full Australian Consumer Law rights will be in place, and most importantly you can talk to a company that offers expert technical support across our entire range of products.