What is the grey market

What is the Grey Market and How to Identify them?

1. What’s a Grey Channel?

  • A product sold outside Brand / Product OEM’s approved distribution network (or) sales channel. 
  • Grey market products are sold by unauthorised importer/distributor/resellers that may otherwise look reputable to consumers. 
  • The grey market includes any retailer who is selling a legitimate product, yet acquired that product by unauthorised means

2. Ask for BIS Certificate?

  • Bureau of Indian Standards
  • The product if it’s made for INDIA, will have BIS Certification. 
  • You can easily ask for it and if not provided then you are dealing with an imported product which can be cheaper in price, but any required technical and customer support will not be provided by the OEM’s in the region. 

3. Physical properties identification: 

If the product is manufactured for India then the power adapters or chargers will have sockets which are;

  • India uses 230 Volts, 50 Hz alternating current as the power source
  • In India the power plugs and sockets are of type C, D and M
  • Often, grey market products come without the same documentation and box contents, for example, the power adapters may be for a different country.

If you have different type of socket then product has been imported and the seller operate as a grey channel.

4. Why the Grey channel prices are so less/low?

  • The products are sourced from other regions where tax regulations might differ and shipped to India and sold here at less than MOP (Market Operated Price). 
  • Grey market products are goods that are sourced from overseas rather than through the local distributor. This process is often called parallel importing. They may be less expensive than the Indian MRP or local retail prices (MOP) because they forgo the overheads associated with local business.

5. Warranty Issues

  • Warranty issues are the main source of concern for most consumers when choosing to buy imported stock via Grey Channel 
  • In general, a parallel import or grey market product is not covered by a manufacturer’s local warranty. So for example, if you buy a HTC VIVE KIT from a grey market retailer it will not be covered by HTC INDIA under a local warranty. Instead, it generally has to be returned to the vendor for repair or replacement.
  • As always, it’s important to check before you buy. Some manufacturers have international warranties that apply no matter where you buy the product.

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