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View Full Discussion EDIT: Massdrop has resolved this, at least in my opinion. They will give you a receipt from the authorized dealer if and when you require warranty service, and if anything goes wrong they will reimburse you for any repairs. You can see the post below for Duncan from Massdrop's response to my questions.
I would like to point out that while this is advertised as "US Spec", you will not be getting the Nikon 5-year warranty. Whenever you submit a warranty claim, Nikon requires you to submit a receipt or invoice from an authorized dealer. In this case, the invoice will be from Massdrop, not an authorized Nikon dealer, and is going to be rejected. For warranty purposes, it does not matter that Massdrop is procuring them from an authorized dealer. They will almost certainly not be covered. And Massdrop might tell you that they will work with you if you have an issue with the warranty, but I wouldn't trust this. Nikon regulates prices very strictly, much like Bose or Rolex, and any dealer that is caught selling for less such as in this case would risk losing their authorized dealer status. So they are very unlikely to provide you with the receipt from the dealer if you turn out to need it. The best response Massdrop will give to my post is that their community support team will "work with you" if you have any issues. That is incredibly vague and much too risky for me.
The somewhat good news is that the fact it is from an authorized dealer should mean that it is Nikon USA. This is good because it means that Nikon will likely service it, for a fee, if you encounter an issue. If the product was grey market ("International Spec" here on Massdrop) they will not touch it even if you are willing to pay them. Your mileage might vary though, and they could still demand to see a receipt. Regardless, you are almost certainly not going to get the 5-year warranty Massdrop is implying you will. At best, Nikon will service it for a fee, and at worst they will refuse to service it at all. Spend your money how you feel comfortable. I personally wouldn't want to pay extra for "US Spec" when it is of almost no benefit. If you want the true 5-year warranty, buy through a dealer at full price. If you want to save money, get a grey market product on Massdrop or eBay.
I will also note that I am not trying to rain on Massdrop's parade. I have purchased from them before. Massdrop is at their best when they collaborate with companies to create new and genuine items at great prices for the community such as the Sennheiser HD 6XX or secure true deals from small companies via group buys. Massdrop is at their worst when they act dishonestly on a drop such as this one. I am making this post in an effort to better inform those who are considering this drop. I have no financial interest in this one way or another.
I appreciate the fact you pointed out that this is a US Spec Nikon lens and that it can be serviced by Nikon USA . Unfortunately we do not offer a 5 year warranty with this lens and if we did it would be clearly stated in the description.
Did you have an unpleasant experience with a Nikon warranty that you can share with the community?
Thanks in advance for your answer.
I have not had an unpleasant experience with Nikon's service. In my experience, if you've bought from an authorized dealer, they are great. However, I wanted to clarify with my previous post that just because Massdrop is listing this as "US Spec", people who buy this are not in fact getting Nikon's five-year warranty which is what many people might assume. When bought from an authorized dealer, Nikon offers a five-year warranty on their lenses, and this is the main advantage of not buying a grey market product.
I think it would be helpful if Massdrop clarified this for all products that you guys sell as "US Spec". While I have nothing against Massdrop, as I stated, I think you are clearly trying to trick people into buying this with the idea that they will get the full Nikon USA warranty and that is unfortunately not the case. I have seen this done on lots of drops from Sigma, Nikon and Canon lately and I think it's rather disingenuous. But people can make their own decisions.
I see your point but the way we typically describe a product is by stating what the product comes with as apposed to what it does not.
We differentiate between the two types of lenses by stating "International Spec" or "US Spec " because they are not the same.
Have you had any experience with a Nikon USA warranty?
Yes, I have had an experience with the Nikon USA warranty. As I have mentioned, when purchased from an authorized dealer it covers the lens for five years. One of my lenses had an autofocus issue 2-3 years in and they fixed it within a week at no charge. So the Nikon service and warranty is great, and in my opinion is definitely worth paying extra for.
My main reason for making this post is that if someone bought a "US Spec" lens from Massdrop, they would not have had this experience. Nikon almost certainly would have refused to cover the repair for free once they saw the receipt used to register it was not from an authorized dealer. Then, at best, they would repair it for a fee since it is still a Nikon USA lens. They might refuse to service it at all though.
The way I see it, the only reason someone would want to buy a "US Spec" lens over "International Spec" is for this five-year warranty through Nikon USA. There are no other real benefits, except being able to pay to have Nikon fix your lens if the warranty isn't available. If someone wanted to save money, a grey market lens from eBay or "International Spec" from Massdrop would be the best way to go. I get that Massdrop differentiates between the two, but as I have stated, "US Spec" is misleading because you're implying that it is the same as buying from an authorized dealer and includes a US warranty which it does not. When Massdrop sells "International Spec" stuff it's very clear that there is no included warranty, but there are no specifics provided about "US Spec". I think an FAQ or adding clarifications to drops would help rectify this.
I appreciate your willingness to discuss this, as I've seen Massdrop staff skirt around it on other drops which is why I decided to make this post. To sum up, to me, and most of the members here, "US Spec" would be a lens that is covered by the manufacturer's USA warranty, and that is simply not the case for these photography products from Nikon, Canon and Sigma. They require a proof of purchase from an authorized dealer if you make a warranty claim. So the fact is, there is very little difference between a Massdrop "US Spec" lens and a Massdrop "International Spec" lens.
A more concrete example is the current drop for the Canon 70-200 f2.8. It clearly states on the drop page that a "Canon USA 1 Year Warranty" is included. This is 100% inaccurate. If you view Canon's page here: https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/groups/gray-market
they clearly state that a gray market item is any product that is imported or sold by anyone other than an authorized dealer. They then state that gray market products may not (read as definitely will not) be eligible for the USA warranty. As Massdrop is not an authorized dealer, this lens it is selling will be considered gray market. It does not matter that Massdrop bought it from an authorized dealer. This Canon drop is much more egregious and could even be interpreted as false advertising.
I would be happy to discuss this further with you if you have specific questions, but I think for anyone reading this and looking at the drop the situation has been outlined and they can make their own decision. As I stated previously, I have nothing against Massdrop and have participated in drops before.
" Any Canon-brand products which are imported AND sold other than by Canon Authorized Dealers are referred to as "Gray Market" (or "parallel") products."
While your quote is accurate, I stand by my interpretation. If you click this link, https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/self-help-center/professional-product-warranty-information/, you can see clearly: "All professional products sold via Canon USA authorized resellers are covered by a comprehensive product warranty." This implies products that are not sold by authorized dealers won't be covered. Further, if you scroll down and click on the warranty terms for EF lenses, it says, "This Limited Warranty is only effective upon presentation of this warranty card and proof of purchase." The proof of purchase from Massdrop will not be valid.
There is no implied warranty but this is being purchased from an authorized Nikon dealer.
That sentence is accurate and I believe clarifies this. I appreciate your willingness to have this back and forth with me.
It still sounds like you're implying something!
This was way before the other discussions. When this conversation was had, they were not listing "USA Warranty" with the drops, just that they were "USA Spec". The fact that they are "USA Spec" isn't incorrect, hence I agreed with @Jaysun here. But after this Massdrop looked into it and decided to say they have a USA warranty which is totally false.
That's my point; MD needs to stop beating around the bush and just come out and say it! Or come out with a clear statement about how and who would handle warranty work for the lenses they sell, rather than insinuating it would be the same as any lens you purchased from a Nikon dealer. I'd like to see a statement from Nikon or Canon on the subject.
You are preaching to the choir. But for whatever reason they are not going to do it. Nikon has a link regarding gray-market purchases on the homepage of their USA site. They aren't going to legitimize it any further by commenting on Massdrop specifically. The volumes they are selling on here don't justify it either. But Massdrop can say whatever they want. The products have no warranty. This is backed up by a Canon customer not having his honored. Massdrop paid him off essentially. There is no evidence of anyone actually having it honored.
Also, if Nikon, Canon or Sigma found out who the dealer was that is supplying these products they would lose their dealer status immediately. Part of their dealer contract requires them not to sell under a certain price, which is exactly what Massdrop is helping them do.
It's because no one works on gray market items. They don't want to say it. No one aftermarket warranties them, Nikon will laugh at you and most local shops will tell you to go buy the real thing instead of wasting there time. There is no upside save for a few dollars on a gray market lens. This is especially true for lenses when they are prone to decentering and errors in manufacture more than almost any other electronics item.
I'm confused on why you keep saying this is US spec. It clearly says "International Spec" which means gray market. They import them through unauthorized sources. This could result in a lens that saw undue drop, temperature and handling. Buying the real thing for 26 dollars more will get you a full warranty. I buy a lot of things from massdrop but I never buy electronics and photo gear. Too much risk involved in buying things with ZERO warranty.
Some drops of the lenses are for US Spec lenses, while others are for International Spec. The drop shows the description for the most recent drop. So while you are seeing International Spec, some past drops have been US Spec.
Gotcha, thanks for clearing that up! :-)