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Old 23-01-2012, 16:42   #1
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Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

Just wondering if anyone has come across issues with importing electronics or pretty much anything and then having the service agent here say that they will not service or warranty the item?

A while back I looked at Anchorlift windlasses, I could buy from the US for $1000 while the Oz supplier wanted 3x for the same product.
When I showed them US prices they squealed and claimed they will not service or warranty the item in Australia.

I notice JN Taylor, one of the Furuno agents here makes the same claims
Taylor Marine - Specialist Suppliers of Marine Equipment and Furuno - Grey Markets

I also see BIAA has a PDF about importing boats from overseas saying that products onboard will either not comply with aus. regs or they wont be covered by warranty.
Marine Qld say the same
http://www.marineqld.com.au/grey-imports-buyer-beware

How different is it to a cruising yachtie sailing into Oz from another country and then having problems with a piece of gear he bought in his home country?

Are they trying to say that cruising yachties will not be covered by warranty?

To me it all sounds like protectionism and vested interest squealing

So, has anyone come across any problems?
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Old 23-01-2012, 17:02   #2
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

I have just run into the same problem with our new boat being built in France. I wanted to ship over all the electronics but the sub contractor that does all the installation will not warranty any equipment he does not purchase. Good news is - Electronic equipment such as Chart plotters, radar, AIS, SSB Sat Phone is just about the same price in Europe when the VAT is removed. I figure that the sub contractor is able to get equipment at a big discount too, so maybe we will luck out. Seeing we live a long way from France and do not speak boat building French we just hired a consultant who does and knows the Boreal well. I feel better already. I assume you speak fairDinkum Aussy boat building talk.
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Old 23-01-2012, 18:16   #3
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

Raymarine Australia also will not do warranty on grey imports also, there is a way for them to tell by the serial numbers of course. Yes it is protecting the local retailer, but if your local agents go under due to lack of viability then you will end up sending them to the country of origin anyway.

As regards the attempt to stop the import of grey boats into Australia, there was an article in a magazine here, not the coastal passage,that exposed this as purely a protectionist attempt over nothing. The article stated that it was absolute rubbish for them to say that they do not conform to Australian boatbuilding regulations because there are no such things. Not saying who is right, but i have never heard of any.

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Old 23-01-2012, 19:10   #4
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

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Originally Posted by Coops View Post
.......
......The article stated that it was absolute rubbish for them to say that they do not conform to Australian boatbuilding regulations because there are no such things. Not saying who is right, but i have never heard of any.

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The article author didnt look far. Its worrying when people publish things without doing research. NMSC Standards
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Old 23-01-2012, 19:16   #5
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Just wondering if anyone has come across issues with importing electronics or pretty much anything and then having the service agent here say that they will not service or warranty the item?

A while back I looked at Anchorlift windlasses, I could buy from the US for $1000 while the Oz supplier wanted 3x for the same product.
When I showed them US prices they squealed and claimed they will not service or warranty the item in Australia.

I notice JN Taylor, one of the Furuno agents here makes the same claims
Taylor Marine - Specialist Suppliers of Marine Equipment and Furuno - Grey Markets

I also see BIAA has a PDF about importing boats from overseas saying that products onboard will either not comply with aus. regs or they wont be covered by warranty.
Marine Qld say the same
Grey Imports - Buyer Beware - Marine Queensland

How different is it to a cruising yachtie sailing into Oz from another country and then having problems with a piece of gear he bought in his home country?

Are they trying to say that cruising yachties will not be covered by warranty?

To me it all sounds like protectionism and vested interest squealing

So, has anyone come across any problems?
Who is it that carries the warranty, the manufacter or the importer??
Often it is the importer hence the refusal to service equipment they didn't sell
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Old 23-01-2012, 19:18   #6
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

OK, so if I buy a Raymarine product here in the US and install it, then travel to Oz, it's not covered by a warranty???

I mean, these manufacturers DO realize that boats are DESIGNED to move between countries!
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Old 23-01-2012, 20:31   #7
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
The article author didnt look far. Its worrying when people publish things without doing research. NMSC Standards
Had a quick look at those, and, as i am not of a technical nature, found them boring because they are way over my head. However, i did notice that at least three paragraphs ended with the statement that the Australian rules had been brought into alignment with US and European regulations. If that is the case i do not see how a boat imported from the US does not comply. I will no doubt be wrong i am sure.

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Old 23-01-2012, 20:34   #8
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
OK, so if I buy a Raymarine product here in the US and install it, then travel to Oz, it's not covered by a warranty???

I mean, these manufacturers DO realize that boats are DESIGNED to move between countries!
I was talking to a cruiser from the US a few weeks ago, and he said that he had sorted that before he left home. I cannot tell you how, can only assume that he contacted Raymarine US about it.

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Old 23-01-2012, 20:49   #9
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

Some years back it was common for watches/cameras bought overseas to not be covered by warranty in Australia. Over time 'International warranties' became more common. Most of the time there is no need to claim, so it was seldom tested. Items became more reliable, but also trends towards 'disposable' rather than 'repairable' are a factor.

Bear in mind that a lot of consumer protection in Australia hangs off things like the Trade Practices Act, which puts an onus on retailers and importers to provide minimum after-sales support (repairs & replacements). A lot of other countries have similar protection in place.

If you import, or cruise to a different country then you almost certainly will still have warranty and other consumer rights in the country where the sale took place. So a consideration prior to import is ease of convenience to return item to original supplier for warranty claims.

Ideally manufacturers would support service in a different country, and in the case of a boat cruising away from home country they probably will do it. But they are not obliged to. The manufacturers are the ones who set different price points in different countries, to maximize their returns, and the 'grey import' undermines their business model, hence their attitude. They price according what the competitors are doing, how much they can charge and not how little. Only in deep and competitive markets will you get good prices. But then, to protect margins elsewhere, manufacturers will require their retailers to fit anything they sell (eg outboard motors above a certain size in USA) and forbid shipping of boxed goods outside of USA.

So, your local retailer who squeals is really just the messenger - don't shoot them. The manufacturer is the greedy baddy who is pulling all the strings.

Maybe 'international guarantee' for marine items would come if there were more suppliers and greater competition. In the meantime all we can do is try and identify which one values their 'brand name' the most, as they are the ones most likely to offer better warranty terms. the car industry has been a good example in recent years where the manufacturer has confidence in the quality of their product, and then offers warranties well beyond the statutory requirements.
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Old 23-01-2012, 21:34   #10
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

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Originally Posted by Armagh View Post

So, your local retailer who squeals is really just the messenger - don't shoot them. The manufacturer is the greedy baddy who is pulling all the strings.
The local retailer is the greedy mofo who has charges considerably more than the same product cost's elsewhere and has me shopping OS in the first place.

I have had them slash as much as 100% off the price of auto parts when I tell them I am buying same part on ebay for $x.
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Old 23-01-2012, 21:39   #11
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

The local retailer has to pay what the local wholesaler/importer demands, his price in turn set by policies at the manufacturer's head office. Standard practice.....

Maybe your local retailer is trying to wring a bit more out, but he is well along the food chain and usually has no chance of changing the pricing protocols. Sometimes he is allowed to discount, but it comes off his margin. Ever tried buying Bose with a discount, and got the retailers response? Looked at Apple's pricing in different countries?

Hopefully international pricing is on its way thanks to online shopping. Just import stuff you can fix yourself, or is high quality and reliable. Or disposable. Caveat Emptor!
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Old 23-01-2012, 22:17   #12
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

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I have had them slash as much as 100% off the price
FREE is always good. You can do my shopping for me anytime!
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Old 23-01-2012, 22:33   #13
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

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FREE is always good. You can do my shopping for me anytime!
Woops, make that 50%
They were selling for 100% more than their competitors
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Old 24-01-2012, 00:23   #14
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
OK, so if I buy a Raymarine product here in the US and install it, then travel to Oz, it's not covered by a warranty???

I mean, these manufacturers DO realize that boats are DESIGNED to move between countries!
Of course it is covered by warranty which is provided by the manufacturer who sold it. So if you buy it from Raymarine in the US, then Raymarine in the US will cover it. But Raymarine in Australia might not (probably not?) cover it as you didn't buy it from them. You moved it from one place to the other so you can move it back!

While I don't the exact company structure of Raymarine, I do know that Icom Australia is independant of Icom USA and both are independant of Icom Japan. Each runs it own accounting and books and provides warranties on the product it sells. Why should they warrant another companies product just because they have the same coporate "mother".

Would you warrant work done by your sibilings (assuming they aren't employed by you). OK, that is bit of a long bow to draw but you get the idea.
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Old 24-01-2012, 00:38   #15
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Re: Imported electronics "Grey Import Warranty"

Just a little thought. If you sail somewhere remote and it breaks down then it is up to you to get it back for warranty. I see no difference really between that and being anywhere else. It is one of those risks that we have to suffer to live the dream.

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