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05-11-2011, 03:23 AM   #1
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Pentax Guarantee issues for International buyers

I have seen some reviews of the 16-50mm DA* on the B&H website which have highlighted various problems. I am very interested in buying this from B&H as the price is seemingly unbeatable. The reviews in question seem to have the problems resolved, but then they are in the U.S. anyway, what would happen to purchasers from outside the U.S.?

05-11-2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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Hello,

Pentax will cover your lens purchased from B&H worldwide;

International Warranty Card
New PENTAX products do not automatically come with an international warranty that covers all PENTAX products around the world. However, it is possible to obtain an International Warranty Card through PENTAX Imaging Company after you have purchased a PENTAX product. If you bought your PENTAX product in the United States and are traveling to a foreign country for an extended period of time, we can send you an International Warranty Card to cover your product while you are abroad. We will also send you a list of authorized service centers around the world.

To obtain an International Warranty Card, please send the below-listed items to PENTAX Imaging Company, 600 12th Street, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80401:
A copy of your dated proof of purchase, with the name and address of the U.S. dealer.
The serial number on your PENTAX product (if it has one).


Digital Cameras and Accessories - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

B&H now offers SageMax Protection Plans which will cover qualifying products worldwide. An items corresponding plan will be listed on its product page on our site.

The SageMax Protection Plans main advantage over extending the manufacturers warranty is coverage for ADH or (Accidental Damage and Handling), normal wear & tear and failure due to environmental factors.

C h u c k C a p r i o l a
Live Chat and E-Mail Sales Manager B&H Photo-Video

Thank you, we appreciate your business.
*** Peace on Earth ***
05-16-2011, 03:06 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information, according the reply to a query I made using the Pentax web-site contact form in Switzerland, I was told that:
There is an international warranty card in the box. This card has to be filled in and stamped by the dealer. Only than the warranty is vaild in the Switzerland if the product was bought outside the country.
Your information suggests the contrary, so now I am a bit confused...
05-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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I'm interested in the very same question:

If I buy from B&H, how do I obtain a valid International Warranty Card?
  1. By sending "A copy of your dated proof of purchase, with the name and address of the U.S. dealer" to PENTAX Imaging Company, 600 12th Street, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80401? Will they also accept an email with a scan? Seems odd that I would have to send a copy from another country to a postal address. Will they pay for the postage of getting the card to me (overseas!)?
  2. Or would B&H have to fill in and stamp the International Warranty Card that is already in the box? Would B&H do that?
Elsewhere you write
"The 'Direct Import' or Grey Market item would have to be returned to B&H Photo-Video Corp. in New York City if it required in-warranty attention."
Does this mean that I can always obtain warranty service by sending an item back to B&H and hence will not need an International Warranty Card, provided I don't mind the shipping cost to the US? I am assuming that the cost for shipping back does not have to be borne by the customer.


Last edited by Class A; 05-20-2011 at 10:05 PM.
05-20-2011, 05:13 AM   #5
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I think the confusion here is that Pentax USA does not honour an international warranty by default, and so makes you apply for the warranty card.
I suppose this may be part of why the equipment tends to cost less in the USA.
I believe that if you want the international warranty, you will have to jump whatever hoops Pentax Imaging makes you jump, and since B&H isn't in the business of selling Pentax international warranties (they sell their own, which I would be very suspicious of), you would be better off to talk to Pentax in the USA yourselves.
Or, buy locally or from a country where Pentax supplies an international warranty by default.
05-20-2011, 07:00 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I think the confusion here is that Pentax USA does not honour an international warranty by default, and so makes you apply for the warranty card.
I think we're mixing two questions, which are:
  • If a non-USA customer buys a Pentax lens will the customer have local warranty coverage, and
  • Does Pentax USA honor "international" warranties.
Chuck's earlier post is both informative and includes information we have from Pentax USA. To the best of our knowledge a Pentax lens bought from B&H is warranted by Pentax USA and a non-USA customer should be able to receive warranty coverage from his or her local authorized Pentax warranty repair facilities either with a B&H invoice or with the international warranty form which can be acquired by the method described in Chuck's post.

We never open a box and do anything with an included warranty document before shipping it and I do not recall any non-USA customer who's bought a Pentax lens from us and later reported difficulty in this regard.

BTW, B&H does not sell any "grey market" digital cameras and at present we do not sell any "grey market" Pentax products.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
B&H isn't in the business of selling Pentax international warranties (they sell their own, which I would be very suspicious of)...
B&H does not sell our own. We sell a product called SageMax from a company called N.E.W. just as we sell products from Pentax and Manfrotto and many other brands. We would not do business with N.E.W, if we lacked any confidence in their reliability. So, your statement we sell our own is inaccurate and your suspicions are entirely unfounded.

Last edited by henryp; 05-20-2011 at 07:34 AM.
05-20-2011, 06:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote


BTW, B&H does not sell any "grey market" digital cameras and at present we do not sell any "grey market" Pentax products.
This needs to be challenged, because it is misleading.
B&H doesn't sell grey market products, in that what they sell comes from the official USA supplier.
However, and this is the distinction that is important, if you are not in the USA, then B&H is a grey market supplier, since the definition of grey market is bypassing the local official supplier.

As an example, I am in Canada.
If I buy from B&H, I am buying a grey market product, since I am not buying something from the Canadian importer.

QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote

B&H does not sell our own. We sell a product called SageMax from a company called N.E.W. just as we sell products from Pentax and Manfrotto and many other brands. We would not do business with N.E.W, if we lacked any confidence in their reliability. So, your statement we sell our own is inaccurate and your suspicions are entirely unfounded.
I've had problems with third party warranties in the past, in that finding someone local to honor them can be an issue.
I would really recommend to the OP to make sure he has secured local warranty service through SageMax before he presumes the warranty is in fact valid in his part of the world.
05-20-2011, 10:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
To the best of our knowledge a Pentax lens bought from B&H is warranted by Pentax USA and a non-USA customer should be able to receive warranty coverage from his or her local authorized Pentax warranty repair facilities either with a B&H invoice or with the international warranty form which can be acquired by the method described in Chuck's post.
Would you recommend that a customer makes sure that these assumptions are correct?

QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
BTW, B&H does not sell any "grey market" digital cameras and at present we do not sell any "grey market" Pentax products.
Note that I only quoted Chuck. In this post he wrote
The "Direct Import" or Grey Market item would have to be returned to B&H Photo-Video Corp. in New York City if it required in-warranty attention.
I believe his wording makes sense because anyone outside the USA buying from B&H is a "direct importer" and effectively has a "grey market" item.

I'd be grateful if you could answer the following question:

Can I always obtain warranty service by sending an item back to B&H and hence will not need an International Warranty Card, provided I don't mind the shipping cost to the US? Is it correct that I would not have to pay the cost for having the item shipped back to me after the warranty service?

The wording from Chuck in this and this and possible more posts -- that I quoted above -- suggests that this is the case and it would be great to receive confirmation and clarification regarding shipping costs.

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Class A; 05-21-2011 at 05:53 AM.
05-22-2011, 09:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This needs to be challenged, because it is misleading.
B&H doesn't sell grey market products, in that what they sell comes from the official USA supplier.
However, and this is the distinction that is important, if you are not in the USA, then B&H is a grey market supplier, since the definition of grey market is bypassing the local official supplier.
You are mistaken. As long as B&H buys the Pentax merchandise we sell from Pentax USA it is not, and cannot be described as, "grey market."

For an item to be "grey market" we would have to have purchased it from a source other than Pentax USA. That is not this situation. Whether or not a product is reciprocally warranted by your local distributor or by their authorized warranty centers, the fact, plain and simple, is that our Pentax products, bought from Pentax USA are not "grey market."
05-22-2011, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
As long as B&H buys the Pentax merchandise we sell from Pentax USA it is not, and cannot be described as, "grey market."
It seems that you should have a chat with your colleague Chuck then who used the term "grey market item" (see my previous) posts.

I really would have appreciated answers to my relevant and polite questions. Are you still looking into how to answer them?

Surely, whether or not you will accept items for warranty service in case a customer cannot obtain local warranty service is of interest to many of your international customers not just me, right?

Last edited by Class A; 05-22-2011 at 03:32 PM.
05-23-2011, 07:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It seems that you should have a chat with your colleague Chuck then who used the term "grey market item" (see my previous) posts.
Nothing in Chuck's post contradicts anything in any of my posts. Pentax merchandise sold by B&H Photo is not "grey market," because we purchase it from Pentax USA.
05-23-2011, 03:38 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
You are mistaken. As long as B&H buys the Pentax merchandise we sell from Pentax USA it is not, and cannot be described as, "grey market."

For an item to be "grey market" we would have to have purchased it from a source other than Pentax USA. That is not this situation. Whether or not a product is reciprocally warranted by your local distributor or by their authorized warranty centers, the fact, plain and simple, is that our Pentax products, bought from Pentax USA are not "grey market."
That's disingenuous Henry.
As soon as the product crosses the border, it is grey market.
For what you sell to not be grey market in Canada, you would need to be purchasing it from the Canadian supplier and then reimporting it onto Canada.
Is this what you are doing for your Canadian customers?

I'm using the Wikipedia definition of grey market you sent me to when you defined the term.
Sorry dude, but you need to wake up here.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 05-23-2011 at 06:30 PM.
05-23-2011, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
Pentax merchandise sold by B&H Photo is not "grey market," because we purchase it from Pentax USA.
Firstly I want to say that I have bought from B&H in the past and have been very happy with the whole process, and I believe they have earned their good reputation amongst photo communities worldwide.

However, I also believe the above statement by henryp needs clarification, as it is only half right. I believe it is more correctly:
"Pentax merchandise sold by B&H Photo to a person living in the USA or a place where Pentax USA is the authorised distributor is not "grey market," because we purchase it from Pentax USA."

Grey market tends refers more to whether the consumer has or has not bought his product from an official distributor in the country in which they are making their purchase, than to whether the store has sourced it's product from an official distributor. Having said that, it is possible that some stores don't source their products from an official distributor.

Here are some examples:
  • B&H sources their camera from Pentax USA. B&H sells it to a person living in the USA. The product is NOT grey market as it has gone though the authorised USA distribution channel.
  • B&H sources their camera from Pentax USA. B&H sells it to me, a person living in Australia. The product IS now grey market as I have bypassed the authorised Australian distribution channel of Pentax Australia (who are CR Kennedy).
  • A shop in Australia sources their camera from Pentax Australia. The shop sells it to someone living in Australia. The product is NOT grey market as it has gone though the authorised Australian distribution channel.
  • A shop in Australia sources their camera from Pentax Australia. The shop sells it to someone living in the USA. The product IS now grey market as it has bypassed the authorised USA distribution channel of Pentax USA.
  • A shop in Australia sources their camera from Pentax USA. The shop sells it to someone living in Australia. The product IS grey market as it has not gone through the authorised distribution channel at the distributor->store step.
05-23-2011, 08:26 PM   #14
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What determines the color of the market is that which can be regulated and authorized. There are examples of grey market where the product originates in the same country as where it is wholesaled and retailed. For example a grocer who sells cigarettes without authorization to do so is selling a product that is legal for grocers to sell so long as they meet the authorization and regulation requirements. Because it would be reasonable for the grocer to have sourced the cigarettes legally and they get away with doing so without the license to do so, this becomes a grey market transaction. For a grocer who has a license to sell cigarettes but acquires his stock through unauthorized channels is also selling grey market. It matters not one iota where the end user is. The determination of grey market has nothing to do with transactions at the end user level, because to whom a person may sell at that level simply can't be regulated. There is no grey, black or white market there in a "free market".

To extend this to B&H it works like this: When B&H buys product from Pentax America they are free to sell those products to whomever B&H sees fit. With such an international presence it's well understood that Pentax products will make it to customers all over the planet. Pentax can't tell B&H that they can only sell to residents of the US, therefor the retail transaction can't be regulated. If it can't be regulated then the transaction can't be given a particular color. If B&H were to buy product from another retailer in another country to take advantage of currency strengths and weaknesses, there are regulations regarding who can distribute and and who can simply retail as laid out in the dealer agreements signed by each retailer of Pentax product. So that product acquired from a non-distributing dealer for whatever reason becomes grey market. For while Pentax can't say what customers can be served by a dealer, retailers and distributors are treated and regulated differently. Therefor these products acquired by a retailer through unauthorized distribution becomes grey market. Those products acquired through illegal channels such as theft would be considered black market, as theft is just plain illegal.

Henry Posner is the wrong person to challenge on the subject, as nobody is more wide awake on what constitutes grey market. If he says his product is not grey market then it's to be understood that his product is not grey market. Do yourself a favor and don't worry about about the business practices of B&H regarding the market color of their products. If you are truly concerned about the warranty, there are plenty of third party international warranties that extend way beyond the standard one year warranty offered by most manufacturers, and you can either buy it from B&H or someone else.
05-24-2011, 02:20 AM   #15
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@dnaseigel ... sounds good in theory though it seems to not work this way for international customers in practice.

QuoteQuote:
Henry Posner is the wrong person to challenge on the subject, as nobody is more wide awake on what constitutes grey market.
You appear to have the inside running here so will take that with a grain of salt given what seems a personal overlap...?

What is your relationship with B&H... ?

QuoteQuote:
Do yourself a favor and don't worry about about the business practices of B&H regarding the market color of their products.
Because you say so...?
See above.
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