Buying Grey Market Nikon DSLR Equipment in Thailand, Southeast Asia

Here’s my latest video on buying Tech Gear in Thailand or Malaysia – includes online resources:

If you are buying your Nikon cameras and lenses in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, or anywhere else in the region – you may be buying grey market Nikon items. This goes for other camera manufacturers as well, but since I have Nikon – I’ll write about Nikons.

The warranty you get with grey market items is not valid in the USA, UK, etc. It is only within the same country you bought the Nikon equipment, and, maybe there is only one central location you can send your equipment to get fixed. Maybe there is none.

Grey market items are not always to the same quality as “real” Nikon equipment. Grey market means a dealer bought cameras outside the approved sales channels and likely got a great discount on the equipment. They don’t have to provide technical support, or any support if they don’t want to. With my equipment I got a within Thailand warranty. I bought my latest Nikon from Big Camera at the Big C store.

If you are considering buying Nikons, have a look at the chart below – copied from the Nikon site.

Generally you can tell if the items you bought were grey market by the price you paid for them new. If your price falls under what sells them for – you either got grey or refurbished items.

When I’m ready to get my next Nikon camera I’ll likely buy it straight through Adorama and pay the customs fee to bring it to Thailand. Or, maybe there is a chance I will be in the USA and can just pick it up directly.



  • Our products comply with common Japanese standards or regional non-Japanese standards, depending on the region in which the camera was sold.
  • Items may not meet mandatory safety and certification codes, or may not have been handled properly, therefore they may malfunction easily.
  • Full technical service is provided at your local service centre.
  • During the warranty period, any servicing or repairs will be free of charge, provided the camera was bought in the same country as where it was purchased from.


Damage caused by owner’s negligence, accident, misuse, do-it-yourself repairs, sand or water is not covered by this warranty.  Please check with the Nikon Authorised Service Facility in your country for any prevailing charges to the service which you require.

  • May not be able to receive full technical support as the warranty is valid only in the country where the camera was purchased from.
  • Certain dealers selling grey items may not be able to provide technical support as well.
  • You will also have to pay to have your camera serviced if it was bought from another country.
  • The manual in the package will be in the preferred language of your region.
  • The manual may not be in the preferred language of your region.
  • The manual is usually a photocopy of the original manual.
  • Users are able to register their product online to download software and firmware upgrades.
  • Owners of grey items may not be able to download online software and firmware upgrades available from the Nikon site, due to incompatible serial numbers.
  • The software CD included in the package will be an INT (International) version.
  • Software upgrade is easier if the initial software installation was an INT (International) version.
  • The software CD included in the package may not be an INT (Inernational) version and as a result, there may be problems involved when wanting to upgrade the software.