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What's the difference between Import & US models of Canon lenses

aajax
Enthusiast

I've been trying to buy a new lens for my Canon camera.  A couple of merchants have questioned about whether I need the import or US model.  This comes as a bit of a surprise to me.  First of all NO such distinction is made on their website or any others for that I've noticed.  However, it does seem that the US model, which by implication I need, costs more than the advertised price.  I suppose this means I also need to know what version corresponds to my camera and I certainly don't see how to make that distinction.

What's going on here?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Based on that my best guess is that I encountered what we might call a bait-and-switch sales technique.  In that, advertise low price and then try to sell the real product but for significantly more money.  One might expect that a real "gray market dealer" would have simply shipped the product as if it were the normal version and it might be very difficult for the customer to tell the difference.  My best guess is that these guys did NOT really have the so-called import model or they could have done that.  Instead they spun what to me sounded like a very fishy story.  After going 2 for 2 with stories that differed it occurred to me that this inquiry might be appropriate.

I suppose the need to shop online for such products, by at least some of us, makes this kind of thing something we should be expecting.  Just happens to be a new first for me.

Many thanks for the quick response.

View solution in original post

15 REPLIES 15

jrhoffman75
Legend

Gray market products are imported into the US outside of the official Canon USA supply chain. Google “what are gray market photographic products.” 
They are identical products but do not have a Canon warranty. Sellers generally provide a store or third party warranty. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

rs-eos
Whiz

Only purchase your lenses (and other Canon gear) from Authorized Canon Dealers.   Direct link to the PDF.

Avoid gray-market at all costs.  e.g. Such vendors often open up the items, take out the premium parts and replace with cheap parts.

If your question doesn't involve gray marketing, you'll tend to want to purchase the US version of equipment in the US.  For regulatory reasons, compatibility with power outlets and probably other reasons.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Based on that my best guess is that I encountered what we might call a bait-and-switch sales technique.  In that, advertise low price and then try to sell the real product but for significantly more money.  One might expect that a real "gray market dealer" would have simply shipped the product as if it were the normal version and it might be very difficult for the customer to tell the difference.  My best guess is that these guys did NOT really have the so-called import model or they could have done that.  Instead they spun what to me sounded like a very fishy story.  After going 2 for 2 with stories that differed it occurred to me that this inquiry might be appropriate.

I suppose the need to shop online for such products, by at least some of us, makes this kind of thing something we should be expecting.  Just happens to be a new first for me.

Many thanks for the quick response.

ebiggs1
Legend

"A couple of merchants have questioned about whether I need the import or US model."

 

I would avoid these retailers.  They will probably screw you in other ways too. Sometimes the lowest price is not the best deal.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

As it turns out I was lucky enough NOT to buy anything and even though they're the only ones saying they have what I'm looking for "In Stock" I'll be taking heed.

Since the only harm I experienced was a bit of frustration I've opted NOT to name them.  What is surprising at this point is how dealers offering so much (online) equipment (both Canon and lots of other brands) for sale are NOT on the authorized list.

That’s because it’s easy to just say they  have a product. Frequently it’s not in stock, which you don’t find out till after you give them a CC number. Then when you want to cancel they make it very hard. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

ebiggs1
Legend

"... the only harm I experienced was a bit of frustration I've opted NOT to name them."

 

I imagine most of us old timers already know the store(s).  There is more than one. Getting listed on a google search isn't difficult. We are here to perhaps help others from falling for their less than "honorable" practices.

Another bad deal is the camera packages offered by sources like Amazon. Those packages are nothing but junk. Never, ever, buy one of them. Amazon is an authorized Canon dealer but some of the marketplace retailers are not. The problem is to know whether it is from Amazon itself and not some other outlet hosted on the Amazon web site.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I would certainly concur with your assessment of Amazon.  I try very hard NOT to buy anything from Amazon.  Even when searches lead me there I'll sometimes look for an independent way to find the third party seller that bypasses Amazon and have occasionally bought something directly rather than via Amazon.

Canon could gain some credibility by recognizing what you say and realizing that they don't fit any valid criteria for being on their dealer list.

ebiggs1
Legend

Again, Amazon itself is fine.  Just be careful that you are buying from Amazon and not a marketplace vender.  But no matter where those super kit packages come from don't ever buy one.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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