Getting your gadgets—whether it’s a camera, smartphone, laptop, or even a gaming console—is definitely cheaper in some online stores. But as that old adage goes, you get what you pay for. Many shoppers don’t realize that they’re buying from the so-called “gray market” resellers, hence the very cheap prices. Simply put, these gray market resellers mainly purchase goods overseas and resell them here, bypassing the brand’s authorized or licensed sellers here in the Philippines, and government regulations as well.
Here are some horror stories showing the risks of buying from these unauthorized resellers.
Fake or Defective Items
One of the biggest risks of buying from a gray market reseller is the lack of quality control. Since these resellers don’t deal with the manufacturer directly, they inadvertently end up selling fakes. Here’s are a couple of buyers getting a fake powerbank and a fake Casio watch, respectively:
There are also some sellers on Facebook passing off fake smartphones as original ones:
And while some do end up selling original products, they end up selling ones with hidden defects.
Warranty Issues and Bad Customer Service
Of course, you think that since you’ve gotten an original product for less, you can just have it repaired by redeeming its warranty. However, since it’s been bought overseas, not all service centers will honor that warranty. And even the store warranty may not be honored at all times.
As this post on Facebook narrates:
“Wag kayo bumili sa [merchant name] kong ayaw nyo matulad sakin! 7 Months hindi naayos tapos binalik sakin kinahoy pa yong earphone and charger ko! Ito lang yong binalik nila kahit complete accessories yong pinadala ko. Wag kayong maniniwala na 1 year warranty parts and labor dahil pahihirapan lang kayo sa kasinungalingan nila!”
Meanwhile, a blog post on smalltime.me details the excruciating process of getting a refund for a defective laptop:
“I complained on Nov 20, 2014 and a refund was authorized on Feb 13, 2015. That’s 3 months of waiting, of following up, of having to put up with [merchant name] evasions, excuses and dubious interpretation of the law.”
And another review on trustedcompany.com detailed not only the hassle of redeeming a warranty, but the rude customer service they got as well:
“There was also an old man beside me who was complaining about his phone with a broken camera. He said that he bought his unit just last Friday and when he got home, he found out it was not working. The old man said that [merchant name] won’t replace his unit and would have it repaired by their technician instead. His unit is still within the supposed store warranty, but they are duping the old man since he seemed meek and unaware of his rights.”
The YouPoundit Guarantee
We've heard so many horror stories about buying from gray market resellers and even experienced some of these issues ourselves. So we decided to create our own space online where customers can shop with peace of mind.
At YouPoundit.com we offer risk free gadget shopping at a discount with prices lower than the brands retail price (SRP). When you shop with us, you're sure to get brand new and authentic products all with official warranty. We also offer return merchandise authorization (RMA) warranty ensuring that you can get a replacement in the rare event that you get a defective unit. No more horror stories, only at YouPoundit.com.
Do you have any bad experiences with gray market sellers? Ever been conned or scammed? Tell us all about it on our Facebook page.