eBay Black Friday Week Deal Frenzy Starts Tonight! + FAQ on Imports

The famous eBay Black Friday Week Deal Frenzy starts tonight, in half an hour. We’re expecting to see some fantastic deals on Canon items via eBay this year.

The deals during the eBay Black Friday Week Deal Frenzy will be the lowest price of the year on bodies — if you’re okay with buying an import model from an unauthorized dealer.

Known or Predicted Deals

As usual, we expect these frenzy deals to sell out very quickly (last year’s 5D Mark III deal sold out in 90 minutes), and we don’t know exactly when each deal will start. Set a notification to get e-mailed the instant these go live, and get ready!

To help our readers decide between buying import model from eBay or authorized dealer via street price, we’ve prepared a special FAQ about import models via eBay Deals!

Read more to see the answers.

What’s an import, and why does it have such a bad rap?

Your camera or lens is an “import” (also known as grey market) if it wasn’t originally destined for the US market. It has been imported to the US by a reseller, and not by Canon USA. It is a physically identical camera, made in the same factories, however the packaging, manuals, and default language in-camera has been customized to a different region.

The cameras are otherwise identical in feature set. (One exception is the EOS 6D, which has a “WG” version with WiFi and GPS, and an “N” version with none, but US eBay deals have always been the WG version.) For more details, read our longer write-up on this topic.

Part of the reason why imports have such a bad rap is: bait & switch stores use “imports” as an excuse to upsell/scam you. They’ll claim imports are made of plastic, in China, and have lesser features. None of that is true, but unfortunately many people believe it. Every time we post an import deal, we often get some comment with incorrect information like this.

What’s an unauthorized dealer?

We refer to the eBay dealers (most popular are BigValueInc, AllNewShop (a.k.a. GetItDigital), and 6th Ave) as unauthorized dealers, in that they are not Canon USA authorized resellers.

Are they reliable? Yes. Based on our detailed tracking of their high-value Canon eBay feedback, they have a proven history of delivering the described goods, with 99%+ positive feedback. (If you read the rare negative feedback, it’s mostly from people who are angry that it’s import model, as they likely purchased without knowing that.) eBay feedback is extremely difficult to fake, as doing so would incur Final Value Fees; several hundred positive feedback on a 5D Mark III means it’s real.

Do they have great customer service? Probably not. They’ll ship you what you paid for and help work through any issues, but don’t expect them to be as accommodating as some of the top authorized dealers (if you want the best service, go to B&H or Adorama). Unauthorized dealers in the camera industry are like the TJ Maxx or Marshalls of the fashion industry — they are trying to sell other stores’ overstock, and as cost-efficiently as possible.

We’ll also note that the rate of issues is much higher. Not surprising, because these cameras were essentially overstock and sold to a reseller (perhaps multiple times). The dealers are often quite responsive to replace defective bodies, but don’t be surprised if your box is a bit banged up — the good thing is, our readers report that the camera bodies arrive brand new with zero shutter clicks.

Another thing to notice is they often charge re-stock fees for returns (other than for a “defective” reason). So please be sure you want to purchase the item before committing to buy.

Do I get a Canon USA Warranty?

Ahh, the million dollar question. The official answer is no, Canon USA will only service a USA model camera bought at an authorized dealer. This is why the store often provides a 1 year store warranty, equivalent to the warranty provided by Canon USA.

The answer on the street is: Canon USA will service anything — USA model or grey market — provided you have a receipt showing you purchased it within the last year. Canon stands behind their products. They’ll never admit this policy in writing though, so it can be subject to change at any time and without warning; you should be comfortable with the chance you may need to rely on the store warranty, should Canon USA change their policy within the year.

After one year, your camera is out-of-warranty, and you have to pay for service (just like any other camera, authorized dealer or not). Canon will gladly accept grey market items for paid service, unlike Nikon, which refuses to repair a grey market body, even if you’re paying them.

Some of these companies look shady. Are you sure it’s safe?

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our readers on previous purchases. You can also read the unbiased comments left by our readers on previous deals, regarding their experiences. We thoroughly vet and investigate every eBay vendor prior to listing them on our site.

As mentioned, their eBay feedback speaks for itself, overwhelmingly positive (with negative issues mostly being customers unaware that they are imports). But, we would only recommend buying from an unauthorized dealer through a platform like Amazon or eBay, as eBay adds significant buyer protection and provides excellent dispute mechanisms.

It’s doubtful a reputable, established dealer would try a scam on eBay due to oversight, feedback, and dispute mechanisms, although some do try and we’re good at calling them out.

Should I buy from an authorized dealer or buy an import?

This is very much a personal preference, and it’s great we get a choice. Many readers like the safety, security, and customer service of buying from an authorized dealer (and street price is a great way of doing so.) Often, the street price may only be slightly higher than the unauthorized dealer price, and you’re guaranteed a Canon USA Warranty and likely better customer service.

Other readers want to save the extra money, don’t want the hassle of a mail-in rebate, or are okay with the less-than-guaranteed Canon USA warranty. If this is you, choosing to buy an import model from an eBay dealer is a great way to go, and this is the perfect week to do it!

30 comments on “eBay Black Friday Week Deal Frenzy Starts Tonight! + FAQ on Imports

  1. November 26, 2014 at 12:48 am EDT

    This or Canon refurbished 6d? I also get 2.5% with canon.com….

  2. November 26, 2014 at 2:27 am EDT

    Where is 7d Mark II Deal ? 🙁

    1. November 26, 2014 at 11:47 am EDT

      No 7D Mark II eBay deal this year. Still too early.

  3. November 26, 2014 at 10:42 am EDT

    Loved my 5D deal last year 🙂

    1. November 27, 2014 at 12:22 am EDT

      New or refurbished?

    2. November 27, 2014 at 12:25 am EDT

      Rich Hill brand new on Amazon for around $2700 at around 7 in the morning. It was only live for a few minutes, follow their Canon Price Watch on Twitter and set up alerts so you can snatch it when there’s a great deal.

  4. November 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm EDT

    Joe T Fahey

  5. November 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm EDT

    Joe Harris

  6. November 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm EDT

    Amanda Grace the t5

  7. November 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm EDT

    Will most dealers let us know if the Canon 6D is the “WG” or “N” version when buying import?

  8. November 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm EDT

    Terry Baker

  9. December 6, 2014 at 1:42 am EDT

    Just received my father in-laws 6D from 6th ave via ebay, its an import..I just registered it on the Canon website for warranty purposes. Was in the body only box without the warranty card but everything else.

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