50 Shades of Grey Market Products

With budgets under pressure, containing IT spending is a key item on any business’ financial strategy, but beware of the pitfalls before buying that ‘steal of a deal’.

While most people are aware of the illegalities of counterfeit or ‘knock off’ products, Grey Market Products are less recognized. Grey Market Products might be the real thing made by the original manufacturer, but are diverted from their legally authorized distribution channels without disclosing their true origins. This non-disclosure of origin can cause risk to both the buyer and the manufacturer.

THE RISKS OF BUYING GREY MARKET Missing Parts Invalid warranty claims Sellers who offer grey market products may not be able to fulfil Many grey market products won't be covered under the origi- complete configurations. They may not be able to obtain the nal vendors warranty, so fixing any problems may cause you parts to complete the project leaving you high and dry to more than just a headache and inconvenience. source the missing pieces, or they may substitute parts hoping Exposure to criminal activities that they won't be noticed. As grey market devices do not follow the correct supply chain Software licences can be rendered invalid path they may be linked with more serious crimes such as The software included on grey market products is unlikely to fraud and stolen goods. Any investigations into the sellers of include a valid license for those essential business applications. grey market goods, potentially exposes individuals who have In order to seek a cheaper option to ensure their devices are purposely or inadvertently purchased grey market goods to stocked with the latest software, grey market sellers may scrutiny. download the software illegally, potentially exposing end users to legal actions. WHAT TO DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF Know the Local Pricing Request Software Licence Numbers and Certificates If your hardware configuration is being offered at pricing sig- Valid software licences must be registered and activated. Con- nificantly below other re-sellers, ask for a detailed listing and tact the software manufacturer to see if the licence is valid and price breakdown of all components for the project configura- get written confirmation from the seller that all items are new tion. and sourced through authorized methods, and fully covered by the manufacturer. Request Serial Numbers Warranty claims can be easily identified by the items serial Know Your Supplier number. Contact the product manufacturer to see if the item Developing a trusted relationship with an authorized re-seller is under warranty. partner will not only ensure that you're always delivered genu- ine product sourced through authorized purchasing channels. Report Suspicious Dealers You also gain additional value via access to their certified ex- We need to ensure grey market sellers are exposed and that others are warned about these bad faith dealers. No one wants pert sales and technical resources, special pricing, and access to be a victim of fraud. to new and upcoming technologies. Don't have a relationship in place with a trusted authorized re-seller? When obtaining quotes or going to RFP, ask sellers for proof of certification/authorization to sell the product AND the contact information of their authorized distribution source.

If you have any concerns regarding the validity of the IT products you are purchasing through PC Corp (or other sellers) please do not hesitate to ask us about them.  PC Corp is proud to be a certified and authorized partner of major IT brands.

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