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What exactly are grey goods?

What are grey goods?

If you have been shopping around for electronics in the last couple of months, you would have been seeing lots of different deals for the same product, some local, others advertising import versions. All of these deals offer the same authentic products, but the import deals may have differed in price from the local offers, or may have given you a better availability date.

The problem is that some of the products being offered today are labelled as grey goods. This does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with these goods or that they are knock-offs, but it does mean that were brought to your doorstep in ways that were not intended by the manufacturers. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Consider the following discussion points.

Localised settings

Some products, like smartphones or tablets, are pre-configured with settings that are customised for local markets. This may include GSM settings, GSM radio bands (there are bands being used in countries like the US that are different to South Africa) or materials used in the manufacturing process.

Support, Maintenance and Warranty

Although there is nothing necessarily wrong with grey goods, they were not brought into the country through the correct distribution channels. Therefore, many manufacturers are declining to service these devices locally because it differs from the products that they are responsible for. If something goes wrong, you will probably end up paying much more to repair the unit than you would have if you purchased it through the correct channels.

Consumers need to be very careful when the make their purchase decision. Is the advanced availability date or price difference worth the risk of sitting with a product that cannot be serviced in the event that something goes wrong?

How Vire acquires products

Vire has committed to only dealing with 100% grey goods that were brought into South Africa through the correct distribution channels. All warranties, service and maintenance plans and returns that manufacturers and distributors offer products advertised on our website will be honoured, leaving you and your business with peace of mind when making a purchase.

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