Thanks for the reply. You are correct that manufacturers cannot dictate to the reseller to whom he may or may not sell their products. What they can do is require the reseller to agree to a territorial market which they may serve. Enforcement of this type of agreement does not run afoul of anti-trust laws. For 20 years I worked for a domestic manufacturer of commercial and industrial electronic controls and we sold into a closed distribution network. However it was a constant struggle to prevent the products from getting into the hands of non-authorized sellers but at least we fought the battle.
It's interesting that the camera manufacturers cannot say no to the grey market distributor but they can and do say no to the end user seeking service on their products. I have in the past purchased a few grey market lenses, never a camera body, and was lucky to get new products for essentially the price of a used one which had no warranty either. I have decided not to press my luck any further.
Recent experience with 6th Avenue (bought through EBay)-- (Sigma 18-250 lens, <$220 in price)
I assumed "Grey", especially when the listing talked about the Seller's 12 month warranty. I gave them a call about the product, and they readily admitted that it did not have a US warranty (no hemming and hawing). They said sometimes is "grey", sometimes they buy and break up kits (selling the body to one person, the lens to another). I thought they were upfront about the whole thing.
Product arrived in Sigma Box, appeared unopened, lens wrapped in Sigma Branded plastic, with all warranty cards (for the Non-US warranty).
Bottom line Perhaps I got lucky-- However for a $130 savings on a $220 lens, I was willing to take the risk. The transaction worked out fine, I'm not sure I'd take the risk on a more expensive item though.
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