Leica Warranty: The hidden pitfalls of buying from non-authorised suppliers
Sources close to Leica have told me that there has been a recent increase in web-based sellers offering new cameras at attractive prices. Undoubtedly some of these cameras are grey imports and, as usual, it is a matter of weighing up the pros and cons of cost saving against any future problems.
I have always been ultra cautious when buying such expensive cameras, having once had my fingers bitten with a grey import that turned out to have been manufactured two years before it was sold to me as new. As a result, the warranty, even if fully validated, had already expired.
One of the biggest problems you face if you buy outside the dealer network is the possibility that the warranty will not be honoured in full, if at all. For an easy ride, you need to bear in mind that the documentation supplied with a new Leica must bear the stamp of an authorised dealer. If not, you will potentially have some problems if you need service under warranty.
Even though there might be consumer laws which could help in such circumstances, it is worrying to discover your three- or four-thousand pound camera needs service. Only last week I heard of one Leica Q buyer who was refused warranty care after buying cheaply from one of these sites.
If you are spending so much money, it is often false economy to buy simply on price. It is far better to go to a franchised dealer and make sure that all the legal aspects are covered.
If in doubt, you can find a list of authorised UK Leica dealers here.