What Defines a Grey Market Product?

Grey market products are more and more convincing than ever before. Keeping your eyes open for characteristics that indicate whether a product is legitimate or not can protect you from purchasing faulty, substandard, or counterfeit products. Titles that may identify grey market goods include:

  • Import model
  • Seller warranty
  • Coverage by Seller
  • Direct import
  • Off market

stash of smartphones

The Risk of Buying Grey Goods

Counterfeit Accessories

If you find a grey market product that comes with accessories, it is possible that they have been counterfeited or come from a third party. Software that accompanies grey market electronics is also likely to be fake or illegally copied. While these accessories may seem to work well at first, they may end up damaging the product or becoming glitchy.

No Manufacturer Warranty

Consumers of grey goods usually cannot seek maintenance services or rebates from the manufacturer. Some grey goods come with a warranty from the seller, but that does not mean the manufacturer warranty covers them. Sometimes the warranty that is given only covers repairs that can be done in a different country, which renders it virtually useless.

Foreign Parts

One of the most inconvenient problems with buying any goods from a foreign country is with the differences in electrical power cords. If a product in the grey market was created in another country, it might not have the correct power supply for U.S. electrical outlets. While there are adapters available for purchase to accommodate these types of plugs, they still may not work as intended. Additionally, the owner’s manual may be in a different language, making it challenging to refer to.

Keeping Products Out of the Grey Market

With new advancements in technology, it is becoming harder to identify grey market goods and avoid becoming a victim of a deal that is too good to be true. However, by doing what you can to keep your own used, expired, or recalled products out of the grey market, you can help fight these troubling distribution channels. Cal Micro Recycling offers professional, certified product destruction to ensure that these goods are disposed of properly. Any recyclable materials are carefully sorted as well to create new products in the future.


For more tips on how to identify grey market goods or to ask about our product destruction services, please call Cal Micro Recycling at 909.572.1661.