I've been searching around on ebay for a while, looking to find a deal on a used D700. In many cases, the cameras no longer have the box, etc. Is there a way to tell from Serial Number whether it's a US version or grey market?
Even used, there a bit pricey. Don't mind splurging as long as I have confidence I'm not buying something that won't be repairable.
I'm not certain if there is a fool-proof way to confirm a legit USA body.
When considering buying used, I ask where the body was originally purchased and whether the seller still has the original receipt. If so, I make sure that it's an authorized dealer on Nikon's USA web site. Lacking that, I want to know if the equipment has been serviced by Nikon USA, and if so, when.
Lacking that paperwork, I like to call Nikon with the serial number, explain that I'm considering buying this used item and ask for assurance that it can be serviced by Nikon in the USA. And/or ask if the item has a service history with them.
They seem to be reluctant to use the term "grey market" in my experience, but once I explain that I've been victimized in the past (purchased a brand NEW body from a non-authorized dealer that as it turned out, had been on a pallet stolen off of a shipping dock, and was subsequently seized as evidence) - Nikon generally confirms whether the used item can be serviced.
I phoned Nikon, gave them the serial number, they readily told me it was US, to whom it was originally sold (in the US) and when. They said they "could not" give me the mfr date, but from the new sale date I could infer the approx mfr date. I local dealer (DC area) says that Nikon hides the mfr date to discourage fraud. (UI don't know how that would work.)
Many organized people who carefully manage their camera equipment keep the paperwork. I would only buy if I could get the original purchase receipt or a copy of the Nikon USA warranty. There are great D700s on the market from time to time as people move up to more expensive gear.
In the past, I have seen used D700's on eBay that were complete with original packaging, etc. unfortunately I was not really interested in making the jump at the time. Since Nikon discontinued the D700, there has been a buying frenzy and it has created a seller's market. I've seen used D700's with 100,000 shutter actuations and the asking prices are upwards of $1500. Those with under 20,000 actuation a are going for over $1600 to as high as $1800. That's just a few hundred dollars below original sale price. I'd like to have one, but not that badly. I think I'm going to continue to shop and wait for one that comes from a good seller.
"confidence I'm not buying something that won't be repairable"
I think people worry about this too much. Yes, Nikon won't touch a grey market product, but there are Nikon authorized repair stations that will such as APS ( http://www.nikoncamerarepair.com/ ). If you're buying new, that's a different story as you want Nikon's warranty service to be available. With a used piece of equipment, no matter how recent it is, there is no warranty beyond the original purchaser. I've only used Nikon themselves once for a repair (under warranty). I have used APS a number of times with complete satisfaction.
Alan -- Excellent advice. The only challenge with APS is that they don't always have all the equipment for the very latest gear right away, but a D700 is perfect. I have sent stuff to APS in Morton Grove and they are responsive, they communicate and are very fair in pricing. I just added my recommendation based on your excellent advice.
In order to qualify for NPS, equipment has to be US, so everything I have (with the exception of one probable "grey" TC) is USA. Granted that will be of concern to a small percentage of Nikon users.
But then again, having had my first USA DSLR purchase years ago, brand new in the box, turn into a nightmare (turned out to be an UNauthorized dealer - later found out that the body had been on a pallet stolen off a shipping dock and that body was later confiscated from me, as evidence) I tend to be overly cautious.
I bought a D800 and am looking to sell my D700. I had it cleaned/serviced by Nikon last year and its not been used since..it comes with the external battery holder (MD-10?) and a couple of after market books. I'm looking into the shutter count now, let me know if you are still in the market. It's a US version I have all the paperwork. Bill Hallier E-mail "firstname.lastname@example.org"
I am still in the market for a used D700. I saw and responded to your post in the "I Want to Sell" forum. I assume that you have been happy with the camera's performance since you have had it for almost 5 years.