Greentoe, or my experiment in name-your-price lens shopping.

Has anyone ever used Greentoe? I just learned about them and am trying them out. But it’s really intriguing. I had no idea that authorized dealers can sell below the price set by camera manufacturers. I’m seeing if I can get the gray market price on an expensive lens, but through an authorized dealer so I get the full warranty.

Gray market is someone buys a camera or lens or other pricy electronic in another country, then resells it in the US at a price that is often hundreds of dollars lower than the authorized US price, but still more than enough for the reseller to make a tidy profit. The problem being that the manufacturer will not honor any warranty and often charge a lot more if you ever need service or repair. And some will refuse to provide service or repair.

Let’s see what happens.

Okay, I want to get a Sony FE 200-600mm telephoto lens. Authorized US price is $1,998, but Sony is having a sale so it is currently $1,898 across all the major stores (B&H, Adorama, Amazon).

I went crazy and went in with a bid of $1,300, which is totally unreasonable, but if it happens I’ll be ecstatic.