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There are some positive comments on SB about Divestock, but they seem to be a couple years old. Looking for more recent feedback before I purchase anything. Thanks!
why are some of their prices even lower than those I could get directly with the manufacturers who also sell direct?
Probably it's grey market, grey market products are products traded outside the authorized manufacturer's channel. The product is the same, but the problem with grey market, authorized dealers in the U.S. will not fix or repair the product, you have to go to an independent repair shop. If you have a reliable shop, go for the grey market item if you want to save money.
How would a shop know if you purchased an item from a grey market vendor or received the item as a gift, or purchased the item while living somewhere else and then moved to the location where you are requesting service?
I could understand them checking the serial number with the manufacturer for warranty issues but for routine service where the client is going to pay labor costs, i cant imagine the shop would go through the trouble to contact rhe company just to see if it wad purchased on the grey market and then refuse service...that would be like spitting in the eye of someone willing to give a business money, the shop would lose money on the repair, and they would lose money from potential sales...and plus they would have created a lingering instance of someone who will provide them negative advertisment and steer folks to whichever competitor does service their grear in the end.
I will give you a sample, I purchased an Aqualung Legend LUX regulator from Leisurepro. The U.S. model with factory warranty card was $900 and grey market version with a Leisurepro warranty was $750. Authorized Aqualung dealer will look at the serial number, if the number is not a U.S. number, by agreement with Aqualung's terms and conditions the U.S. dealer can't work on a grey market product.
I know, it's BS! This is how a number of companies operate when it come to servicing products meant for overseas.