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a friend of mine is buying a projector and he saw some low prices on an "imported" sony projector. He asked me what the difference is between an imported projector and a USA projector? I am really not sure; I assume the warranty. Anything else? Thx in advance

Warranty could be a problem. These would generally be considered " grey market ".
 

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I am continually mystified by why U.S. consumers of high end projectors will pay double what the Japanese will. The current situation with Sony's 4K machines is a repeat of what happened 12 years ago with the first high end DLP projector - the Sharp XV-Z9000. It was $5,000 in Japan and about double that in the U.S. Of course many consumers like myself didn't want to take it in the rear from Sharp, so we imported them.

But somehow it was deemed by others almost immoral to do so - like somehow we were not being loyal supporters of the American economy if we didn't want to pay double what Japanese consumers paid for their identical projector. And so discussion of importing was essentially banned on AVS - to this very day if you try to type in the name of the most famous importer (which provides good service and is still in business) it will be blocked out by the forum software.

Only those of us who've been around the forums many years even remember that company.

Obviously Sony is not rolling in dough at the moment, but the fact that they can sell these for 50% of what they go for here just shows that the markup on these particular projectors is a much higher percentage than on typical consumer electronics.

Sony also f*cks us over with a few other products - I own both the U.S. and Japanese import versions of their latest high end surround sound headphones. They are the same price here and in Japan - BUT the U.S. version will not let you use multiple headphones so you can watch movies with friends. The Japanese one will.

Also it seems to me that my Japanese units have a much longer battery life than my American ones - I am tempted to take them apart to see if Sony is using higher capacity batteries in the Japanese units.
 
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Will Sony USA even repair grey market units out of warranty (with a repair charge)?
They will not repair grey market units in or out of warranty period and with only a one year warranty, can you imagine the cost to have it repaired out of warranty? You would have $700 to $800 in shipping alone.
 

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I am continually mystified by why U.S. consumers of high end projectors will pay double what the Japanese will. The current situation with Sony's 4K machines is a repeat of what happened 12 years ago with the first high end DLP projector - the Sharp XV-Z9000. It was $5,000 in Japan and about double that in the U.S. Of course many consumers like myself didn't want to take it in the rear from Sharp, so we imported them.
It's simply because there's no other choice. It's not up to us what the price is.

But somehow it was deemed by others almost immoral to do so - like somehow we were not being loyal supporters of the American economy if we didn't want to pay double what Japanese consumers paid for their identical projector.
That's not the impression I get, and I've never seen that used as a reason not to import. The reasons I see, at least this time around, all come down to risk. You don't get a warranty with a gray market machine, and (per Mike above) it sounds like you can't even get out of warranty service on a gray market/imported Sony. So it comes down to a choice of "taking it in the rear" up front, or being left holding the bag if something goes wrong. Risk is a personal decision, but I would never recommend someone take a $6000 risk.

Personally I just look at it like the Japanese models don't exist.

And so discussion of importing was essentially banned on AVS - to this very day if you try to type in the name of the most famous importer (which provides good service and is still in business) it will be blocked out by the forum software.
AVS bans talking about where to purchase altogether. You can't post links, or talk about any seller (except forum sponsors I think), importer or domestic. Even then you're not allowed to talk about prices other than MSRP. It's nothing to do with importers or not.
 

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Did you know that people in Canada have to pay more for Canadian electronics (A/V processors like Anthem, some speakers) than what it costs in the US? Many cross the border to buy these in the US. At least there is no duty on the way back...
 

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Did you know that people in Canada have to pay more for Canadian electronics (A/V processors like Anthem, some speakers) than what it costs in the US? Many cross the border to buy these in the US. At least there is no duty on the way back...
If you feed your projector or T.V. from a computer (use it as a computer monitor) there is no duty. Few seem to know this exception for all computer related hardware -- a left over from the Y2K paranoia.

The problem now is the low Canadian dollar -- cross-border shopping has lost most of its appeal.
 

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Did you know that people in Canada have to pay more for Canadian electronics (A/V processors like Anthem, some speakers) than what it costs in the US? Many cross the border to buy these in the US. At least there is no duty on the way back...
Currently that's because the loonie is in the toilet against the US dollar. I do some business in Canada. The US/CA exchange rate is north of 20 percent. It is very difficult for multinational companies to make a profit in Canada right now; it has been exceptionally bad for the past year. When I imported my 300ES from Canada the projector cost me less than $5000 USD. :D (Yes that is roughly half what the 350ES is selling for now in the US, although Sony CA raised the price in CA as well March 1st).

BTW, shipping to and from Canada is not as much as you might think.

Willie
 

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To me, it all boils down to the price differential and your unique abilities and constitution. If it costs half as much to import, that leaves you half to pay for return shipping and back from the exporter country plus any repair costs. assuming a major repair is needed, you might end up expending the US costs. Its a gamble. But with an expensive projector it would be a total non net gain with a potential of a 50% win. Of course you would not have the use of the projector for a longer period of time. Also a gray projector would have a much much lower resale value as well. Most gray importers will protect you against a DOA projector or one that had a problem from the get go. One should not buy a projector because it can be imported at half the cost if they can not afford the US cost because you might end having to pay they once a non warranty repair has to be paid for. With a three year Sony warranty and the cost of an extended warranty, I would choose the US one and not have the anxiety eating at me. Plus I would have the US dealer standing by me to assist me (of course you must choose the right US dealer even if that dealer might not be the absolutely lowest price).
 

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Also a gray projector would have a much much lower resale value as well.
Once neither one will have a warranty after being sold used I don't recall the percentage price difference for resale being near what it can be for when they are new. I did this multiple times, e.g. with the Sharp 11k when the US model was the 12k. I don't remember how much less I got for the 11k when I sold it as I would have gotten for a 12k, but I don't recall it being that much different, by the time I sold it.

I did send one projector back for repair and it seems like $600 for shipping sounds about right. That was years ago though and I don't know what it might cost now.

--Darin
 

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Once neither one will have a warranty after being sold used I don't recall the percentage price difference for resale being near what it can be for when they are new. I did this multiple times, e.g. with the Sharp 11k when the US model was the 12k. I don't remember how much less I got for the 11k when I sold it as I would have gotten for a 12k, but I don't recall it being that much different, by the time I sold it.

I did send one projector back for repair and it seems like $600 for shipping sounds about right. That was years ago though and I don't know what it might cost now.

--Darin
The JVC's and larger Sony projectors are too big to ship USPS. They have to ship UPS or FedEx. My guess would be $350 to $400 each way. If a problem develops after year one, but before year two or year three, then the US model could end up being the cheaper projector, since it would be repaired under warranty and out of warranty repairs usually cost an arm and a leg. You could save a lot of money or you could spend just as much and have a lot more aggravation. I guess it comes down to how much of a gambler you are. Myself, I have never even bought a lottery ticket, but since I was a commercial GC for many years, hard bidding projects, I have done more than my fair share of gambling. :)
 

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I guess it comes down to how much of a gambler you are. Myself, I have never even bought a lottery ticket, but since I was a commercial GC for many years, hard bidding projects, I have done more than my fair share of gambling. :)
There was a comedy show in Seattle years ago where they said something like, "The lottery is a tax on people who aren't very good at math".

With the lottery the odds aren't in your favor. In this one people can figure out how much they think the odds sway in either direction. I generally don't buy extended warranties that are less than 20% of the cost of a product and am not likely to pay more than 80% extra over the cost of importing something in order to get a US unit and warranty, but that is based on the risk/reward conditions I am comfortable with.

I would be turned off by an expensive product if it had a 50% failure rate in the first 2-3 years.

--Darin
 

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At least for the Japanese projectors Sony will repair them in the US, but there are certain provisions to this though, the Warranty card needs a stamp/sticker from an official dealer in Japan and you will need the warranty card. The Sony stores in Tokyo offer them and the warranty transfers to the U.S. but I believe it's not 3 years. If you're active duty military stationed in Japan and transfer you still get a warranty, but you will need to prove that via orders.

For the most part any manufacturer that has a relationship with AAFES will offer similar terms. I know for a fact JVC does, but I don't believe their warranty on Japanese projectors would transfer to the US through civilian means.
 

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They are the same price here and in Japan - BUT the U.S. version will not let you use multiple headphones so you can watch movies with friends. The Japanese one will.
I would assume the need for multiple headphones for projector viewing is a very small percentage of end users. If you have a big picture, you want the big sound too. Two exceptions would be after hour viewing where you would disrupt those sleeping (families or apartment dwellers).

But again, that's the exception not the rule (statistically speaking)
 

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The JVC's and larger Sony projectors are too big to ship USPS. They have to ship UPS or FedEx. My guess would be $350 to $400 each way. If a problem develops after year one, but before year two or year three, then the US model could end up being the cheaper projector, since it would be repaired under warranty and out of warranty repairs usually cost an arm and a leg. You could save a lot of money or you could spend just as much and have a lot more aggravation. I guess it comes down to how much of a gambler you are. Myself, I have never even bought a lottery ticket, but since I was a commercial GC for many years, hard bidding projects, I have done more than my fair share of gambling. :)

I sold a NEC XG135 to someone in Japan about seven years ago. IIRC the shipping was around $300 to $400 using FedEx Air.
 

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I would assume the need for multiple headphones for projector viewing is a very small percentage of end users. If you have a big picture, you want the big sound too. Two exceptions would be after hour viewing where you would disrupt those sleeping (families or apartment dwellers).

But again, that's the exception not the rule (statistically speaking)
They're the MDR-HW700's - they have a huge, incredible sound that sounds nothing like traditional headphones - the perception of the sound is literally out of your head. They even do the LFE channel.

Yup - I have one pair for an urban loft which I haven't soundproofed - watching a 115" screen there. Another set is for the big suburban theater with the 176" screen, but which is not yet soundproofed and so I use them for late night viewing at super high volume levels with others sleeping. Maybe I'm a small percentage of viewers but there are plenty of times when I have a friend or two over - it's neat because you can each tailor the volume to your personal preference. And it cuts down on idiotic comments interrupting the film. :D
 

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It's simply because there's no other choice. It's not up to us what the price is.



That's not the impression I get, and I've never seen that used as a reason not to import. The reasons I see, at least this time around, all come down to risk. You don't get a warranty with a gray market machine, and (per Mike above) it sounds like you can't even get out of warranty service on a gray market/imported Sony. So it comes down to a choice of "taking it in the rear" up front, or being left holding the bag if something goes wrong. Risk is a personal decision, but I would never recommend someone take a $6000 risk.

Personally I just look at it like the Japanese models don't exist.



AVS bans talking about where to purchase altogether. You can't post links, or talk about any seller (except forum sponsors I think), importer or domestic. Even then you're not allowed to talk about prices other than MSRP. It's nothing to do with importers or not.
If the imported one is 50% of the price of the domestic unit I'd buy the imported one in a heartbeat, even if the warranty doesn't apply : hardware failure during the warrant period is extremely rare and if it happens (during the warranty period or after it) I can buy another new imported unit and still wouldn't have spent a penny more than I'd spent have I bought a domestic unit.

And, if the unit just functions correctly (add it does 99.9% of the time) I can use the 50 % I saved to buy a newer model of the unit, whenever it comes out.

For me, it's a no brainer.
 
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