Products sold lawfully but outside of a manufacturer’s approved distribution channels are referred to as “grey market” products. These goods are frequently sold on discount websites at low prices, and typically the merchants don’t have any local offices or reps. Similar products are offered for sale as used or reconditioned goods, sometimes by the same grey market vendors. Some popular examples of these sites include eBay, Overstock.com, Amazon, and most technology websites you find on Google (especially after the first page).
Prospective buyers run the same risks with both.
Typically, producers and dealers deliberately offer authentic purchases. These “white market” goods have licenses, have received legal approval, and are regulated for taxation and customer safety. Meanwhile, illegal goods, including things such as stolen artwork, drugs, guns, etc. are traded on the black market. These are smuggled into a nation and marketed without the knowledge, much less consent, of the government.
Grey market electronics, as the name suggests, lie in the middle of the two. Although they are real goods, sales take place outside of the typical supply chain and without manufacturer or distributor authorization. Physical items are only one facet of the trade; digital goods, such as movies and software, are also included.
The grey market continues to attract potential buyers and sellers alike, despite it violating a manufacturer’s Ts & Cs, for a number of reasons. For many, the biggest draw is lower prices. Because the products are not often distributed through channels, the vendor is able to offer them at a discount. Purchasers occasionally do not pay taxes or other charges associated with legitimate sales. Favored products might be difficult to locate, especially when there are continuous supply chain challenges or when goods are in great demand, such as during the holidays or the start of a new season, and deal hunters may use the grey market to circumvent such limited supply.