23 February 2014 My Last Full Day In Hong Kong And Buying A Grey Market Phone

The biggest item for today was buying a phone. I bought a grey market Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III phone today. I bought it in Sin Tat Plaza in Mongkok. I thought it was a good deal, and know now that it is definitely a real Samsung. It was a little risky, but I did a lot of research to know that what I was buying was indeed the real thing. I know now that the Samsung Galaxy S3 that I bought in Hong Kong every day. I really love it. It is so fast and well-designed. I actually got the Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III which is the international version of the S3 with 4G LTE instead of 3G and 2G of RAM instead of 1G of RAM. The phone that I bought was a grey market or parallel imported phone. I bought it knowing this. I got a fantastic deal on the phone partially because it is parallel imported and partially because I bought it at a very big phone market in Hong Kong in the Mongkok area. I paid 2380 HKD. Essentially grey market means it is not illegal but not fully legal. In between white being fully legal and black from black market being fully illegal. It is a real Samsung phone but made for the market in France, not the version for Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, so many vendors openly sell parallel imported electronics and don’t deceive the buyers about the fact. Sometimes vendors openly sell grey and fully legal products side by side with the grey usually being cheaper. In Chinese parallel or grey imported is usually called 水貨. Some dictionaries will say that it means smuggled or unauthorized goods in some contexts. Basically it is mostly legal to buy a product in one country, and resell it in another, but Samsung maybe doesn’t like this. Most of the places selling grey market phones will give a shop warranty of 1 year for the phone, but could not give a Samsung 1 year warranty because they were grey market. I always learn something new whenever I go to Hong Kong. I never imagined grey markets existed before. My Chinese friend in Shenzhen said quite a lot of goods in Mainland China are also parallel imported goods. Here is a good article about parallel imported goods on Wikipedia. Before I bought the phone, I went to various stores including Fortress a local electronics chain store to check out the prices of the Samsung I9305 Galaxy S III for the official version. The prices for the official Hong Kong Samsung phones were a lot more expensive than the grey market ones, but they come with a guarantee that they are real, and would come with an official Samsung 1 year warranty. Today was a little sad for me in that I knew that I would be leaving Hong Kong tomorrow to go back to China. I tried to say my last goodbyes to my friends, and had a good night wandering around Hong Kong a bit.

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