So you are out shopping for your new dive equipment and browsing on the internet to research and do a price comparison. As you browse you will find that most online shop offers the same price, but you will notice some shop has a lower price compared to the general listed price. Why ist so? Some online reseller is parallel importing their product as opposed to getting it from authorized reseller/distributor, that is why sometimes their price is lower.
What is the downside of getting parallel import products even though some brands may offer an international warranty?
The downside is your local service center may not accept your item for warranty claim as it is not purchased from an authorized reseller. The second downside is your local authorized service center may also charge you more to service your equipment as again it is not purchased from the right channel.
Here comes the next question, why are they able to sell at a lower price?
Most of the time when products are parallel imported, it is usually smuggled into the country. By smuggling, they do no pay tax, hence the product has a lower cost.
Safety is also a factor to consider before buying from a parallel importer as some of the products may not be certified to the local safety requirements. Manufacturers will sometimes do a product recall, if you are buying from a parallel importer you will have a longer wait time to get your product replace as replacement units are not available locally.
Below are some examples of products recall by known scuba equipment brands
Think twice before purchasing a parallel import item.
Divegears Distribution Sdn Bhd and associates are authorized reseller for
US diving-equipment manufacturer Atomic Aquatics is recalling for free replacement all its low-pressure hoses produced between July 2017 and February 2019.
The recall affects both hoses sold separately and those attached to regulators. The company says that it has “learned of an issue that may affect low-pressure rubber hoses, rendering them unsafe for use”.
Affected hoses will carry one of the following date-stamps: D0717, D0817, D0917, D1017, D1117, D1217, D0118, D0218, D0318, D0418, D0518, D0718, D0918, D1018, D1118, AA119 and AA219.
Atomic emphasises that owners should not attempt to replace hoses themselves because “professional assembly work is required”.
Suunto has identified a potential safety risk affecting all Suunto Wireless Tank Pressure Transmitters and Suunto Tank PODs which wirelessly transmit tank air pressure to compatible Suunto dive computers. In two reported incidents, the exterior case of a Suunto Wireless Tank Pressure Transmitter has failed during regular dry land pressure testing. Although extremely rare, this represents a potential risk of injury due to the risk of bursting.
Diver safety is of highest importance to Suunto. That is why Suunto has decided to initiate a recall of all Suunto Wireless Tank Pressure Transmitters and Suunto Tank PODs.