Nikon Lenses sold on Ebay - A buyers tale

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I'm writing this little guide as a 'beware' warning to anyone contemplating buying a 'Brand New' Nikon lens from ebay. First of all, I wish to point out that there are many great and reliable sellers in our ever growing community, and this account is simply meant to point out a rather startling 'trap' I have found myself in during the last few days - and one which I do not want others to fall into. I'm not an expert  - this is simply an explanation of what has happened to me and what I think people should be aware of before buying a lens or camera body made by Nikon from ebay.
Many sellers of Nikon branded merchandise on ebay are buying new items such as lenses and camera body's and then re-selling them at a profit on ebay - Hay! :O) that's business  - BUT a word of warning - I recently purchased a brand new Nikon DX - 18-70mm lens via ebay. The lens, as it happens - is faulty. I decided to contact Nikon and send them my new but broken lens to be replaced or repaired under its warranty as, after all - its a brand new item. I could have asked the seller to help out - but he had already helped me a great deal when the first lens he sent went missing in the post - and I thought 'that's what the warranty is for' :O) .
So - I pack up the Lens - and provide all of the details that Nikons UK repair department ask for, which is their printable form with the item specifics / fault details (you print it from their site and fill it in - OR a covering letter with the same details - ), the proof of purchase - in this case my ebay receipts etc - and the warranty card. Off it went via special delivery.
Fair play to Nikon - 2 days later I get an email confirming they have received my item and that its being assessed to determine the fault / repair.
This is where it all goes pear shaped - Nikon email me an invoice covering the specifics of the fault - (the main PCB is faulty and needs changing) - plus an estimated bill for £218 ................... yep - £218 ... Hmmmm - I could not understand why I had received this bill.............. So I contacted Nikon UK.
I then receive an explanation that puts a lot of worry into my mind and should be taken on board by anyone thinking of buying a 'NEW' lens from ebay - Nikon only honours its warranty for the ORIGINAL purchaser of the item. Ok - I was! ! ! but Nikon says I am not - simply because the ebay seller is NOT a photographic retailer.  This means that the ebay seller (as many do.....) has bought a number of these lenses at trade price somewhere to re-sell - meaning that THEY are the original purchaser of the leans and therefore I have bought the item second hand! So - this means that unless the Ebay seller is a 'bona fide' photographic retailer -  - the warranty is not worth anything - and if your item becomes faulty or in my case was dead on arrival - its then down to the buyer of the ebay bought 'Brand new Nikon Lens / camera etc' to foot the repair bill................... unless your ebay seller is willing to help out. I think you are ok if its DOA,  as most ebay sellers will help / replace the item, as Im sure mine would have - but if its faulty a few weeks or months can end up in the same position, as nikon will not accept their bill/invoice etc and deem you as the buyer of a second hand item.
I am now left with a dead lens that I have to pay to get back from Nikon (shipping plus any fees I am guessing at this point......) and the loss of the cost of the lens (unless I want to pay the £218 to fix it - which is almost £80 more than it cost me ). This is not a situation I wish to be in nor do I wish anyone else to fall into - so my words of wisdom here are -  make sure that the lens is sold by a genuine retailer and not just another ebayer - There are a number on ebay that are retailers as they run photographic shops and use ebay to increase sales - but there are also many that are simply selling items they have bought. Unless you can provide Nikon with a photographic retailers invoice with your repair request to show where it was bought, when it was bought (to determine if the warranty is still valid) and its cost - there is not a lot of chance of getting your item fixed within its warranty cover -
I hope this little guide helps a few people avoid the headache and financial loss that I have now incurred. Ive had many wonderful deals on ebay over the last 4 years - this is the first real problem I have had, and it wont stop me buying at all :O) but next time I want a Nikon item - Ill be making sure that its from an Authorised dealer and comes with an invoice that Nikon will be happy with -
Take care - Pete 
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