Buy From an authorized Dealer Only
Every manufacturer's web site will list authorized dealers. Some big on line retailers are not authorized dealers for some of the brands they carry. They get their camera either from the gray market or through a third party that is an authorized dealer. For example some large computer and electronics retailers sell Nikon cameras. They are not an authorized Nikon USA Dealers. They ship your Nikon from another third party authorized dealer. You still have a Nikon USA warranty but you will go through a little inconvenience (better known as hell) to get it serviced correctly. This is one reason why you should buy cameras from retailers who specialize in cameras. I don't go to camera stores to buy computers so why would I go to a computer store to buy a camera? Why is all of this important? Warranty work. If your camera turns out to be a gray market camera, sold by a US dealer but bought and shipped from say Hong Kong, you do not have a USA warranty. Nikon uses serial number coding for every country. All US authorized cameras, lenses and accessories can be identified as U.S. versions by the serial number. If you buy from other than a USA authorized dealer you do not have a USA warranty and you cannot get warranty service in the US. Can you send the camera back to Hong Kong or Japan? Sure you can and they will charge you for the repairs because you don't have a warranty there either. Before you buy any camera on line make sure that whoever is selling it is an authorized USA (or pick your country) dealer. Don't take their word for it, check the manufacturers list of authorized dealers because believe it or not there are some dishonest on line retailers who may not tell you the truth. So be carefull, do your homework and if the price seems too good to be true it probably is.