Made In The U.S.A.

As Gomer Pyle would say…

In Adventures on March 6, 2009 at 12:01 am

…Surprise, surprise, surprise.

This poster at Photo.net was surprised to learn that his new digital camera was made in Thailand. He kinda thought he was buying an American camera. Funny. You can’t do that. Here’s how it went down:

Alex P: I just received my D300 an hour ago. Looks fantastic. One thing: I noticed it’s made in Thailand. I understand from other threads here that the D300 is in fact made in Thailand. My question is, how come I’ve seen D300s for sale on eBay that list them as “Made in the U.S.” or “Made in Japan”? If I recall correctly I’ve seen close-up photos of the actual label on the camera in some listings. Were they made outside Thailand at some point?

Matt Laur: Doesn’t matter. It’s made by Nikon. As for the “made in USA” type auction copy, that’s probably a reference to whether or not the specific camera is one that was made by Nikon for the US market, and which will be either warrantied or at least serviced by Nikon USA. Nikon USA will not even service (not even for cold, hard cash) units that weren’t properly imported into the US. So, grey-market D300s from overseas can be a real trap, that way. There are, by the way, no Nikon products that are made in the US. They do use assembly facilities throughout Asia, but there is absolutely no meaningful (or even measurable) difference between a Nikon body assembled in Thailand or one assembled in Japan. Either way, their own managers and quality control people are running the show.

William Pahnelas: my D300 was made in thailand, too. haven’t you noticed, a lot of stuff we buy is made somewhere else…

Aside from buying a camera from a retailer named “Butterfly Photo,” I take issue with primarily one thing:

It does matter.

It never occurred to me that buyers might confuse a camera’s import status (i.e. made for the U.S. or made for Japan) with its MITUSA status.

By the way, if you’re thinking of buying a digital camera it’s probably good form to stick with the major retailers you know. Better yet, buy it from the dealer in your town. When buying from insect-named electronics retailers, the axiom “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” holds almost unfailingly true.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

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