Manfrotto US (a Vitec Group company) has posted the following warning to its site:
Buy only from US AUTHORIZED DEALERS and get the benefits of our WARRANTY program.In the warranty section of Manfrotto's site, the company provides a supplemental warning:
If you buy from an unauthorized dealer you will not receive any US warranty or technical support. View full list of NON-AUTHORIZED DEALERS.
Additionally, if you purchase any Manfrotto product from an unauthorized dealer via Fulfilled By Amazon you will not receive any U.S. warranty or technical support.Third-party lens manufacturers have adopted similar policies in the past (e.g., Tamron), but what's unique about Manfrotto's warning is that they specifically list unauthorized retailers in addition to the usually-provided authorized retailers.
While the authorized retailer warning isn't necessarily included on their other brands' websites, a Vitec Group representative I spoke with clarified the policy. I was told that the authorized retailer requirement for warranty claims / technical support applies to all the Vitec Group brands, including:
So, if you want warranty protection, make sure you only purchase from authorized retailers.