Online electronics retailer Kogan is expanding its discount product offering, but the new range does not wear the company’s own nameplate. Instead, Kogan will sell cameras and tablets from brands such as Samsung, Apple, Nikon, and Canon, and sell them more cheaply than retail stores such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

The select products on offer include big ticket items such as Apple’s iPad 2, Nikon’s D3100 DSLR kit, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The iPad 2 takes a nice drop, for instance, with Kogan offering the 64GB 3G version for $789, a saving of $160 from its original $949 price tag.

While local subsidiaries of these brands typically allow run-out or discontinued stock to be sold cheaply through online channels, they are loathe to get powerful retail chain partners offside by diverting sales of current stock  – which all the above are – to online discounters. The products Kogan is now selling, then, are most likely grey imports,  meaning they are purchased from international sellers, not local subsidiaries.

With no money coming into their operations, local subsidiaries take a dark view of grey importers and tend to turn their backs on products bought from them by refusing to honour manufacturer warranties, returns or exchanges.

So where would you stand if you purchased one of the above bargains from Kogan?

The company said in an email to GadgetGuy.com.au today that “there is a 12 month Australian warranty for all products”. Kogan added that, for some products, customers would “contact Kogan if there is a fault and they will replace it with a brand new unit”.

The email continued, however, with “different products have different warranty arrangements”, citing that,  for instance, since “Apple products have a worldwide warranty, you can simply take them into your nearest Apple Store”.

This conflicts with advice received previously from Apple, which requires that Australian sellers of Apple products to be licensed resellers. Kogan is not a licensed Apple reseller, so if your local Apple Store requires proof of purchase  for a repair or replacement under warranty, you may be in trouble.

As always, read the fine print when contemplating any bargain purchase. Take care, and buyer beware.