• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Abe's of Maine review (1 Viewer)


Abe's of Maine is Legit. If you order you will get your product. It will be factory fresh in an unopened box. I could tell because all of the inside packaging was pristine; I am 100% sure that the lens and accessories were not returned product, because there is absolutely no way to repack the equipment with tissue paper, plastic bags, etc without evidence of tampering. Trust me, it was unopened and brand new.

That being said, you will get an International Version (Gray Market). The only difference is there is no US Warranty. Not a counterfeit, not inferior materials. That rumor is hogwash.

KNOWING IN ADVANCE, that I would get an Internatinal Verison (Grey Market), I purchased a Canon 100-400mm f/5.6 IS II USM Lens for a sale price of $1599 minus $15 coupon (LOYALTY15) for a total of $1586, including no tax and free shipping, on Oct. 23rd, 2019. Regular price from Canon or BH or Adorama is $2199 free shipping and BH and Canon charge sales tax but Adorama does not. So my savings was going to be a whopping $613!

I had done some online research and one link had article about the top 13 online Camera Stores and, believe it or not, Abe's was listed in the top 13 and the only discount store. That is how I came to order from them. I knew in advance it was grey market. I was willing to forgo a warranty in order to save $613.

FAST FORWARD TO THE NEXT MORNING: The next morning I received a call from Michael. He said he wanted to verify my order. This is how the typical conversation starts, as reported by others. I said yes I ordered it. He then said it was International Version and asked if I wanted the US version for $1999. I said no, and he said he would go to $1899. I said no I wanted what I ordered. He at no time was rude, or tried to upset me expensive filters, batteries or accessories as reported by many others. He did not hang up on me or threaten me, a cancel my order. What he DID say is. " OK and it will be shipped out today most likely or at the latest tomorrow." I said fine, and then the call was ended.

I then (too late) did more research and found the F rating by the BBB and various other negative review sites about Abe's and it parent company, Westpark Electronics. I started to worry about the order (counterfeiting, non-delivery, used instead of new) and wondered if I had made a mistake.

Minutes later, as luck would have it, Canon USA announced a $400 instant rebate on the lens starting this morning Oct. 24, 2019 until Nov. 2, 2019. All authorized dealers were offering this price. Now I was, not only worried, but started suffering a good case of buyer's remorse; for only $200 more I would have had a warranty and no worries and would have paid the difference, most likely! Had I just waited just overnight to order!! AARGH!

So...After beating myself up for a bit, thinking I could cancel (I could not, Abe's had just processed the order and charged my CC. I called the CC company and they could not cancel it. I was left with no choice but to let nature take its course and leave the problem to Divine Hands, so I would not make myself suffer any more.

FAST FORWARD: I started receiving shipping notices from UPS the next day stating my order had been shipped, tracking number and estimated delivery time. I never did get a tracking number notice from Abe's, just from UPS. I did feel a LOT better however, knowing the package had been shipped, but still worried about what I would be getting. I watched the tracking several times a day. Yesterday Oct. 30, 2019 at 1:36PM local time, the packaged arrived. The outer shipping box was sealed and undamaged. I opened the shipping box up (it should have had more padding and a bigger box in my opinion). There was the lens box!

I opened box, factory fresh as noted above, and took some quick shots outside in backyard ( 30 degree weather). They were nice and clear. Obviously, there was no warranty card in the box. The box was a Canon Box, International Version type of box with English and many. other languages in small print on box.

SUMMARY: The lens is perfect. The shipping time was perfect. UPS was perfect. The buying experience was not bad. The phone call the next day was unexpected, but truly no pressure. I thought I was going to save $613, but only save $213. As long as the lens doesn't malfunction the story will end happily. Yes, I did worry a lot. I actually felt WORSE because Canon decided to have an surprise sale and I purchased a day too early. I felt terrible about it, but that was no one's fault, just unlucky timing.

Would I do it again? Well that depends. If the cost difference between grey market is only 5-10% I WILL NOT. In my case I would have saved over 30% from the original price of $2199 if Canon had not announced a sale. Had I been able originally, I would have bought from authorized dealer (Adorama) for $1799 with no worry, bonus items and a free 30 day return. In the end I did still save $213.00. Against the $2199 price, I decided to take the risk.

The real problem, as I see it is many consumers are lazy and ignorant. True, Abe's did not disclose grey market in their ad. I KNEW I was getting a gray market lens and willing to take a risk. Others have not done even minimal research. You must be really naive if you haven't heard about grey market. As in life, knowledge is power.

BOTTOM LINE: If you order from Abe's, YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU ORDERED, in new condition, albeit without a USA warranty, in a timely manner. They DO NOT deserve an F rating. All complaints I have seen was supposed bait and switch techniques. I have not seen one complaint where a customer did not receive an order. It is no worse buying from them, or on Amazon or Ebay from an unauthorized dealer and Amazon and eBay now charge sales tax. YOU NOW KNOW all Canon items not from an authorized dealer are grey market and cheaper. If you buy, it is your choice. The cameras and lenses are not fakes!

FINAL THOUGHTS: Next time, I hope to wait for an authorized Canon Sale and buy from an authorized dealer. If you are in a hurry and can save 15-30%, you will at least be safe to order from Abe's. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Stephen in South Dakota
Last edited:
Warning! This thread is more than 2 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread