This issue can be larger than price alone. In some cases, consumers may have little way of knowing when they are comparing apples to oranges.
I purchased the Hikvision DS-2CD2332-I 3MP EXIR Turret Network Camera from Boston Technologies via Amazon.
This camera provided very good video, but it had a wide array of user interface issues that made it practically unusable. I took this to be the not-uncommon experience in which offshore products still seem to be in beta test.
As an example, although many drop-down menu settings are accessible, it will not save many of those setting, including image adjustment settings andexposure settings. Although seemingly offering the option, it cannot even change the frequency reference from 50 Hz to 60 Hz. Similarly, face detection and motion detection are non-functional.
I struggled with these issues over an extended period, but eventually gave up and shelved the unit. However, over time I noted that IPVM's Hikvision experience seemed to be much better, so I decided to touch base with the manufacturer. Hikvision USA indicated that this unit may be a Chinese version which is typically running hacked firmware, and is not supported by Hikvision. The serial number is consistent with this suggestion.
Boston Technologies has not replied to three requests for assistance.
Amazon provides no recourse because I bought the product in October. I took too long moving from the initial understanding (e.g. typical offshore beta product) to recognizing the actual situation (unauthorized product with unsupported revised firmware). It was my opinion that the former understanding was a risk I assumed in purchasing offshore products, while the latter was a case of a misrepresentation on Amazon, which should provide recourse.
While this consumer is being trained to avoid both Amazon and Hikvision security products, that doesn't help installers who must quote authorized and supported products but may face unreasonable pricing pressure from products such as this.
A couple of other observations:
While Amazon has changed suppliers from Boston Technologies to Exmax, this product is still listed and is even less expensive than the one I purchased six months ago. There is no indication that this is anything other than a fully supported and authorized Hikvision product.
Hikvision USA's unauthorized distributor page says contact Hikvision USA prior to purchasing. Of course, prospective customers who are unaware of such information before a purchase cannot benefit from this approach.