How to Spot A Grey Market Two Way Radio

When shopping for a radio, you may encounter an item at a lower cost and wonder why it has such a fantastic deal associated with it. Sure, words such as “sale,” “savings,” and “discounted” all sound appealing, but there’s usually a catch to the fantastic discount, and you may not realize why until it’s too late.

Authorized Dealers

Knowing why some items are cheaper than others is incredibly important given the communication needs of a radio system. Let’s say one radio is running for $500 at an authorized retailer and $300 at a retailer who isn’t authorized. So what’s an authorized dealer? Well, an authorized retailer is known as a seller or retailer who has been allowed by the manufacturer to sell a certain product they create. Shopping at an authorized dealer means you’ll be receiving a legitimate brand name radio. Beware, there faux branded two way radios that look just like the brand radio – but they definitely aren’t. 

How To Spot A Grey Market Radio

Grey market radios do their best to conceal their true identity. To find if your radio is authentic or not, you’ll have to open up the radio and take out the battery. From here, you’ll need to read up on the trademarks. Since a company cannot legally advertise another company’s name on the grey market radio. It might look the same, but the company that made the product will list their information on the trademark. From here, you’ll realize that the product you’re holding is not a Motorola product, but an off-brand knockoff.

Why People Settle for Less

Some people do this because they want cheaper products. They don’t see the value of paying for brand name radios, which ironically end up costing more in the long run. With a gray market radio, you are not covered if it fails to perform or breaks, meaning you’ll have to purchase a new radio. If you had opted for a name brand, you would be covered under their warranty. Another reason why people will settle for a grey market radio is that they don’t know they’re purchasing a fraud. Sure, it may look like a name brand, but the trademark information says otherwise.

Why You Shouldn’t Settle for Less

Buying the lowest costing radio sure sounds appealing, but using the product for the long run usually doesn’t offer such a great story. When purchasing a radio for a lower price, there’s no guarantee that it will perform when it’s needed most. Since a two-way radio typically has a security and safety-related purpose, this open window of failure can be very costly. Buying a brand name item (with a trademark inside) assures you it will perform when needed and saves you money in the long run. 

Do You Really Want Cheaper?

Cutting corners or issuing leftovers to save a buck can, unfortunately, be common practice in business. However, it’s worth mentioning that even if the grey market item works, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will last long term. Chances are one will spend more money issuing replacements than they would from directly buying an item from an authorized dealer or trademarked brand. In addition to this, an authorized dealer or trademarked product will have a warranty, which will catch you in the event the product fails to perform correctly.


  • Grey markets radios are knock-off versions of trusted brands.
  • To spot a grey market radio, you must remove the battery to view the trademark.
  • There is no guarantee that these radios will perform when needed. 
  • In the long run, these fake radios will cost you more money.

Considering the information above, spending the extra money on a trademarked product or through an authorized retailer is absolutely worth it in comparison to a grey market item. Thankfully, Altech Radio is an authorized retailer for two-way radios to ensure that the product holds up and has your back in the event it doesn’t. Contact us today for further information regarding our product so your project can move without a hitch.