gray market

noun
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of gray market

  1. :  a market employing irregular but not illegal methods; especially :  a market that legally circumvents authorized channels of distribution to sell goods at prices lower than those intended by the manufacturer

First Known Use of gray market

1934


Financial Definition of GRAY MARKET

gray market

What It Is

In the investing world, a gray market exists when people begin trading shares that have not been issued yet. In the business world, a gray market is the novel but not always illegal process of obtaining goods or services.

How It Works

Let's say Company XYZ is going public on Tuesday. John Doe subscribed to the offering and will have about 200,000 shares. Jane Smith is anxious to get her hands on some of the shares but is not a subscriber. She calls John and offers to buy some shares from him as soon as they start trading. He agrees. Six other fund managers also call John and try to get some of his shares. John, Jane, and the other fund managers are creating a gray market for the shares.

Why It Matters

The existence of gray markets signals strong demand for a good, service or security. In the business world, products are sometimes less expensive in the gray market, though they also may be counterfeit, cheaply made, or infringing on a trademark.


Law Dictionary

gray market

noun

Legal Definition of gray market

  1. :  a market employing irregular but not illegal methods; especially :  a market that legally circumvents authorized channels of distribution to sell goods at prices lower than those intended by the manufacturer

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