Buying a Camera? How To Not Get Ripped Off.

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  • onegearonegear Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited January 19, 2007
    going with B&H
    i'm very much an amateur photographer that has decided to go DSLR. i'm a happy smugmug member, happy member of this forum, and after reading all the great reviews on B&H, i'm going with them for the purchase of my new camera.

    i've decided to go with the Rebel XTi. a huge upgrade from my Canon A620 (great point and shoot camera, by the way)

    thanks for all the help!
  • dogwooddogwood pixel hack Posts: 2,572Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 19, 2007
    gus wrote:
    No shit sherlock ?

    Wow, that seems pretty harsh.

    I've never used BH for an overseas order, but I use them all the time for domestic orders. I've had to call them to verify cc orders, but you know what? I don't mind because not only are they covering their butts, they're keeping my credit card from fraudulent use. My account with them is now set-up to verify cc orders through a third-party application through my bank, so even if someone swipes my CC, they can't use it at BH.

    I'm not sure where you live, but identity theft and fraudulent credit card use is a HUGE problem where I live (portland, oregon). Any steps BH can take to limit this problem is appreciated by me.

    It's ironic, because I've seen other threads on other forums upset at BH for closing on Jewish holidays and people saying they'll never buy from BH because of that. Add that to this discussion, and it's surprising they have any business. Yet somehow they do and I've personally never had them be condescending or rude to me.

    I understand you're frustrated by their overseas ordering process, but I still don't think that calls for insulting people on this forum who have had good experiences with them.

    Portland, Oregon Photographer Pete Springer
    website blog instagram facebook g+

  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Posts: 11,940Administrators moderator
    edited January 19, 2007
    gus wrote:
    Whilst they continue to run like this then they will continue to loose over seas sales as im sure others feel as i do..
    Time to stir the pot... want to hear about the last time I tried to order something from the UK or Aus? Oh right, that's because it's near impossible!
    dogwood wrote:
    Wow, that seems pretty harsh.

    Dog, Gus and David are cool, that wasn't a harsh comment, I bet they forgot we weren't bullsh*tting in the "back room". 11doh.gif
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • gusgus Major grins Posts: 16,209Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 19, 2007
    dogwood wrote:
    Wow, that seems pretty harsh.
    Harsh ? whats harsh ... a common phrase in australia that simply agrees with someone & means "yeah.. i know"
  • gusgus Major grins Posts: 16,209Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 19, 2007
    DoctorIt wrote:
    Time to stir the pot... want to hear about the last time I tried to order something from the UK or Aus?
    Well i can only speak for 0z but your main problem is because we only have 3 rocks & a stick.
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Posts: 11,940Administrators moderator
    edited January 19, 2007
    gus wrote:
    Well i can only speak for 0z but your main problem is because we only have 3 rocks & a stick.
    and a set of GS tires I really wanted umph.gif
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • gusgus Major grins Posts: 16,209Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 19, 2007
    DoctorIt wrote:
    and a set of GS tires I really wanted umph.gif
    Your joking !! Tyres are expensive here. Let alone shipping stuff that heavey & bulkiy...whats that about ?
  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Posts: 11,940Administrators moderator
    edited January 20, 2007
    gus wrote:
    ...whats that about ?
    I forgot the exact name, but you could only find them in Oz or NZ.
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • PindyPindy Major grins Posts: 1,087Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 24, 2007
    A web search landed me here:

    http://www.thecamerapros.com

    At first I was amazed at the completely insane low prices on lenses (look up the EF 24-105 for example). I noticed they had a fairly generic looking website with a link to a ratings site I'd never heard of:

    http://www.ratingsplanet.com/merchant_rating.asp?merch_id=1159410159

    Not a poor review on this site, which looks like it's on the take.

    A trip over to the more legit resellerratings.com showed this rather ugly underneath:

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/TheCameraPros

    For a laugh, read the few, odd good reviews on this page. They sound as though they were written by thecamerapros.com employees or perhaps some Stepford wives. The good reviews sound completely fake, as though they were given keywords by their boss.
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandPosts: 12,375Administrators moderator
    edited January 24, 2007
    Photo of The Camera Pros. Note the many names they also go by.
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • mikeb380mikeb380 Camera Jockey Posts: 59Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 25, 2007
    Pindy wrote:
    A web search landed me here:

    http://www.thecamerapros.com

    At first I was amazed at the completely insane low prices on lenses (look up the EF 24-105 for example). I noticed they had a fairly generic looking website with a link to a ratings site I'd never heard of:

    http://www.ratingsplanet.com/merchant_rating.asp?merch_id=1159410159

    Not a poor review on this site, which looks like it's on the take.

    A trip over to the more legit resellerratings.com showed this rather ugly underneath:

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/TheCameraPros

    For a laugh, read the few, odd good reviews on this page. They sound as though they were written by thecamerapros.com employees or perhaps some Stepford wives. The good reviews sound completely fake, as though they were given keywords by their boss.

    Pindy, I posted about this ratings site a week or so ago. I did name searches on reputable camera stores such as Adorama, B&H, Cambridge camera, and some others. The only company carried on the site was B&H and the review was a bad one. Like you, I felt the site "RatingsPlanet" was a con. I advise anyone seeing that sticker on a site to leave immediately beforeyou catch some dreadful disease!
    I know we have a forum to post good companies but it seems only management can do that and they are not receptive to posting any companies aside from the ones they know or who advertise on this site. Also we should be able to post a list of bad sites such as these two and let people post the good & bad stuff they find.

    Michael
    Michael :-)
    http://www.tabblo.com/studio/view/tabblos/mikeb380/
    ========
    Photography: the art of seeing the uncommon in the common.
    +++++++
    CANON EOS XT- 350D - Sigma 28 - 80 mm macro, MC Zenitar EF 3.5/16MM
    CANON F1n, Canon FD 28mm 2.8 SC, Canon FL 200mm 3.5
    Jupiter 9 2.8/85mm used on bellows for EOS & F1 Bellows is M42 thread with adaptors for both cameras.
    Tair 135mm 2.8
    Kiev 88 6x6 camera - Mir 38B 3.5/65mm, Arsat B 2.8/80mm, J26V 250 mm tele
    16 various FSU & German cameras
  • chrisjleechrisjlee Night Monkey Posts: 384Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2007
    Broadway Photo
    I remember andy mentioning this place but consumerist recently blogged about this infamous Broadway photo:
    http://consumerist.com/consumer/broadway-photo/broadway-photos-sheistylooking-business-addresses-230560.php

    Sorry if i miscategorized this. I thought this would be the right place for the right audience.

    Hope this helps out people.
    ---
    Chris
    Detroit Wedding Photography Blog
    Canon 10D | 20D | 5D
  • BountyphotographerBountyphotographer Shoot first and ask later Posts: 413Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 7, 2007
    bought mine at cosco the place where if you are not satisfied they refund your money

    30 D for $ 1350 with 18-55 & 70-300 (the two lenses are not top of the line, but to start it's great)

    BP
    :photo
  • AiredrifterAiredrifter Major grins Posts: 253Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 7, 2007
    chrisjlee wrote:
    I remember andy mentioning this place but consumerist recently blogged about this infamous Broadway photo:
    http://consumerist.com/consumer/broadway-photo/broadway-photos-sheistylooking-business-addresses-230560.php

    Sorry if i miscategorized this. I thought this would be the right place for the right audience.

    Hope this helps out people.

    I dealt with Broadway about 20 years ago on a VHS camcorder deal. What a mess.
  • LexLex Major grins Posts: 262Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 2, 2007
    If you want the crap scared out of you looking for camera or A/V gear, check here: Full description of as I Call it, the "Photo mofia"...

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/#202

    I always deal with BergerBrothers.com, RobertsImaging.com, BHPhoto.com, jandr.com, CameraWholesalers.com, occasionally Adorama.com though last on my list.
  • wcj0wcj0 Big grins Posts: 12Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 21, 2007
    watch out : bluestripe photo
    I had purchased several items from bluestripe photo in the past ( 24-70L , 24-105L, 70-200 isusmL ) and always had good results up until now. hopefully someone from their orginization reads this post and straightens things out. I was in the market to buy a 100-400 isL lense so naturally i looked at all of the suppliers that i have purchased from before ( bluestripe, B&H, Canoga, Beach ) and saw that bluestripe had the lense for $1,224 or their abouts which was approx 150 cheaper then anyone else. So i called on thursday to conferm the price on line. the gentlemen that I spoke to verified the price and I told him that I was a repeat customer and would call next week and order the lense as soon as the funds came in. he said thanks and I hung up. Yesterday ( friday) one day later the funds arrived and I called bluestripe to order the lense. I told the ideot that answered the phone that I called yesterday ( by the way, read on and you'll see why he was an ideot) and was ready to place the order for the 100-400 that was advertised. I a real gruff tone he says "well why didn't you just order it yesterday instead of calling again today?". I said whats the difference i want to order it today. He says ok but you know in order to get the lense you also have to order filters and an extended warantee inorder to get the same price. I told him do me a favor, I'm a repeat customer and don't feel like getting f****d with. either sell me the lense the way i want it for the price that was confermed yesterday or keep it. he then said that he had to put me on hold and would have to speak to a manager. I hung up. I called back figuring that I had the luck of the draw the first time and they picked this dunce up off of the shelf and told him to answer the phones if anyone called instead of cleaning the bathrooms and that if i called again i would speak to someone who cared about their sales reputation which i never had a problem with before since I had previously purchased over $4,000 worth of equipment from them. "WRONG". The next rocket scientist tells me " well this lense is discontinued from Canon and they replaced it with the 75-300 is usm and its a better lense for less money". He also stated that if i bought this lense i would have to buy the extended warrantee and the UV filter to protect the glass. At this point i realized that bluestripe had slipped into the now "famous INTERNET SCAM ARTISTS foundation". I told him to keep this "NEW REPLACEMENT LENSE" stick it where the sun don't shine and hung up. I called up Canoga Camera in California who I have had other pleasurable dealing with, ordered the lense for $1,399 and had them ship it. Unfortunately living in NY, i only order certain items from B&H because of sales tax. Canoga has always been good, has competitave pricing, and freindly sales people. once agaiin, hopefully bluestripe or someone from bluestripe reads this post, fires the garbage that they have working for them now, turns things around back to the old days or goes out of business if they don't do this, so that some unsuspecting customer doesn't fall into their line of "S**t" and regrets it. wcj
  • RogersDARogersDA Unknown...and happy. Posts: 3,502Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 21, 2007
    Bluestripe has a "history" in terms what other names/companies are associated. Take a quick read at http://sheddingsomelight.com/buy-cameras/list/dealers-expressfam.html

    Bluestripe (or Blue Stripe) is provided as alternative name for many questionable dealers. Perhaps in the past you just got lucky.
  • henryphenryp Henry Posner / B&H Photo Posts: 144Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 23, 2007
    Bluestripe has a "history" in terms what other names/companies are associated. Take a quick read at http://sheddingsomelight.com/buy-cameras/list/dealers-expressfam.html.

    Considering their splendid 4/10 rating at resellerratings, the experience is not surprising. Think about it -- they were, "...approx 150 cheaper then anyone else." Maybe everyone else knows something this place doesn't?
  • RogersDARogersDA Unknown...and happy. Posts: 3,502Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 23, 2007
    henryp wrote:
    Considering their splendid 4/10 rating at resellerratings, the experience is not surprising. Think about it -- they were, "...approx 150 cheaper then anyone else." Maybe everyone else knows something this place doesn't?

    Henry,

    I think the link I suggested was trying to show that BlueStripe (or whatever company name is associated with it) is, indeed, a company to stay away from. Did you read it differently? ear.gif
  • jdryan3jdryan3 tao te grin Posts: 1,353Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 23, 2007
    RogersDA wrote:
    Henry,

    I think the link I suggested was trying to show that BlueStripe (or whatever company name is associated with it) is, indeed, a company to stay away from. Did you read it differently? ear.gif

    I think you missed Henry's tongue firmly planted in his cheek.:lol
    Lex wrote:
    If you want the crap scared out of you looking for camera or A/V gear, check here: Full description of as I Call it, the "Photo mofia"...

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/#202

    Gotta love #202 "Check in the Mail". Wasn't that one of the 3 Great Lies?:thwak
    "Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to. Oh well."
    -Fleetwood Mac
  • canon400dcanon400d Banned User Posts: 2,826Banned Major grins
    edited August 4, 2007
    wxwax wrote:
    So you decide you're the one who won't get ripped off by using a Brooklyn-based camera retailer. Or you just really, really like their prices.

    OK. But at least check out their storefronts before you give them your money. See if you recognize your store among the AKA's for each of these store fronts.

    I checked your list but could not find Enterprisephoto Store. I have just ordered a 50 - 500mm lense and now I am worried.
    Bob
    Dumfries & Galloway
    Scotland
  • claudermilkclaudermilk Major grins Posts: 2,756Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 6, 2007
    canon400d wrote:
    I checked your list but could not find Enterprisephoto Store. I have just ordered a 50 - 500mm lense and now I am worried.
    Bob
    Dumfries & Galloway
    Scotland

    You mean these guys? Rating's low enough to concern me. They also show a RatingsPlanet link on their page, which is now a known bogus ratings site (BestPriceCamera--the best-known crooks online--show them as well). The oddity is their prices are close to being right, just under the best I've found at a reputable site (sigma4less).

    Uh oh. :uhoh:(: Taking a look at their address & the famed Brooklyn Storefront photo site, this place appears to be identified as those very same crooks (see #178 & 218), bestpricephoto/infinityphoto/etc. Another hit on a search here. I'd try cancelling the order, and cancelling the credit card. Good luck, andprepare for some serious suckage. :cry
  • kombizzkombizz Banned User Posts: 267Banned Major grins
    edited August 7, 2007
    Thank you for those informative info.
    I try to follow your advice
    I was born and brought up in Iran, a beautiful country full of history.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kombizz/sets/
  • diverjohndiverjohn Beginner grinner Posts: 5Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited September 17, 2007
    My experiences buying cameras
    I own four cameras right now: two I bought through e-Bay, one privately, one from a local camera store.
    First off, I got a good deal on a used Canon Powershot from an individual on e-Bay.
    Next, I wanted to move up to a pro-sumer and decided the Olympus 7070 was best for me at that time. So, onto e-Bay and ordered one. Waited. Waited. Called. "What, did nobody get back to you yet?! The Olympus is out of stock, so we'll either substitute a Minolta or give you a refund." So, Minolta sounded like a good brand name to me and I ordered it without realizing the pitch was the old "bait and switch" line.
    Well the Minolta DiMage Z6 was nowhere near the quality of the Olympus, but I learned to use it until it started to fall apart.sad.gif
    Third camera came to me via a man desperate for money. For less than $100 I got a well-used Canon G3 which exceeded my expectations for such an ugly camera.eek.gif
    Lastly, I felt it was time to get a REAL camera and opted for a Nikon. After viewing three online e-Bay shops, I thought the best alternative was to head to a local vendor and negotiate a good deal. I had the salesman plop comparable Canon, Pentax K10, Nikon onto the counter and let me hold them. then I walked away and read up on consumer reports on all three. A few days later I returned and compared Nikon's D200 to D80 and liked the smaller one.
    Several minute of tough money talk was followed by a signed order form. A week later I had the D80 with a great lens and decent tripod. Without the sales person's advice, I would've bought a second-rate lens unsuitable for my purposes.
    Bottom line: you can get lower prices through on-line shops, but if the local vendor will give you the stuff without making you feel financially gouged, then go for it and thank him with repeat business. bowdown.gif
  • Chrissiebeez_NLChrissiebeez_NL Major grins Posts: 1,294Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 1, 2007
    hey guys!

    I was surfing ebay tonight and saw this shop called DigRev and they looked pretty professional and had (for dutch standards) very good prices for a sigma 10-20. i tried to check them at resellers and in dgrin but could not find anything. did you ever order anything from them? does this look like something you would do?
    link to ebay page

    link to shop


    thanks! clap.gif
    Visit my website at christopherroos.smugmug.com
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Posts: 15,471Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 1, 2007
    hey guys!

    I was surfing ebay tonight and saw this shop called DigRev and they looked pretty professional and had (for dutch standards) very good prices for a sigma 10-20. i tried to check them at resellers and in dgrin but could not find anything. did you ever order anything from them? does this look like something you would do?
    link to ebay page

    link to shop


    thanks! clap.gif
    I may be wrong, but I think Resellers is primarily for US-based shops.

    I get a good vibe from DigRev's website, for what that's worth. For example, the warnings that their data center will be down for maintenance, and then the announcement that it's back.

    I could be wrong, but the place doesn't look or act like it's after a quick ripoff. ne_nau.gif
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USAPosts: 8,959Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 1, 2007
    I agree with WXWAX...and you have Ebay to help if things go awry...plus they do have brick and mortar shops spread around ....my only prob is everyting comes out of Hong Kong and that may mean duties and import taxes....but if you LOG onto their site you can see that from what I read on their site.

    Good Luck and let us know (if you buy from them) how it goes............
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • gubbsgubbs Super Moderator Posts: 3,166Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2007
    hey guys!

    I was surfing ebay tonight and saw this shop called DigRev and they looked pretty professional and had (for dutch standards) very good prices for a sigma 10-20. i tried to check them at resellers and in dgrin but could not find anything. did you ever order anything from them? does this look like something you would do?
    link to ebay page

    link to shop


    thanks! clap.gif
    £199 appears to be a very good price until you add on the £37.00 shipping, import duty and VAT. The real total to the UK would more like £284 which for me isn't enough of a difference to compensate for the complications with the warranty.

    Warehouse Express ship this lens for £298
  • claudermilkclaudermilk Major grins Posts: 2,756Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2007
    They look legit to me, too. Prices seem to indicate that as well (40D for $1317 vs B&H's $1300 even).
  • GavGav Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited January 17, 2008
    I recently bought a Nikon D80 from Digitalrev, the service was fine. I have recently had an issue with the contacts between the body and lense, every now and then it delovers a fake low battery signal. I think this may be an issue with the D80 rather than the online store. BUT next time I will go to the local camera shop.....support your local guy.
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