Buying a Camera? How To Not Get Ripped Off.

123468

Comments

  • foxwizardfoxwizard Big grins Posts: 10Registered Users Big grins
    edited April 5, 2008
    This thread stuck a serious chord in me. I normally use ResellerRatings to check up on online companies before buying. Just wanted to share the knowledge and help out. From my experience, their reviews are quite accurate.

    Oh, upon reading the first post, I couldn't help but feel this company was the reason for it.

    I believe it; I almost ordered a D200 from there, but then didn't see a 'what's in the box' link, so I called for info. The guy said they were backordered and hung up on me. I wouldn't buy a AAA battery from them now.

    Close call for me.
  • HoratioHoratio Beginner grinner Posts: 6Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 27, 2008
    wxwax wrote:
    How To Not Get Ripped Off On The Net
    or
    The Danger of Shopping for Price.

    The FedEx Factor
    Wow, you got a great price. Great, send me the camera. Wait, shipping is how much? Why, that's twice as much as anyone else. Goodness, when I add it all up, suddenly I'm paying the same as the at other web sites. Hey. They just slipped me the FedEx Factor. umph.gif
    If you specify FedEx Ground, they will usually lower the price to about one-third. FedEx is lowest of all the shippers.

    If the company insists on shipping overnight, FedEx is usually less expensive than UPS, and definitely much easier on your camera and equipment.
  • hjbhjb Beginner grinner Posts: 5Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited June 14, 2008
    A warning to non-US folks
    I ordered from Adorama based on this thread (B&H didn't have a particular item I wanted) and sadly I have to warn overseas customers to beware.

    After selecting and paying for Fedex, which of course has tracking from start to finish, my tracking number turned out to be USPS, which has no overseas tracking.

    Three weeks later I have no idea where my order is and Adorama's only advice is to "allow more time". Fedex would have taken 3-4 business days, and USPS' website states 8 business days.

    I wouldn't mind this if I'd known in advance and agreed - but Fedex was offered after I noted my address is a PO Box (it's not a box but that's how addresses are done here) so I had no reason to suspect it wouldn't be sent Fedex until after the order had gone. Had I known it would be sent USPS and/or take 3+ weeks, I'd have ordered with someone else. I was denied the chance to make that decision.

    Right now I can only hope my camera eventually turns up, and never use Adorama again. So, beware non-US folks!
  • faust0maticfaust0matic Big grins Posts: 51Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 11, 2008
    I was almost a victim of the bait & switch from a .com shop in NYC. I can't remember who it's been a few years. I ended up having to contact Pay Pal to get my money back.

    I can tell you that butterflyphoto.com has been the best place I've found to deal with online. They've had the lowest legitimate prices as far as I can find and I've done a lot of digging around. I still search everything I can find before I buy from them and I've never been able to find a better new camera price. Their stuff is all Manufacturer USA warranty, no grey market cameras. I've purchased 5 cameras from them and never been disappointed.

    So what's the downside to dealing with them?

    Do NOT buy lenses from them. Thier prices are usually higher than what you can find elsewhere online. Camera bodies and Body w/kit lens prices are OK.

    Even if you buy online, you will get a phone call from them trying to push the warranty/extra battery/memory card, etc but I just tell them that I'm broke after buying the camera and they don't hassle mene_nau.gif

    Service?
    Service has always been good, if a bit gruff on the phone. It's hard to explain if you didn't grow up in NJ/NYC area. They're not being a$$holes...they just sound like it. Before I knew not to buy lenses from them, I ordered my XTi ($670 when everone else was still asking $999) and two lenses. One lens was out of stock, so as an apology for not having the lens, he gave me a 3 year extended warranty for the 1 year price.

    I'm not a big fan of buying warranties, but for a camera, I'm willing to pay a little extra to make sure my butt is covered if the shutter dies, etc. So far that XTi has 60,000+ actuations and it's still working fine. I have 2 1/2 years left on the warranty if I need it, though.

    So far this is the only place I can feel comfortable recommending. I have bought from Tri-State camera before with no problems, but I've heard all sorts of horror stories about them too. Maybe I just got lucky?
  • gusgus Major grins Posts: 16,209Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 11, 2008
    hjb wrote:
    So, beware non-US folks!
    Tks for letting us know hjb. I wont use either Andorama or B&H as they both have asked me to fax a copy of my visa including the reverse side with the security number & signature. One sure way not to get any insurance from your credit card company if things go pear shaped.

    They both say its for customer protecting which is a 100% total load of bull crap as in the event of a problem...the consumer is insured (fee incorp into the card) with the credit card company. Its the trader that loses the money for their lack of security.
  • 1pocket1pocket Forever a student... Posts: 298Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 11, 2008
    Sorry to hear that. I sell a few books and use the USPS flat rate "Priority Mail" envelopes regularly (mostly within USA) and they 99% work fine. BUT, every now and then, they lose one for weeks, and when they show up they are usually trashed. The USPS just seems to be prone to that. But I'm only dealing with replaceable $25 books, so it's tolerable, even though it is apparently inevitable with them once and a while. I hope you have good results in the end!
    hjb wrote:
    I ordered from Adorama based on this thread (B&H didn't have a particular item I wanted) and sadly I have to warn overseas customers to beware.

    After selecting and paying for Fedex, which of course has tracking from start to finish, my tracking number turned out to be USPS, which has no overseas tracking.

    Three weeks later I have no idea where my order is and Adorama's only advice is to "allow more time". Fedex would have taken 3-4 business days, and USPS' website states 8 business days.

    I wouldn't mind this if I'd known in advance and agreed - but Fedex was offered after I noted my address is a PO Box (it's not a box but that's how addresses are done here) so I had no reason to suspect it wouldn't be sent Fedex until after the order had gone. Had I known it would be sent USPS and/or take 3+ weeks, I'd have ordered with someone else. I was denied the chance to make that decision.

    Right now I can only hope my camera eventually turns up, and never use Adorama again. So, beware non-US folks!
    My humble gallery...
    www.steveboothphotography.com

    Pool/Billiards specific...
    www.poolinaction.com
  • Ouachita JackOuachita Jack Have camera; will travel. Posts: 11Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 3, 2008
    Another way not to get rupped off...
    It's all about negotiation.

    Find the average "NY price" then go to your local camera and video store. Find the manager. Negotiate with him/her and buy there. They are actually there (you can SEE them), they will have a local reputation you can check, and you are actually dealing with a real person you can walk out on if they begin "add on" selling. I do all my business locally now since I have learned they are regularly willing to negotiate the price. If they can't, nothing lost, and you may have made another photography contact for later. You can always go back to the internet order.
  • jass123jass123 Banned User Posts: 1Banned Beginner grinner
    edited August 5, 2008
    i am agree with this point that butterflyphoto.com has been the best place I've found to deal with online. They've had the lowest legitimate prices as far as I can find and I've done a lot of digging around. I still search everything I can find before I buy from them and I've never been able to find a better new camera price. Their stuff is all Manufacturer USA warranty, no grey market cameras. I've purchased 5 cameras from them and never been disappointed.
  • iamprof40iamprof40 Major grins Posts: 249Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 12, 2008
    B and H
    I have bought thousands of dollars worth of gear from B and H...never a problem
    but their buying used gear prices are terrible.
  • BriShayBriShay Major grins Posts: 274Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 11, 2008
    Online Camera Purchase Questons
    http://soniccameras.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=5488&extra_info=specifications&osCsid=17feb00c27ca786f6f1b561b3cfd1471

    http://www.beachcamera.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=NKD90

    What do you guys think about these? SOnic is too good to be true right?

    Any feedback is appreciated!

    Thank you!
    Shayna
    I'm a Nikon Girl:tuesday
    www.BriShayPhotography.com
  • BriShayBriShay Major grins Posts: 274Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 11, 2008
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 12, 2008
    BriShay wrote:
    THANK YOU

    Beach Camera are terrific, btw - I've purchased from them several times and on all occasions they were as advertised, great customer service and totally legit.
  • gracenrichgracenrich Big grins Posts: 42Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 13, 2008
    Sonic offering Nikon d300 with lens for $989.00.
    RUN away the other way.
    Beach camera well rated as is B&H,Adorama.
    Do not buy any thing from any camera dealer located in Brooklyn NY.
  • Shane422Shane422 Major grins Posts: 460Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 13, 2008
    I have also purchased successfully from Beach Camera.

    But I just bought a D90 body last week from B&H. I chose them because I could get a Sagemax warranty which covers accidents. It was $140 for 3 years.
  • ontherivetontherivet Big grins Posts: 25Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 16, 2008
    BriShay wrote:

    Stay FAR, FAR away from Sonic. I had an experience with them very similar to Mr. Hawk trying to buy an HD camcorder. I called to cancel the order after I did a bit of research on them (which I should have done up front) and suspected that what I was going to get was either nothing at all, not a US model and/or they were going to strip the box and remove the battery, charger, etc. The guy I talked to threatened me, told me he wouldn't cancel the order, was going to charge me a 15% restocking fee, on and on. If you are looking for some entertainment, order something and then try and cancel the order and make sure you record the call. But be prepared to cancel your credit card immediately thereafter...just so happens that about a week after this episode I started getting bogus charges from different parts of the country.
  • akpaceakpace Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited November 18, 2008
    I have had only good experiences on ebay, however, I like to find the people who aren't making ebay a business and really just selling their equipment and go to them. When I buy bodies I always go to the local shop that has the lowest price, I feel good having that reassurance.
  • BimmerBobBimmerBob Big grins Posts: 33Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 18, 2008
    Any buy refurbed camera equipment?
    Has anyone here purchased factory refurbished camera equipment? I'm in the market to upgrade from my A100 to an A700, and I just found out we have a Sony outlet store in the Camarillo Premium Outlets. I've had great luck with refurshied Apple products, so I don't have a problem with buying problem if the warranty is the same.

    Bob

    EDIT: Not a great deal. The Sony outlet had it at $949.99 and they just dropped the price on SonyStyle to $999.99. So, only a $50 discount for a refurbished camera with a 90-day warranty instead of a year. To make things worse, they wouldn't give me a price over the phone. I had to waste 30 minutes and a few dollars in gas to find out they are out of their minds. :-( Laughing.gif
    Bob DeLellis
    Sony A700, Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8, Minolta 50mm f/1.7
    Bimmer Performance Store Gallery
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Major grins
    edited November 23, 2008
    That's about what Bose discounted used/referb items at the "Premium Outlets" in Woodbury, NY.

    Jim
    Jim
    EOS: 7D (2, 1 gripped), 50D (gripped), 580EX II
    EF: 500 f/4L IS, 100-400 L IS, 70-200 f/4L IS, 28-135 IS, 1.4x II EF-S: 10-22, 15-85 IS
  • Graham CrackerGraham Cracker Lovin' Life Posts: 242Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 15, 2008
    ontherivet wrote:
    Stay FAR, FAR away from Sonic. I had an experience with them very similar to Mr. Hawk trying to buy an HD camcorder. I called to cancel the order after I did a bit of research on them (which I should have done up front) and suspected that what I was going to get was either nothing at all, not a US model and/or they were going to strip the box and remove the battery, charger, etc. The guy I talked to threatened me, told me he wouldn't cancel the order, was going to charge me a 15% restocking fee, on and on. If you are looking for some entertainment, order something and then try and cancel the order and make sure you record the call. But be prepared to cancel your credit card immediately thereafter...just so happens that about a week after this episode I started getting bogus charges from different parts of the country.

    I had the same experience with a Canon 40D and Sigma Lense. Camera was fine and not a "grey" market but the lens was and the Manual focus doesn't work. Sigma states they will fix but when attempting to call Sonic back they wanted me to pay to ship back and pay for the new lens to be shipped. IF you look up the address on Google it is a house in NY. I actually was stupid enough to send something back but UPS returned as there is no such address. Called and I was threatened as well. Sigma fixed the lense but after all the extra shipping charges, I didn't save a dime. 40D works like a champ, but stay away unless you are a gambler!
    PDG
    Canon 1DM3, 20D & 40D, Canon f/2.8 70-200mm IS, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8
  • zack75144zack75144 Major grins Posts: 261Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 8, 2009
    Sonic Camera is now offering the 5D Mark II for a $1000 less then everyone else on the planet, plus they have then in stock....I'm thinking of buying one...While I'm there, I may buy some ocean front property they're selling in Nebraska!eek7.gif

    http://soniccameras.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=757_1241&products_id=5662
    Zack www.zackjonesphotography.net
    EOS 7D, Zeiss 50mm f/1.4, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 200mm f/2.8L II, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 1.4 Ext II, 430EX, ST-E2, Tamrac Velocity 10X & Expeditioner 7 Bags.
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Posts: 2,322Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 9, 2009
    zack75144 wrote:
    Sonic Camera is now offering the 5D Mark II for a $1000 less then everyone else on the planet, plus they have then in stock....I'm thinking of buying one...While I'm there, I may buy some ocean front property they're selling in Nebraska!eek7.gif

    http://soniccameras.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=757_1241&products_id=5662

    I had never heard of Sonic Cameras before this thread so I thought I'd check them out. Buy one get one free camera batteries was pretty impressive so I looked around a bit more. They had the Tamron 18-50 2.8 for $429 and that's only slightly more than reputable dealers. Then I noticed under accessories that the lens hood (that normally comes with the camera) was a $60 add-on. Too funny. rolleyes1.gif They probably would sell you that ocean-front property - and offer to sell you a printed copy of the title for only $100 extra!

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Sonic_Cameras
  • nomar219nomar219 Big grins Posts: 11Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 18, 2009
    Sonic Camera is a fraud shop.
  • keithinmelbournekeithinmelbourne Big grins Posts: 92Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 23, 2009
    'Reputable' camera shops are no guarantee . . .
    I ordered a lens from Foto Reisel in Sydney two weeks ago at the advertised price of AU $1,767. They accepted by credit card, confirmed the order and then, 3 days later, sent me an email saying they got the price wrong (their fault, I presume) it would actually cost $1,925. eek7.gif I cancelled the order. This was was an on-line web-site of a supposedly reputable camera shop - one that has warnings about buying grey goods! Go figure!
    Keith

    Mumon is right! "Every day is a good day!"

    http://www.keithbroadphotography.com/
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Posts: 2,322Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 23, 2009
    I ordered a lens from Foto Reisel in Sydney two weeks ago at the advertised price of AU $1,767. They accepted by credit card, confirmed the order and then, 3 days later, sent me an email saying they got the price wrong (their fault, I presume) it would actually cost $1,925. eek7.gif I cancelled the order. This was was an on-line web-site of a supposedly reputable camera shop - one that has warnings about buying grey goods! Go figure!

    I think anyone can make a pricing mistake. I'm not sure that should be a big strike against a vendor. headscratch.gif
  • Lethal White AussieLethal White Aussie Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited March 20, 2009
    My experiences
    I have found that if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. I rarely will consider buying anything on ebay, unless it is something like a hotshoe mount, cord, or some other non-mechanical/non-electronic item.

    I am a NAPP(photoshop user) and they give members free 3 day shipping at B&H. I also use my AMEX card to double manufacuture warranty and also give me great return protection. I usually try to buy the extended MACK or other warranty, and rotate my gear and buy new stuff every 2-5 yrs, so I always have newer gear, warranted, etc. I sell about a year before warranty expires, so new buyer has some peace of mind and I get top dollar.

    Reseller ratings, as mentioned, is also good to keep an eye on. Buy from only companies that have a fair amount of ratings though. a company with a 98% positive rating, but only 20 total ratings, doesn't mean very much.

    Happy Shopping!
    -Nick
  • capitoljayhawkcapitoljayhawk Major grins Posts: 121Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 17, 2009
    DavidTO wrote:
    I've heard Andy say the same thing. OneCall is one of the vendors on our newish Where To Buy page.

    The where-to-buy page link seems to be dead.
    ____________________

    http://www.gaslightphoto.com

    Beginning smugmugger.
  • HeroOfCantonHeroOfCanton SmugMug QA Posts: 208Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 23, 2009
    thanks for the post!
    Quality Engineer - My SmugMug Site

    Getting started on DGrin? Go here first!
    Contact a Support Hero: http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/emails/new
  • JonnyyayaJonnyyaya Sports Shooter Member Posts: 181Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 21, 2009
    DON'T BUY FROM HERE.......

    "sonic cameras" is also cameraprofessionals.com, cameras.com, and bestpricecameras.com.

    Sonic Camera Complaints - Fraud

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/sonic-camera-c135969.html
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 21, 2009
    All you need to know about Sonic Photo was in the NY Times recently
Sign In or Register to comment.