Buying a Camera? How To Not Get Ripped Off.

1234568»

Comments

  • jbradstrjbradstr Beginner grinner Posts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited October 30, 2011
    I am new to photography and appreciate your tips on getting a good deal. Thanks.
  • ThatCanonGuyThatCanonGuy Artist/Entrepreneur/Nomad Posts: 1,778Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 30, 2011
    jbradstr wrote: »
    I am new to photography and appreciate your tips on getting a good deal. Thanks.

    What product are you looking for? Do you mind buying used gear? How about refurbished?
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,506Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 30, 2011
    Cameras are neither rare nor poorly distributed. Therefore, pricing is extremely consistent from one vendor to another. Given the fairly high expense of most DSLR systems, you should focus on the reputation of the vendor vs the price. A price that is significantly lower than other vendors should be seen as a warning, not an opportunity.

    "Getting a deal" is synonymous with getting ripped off. Check the major vendors, (B&H, Adorama, Amazon, etc) and figure your 'normal' price from there. Prices much higher AND much lower are likely rip-offs, either way.

    Buy from the vendor that offers the return, warranty and service flexibility that you desire.
  • PhotogbikerPhotogbiker Exploring the desert Posts: 351Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 10, 2011
    Trusted vendors
    Another plug for trusted vendors with good feedback. I have bought from a number of local and NY big guys all with good results. Just received a lightly used Canon 1D mk III I found on ebay after watching a number of auctions. This one was from Adorama with a "Buy it Now" price that was at the upper end, but had a "Best Offer" button so what the heck, throw them a reasonable offer. They accepted my fair offer and 5 days later it is in my hands. After realizing I just bought a camera I re-read the ad and realized they didn't go into detail about what was included (battery, charger, software?). The rip-off places like Andy stumbled into are famous for charging extra for what should normally come with the camera ("oh, you want tires with that new car?).

    Here is where the honest and trusted vendor to our community comes in. Not only did it come with everything originally sold with it when new, in an original box, there was also an extra battery! Positive feedback left on ebay and add to it here. Not that you shouldn't verify exactly what you are buying, but the results are definitely more likely to be positive with a company like Adorama.

    Thanks again for a great transaction and new-to-me camera Adoramathumb.gifthumb
  • jheftijhefti Hyperope Posts: 734Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 10, 2011
    My experience is that vendors fall into three categories: the reputable (e.g. B&H), the low-ballers, and the scammers. Here are the differences:

    1. Reputable: they charge a fair price and include everything you'd expect in the box. Their prices do not increase during shortages (e.g. the virtual non-existence of the Canon 1D4 this past year) or during frenzies for a new product. Their prices are not the lowest either, but you'll get exactly what you expect to get and they will make it right if there is a problem. I buy from these guys now.

    2. Low-ballers: They sort of sell you what you expect, but there is that inevitable phone call after the order to sell you accessories you may or may not need--batteries, filters, etc. In many cases, these accessories are overpriced or much fancier than you need. And in some of these cases they should come with the original package (e.g. batteries) but don't, so the overall price is the same or more than the reputable guys. I made the mistake of buying my 5D2 from 47th Street Photo, for a couple hundred less that the reputable price, but was convinced on that phone call to buy an additional 2200mA/h battery. What the hell, I thought, I'll need it. Turns out that it was some cheap knockoff--nothing close to 2200mA/h--and was more trouble than it was worth. Of course, I had to listen to them try to sell me a lot of other crap I didn't need--and didn't buy--but I did manage to get the 5D2 for a hundred or so less that B&H. However, I have never ordered again from these guys.

    3. Scammers: No telling what, if anything, you will get from these guys. Don't even think about sending your CC information their way! The clues are: ridiculously low prices, few reviews (and bipolar reviews), and a cheesy web page. They come and go, and I am sure make most of their sales on naive customers who want P&S or their first dSLR.

    I limit my purchases to a few reputable companies, and have never been dissatisfied. If you have the patience, it might be worth buying from the low-ballers, as will enough persistence you might get a better price, but you'll go through some frustration in the process. Not worth it IMHO.
  • HelenOsterHelenOster Major grins Posts: 173Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 11, 2011
    ..... Just received a lightly used Canon 1D mk III I found on ebay after watching a number of auctions. This one was from Adorama with a "Buy it Now" price that was at the upper end, but had a "Best Offer" button so what the heck, throw them a reasonable offer......

    Here is where the honest and trusted vendor to our community comes in. Not only did it come with everything originally sold with it when new, in an original box, there was also an extra battery! .....the results are definitely more likely to be positive with a company like Adorama.

    Thanks again for a great transaction and new-to-me camera Adoramathumb.gifthumb

    And thank YOU - for leaving such fabulous feedback, and for your Adorama order.

    BTW if you ever need advice or after-sales support with an order from Adorama, I'm right here: [email protected]
    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
    http://twitter.com/HelenOster
    [email protected]
    www.adorama.com
  • bjpdotcombjpdotcom Big grins Posts: 14Registered Users Big grins
    edited January 9, 2012
    B&H ftw 10/10 times.
  • chuckdee1chuckdee1 Big grins Posts: 52Registered Users Big grins
    edited June 25, 2012
    Andy wrote: »
    stay awayundefined

    try b&h, they are the best. don't go there or call friday afternoons or on saturday, they are observant and are closed on the sabbath.

    Agree. You cannot go wrong with B&H or Adorama. Well respected in the community and if you have a problem, they'll have a shipping label ready for you to print and return.


    _____________________________________________________
    Chuck Dee - AKA Chris
    "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -Ansel Adams
    www.bellissimofoto.com
  • tmatma Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited July 4, 2012
    Had my "PriceRite" experience with "Best Price Camera" - (coincidently, they were also in NY). When the order was finally canceled, the credit card I'd used started showing up with wierd, unauthorized charges all over the internet, in less than 12 hours. Fortunately the credit card company caught it the first day and blocked purchases on the card.

    Then later, learned the hard way not to automatically trust other sellers listed on Amazon (unless the item is coming from Amazon directly). Bought a brand new camera that way, a few years back after determining the retailer didn't have negative feedback on various sites. Happy as a clam with the camera, for almost a year. THEN took it to Nikon for service while it was under "warranty".

    Turns out that great camera had been part of a pallet stolen off of a shipping dock prior to my purchase. Became a total nightmare, although fortunately it didn't take long for law enforcement and Nikon to determine that *I* wasn't the thief. The camera however became evidence and I never got it back; thankfully, my homeowner's insurance paid. The retailer (who had had a legit biz license) had rabbited. Last update from the detective involved was that the FBI and Port Authority were involved, and the investigation had progresed to Europe at that point.

    I now buy new only from a Nikon AUTHROIZED dealer. If I do buy used, I want to see a sales receipt from an authorized dealer, or a service receipt from Nikon, or something similar.
  • chuckdee1chuckdee1 Big grins Posts: 52Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 6, 2012
    Don't mess around. B&H or Adorama are the places to purchase.

    _________________________________________
    Chuck Dee - AKA Chris
    "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -Ansel Adams
    www.bellissimofoto.com
  • bobbykbobbyk Big grins Posts: 45Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 23, 2012
    How to buy DSLR stuff (Cameras, lenses, etc)
    I got serious about photography about 5 years ago. Messed around with it for 35 years prior. When I got into DSLR cameras all of a sudden I am paying some serious money for this stuff. It took me a few years to learn how to buy. That included figuring out what I really wanted, what could I afford, where to buy it and other questions like that. So I put a blog post together to share what I have learned. You can read it here:

    http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/how-buy-dslr-stuff/

    The short version is buy used or refurbished Canon or Nikon Cameras and Lens. Sigma and Tamron are good as well. Think a lot about what you want. Read the reviews, talk to other photographers, rent one if you can. Then buy it at your local camera shop if they are competitive. If not use Ebay, B&H, Adorama, or Fred Miranda. There is a lot more detail in my blog. Let me know what you think.
    --
    Bob Keenan
    http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com
  • lifeinfocuslifeinfocus Phils Imaging Posts: 1,461Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 23, 2012
    bobbyk wrote: »
    I got serious about photography about 5 years ago. Messed around with it for 35 years prior. When I got into DSLR cameras all of a sudden I am paying some serious money for this stuff. It took me a few years to learn how to buy. That included figuring out what I really wanted, what could I afford, where to buy it and other questions like that. So I put a blog post together to share what I have learned. You can read it here:

    http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com/how-buy-dslr-stuff/
    ..................
    Bob Keenan
    http://www.bobkeenanphoto.com

    Well done! I am in the process of shopping for a Nikon lens or two.

    One thing I would add for Nikon lenses is this site http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html which lists the serial numbers by model and year produced.

    Do you know of one for Canon lenses?

    Not all sellers provide the serial number up front, but if you ask they will provide it. For lenses with long production runs it helps to know how old it is.

    Phil
    http://www.PhilsImaging.com
    "You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams
    Phil
  • bobbykbobbyk Big grins Posts: 45Registered Users Big grins
    edited September 23, 2012
    Well done! I am in the process of shopping for a Nikon lens or two.

    One thing I would add for Nikon lenses is this site http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html which lists the serial numbers by model and year produced.

    Do you know of one for Canon lenses?

    Not all sellers provide the serial number up front, but if you ask they will provide it. For lenses with long production runs it helps to know how old it is.

    Phil
    What a great resource. I have never seen a similar site for canon lenses. There are sites that explain the date code. And you can search for lens issues, knowing the manufacture date and serial number. But nothing like the Nikon page that you referenced.
  • earthguy000earthguy000 Big grins Posts: 30Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 23, 2014
    Beware!!! >>united camera repairs***scam***scam***scam***beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE!

    United Camera using fraudulent practices.

    Here's my scenario.

    I sent in a Nikon SB600 to get repaired for self intermittent random firing of the flash
    even when on standby.

    OK, so it was supposed to be an easy change the mainboard and walla fixed......NO SUCH JOY.
    They kept returning it, not once, not twice, not THREE TIMES but 4 TIMES!!!!!
    They kept saying there is nothing wrong and it has something to do with my DSLR. Wrong!
    I sent them a video clip when on the stand without mounted on my DSLR. SAME problem.
    I tried to be patient. More patient than others I would say.

    FINALLY, put a complaint to the BBB and they offered a check to resolve the issue.
    They gave me the run around as I suspected.
    Told me they sent the check out USPS. Didn't get it. Mails don't get lost in the mail, especially in this day and age.
    They sent out a second check via USPS priority with trkg# DIDN'T EXIST.
    They sent it UPS with delivery confirmation. Check finally came, deposited it but to no surprise it bounced!


    Another scenario.
    Sent in a D3 to get housing replaced and was expected to get it in 1-2 weeks......
    ended up 5 weeks!!! They kep giving me excuses it's coming it's coming.
    THEY were waiting for a shipment from CHINA that's why it takes so long.
    IF they know that let customers know. Photographers have use for their equiptment on a certain time frame hello?
    And, when I finally got it back the lock button was loose as a leaf blowing in the wind. Didn't have time for their NOTORIOUS BS so I sold it and took a loss.


    THESE PEOPLE ARE CON ARTISTS!!!
    DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and SAVE YOURSELVES THE GRIEF AND HEARTACHE.

    They are like those scam stores that sell DSLRS, and other equiptment cheap on 42nd ST.
    Times Square in the 90's and omit batteries, accessories you name it.

    I AM GOING TO SUBMIT ANOTHER BBB complaint. THEY ALSO ALREADY have many
    consumers COMPLAINING THE SAME. I am not the only one.

    I WILL ALSO complain to the DEPT. OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS.
    Yes, folks you can do these actions to CLOSE THESE manipulative companies out of practice.

    I have been nothing more than patient with them and am NOT posting this for any
    retaliation, revenge and any other negative way. I just want companies to be fair and NOT to get swindled by their DECEIVING ways on a whim.
  • double_entendredouble_entendre Gene pool chlorinator Posts: 113Registered Users Major grins

    Possibly dumb question. Now that Nikon allows grey market cameras to be serviced by US service companies, is there a significant downside to buying grey market?

    I wonder what Nikon's motivation was to doing that. Customer service, I guess, but still interesting.

  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayPosts: 2,294Registered Users Major grins

    @double_entendre said:
    Possibly dumb question. Now that Nikon allows grey market cameras to be serviced by US service companies, is there a significant downside to buying grey market?

    One of the major concerns would be getting systems that have some after market part installed instead of actual Nikon parts. Whether that is still as rampant today as it used to be years ago is up for debate, but if you were to buy from reputable sources, the risk is probably at a minimum.

    Personally I wouldn't buy a body, but have and will probably still pick up older grey market lenses when they fill the need.

    Steve

    Website
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,375Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 23, 2017

    @double_entendre said:
    Possibly dumb question. Now that Nikon allows grey market cameras to be serviced by US service companies, is there a significant downside to buying grey market?

    I wonder what Nikon's motivation was to doing that. Customer service, I guess, but still interesting.

    Yes, it looks like Nikon does allow service of gray/grey market cameras on a limited scale (not all models). It does not look like Nikon is offering "warranty service" for those items, so you still get no warranty on grey/gray market items, unless you purchase a third-party warranty as well. (Third party warranties do not entitle you to either factory service or manufacturer-authorized service, so they are not necessarily as good as the manufacturer warranties.)

    So the disincentive is still that you do not get manufacturer's warranty on products purchased outside the intended market region.

    My recommendation is to purchase new cameras only from a reputable and authorized dealer, and B&H and Adorama are who I purchase new cameras through.

    If you want to save some money, wait a while until after company refurbished bodies become available to at least get some sort of factory warranty. (Currently that is 90 days warranty from Nikon and a full year warranty from Canon.) Alternately, KEH has used items currently with 180 days warranty by KEH.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • nisaardaninisaardani YogyakartaPosts: 12New member Beginner grinner
    thaks information
1234568»
Sign In or Register to comment.