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Old Jan 3, 2005, 3:05 PM   #1
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I purchased a couple of digital cameras for Christmas gifts but it was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. I am new to digital photography, I just purchased a digital camera for my self around Thanksgiving. Prior to that I have not bought a camera for at least 10 years. I bought my digital camera at a local camera shop and found out later I paid top dollar for it. I did no research at all. However, I did receive excellent service and a person to show me how to use the camera.

Ok, next time I will look around for a better price. For Christmas presents I figured I would shop around online and check prices in the many photography magazines. I found some excellent prices at royalcamera.com and amphotoworld.com. I picked out a camera and ordered it from amphotoworld.com and a few hours later I received an e-mail requesting I call to verify the order. I order stuff all the time from many different websites and never received a mesage like this. I called A&M and some guy tried to sell me high powered batteries telling me the rechargable battery that comes with it is a low powered battery...the camera takes AA's and does not come with a recgargeable battery anyway (Nikon Coolpix 4100). Then he tried to sell me an extended warranty, I told him I'll just take the manufactures warranty. Then he told me it only comes with a 90 day international warranty and that it's a gray market camera. A gray market camera? He explained that it must be imported from an overseas depot and it will take 4 to 6 weeks to arrive. I then just cancelled my order. What a waste of time.

I ordered the Coolpix from B&H. Cost $40 more, but no BS about batteries, warranties, gray markets, overseas depots, importing orverification calls. The USA camera arrived with a USA warranty by UPS 3 day shipping.

I had also tried royalcamera.com and was quoted $59.99 for shipping on their website for normal ground domestic shipping. I called thinking there must be an error. Nope, no error, I got the same run around about insurance, batteries, import models, gray markets and so on.

I'm sure royal and a&m have many happy customers, just not me. I wish all these details regarding international warranties, import models, gray market, overseas depots, $60 shipping, 4 to 6 week shipping and insurance would be clearly spelled out on their websites.

live and learn...
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 3:29 PM   #2
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Those Crooklyn NY dealers are always the lowest priced vendors on any search engine or in the back ofthose photography magazines. They show the lowest prices to bait you in and then start the "sell up" game and try to get you to buy memory cards, batteries, filters and etc at rediculously inflated prices. This has been going on since the beginning of online purchasing of electronics and is just getting worse every year.

If you use our Buyer's Guide you can see cameras listed by price and dealer. The dealers are listed by trustworthiness and you'll see the low-ball priced guys always have the worst customer feedback ratings. Use your own commonsense and look at the price range and exclude the low priced guys altogether. Honest dealers will be within 15% of the same price unless they're also quoting some kind of rebate in the price.

You shouldgo to http://www.resellerratings.com and check out any new vendor before purchase. You'll see the two you mentioned have terrible customer ratings - they are both the typical low price scam artists.

It is always best to deal with the well known guys like B&H Photo or RitzCamera.com even though they don't have the best prices, the won't screw you on shipping or send you a gray market item instead of a U.S. warrantied item.

If a deal looks too good to be true - it is !
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 2:07 AM   #3
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Have a look at http://www.donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 7:02 AM   #4
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Wow! Those pictures are incredible. I can't beleive I almost did business with A&M and Royal Camera :shock:. I just barely escaped unscathed. Lesson learned...Stick to merchants you know and trust and don't get sucked in by lowball pricing. And check Steves-Digicams and reselleratings.comif you are tempted to stray!

I've been educated. Thanks
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 7:51 AM   #5
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Yah...unfortunately, if you look for "amphoto world epinions" on google, you'll get to this page..


So it's a really good idea to get real recommendations from wary people before buying online. I don't mean recommendations for just anybody...but somebody that is really wary and skeptical about these online camera stores.

There are trusty reliable places out there, such as profeel.com, and maybe 17th street photo, and some more. But please do review any store you might try first before making a choice to buy. With profeel.com, I'd trust the folks there ANY DAY. And I mean any day. I don't know the folks there personally, but I do know that they're completely honest, and they care about their reputation.
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 7:52 AM   #6
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hahahaha Jurgen !!! Classic!! Top work !! hahahaha. That's one of the most funny things I've seen for a while. Nice one hehehe
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Old Jan 5, 2005, 11:03 PM   #7
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You may wish to keep a very close eye on your credit card statements for a while, too.

Usually by the time you get to the stage where they say to call, they've already charged your card. You can TELL them to cancel the order/charge, but whether they do it or not is up for debate. Keep tabs on the refunds.
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Old Jan 12, 2005, 8:09 PM   #8
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Since it seems quite interesting and new to some of you, Don Wiss posted an update on rec.photo.digital:

All pictures can be found at: http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/

As always this is my only announcement of these new pictures. Fell free to
pass on this annoucement to other forums.

The new pictures are mixed in alphabetically by assumed business name. So
here is a summary of the new ones:

Apple Electronics, d.b.a. AppleElectronics.com and AppleCellular.com
259 Avenue X
New location.

bestdigitalonline.com, paylessdigital.com and ubdigital.com. Probably also
d.b.a. as allstarcamera.com.
1151 McDonald Ave.
Address from cnet and bestdigitalonline.com web site. ubdigital.com from
http://www.pricescan.com/vendors/ubdigital.asp. Formerly located at 4718
18th Ave according to

bestdigitalonline.com and paylessdigital.com
1151 McDonald Ave.
Close up of entrance.

Big On Digital, d.b.a. bigondigi.com
1641 McDonald Ave.
A newer picture, now with an awning and sign.

Blue Switch Digital Inc., d.b.a. blueswitchdigital.com
673 Coney Island Ave.
Close up of doors.

Buzz 4 Digital, d.b.a. buzz4digital.com
2005 Homecrest Ave.
No address at web site. Address from cnet. The whois address (which I took)
is also a home. No superpages reverse lookup on phone number.

eStore of N.Y. Inc., d.b.a. PlasmaHouse.com
1845 Coney Island Avenue
New location. There were people working behind the shutters. New address
confirmed by phone. See next picture for former location.

eStore of N.Y. Inc., d.b.a. PlasmaHouse.com
6512 Bay Parkway
This is the address on the web site and whois. But there was a fire there
in about October 2004. Now located at 1845 Coney Island Avenue. See prior

A. Hefco Technologies, d.b.a. HypeAudio.com
1502 Kings Highway
Address from cnet. Web site has above address as mail address, with 1643
McDonald Ave as Brooklyn pickup facility.

NextPlace, Inc., d.b.a. PlasmaKings.com
724 Avenue P
Address from cnet.

NextPlace, Inc., d.b.a. PlasmaKings.com
6735 Ridge Blvd.
Address from whois. (I don't normally put whois addresses up, expect here I
couldn't find another business looking address.)

1915 E. 8th St.
Address from web site, pricescan, and cnet. No address in whois.
718 fax number used to be us1digital.com's.
212 fax number also belongs to us1camera.com

1751 E 10th St.
Address from cnet.nytimes.com. No address at web site. Feb 2004 web site
had same zip code as above. Now web site just says New York, NY. The whois
address is also a Brooklyn home. A google on their 212 fax number finds
Barnetts Computer Warehouse, d.b.a. PCVideoOnline.com, 417 5th Ave.

1274 49th Street
Address from web site.

Simon Cells, d.b.a. simoncells.com
1701 Utica Ave.
The only cameras they sell are built into cell phones.

SkyNet Communications, d.b.a. BestBuyPlasma.com
481 Kings Highway
Current location.

SkyNet Communications, d.b.a. BestBuyPlasma.com
6400 18th Avenue
Former location, but is still the address on cnet.

Stop 4 Camera Inc, d.b.a stop4camera.com, a.k.a. HowdyCamera.com
1809 Coney Island Ave.
This is the address on their web site, and is Howdy Camera's web and whois

Stop 4 Camera Inc, d.b.a stop4camera.com
4303 12th Ave.
Address from whois and BBB. Web site has 1809 Coney Island Ave.

Stop 4 Camera Inc, d.b.a stop4camera.com
4303 12th Ave.
Close up of door. These seem to be same people as http://www.XeStore.us, now out
of business. XeStore's fax was: 718-836-1344

The Zone, d.b.a. thezoneny.com
2284 Flatbush Ave.
New location. Note streamers still up.

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Old Jan 12, 2005, 8:33 PM   #9
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I bought a film camera from Royal Camera and had a very poor experience. Every time I look at that camera I get a bad feeling in my stomach about the interactions I had with them.

Sometimes its better to pay the extra $'s and deal with a reputable company like B&H so that at least you can have a pleasant buying experience.
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