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Old Dec 13, 2003, 3:16 PM   #1
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Default Vender reliability

Hi all,
I'm all set to order my Dimage A1. My question is where to buy from.

It's difficult to get a true view of the seller's ratings because apparently, many of the 4 star reviews are written by the employees of the company.

This camera seems to be available for around $700 (with US warranty) from:

Best Digital,
Cameras and Electronics,
I Buy Digital,
Beach Camera,
Shop Harmony,
Abe's of Maine
..... or any other sellers you would recommend?....

I'd sure appreciate it if anyone could give me some positive or negative feedback on these companies.

Also, what are everyone's general feelings, (negative or positive) on the A1 would be of great help.

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Old Dec 13, 2003, 4:10 PM   #2
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Most of the vendors on your list have very questionable reputations (I would refer to them as scam artists). Most are out of Brooklyn, and seem to "get away" with their tactics there.

They advertise the camera lower than everyone else, then make it the difference (and much more) on the add-ons (which are usually VERY overpriced). Their standard practice is to send you an e-mail asking you to call in to "confirm your order".

Then, the "hard sell" begins (batteries, extended warranties, memory cards, etc.).

Of course, they may also try to sell you a grey market camera (one not intended for the U.S. market, where the manufacturers won't warranty it), or telling you that you must pay a higher price for a U.S. model. Of course, they already have your credit card number at this point.

Make sure you're buying from a reputable vendor, and use BOTH http://www.resellerratings.com and http://www.bizrate.com and check out customer feedback (lots of 'em are scam artists, and try to get you to buy overpriced add-ons, extended warranties, batteries, memory, etc. at inflated prices). Watch out for inflated shipping charges, too.

Some of the Brooklyn based online vendors are notorious for this, adding on 6% shipping, etc.

If you refuse to give in to the hard sell tactics, then your item may suddenly go to backorder status, or they may "lose" the order.

Harmony Computers has a good reputation.

Beach Camera has a good reputation, too. They are out of New Jersey, and are also known as Buydig.com. Their customer service is not as good as some vendors, but they won't try to "scam you".

However, bear in mind that these guys have restocking fees on returns, and their advertised prices don't include shipping.

If I were you, I'd steer clear of the rest. One is a new vendor, with mixed reviews (appearing to use the same tactics), and some have very bad reputations. You're better off going with a well established vendor, with thousands of good customer reviews.

If I were you, I'd probably go with someone like JandR.com

They've got a 30 day return policy, in case you get a defective camera, or change your mind. Their price is only a little higher than the discounters (actually, almost the same price, once you add-in shipping charges), and they'd be a lot easier to deal with.

JandR.com has the the A1 for $759.88, including shipping.

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Old Dec 13, 2003, 6:11 PM   #3
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Hi JimC,

Thanks for that very informative reply.

Really appreciate the heads up on some of those .com sites.

I'll check out jandr.com

Also read on this site that dbuys.com are OK

Thanks again
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Old Dec 13, 2003, 8:17 PM   #4
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I have had excellent luck with Abe's Of Maine, but its been years since I used them, and I too have heard recent horor stories. I have used Tiger Direct and PC Connection with good results. I have not used them, but B&H Photo gets top marks here.
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Old Dec 13, 2003, 9:36 PM   #5
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I would also recommend www.newegg.com. I have dealt with them many times and them are top notched.
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Old Dec 14, 2003, 8:41 AM   #6
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Newegg.com is a reputable vendor. The only downside with them, is that they will not allow returns for a refund on the DiMAGE A1 you are looking it, should you decide it does not meet your expectations.

Their price is also slightly higher than JandR on this item (even when factoring in the fact that Newegg's price includes Fedex "Super Saver" shipping). 2nd Day air or other options will cost more with Newegg.


With JandR, you get free ground shipping (UPS versus Fedex SuperSaver) in the 759.88 price, and can get 2nd Day shipping for only $14.88 more ($774.76 total); or next day for only $24.90 more (784.78 including next day shipping). They also have a 30 day return policy with no restocking fees.

They also have a "brick and mortar" store. I've known multiple users that have purchased Minolta products from them. In fact, they were the only dealer to have the G400 in a couple of weeks ago (they are a large enough store, that they had it well in advance of other dealers).

Most online vendors (even the reputable ones like Newegg.com, buy.com, dell.com) don't actually have their own warehouse locations for most products. Instead, they drop ship from Ingram Micro, or Techdata - the two largest distributors. These distributors use custom shipping labels, packing slips, etc., customized for the online vendors.

So, as a general rule, returns are much easier with a real brick and mortar store like JandR, which has a 30 day return policy, handling the returns themselves, versus them going back to a distributors location.

Even Dell.com drop ships products like Digital Cameras, and returns go back to a distributor warehouse location (Ingram in most cases) -- even though the address appears to be going to Dell.
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Old Dec 14, 2003, 2:06 PM   #7
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I have delt with B&H and others and I always go back to B&H. No hassels and good service. A1 company.
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Old Dec 15, 2003, 2:46 AM   #8
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Hi there- I agree with Cowboy. Several flawless purchases from B&H. Huge selection, fair prices and shipping, also fast shipping. Good luck!
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 12:24 AM   #9
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B&H site easy to move around, very clear, good prices. ImKayd1

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