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Old Jan 7, 2005, 4:15 PM   #1
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I am like most of you when it comes to making a substantial purchase. I want the combination of good price and good customer service.

I read many reviews from a site that rates the stores and proceeded to call their contact number from their web page. I wanted to make sure they had the FZ 3 in stock because some of the reviews commented that they were misled when they ordered.

A guy by the name of "Jim" answered the phone and told me unequivically that they had the product in stock. He was abrupt and his attitude gave me the impression that he was doing me a favor. He told meI could only order online and when I advised him of some of the complaints I had read about( having to call and verify the purchase two days after making the order online and then being pressured to buy assessories) he got very defensive and said that would not happen. He said he was based in New York and he did have the New York salesman tone to his voice.

I then called another store with another toll free number and I got the same "Jim" again. Hefirst told me that all the online stores are the same. When I asked how is it they have different prices he said there are different stores but all use the same call center. After I told him that I wasn't interested in buying from an operation that operates like that he called me a "jerk-off" and hung up..

Apparently I am naive because I was thinking of writing an e-mail to these establishments complaining of this guy but then I read a post with photo's of all these various low ball discount electronic storeswith explanation ofhow many times theyhave changed their names. I never want to deal with any of them again. This was a good lesson (and inexpensive) of "if the price is too good to be true, it probably is"

Please list some reputable dealers that offer discount prices from the retail prices one can find at stores like Best Buy.



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Old Jan 7, 2005, 5:05 PM   #2
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I got my FZ's from newegg.com and I will say that their prices are not the most competetive out there but the good experience that I have had the first time has me sticking with them.

I find it a bit humorous about the greyguy name because there is a "grey" market (international) electronics out there. No USA warranty and also not packaged with the same accessories all the time.

Be wary of that and make sure you ask if they are advertising a "grey" market model if the price is too good to be true.

The US model has a FCc logo on the bottom.

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Old Jan 7, 2005, 5:26 PM   #3
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Vann's, BH Photo, Onecall, Beach Camera:!: Vann's $329. BH $339
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 6:11 PM   #4
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I ordered mine from Circuit City, on line. Don't remember what the discount was, but there was also a $50 rebate bringing the price down to about $310. No problems, paid less than $7 for shipping and it got here on the third day after I ordered. I have also ordered from buy.dig (part of Beech)on line and didn't have any problems. Seems like they don't want to be bothered when you call them. Don't order from ephoto club, they call and bug you and it takes them forever to get your order out.
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Old Jan 7, 2005, 7:14 PM   #5
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Bought mine from www.digitalmegastore.com with no problems whatsoever. Did everything completly online and received the camera in 3 days. They are one of the stores you'll find on pricegrabber. I have a hunch that theyare one in the same with I buy diigital but can't confirm. The only follow-up call I received was a survey of my experience. No one tried to up sale any over priced accessories or make me call them to confirm my order.


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Old Jan 7, 2005, 9:59 PM   #6
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I purchased my FZ3 from circuit city on line then picked it up the same dayin store. With the rebates etc. it was only about $12 more that way then the best "reputable" online store I could find.

My boss at work just purchased from butterfly photo online based on my research and recommendation. She was VERY happy with them, even talked to them on the phone and was very satisfied. So much so she recommended the camera and store I picked out for her to another friend who was also very happy with them.

Hope this helps,

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Old Jan 7, 2005, 11:49 PM   #7
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Hi greyguy,

I'd like to second the nod for BHPhoto, and give a very special "two thumbs up" for OneCall.:G

OneCall is an authorized dealer for just about every brand that they carry, and they will price match any legitimate online merchant, as long as that other merchant is also an authorized dealer(for the brand in question), and has that particular item in stock. I called OneCall, when I found that another online merchant(who was also an authorized dealer) had the Minolta DiMage A1 for quite a bit less than them. They took all of 20 seconds to verify the info, and then dropped their price by $120 to meet their competitor's price. I didn't think that they would do it! And through the entire transaction, the sales person was cordial, friendly, courteous, and never tried to pressure me into buying any "essential" accessories for the camera. Three days later, I received my camera in perfect condition, and two days after that, I received a call from OneCall, checking to see if I had received my order, and if I was satisfied with it. Then he thanked me again for buying from them. Now that's customer service at its best!

Another important thing to consider, when buying online(or anywhere, really), is how that merchant is to deal with when it comes to returns. I had also ordered a camera bag(along with extra battery, memory cards, and filters), which wasn't quite what I had expected. I called OneCall, and they were very nice and helpful. They gave me an "RA" number, and I used their handy-dandy return label to ship the bag back to them. Within a few days, I received an email from them, confirming that they received my returned merchandise, and that my credit card had been duly credited. Easy as pie, and almost as pleasurable.

I've since bought my Lumix FZ15 from OneCall, and received the exact same high level of customer service...and, yes, once again, I ordered a camera bag with the camera that didn't work out(not their fault...mine), and it was just as easy to return it for a full refund as it was the first time.

Their consistently superior customer service, competitive pricing, and friendly and professional staff, will keep me as a satisfied customer of theirs for a long, long time!
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 2:01 AM   #8
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 6:57 AM   #9
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I used this web site to fully research which camera & accessories I wanted, after having it recommended by a good friend. I settled on the FZ3 & chose to online order from the best price store for this camera that I saw on Steve's 'best deals' finder. I ordered from Butterfly Photo ($309 + shipping) just before Christmas & had the camera in-hand in two or three days. Their emailed order confirmation was prompt & Fed Ex tracking numers worked as expected. Camera arrived in great condition & all is well. I did call their 800 number & had to deal with the usual (brief but polite) sales pitches about add-on accessories, warrenties, etc. But I have found that when dealing with the competitive market for electronics, optics, etc. within the New York city (and often best price) environment, you just learn to say "no thank you" to all their offers, hold your nose & work thru the deal. Best of luck with the process - I am having a blast with my FZ3 & I hope you will soon!

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Old Jan 8, 2005, 8:07 AM   #10
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This is a good store $329.00 shipped.

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