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Old May 8, 2008, 1:07 PM   #1
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I was in the process of buying a canon L 70-200 f2.8 and found one for $1200 online from sonic cameras. They called me and told me that there are two versions, one with a plastic mount and one with a metal mount. The one with the metal mount is several hundred more. Is this true? Which should I buy.

Why would Canon do this?
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Old May 8, 2008, 1:22 PM   #2
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If a price look too good to be true and/or a vendor starts trying to upsell you (i.e., typical bait and switch tactics), a few red flags should be waving somewhere. ;-)

Here are some customer reviews for that vendor:

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Sonic_Cameras

When you see prices that are much lower than you find at http://www.buydig.com or http://www.bhphotovideo.com on Canon gear (both large volume, reputable vendors), there is usually going to be a catch. ;-)

The scammers (mostly located in Brooklyn where they seem to be able to get away with it) will call you to confirm the order. Then, you'll also find out that they'll want to sell you high priced batteries, extended warranties, stuff that normally comes with the product you want anyway, and they'll usually have inflated shipping and insurance charges (sometimes unauthorized). Anything to increase their profit (since they can't sell the product you want at the advertised prices without losing money).

Claiming you need a different version of a product or that the included items are inferior in some way is another bait and switch tactic.

If you don't buy the higher price item, or buy enough of the outrageously priced extras, your order will often go to backorder status dealing with one of the Brooklyn area based scammers (of course, the web sites still show them in stock and your credit card has been charged). They'll often sell gray market gear, too (not intended for sale in the country you live in with a store versus manufacturers warranty using misleading warranty descriptions).

This has been going on for years. It's a racket.

Do yourself a favor and stick with a reputable dealer.

Make sure to check out any vendor you consider using http://www.resellerratings.com
(they're a bit better about filtering out fake vendor reviews compared to most)

If they are not listed, avoid them (most of these guys tend to start up new web sites often under a variety of names). If they have a small number of customer reviews there, avoid them (they tend to try and get away with padding their own ratings with glowing reviews). Some even seem to have their own ratings sites now (with all of the stores listed being same old scammers, with the reviews unbelievably good).

Suggested Reading:

How to buy a Digital Camera without being robbed

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Old May 8, 2008, 2:12 PM   #3
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I am so disgusted in this online store. I called to cancel my order one hour later and they said it already shipped. Now I am trying to cancel the charges with my CC company.

What a nightmare. I woke up excited to order my new lens this morning and this happens. They also told me that I will have to pay re-stocking fees if I return it. Is this the Mobb?
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Old May 8, 2008, 2:34 PM   #4
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Let's put it this way....

I've been seeing complaints about the dealers in this area for years (including some that have been around for a long time), and i've read many customer reviews pointing out that they'd sent complaints to the Attorney General's office and other authorities in that area (and apparently, a blind eye is being turned to this type of thing there from outward appearances).

Yet, these stores are still getting away with it. Something is sure "fishy" about the way law enforcement is dealing (or rather, not dealing) with vendors in this area, as they seem to be able to get away with it there.

No offense to NY residents, but Brooklyn is sometimes nicknamed "Crooklyn" when you are discussing online equipment vendors located that area in photography forums.

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