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Saltine713 May 4, 2011 6:53 PM

New Section: Info on Sellers
I think it would be helpful to have a new section where members can post their experiences they have had about a certain dealer, either on the web or in person.

Like "business A" is great to deal with!

Although, it would be used mostly for warnings on bad sellers.

JimC May 4, 2011 7:31 PM

That's a thought. But, it could be abused by posters pretending to be satisfied customers when they have a financial interest in the vendor; and there are already many sites dedicated to rating vendors that would have a lot more feedback listed for them.

You'll often see the same type of thing at sites like (ratings abused by poster's pretending to be satisfied customers), so it's best to look for a pattern of behavior (since often, only a small percentage of posts will be negative, even with some of the vendors that are really scammers and bait and switch type vendors.

If you look at the price search engines, you'll usually find a lot of customer feedback. But, take any of it with a "grain of salt" (again, look for patterns, as some vendors have been known to "pad" their ratings with glowing reviews).

When using the price search engines here at Steve's (click on the Compare Prices menu choice at the top of the forums pages here), I'd look for "Trusted Sellers" (and again, read customer feedback and pay attention to any negative feedback you see). Here's an example of a search for a Nikon D7000.

Bottom line... if a price is much lower than a better known and reputable vendor on the same product (especially on popular cameras), there is probably a good reason. As the old saying goes, if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

There are far more "bad" sellers out there compared to good sellers, and more startup with new names on a *very* frequent basis (usually the same old scammers, using new names and web sites). Most are located in the Brooklyn area, where they seem to be able to get away with it.

I'd suggest sticking to reputable vendors like these:

or (provided you're dealing directly with, versus one of the vendors listing gear there).

When you see prices that are much lower than you find at the above vendors, there is usually going to be a catch. ;-)

The scammers will usually call you to confirm the order (or send you an e-mail asking you to call them).. Then, you'll also find out that they'll want to sell you high priced batteries, extended warranties, stuff that normally comes with the camera anyway, want to include inflated shipping and insurance charges (sometimes unauthorized). Anything to increase their profit (since they can't sell the camera alone at the advertised prices without losing money).

If you don't buy enough of the outrageously priced extras, your camera will suddenly go to backorder status (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).

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

Make sure to check out any vendor you consider using
(they're a bit better about filtering out fake vendor reviews compared to most, but still look for patterns that may indicate a scammer).

If they are not listed, avoid them (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). The scammers even 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

hkmp50 May 9, 2011 8:42 PM

Well said Jim!!!!

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