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Old Aug 5, 2007, 10:38 PM   #1
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Hi

I want to get a Canon S5 IS, and quite a few of the online stores have them for about $300.00 (give or take $20-$30). The problem is that every time I call one of these online sites to place an order for one of these $300 cameras they ask if I want the imported version or the US version. When I ask them what the difference is they say that the imported ver. is the $300 price and it is made of a different type of material then the US ver. which is around $450-$500. The Imported ver. also comes with the online stores warranty instead of Canon's warranty, which the US ver. has.

So I am here scratching my head trying to figure out whether to get the Import ver. or the US ver.? I know the old saying, "You get what you pay for", and that is what I am afraid of if I go with the imported ver.
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 10:53 PM   #2
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I usually avoid the gray market cameras. Stores that would do a bait and switch using gray market cameras probably don't have a store warranty worth the paper it is printed on. They will probably rape you on shipping.

I find stores with over a thousand reviews and four and a half or five stars to be very reliable: http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/digi...3051/search=s5 By the time you pay shipping on the gray market cameras you might find the extra price to be worth it if you have a problem. For $400 and free shipping you can get a US model with a full warranty. The lowest price is a weekend special BTW.

I've seldom needed service on a new camera. You can gamble that everything will be OK and you don't need support or service. If the $300 has free or inexpensive shipping it might not be absolutely dumb to consider being self-insured. It is a gamble a lot of people would avoid though.

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Old Aug 5, 2007, 10:55 PM   #3
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Different type of material, huh? I like that one. :-)

You are probably dealing with scam artists. 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), absurdly priced memory cards, etc.

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).

These are scammers (with most of them located in Brooklyn where they seem to be able away with it). 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 reviews compared to most)

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). 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

Again, make *sure* to check any vendor you consider using http://www.resellerratings.com

Ask about a specific vendor here if you're not sure about them.

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Old Aug 5, 2007, 11:15 PM   #4
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This is about the best you're going to do on one from a reputable dealer from what I can see of prices on it right this minute:

Canon S5 IS at beachcamera.com for $419 with free shipping

If a price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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Old Aug 5, 2007, 11:42 PM   #5
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Hi



Thank you very much for that info and those links you posted. It never even accrued to me that they were doing the old bait and switch game. I think I will stick to pricegrabbers.com from now on.
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 11:54 PM   #6
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You can't trust the vendors you see listed on any of the price search engines (a listing in one of them does not necessarily mean they are reputable). If a vendor wants to pay to be listed, they don't seem care if they are scammers or not. ;-)

I prefer resellerratings.com for checking customer reviews, as they do have a pretty good reputation for noticing fradulent reviews compared to most other similar review sites.

Be careful. Sometimes the prices don't look too far out of line with some of these guys either (but, they'll still do the same type of scam, calling you to verify an order and try to sell you absurdly priced extras, tacking on high shipping and insurance charges, etc.).

Ask about any vendor here if you're not sure about them (most of the scammers around are well known). lol

Usually, beachcamera.com (a.k.a., buydig.com) has about the lowest prices around on most camera bodies from a reputable dealer.

But, sometimes you can find a good deal at one of the larger brick and mortar stores, too (and I'd always check what http://www.bhphotovideo.com has a camera you want for as sometimes they'll have a pretty decent price). They also have a better than average return policy and much more. If a price from B&H is close, I'd probably go with them. In the case of the S5 IS, it looks like beachcamera.com has 'em beat. newegg.com also has a good price on it right now.

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Old Aug 6, 2007, 12:12 AM   #7
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P.S. -- some reputable dealers do sell gear that was not intended for sale in the U.S. But, they clearly mark the listing as being "Import". But, you have to be careful about warranties. For example, Nikon USA will refuse to service a gray market camera, even if you are willing to pay them for the service. You'll see very little price difference with Canon gear anyway.

The low prices you are looking at would have catches. lol That's just the way they pull people in, using the low prices to lure them in for the kill (getting their customers to add on the other high priced extras to insure they make a profit). No extras (batteries, memory cards, extended warranties, etc.), no cameras (they ran out). ;-) They are not going to sell one at a loss (and those prices are way too low).

It's a racket (and they're good at it). You don't "beat the house" with these guys.

You'll just end up spending more than you would if you bought a U.S. warrantied model from a reputable dealer by the time it's said and done with, with a lot more hassle if anything goes wrong or you get shipped defective merchandise. Of course, they have high priced restocking fees, too (typically 25% if you try to return anything, and these are usually in the policies section on their web site).

That way, even if you dispute the charges on the card, they can argue that the [outrageously] priced shipping and insurance charges and restocking fees should not be refunded.

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