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Old Dec 25, 2003, 9:34 AM   #1
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Default Where to buy a new DLSR camera?

A friend of mine wanted to buy a Nikon D100. I suggested B&H and Samy's, as two reputable places to get one. I also suggested Pitman Photo, in Miami, as that's reasonably close to him.

He went looking on ebay, and found the camera with two Sigman lenses and several accessories for what he felt was a great price. I don't know what he paid, but of the lenses he got, one sells for $90 on the 'net, and the other for $140.

Here's the question. If a reputable dealer (say, B&H) sells the camera for a bit over $1400, and if a local dealer had a special for about $100 less, how can these on-line places be selling them for hundreds of dollars less? Many of their "deals" sound too good to be true. Some of them say their camera does come with a US warranty, so that's not the reason.



Has anyone here ever bought one of these "deals" from ebay, and did it all work out as expected? Were there any "hidden" charges? When everything was done, did you really save that much over what you would have paid at a regular camera store?
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 9:35 AM   #2
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Durn, I should proof-read my stuff better... that was "Sigma" lenses, not "Sigman". :-(
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 9:50 AM   #3
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I hope your friend actually got (or gets) his camera - most of those good deals on dSLRs on eBay are pure and simple ripoffs.

If anybody is selling any of the current model dSLRs for more than $50 less than the majority of the known dealers then it is a scam or ripoff or at the very least, non-warranty grey market items.

If it looks too good to be true - it is !

-Steve
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 11:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Where to buy a new DLSR camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemyers
Here's the question. If a reputable dealer (say, B&H) sells the camera for a bit over $1400, and if a local dealer had a special for about $100 less, how can these on-line places be selling them for hundreds of dollars less? Many of their "deals" sound too good to be true. Some of them say their camera does come with a US warranty, so that's not the reason.



Has anyone here ever bought one of these "deals" from ebay, and did it all work out as expected? Were there any "hidden" charges? When everything was done, did you really save that much over what you would have paid at a regular camera store?
Contrary to what Steve says, there are deals better than the B&H Adorama prices available on E-Bay and some of them are legitimate. The hard thing is that a particular dealer may be legit one minute and do something shady in the next minute. One thing that you will find if you look just a bit deeper is that many of these "dealers" on E-Bay share the same address and phone number of well known rip off artists. As a result, you take your life in your hands by dealing with them. For reasons that are hard to explain, even knowing that, I have tested those waters and, so far, have not had any problems -- even when dealing with people who are obviously the alter egos of very bad apples. My (limited) experience tends to indicate that the bad apples use a different name on E-Bay and try to keep their skirts clean since there is a lot of feedback on E-Bay and it is harder to skew the feedback on E-Bay (though it can be done -- check to see if the feedback you are offered deals with items of comparable value and discard any that are not: a seller can create quite a reputation by selling single filters to a number of friends and employees and then playing on the reputation thus gained to sell $1000 items to others).

In the long run, if I get taken, I can afford it. Most can't. Unless you are comfortable being taken for $1000 (if you can conceive of such a concept), I would not recommend that you go this route.

OK, what have I actually bought this way? I have bought several high end lenses with USA warranties for about 75-80% of the B&H price, and I recently bought a Lowepro Dryzone 100 backpack for about $135 (B&H is over $200). All of these transactions have gone through as advertised without any hassle (and that includes one purchase that I later learned is a sister company to Royal -- a company I would never knowingly deal with). In the long run, though, I am probably being very short sited dealing this way.

Regards,
<TED>
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 7:03 AM   #5
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The "best" price isn't always the best deal. The service that goes along with the sale has a value that you must think about, as well. Trying to shave a few dollars here or there just MIGHT end up costing you far more. Like Steve said "If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is". EBay can be a good source for finding things. I have made EBay purchases, myself. But, buyer beware is the best advice I can offer.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 8:41 AM   #6
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Hello,

Yeah alot of eBay dealers will say it comes with a US Warranty. Infact it really does but its NOT from the manufacture. Its probably a MACK warranty which they will pretty much warranty anything for pretty cheap. And I couldnt ever get ahold of them when I have had issues. So pretty much its still "No warranty". Cause there would be no way I would just send my camera to them and pray it comes back.

I purchased my camera from BestBuy. I purchased a 4 year warranty through them which if there is anything wrong with the camera. They DO NOT try to fix it. They simply just give you a new one. I'd rather have that then constantly waiting things out and hope to see my camera back at my door someday. Ive heard way too many storys of "Its been mouths!" or they never even fix the problem and you have to mail it back to them.

Yeah you pay the non-online price at retail stores, but atleast I have a place to take it back to and speak to someone that is human and get news right away.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 9:05 AM   #7
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There are good deals buying from ebay or an online dealer and many times you can save a substantial amount of money, however, (always seems to be an however) dealing with a knowedgeable and reputable local camera dealer can have it's own benefits especially if you have questions or have to take the item back. In my situation I just bought the new Sony f828 at a local dealer, I was able to "play" with the demo and make a decision on if I thought this particular camera would be a good fit for me. Also this store had a liberal return policy. (up to 2 weeks after Christmas) in case I didn't like it. You generally won't get that kind of service online. On this being such a new model there was no price advantage online, (If you could even get one online) another plus the salesperson is a member of the camera club I belong to and gave me a great deal on some accessories including a Canon i9000 wide format printer for $250.00 :lol:
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 10:01 AM   #8
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I would not invest any money any a DSLR camera and lens until I could shoot with the camera. I might then order it from the internet via some reputable sellers. I check out companies through resellersrating, bizrate and shopping.com. I have used www.newegg.com, www.buydig.com and would use them again.
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