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Old Jul 8, 2004, 5:08 PM   #1
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I apologize if this is has already been a discussion point in the past. This stems from a debate I was having with a friend recently.I was curious if there was truly any difference in the quality of the product depending on where you buy it. For example, if you were tobuy a Kodak, Canon, Olympus, Sony, etc, at B&H, would it be the same product as you would get at Best Buy, Target, Digicam.com, Amazon.com, etc.

I'm just seeing a wide range of prices out there for any one camera, and I was curious what everyone thought about it. I know that dependable, competent customer service is of great importance when buying any product. Thanks!!
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 5:30 PM   #2
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If they come with a US warranty they are the same regardless of where you buy it. Gray market cameras can come with different firmware, but otherwise they are usually the same too.

An exception might be an open box, return or refurb without everything in the box, but they are required to tell you if they aren't new and complete.
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Old Jul 8, 2004, 8:35 PM   #3
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kevdog wrote:
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I'm just seeing a wide range of prices out there for any one camera, and I was curious what everyone thought about it. I know that dependable, competent customer service is of great importance when buying any product. Thanks!!
Most internet vendors don't really stock product. Instead, your order is sent electronically to a big distributor, like Igram Micro or Techdata.

Then, the order is drop shipped to you, using a customized shipping label (that includes your vendor's information).

Because many of these vendors are not "brick and mortar" dealers, their operating cost is lower.

However, most of the time, the difference you see on the price search engines is unrealistic. Chances are, you'll never get the camera, when you buy it from many dealers (at the price shown).

Make sure you're buying from a reputable vendor, and use BOTH http://www.resellerratings.com and http://www.bizrate.com and check out customer feedback (lots of 'em are scam artists, and try to get you to buy overpriced add-ons, extended warranties, batteries, memory, etc. at inflated prices). Watch out for inflated shipping charges, too.

Some of the Brooklyn based online vendors are notorious for this, adding on 6% shipping, etc. They'll usually call you back (or send an e-mail) requesting you "confirm" your order. Then, the "hard sales pitch" starts - claiming the included battery doesn't last very long, etc.

Then, if you don't want to take advantage of the overpriced add-on's, they may simply place you on backorder status (until you finally get tired of checking on it, and cancel the order). Of course, any number of other scenarios can also occur.

BTW, I'd avoid brand new dealers without feedback (or with only a little feedback), too. Some of the scam artists around, simply startup another web site, under a different company name, once their reputation gets so bad that it impacts sales too much.

Now, having said all of the above, you can still find better prices online. In addition to the above, also check out return policies. Some vendors are better than others (which is one reason why they can offer a better price).

BTW, B&H(you mentioned them in your query), at http://www.bhphotovideo.com is considered to be a very reputable dealer.






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Old Jul 10, 2004, 2:54 AM   #4
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kevdog wrote:
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For example, if you were to¬*buy a Kodak, Canon, Olympus, Sony, etc, at B&H, would it be the same product as you would get at Best Buy, Target, Digicam.com, Amazon.com, etc.
You might not get the same package...one might offer 128megs of memory while another only 32.
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