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Old Jan 18, 2005, 9:22 PM   #1
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I am planning on purchasing a nikon coolpix 4200 and found it for about $100.00 cheaper online compared to local stores. A sales person at a local store told me that cameras are that much cheaper because they are usually not the U.S. model but are actuallya foriegn (european, etc.) modeland the quality is not the same. What i am wondering is if this is true and if I am better off buying from a local store.

nikon 4200at Local store- $350.00

nikon 4200 on internet store- $260.00


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Old Jan 18, 2005, 10:00 PM   #2
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I think you mean Nikon versus Nokia. ;-)

LOL -- well, there is some truth to what he's telling you. Some of the scam artist type vendors may try to sell you a grey market camera. So, you have to be careful.

Nikon U.S. will not service a grey market camera (one not intended for sale in the country you are in), even if you are willing to pay them for the service.BTW, I wouldn't trust any of the 3rd party warranties to be able to fix your camera.

It's very competitive now, so if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

There are a lot of scam artists aroundwith very nice looking web sites (and most are located in Brooklyn --operating under multiple business names).

Most of these dealers won't sell you a camera for the advertised price, unless you agree to buy lots of addons at inflated prices (memory cards, extended warranties, batteries, etc.), and some of the Brooklyn based scam artist will try to sell you a grey market camera. For some reson, they can get away with it there.

These typesof dealerstypically call you to "confirm" your order, and then the sales pitch begins. If you refuse to buy the overpriced addons, then they'll probably refuse to ship it to you (or it will suddenly become backordered -- even though the web site says it's in stock).

Sometimes, they'llship you a partial order with high unauthorized shipping and insurance tacked on, and when you try to return it and dispute it with your credit card company, they'll try to keep the shipping and insurance, as well as a restocking fee, since the restocking fees are displayed in the policies on their web site.

I'd make sure to ask about any dealer you are considering here first.

Always check out a vendor's reputation using http://www.resellerratings.com (avoiding vendors with a small number of reviews, since some have been known to pad their own ratings).

Now, having given you my scam artist speech, you can buy the Nikon 4200 for under $300.00 from a reputable dealer that will sell you a U.S. Model camera with a warranty, that also qualifies for any rebates Nikon currently offers.

There can be a big difference between customer service, return policies, etc. For example, you'll see a very good price from buydig.com in our price search engine. They are not one of the scam artists. But, their customer service isn't the best around, and they have a restocking fee on returns. They are also high on accessories prices (selling bundles with no name memory cards, etc. to make more money).

For a little more money, you could go with someone like B&H Photo and Video (http://www.bhphotovideo.com ). They've got it for about $289.00 right now (you'll see a better price when you add it to your cart), and they are a very reputable "brick and mortar" dealer with a better return policy (you'll have a week to return a digital camera with no restocking fees). Make sure to read any fine print on these policies, though.

Here are some prices (but I would be very careful -- as some of these vendors are not what I would consider to be reputatable, and will try the "upsell" scams):

http://www50.shopping.com/xPC-Nikon_...~S-P~OR-0~PG-1


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Old Jan 19, 2005, 7:50 AM   #3
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I didn't read all of Jim's post (mostly because I've read and posted the same before.) I fully agree with Jim's scam description. They do all that and more! (Like separate out things that are technically included with the product.)

But a wanted to point out that I don't think the non-US model's of the major camera makers are not the same quality as the US model. I think they are basically exactly the same camera, off the same assembly line. They just get directed left or right at some point for labeling that says meters instead of feet. Or the language default for the menus isn't English.

Eric
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 8:34 AM   #4
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Dawson10 wrote:
Quote:
I am planning on purchasing a nikon coolpix 4200 and found it for about $100.00 cheaper online compared to local stores. A sales person at a local store told me that cameras are that much cheaper because they are usually not the U.S. model but are actuallya foriegn (european, etc.) modeland the quality is not the same. What i am wondering is if this is true and if I am better off buying from a local store.

nikon 4200at Local store- $350.00

nikon 4200 on internet store- $260.00
I would pay the extra and purchase from a local store.

They can give you advice tohelp you with the camera choice, they can let you handle and test several cameras in person. If anything goes wrong, or the camera isdefective when you get it home, they'll usually replace it for you right away. No extra shipping costs. These are all services you won't get from an internet store, or even a good mail-order house like B&H

Actually, I sometimesbuy accessories like camera bags or filters from mail-order. But any cameras and lenses come from my local "bricks and mortar" store....

...Santos
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 9:07 AM   #5
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I would just buy from profeel.com. They won't scam you, won't be rude to you, won't lie to you, and won't upsell you things, and they ship promptly what you order.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 11:20 AM   #6
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I can get camera"X" mail order, from a trusted source for ~$850, free shipping, no tax. Locally"X" is$999, with 10% tax. Thatany givenlocal will give better service is an assumption, not a fact, but maybe a good assumption.

Math

One purchase savings ~$250.

Fourpurchase savings=~$1000

Beyond four purchases, one can afford to entirely lose $1000 and still be ahead!

I'd like to buy locally, but the money is good in my pocket, too.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 11:33 AM   #7
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It's a difficult choice. At the same time you are adding more money to your pocket you are driving equivalent businesses out of your area. That can means fewer jobs, less tax revenue to the town and maybe state and then fewer services or higher taxes to pay for them.

And in some states there is a usage tax that basically means that you are supposed to pay the equivalent to a sales tax even if you didn't purchase it in the state. I know that Mass has it, and I bet others do. Do many people pay it (or even know of it)? Probably not, but ignorance is not an excuse when you're dealing with the law.

Now, what do I do? I research the item heavily. If the price is similar (or if the fear of return is high) I purchase it locally. I can get lenses locally at about $100 more than going to B&H. $100 is worth the ability to return it easily if it's defective... I consider it like paying insurance. But I'm lucky enoung to be able to afford it.

In your example, if it were $250... that would be harder. I'd probably point out B&H's price and see if I can't get them to knock it down. If they didn't.... I'm not sure what I'd do.

Eric
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 5:51 PM   #8
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I hear you Eric. It kinda sad, really, but as you said, $250 is lots of mula. Our state is facing a revenue shortage (but willing to give big business millions through various methods). Perhaps if it wasn't for the high sales taxes, purchasing locally would be more attractive! But, I guess I'd spend the balance locally, on beer,anyway.

Note: I just saw camera "X" for $899 at Target's website. With them, before I can babble a lame excuse for returning the item, they have the credit already printed out. Sometimes they give 15% for registering for a new credit card.

899 x .85 x 1.1=840.57!




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Old Jan 21, 2005, 8:57 AM   #9
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thanks for all the info, I bit the bullet and bought it locally. It was a bit more expensive but I do feel more comfortable in terms of service and returns.
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 11:50 AM   #10
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...it really depends.

I bought my A1 from a local 'professional level' camera store, not a big-box electronics or computer store. I spent the better part of the morning talking with highly knowledgeable staff, handling the camera, taking indoor and outdoor shots, printing the results right there in their store (using their ink and paper). They installed the latest firmware update for me (taking the responsibility for ensuring it was done correctly).

They negotiated a price that was ~2% higher than B&H mail order price including delivery charge. And they have a 30 day return no-questions/ no restocking fee policy.

I had no problem taking their offer.

Bottom line: shop for best _value_ not necessarily best price.
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