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Old Sep 30, 2005, 4:19 PM   #1
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I'm considering purchasing a camera from buydig.com or beachcamera.com. Can anyone comment/advise? Thanks.
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 4:24 PM   #2
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I have found the ratings at http://www.bizrate.com/ratings_guide/guide.htmlto be useful and informative. If you consult something like, say epinions.com, be sure to rearrange the reviews by date, because they default to some odd rating that tends to bring years-old ratings to the top.

As to the stores in particular that you mention, I have purchased a camera from beach camera and was satisfied -- but that was about 18 months ago, so using my own advice, you'll ignore me!


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Old Sep 30, 2005, 4:49 PM   #3
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You might try looking up the seller on resellers.com to get another rating of the seller.
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 4:58 PM   #4
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These guys are the same company (buydig and beach). They are legit, and they're not scam artists like some vendors you see with low prices (on the cameras, anyway). ;-)

But, don't expect the same level of customer service that you'll get from a company like B&H.

Ditto for restocking fees and policies. Always look at that kind of thing when buying (if you're not sure you're going to likesomething you buy).

Also, make sure you compare the prices on accessories (memory cards, batteries, etc.). The vendors selling the camera for less have to make a profit somewhere (and the package deals and extras are usually the way, with "no name" memory cards, tripods, etc.).

Shop around if you want quality acceessories at a good price (name brand memory cards from Lexar, Sandisk, etc.; versus the so called "high speed" cards withbrand names you've never heard of).

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Old Sep 30, 2005, 5:33 PM   #5
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I just noticed the part of your post description mentioning refund and return policy.

These guys have a "Policies" section of their web site, and most (but not all) "discount" vendors will have a restocking fee (and a limited amount of time to return a product for a refund).

Some products may have special restrictions (no returns allowed). So, check these things carefully.

Memory Cards or shrink wrapped items usually can't be returned if opened. Also, vendors that allow returns usually require the item to be in like new conditon, with software, etc., unopened (you don't need it anyway to see if a camera is working properly), and the original box, packaging and manuals intact.

Check each vendors web site for any special restrictions, time limitations and restocking fees.

TryB&H if you want fair prices and a better than average return policy (I think it's7 days on digital before a restocking fee, but most vendors have a restocking fee regardless of how many days). Many other photo products like lenses are 14 days. Again, check for restrictions on shrink wrapped products like memory cards, etc.

B&H is a very reputable vendor,is highly recommended. Also, unlike most of the internet vendors (which drop ship from distributors), B&H actually stocks what they sell.

Another vendor with a 7 day return policy before a restocking fee on Digital is 17th Street Photo.

You'll see that similar restrictions apply.

I'd suggest trying out any camerayou consider in a store first. That way, you'll have a better chance of it meeting your needs, so that you won't need toreturn it. ;-)

Ditto for reading the reviews here (especially the review conclusion sections), so you'll have a better understanding of a camera's strengths and weaknesses.





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Old Sep 30, 2005, 5:57 PM   #6
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Once again, Jim is making a lot of good points. I recently bought my FZ20 from 17th Street Photo, and was delighted with them. I ordered it mid-afternoon on a Friday, and without expedited shipping it was waiting for me when I got home from work on Monday. I ordered one of their deeply-discounted accessory packs (about a third of the price of the bottom-feeder stores, that really do gouge you on these things.) The camera was about 10% more than the cheapest place I could have ordered it from, but the accessories discount more than made up for that. There was no irritating sales call to get me to up-order. They were as professional and efficient as possible.

I also ordered some filters for my camera from Adorama, and found that a good experience. Adorama seems to have just about the largest inventory in the western world, and their web site is very easy to navigate to get what you want (in these two regards, they outshine 17th street to my mind).They sent me an e-mail after I ordered, asking me to contact them about my order. I think this may have been an attempt at an up-sale, but the order arrived before I could get in touch with them, so I'm not sure.

Anyway, I would be very willing to do business with either of these companies again. FWIW.


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Old Sep 30, 2005, 7:00 PM   #7
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It's only a "random sample of one", but I've had great service and price from Buydig on all four occassions I've dealt with them. I've bought a couple of point and shoot cameras and a lens or two. Never tried to return anything and was pleasantly surprised in each case with their quick delivery.
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Old Oct 3, 2005, 7:29 PM   #8
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Thanks, everybody, for the tips and links. Very helpful!
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Old Oct 4, 2005, 4:46 PM   #9
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Also, if you in the NYC area, you can go to the brick and mortor B&H location. Its on 34th and 8th ave. The place is always packed and they have quite the operation. The order is taken anywhere in the store, they give you a ticket, you camera or stuff zips overhead from the warehouse on these skilift type things to the front whre you pay and exit.

One thing of note, that Ive gotten caught on is the business is owned by orthadox jews. So when on one occasion I thought I had the perfect day off from school to go get a new camera, it was a jewish holiday and they were closed. Like today when I went to get my new Canon S2. Happy new year...............
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Old Oct 7, 2005, 1:48 PM   #10
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VAtechtigger wrote:
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Also, if you in the NYC area, you can go to the brick and mortor B&H location. Its on 34th and 8th ave. The place is always packed and they have quite the operation. The order is taken anywhere in the store, they give you a ticket, you camera or stuff zips overhead from the warehouse on these skilift type things to the front whre you pay and exit.
Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated. FWIW there's a link to our October calendar from our home page.

And, in answer to the first poster's question, my advise is http://www.resellerratings.com/ is the #1 site to measure how satisfied other customers were with any particular retailer.
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