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Old Nov 28, 2005, 5:34 PM   #1
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Most of the photo mags have ads with really low prices on cameras. What's the catch? high delivery costs? ad ons?
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 6:17 PM   #2
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Depends on the advertiser and to which photomagazines you are referring.

If you want to verify "reasonable" prices (assuming you are in the USA), check such highly reputable and mainline storefront companies as B&H Photo and Adorama at their on line sites ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ and http://www.adorama.com/ ) among others, as well as a few exclusively online ones such as http://buydig.com/shop/home.aspx. That will tell you if the prices you see in the print ads are reasonable or not.

If, after checking B&H etc., a print or internet price is too good to be true, then it probably is and you should avoid it. IMHO!
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 6:25 PM   #3
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Usually they leave you a phone message to call them due to a "problem" with your order.

Then any number of following scenarios result:

- they try to sell you overpriced add-ons to make up for the initial low priced offering

- they tell you your item is "grey market" without manuals or a warrantee unless you pay a higher price.

- they will change your shipping to a faster method, without your permission, and charge you through the roof.

- they will lay it on very heavy if you don't comply. I'm sure the salesperson's bonus is based on "upgrading" you to a more profitable outlay.

- forget returning anything. they will tell you it can't be returned, or you will pay a "restocking fee", or their overpriced unrefundable shipping will make sure they take your money off you.

Most of the cheap prices you see are at or below cost for the retailer. Only by using strongarm tactics and selling additional items at ripoff prices will the retailer regain the margin they need to stay in business.

If you can put up with all the above, and still feel good about your purchase, then go for it.

Personally I stay away from the ripoff merchants and go with reputable companies like B&H photo video.

-- Terry
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 6:41 PM   #4
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Thanks. Iuse the "if it's too good to be true it probably isn't" approach so I haven't tried them, but I was curious as to how they work it. They would need to make up the additional funds somewhere.

It's unfortunate that we need to watch such things. There are probably some real good companies that get lost in the mess.
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 7:45 PM   #5
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I think if you stay with B&H photo you will get a competitive price with a solid company behind you.

Personally I buy most of my photo gear there.

Many people in these forums swear by B&H, and have been doing so for decades.

- Terry
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 12:21 AM   #6
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Another nice scam is to sell you items that should have been included (like the battery.)

Another vote for B&H. Great place to deal with, both before and after the sale.

Eric
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 8:45 AM   #7
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Terry, whatever happened to Executive Photo in NYC? Throughout the late 60s and 70s I purchased all my gear and darkroom supplies from them, in person or by mail when I lived in remote bush Alaska... I remember having to walk up a narrow flight of stairs and get buzzed in through a several inch thick, wire reinforced door. Always good, knowledgable, and honest people to purchase from. (And I also remember Olden Camera having a vault door for their second story entrance). Now I use B&H or Adorama the most.
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