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Old Nov 25, 2003, 5:22 PM   #1
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Default Where to buy

You'll remember I was going to maybe get to purchase a 'used' camera (G2) from a friend. Well, her hubbie doesn't want to sell. (Stingy, huh?) So now I have to buy my own. I think I'll get a G3, since I really am not up to researching this decision anymore.

Now I'm wondering, if I go to one of the price check sites to purchase online, are they all pretty good as long as they have a lot of little stars filled in? I mean, is one as good as the next?

They are considerably less than going into a store and buying.

Are there any vendors I should esp avoid?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 5:34 PM   #2
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Gwen:

There are LOTS of scam artists with very nice looking web sites, including plenty of neat logos and endorsements.

Use the price search engines to find the best deals. Often you can find a model at significantly lower prices from an online vendor.

However, make sure to check out the vendors reputation, using both http://www.resellerratings.com and http://www.bizrate.com

Don't go with a new vendor, either. You want one with LOTS of good feedback. Dealers have been known to "pad" their own ratings.

There are MANY scam artists now. These guys usually advertise a camera model at prices below anyone else. When you place your order online, they'll usually call you back, claiming that the credit card didn't process correctly, etc., or pretending to be helpful, noticing that you may need a spare battery or memory card.

Then, they'll try to sell you add-ons (spare batteries, memory cards, extended warranties, cases, etc.) at drastically inflated prices. Watch out for inflated shipping charges, too.

When you refuse the add-ons with some of these scammers, suddenly, your order goes to backorder status (they never ship the camera at the lower price), or they may try to ship you a camera without a U.S. Warranty, or with components like batteries and chargers missing from the package.

Unfortunately, these practices are becoming all too common.

So, ALWAYS use both http://www.resellerratings.com AND http://www.bizrate.com when selecting a vendor -- finding one that's been around for a while, with LOTS of good customer feedback.

Also, check each vendors return policies carefully. Some have very high restocking fees (15 or 20%). Some won't even allow returns. Most have some restrictions (shrink wrapped software can't be opened, etc.).
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 5:44 PM   #3
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Jim has provided two excellent sites for investigaging store reputations. I like to also use www.shopping.com to check prices and vendor ratings.
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 7:16 PM   #4
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I'll check all these out later tonight, when I hope to order it.

I'm also wondering about buying an extended warranty. What do most of you recommend? Do the cameras tend to have a lot of problems, need yearly 'cleaning' or anything like that? I know extended warranties can add alot to the cost of a camera.
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 7:47 PM   #5
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I tend to look up the prices in a price search engine and use their seller ratings as a rough guide before going to the specialized reseller ratings sites. I not only look for good ratings but a large number. Any of them can be padded so it is a good idea to cross check before you give your credit card number. This one usually finds the lowest prices for me: http://www1.dealtime.com/xPC-Canon_P...ot_G3~S-6~PG-1

I think extended warranties are not the greatest idea for digital cameras. By the time the manufacturer’s warranty is expired the camera is worth a lot less than you paid for it, so you are paying for the extended warranty based on the new value but have a warranty on an old camera. And any defects are likely to show up in the first year. Consumer Reports has always recommended against extended warranties on anything.

I did get a Radio Shack extended warranty on two pricey cellphones I bought a few years ago. The warranty was $60 and you get a new battery every year including the end of the last. I already have three batteries from them for each phone with two more to go. I think that is the only extended warranty I have ever bought though. I could probably buy a new camera and have it go out just after the warranty ran out and still be far ahead from all the times I turned extended warranties down.

The ones that the camera stores sell aren’t the greatest anyway. I’ve read lots of complaints about them. You usually have to box the camera and ship it off someplace, where the manufacturer’s warranties often have shops in most metro areas that are certified to do warranty service. Both of my cameras have local repairs available. The extended warranty providers aren’t necessarily certified for your camera and generally take a long time – often with more than one trip.
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Old Nov 25, 2003, 7:59 PM   #6
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Or try pricegrabber. com (G3 prices):

http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_g...edb6e5af86d29f

And then there is PriceWatch, too.

I think it is VERY important to read the reviews written in regards to internet retailers. There are some VERY seedy sellers out there. You want to make sure the camera has a U.S. warranty.

I purchase online frequently and read retailer ratings on both pricegrabbers and resellerratings.

Good luck and...have fun!

~Kate
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 12:34 AM   #7
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I'm seeing the lowest prices from the 'biggest' names being B&H Photo and also Beach. Both have lots of good reviews and I've read pretty good things about them on this forum and Phil's.

I'm seeing the G3 at $511 or $513 and the G2 about a hundred dollars less. The lens in the way of the viewfinder on the G3 kinda bugs me. They're both 4 mp. Is the G3 worth the extra hundred? It has a better zoom. Hmmmmm.

I really want to get this ordered tonight.

One last thing I want to do is do a quickie search for a much less expensive camera that would tide me over the learning curve and then pay more for a better camera in a couple years. But I must have that hot shoe which eliminates so many cameras for me. Also must have aperature priorty, shutter priority, and fully manual. So I think the G2 or G3 is my best bet. Just to decide which one.

Gwen
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 9:38 AM   #8
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Okayk, I've decided on the G3 from B&H. I liked their website better. <g> I couldn't find a list of what came with the camera on the Beach site. It's probably there, but it shouldn't be so hard to find.

Now, while I'm ordering, should I get another compact flash? The one that comes with the camera is a Sandisk. I'm wondering if I should stick with that brand for maximum benefit. Do different brands work with different degrees of efficiiency depending on the camera?

The other thing I'm wondering about is a reader. They're relatively inexpensive. Using the camera hooked up to the computer is simple but I'm wondering if getting a reader wouuld maybe save the camera wear and tear in the long run.

(I will buy a bag at a local store because I want to see how the camera fits in the bag and I'll be saving up for an external flash and a polarizing lens for the near future.) A cigarette lighter battery charger would be nice but the batteries on this camera are so great, I can always make do with recharging during the night.

So what do you guys think about the cards and the card reader?

Gwen
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 10:40 AM   #9
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Gwen

You will need a much larger CF card than comes with the camera. I would recommend at a minimum 256mb. 512mb would be better. I currently use Lexar, Sandisk and Viking. I am sure if I were willing to take the time I could find a time difference in the cards but I do not want to take the time. B&H lists a Lexar 256mb card for $50 and the a card reader for $19 both seem to be a fair price.
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Old Nov 26, 2003, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwen
I'm also wondering about buying an extended warranty. What do most of you recommend?
Extended warranties are 100% profit for the retailer, that's why they push them so hard. Besides have you ever read the fine print on those things? Those things favor the retailer and not the consumer.
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