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Old Oct 17, 2004, 9:29 PM   #1
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I've decided on the new Sony DSC-P150 and am looking for recommendations on the best place to buy online. Price is not the only factor, since I'm concerned also about delivery, customer service, what happens if something is defective, etc.

I'm just about to place an order with ZipZoomFly for the camera and a SanDisk Memory Stick Pro 512 MB. Free 2 day shipping and really good prices on both (not the absolute lowest, but close). Most of the comments on PriceGrabber are positive, but the negatives seem to come from people that had to return.

Anyone out there with good or bad Digicam buying experiences with ZipZoomFly? Or is there some other online (or physical) merchant you'd recommend instead? Is it worth a few more bucks to buy from a Staples or Best Buy store to be able to return it if needed? Or a Ritz Camera Store, same issue?

Your advice and experience is appreciated. I'm buying this week, so please let me know.


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Old Oct 17, 2004, 9:47 PM   #2
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I have not used them, but their reseller rating seems pretty good. I have only used buydig.com and I placed my order, recieved a tracking number and my free FedEx shipping arrived a couple days later. No calls, no contact, no pressure to buy accessories.
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Old Oct 18, 2004, 4:50 PM   #3
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The absolute best place to shop online is www.bhphoto.com

This isn't because they have the lowest, rock bottom prices. It's because they have very good prices and the best service and reputation. It is the largest seller of photo equipment in the US.

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Old Oct 18, 2004, 5:23 PM   #4
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B&H's price on the DSC-P150 is $499.95 plus $12.30 shipping (no sales tax) compared to ZipZoomFly at $439.95 with free shipping and 8.5% sales tax to California. Is B&H's service worth the extra $35 or am I better off putting that toward an extra battery or memory stick pro?

Note: $499 is the retail price on the camera, so I could get it at a physical store like a Ritz Camera or Best Buy with no shipping and a physical place to return it. Any thoughts?
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 4:30 AM   #5
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Go to pricegrabber.com and type in the camera model. It will give you a list of online merchants and their prices including shipping and tax. Once the camera comes up you enter your zip code and then click on the tab that says bottom line price. It will sort the findings from lowest to highest price and each store has ratings so that you can read all the other people's experiences with them. I bought my camera off of it last year I cant remember the name of the merchant but it was a great deal, they were a Canon authorized reseller so I got all the warranty stuff, there was no hassle with the transaction and my camera worked and still to this day works great.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 3:51 PM   #6
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mpsuperstore.com has it for 424.00 no tax shipping 14 total 439.00. I have had good success with buying online in general, I baught my Sony F707 online and saved a bunch. That camera at 7.2 MP seems pretty cool. My only concern is does it only take Memory sticks. Compaq Flash is dropping in price really fast. I am seeing 1 a 2 gig Sandisk Ultra 11 for cheap.

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Old Oct 19, 2004, 4:04 PM   #7
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I have purchased camera stuff from B&H and had good service.

I purchase all of my techie stuff from ZipZoomFly.com. Never had a problem, but have never purchased camera stuff from them.

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Old Oct 19, 2004, 8:25 PM   #8
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Chocochef wrote:
Note: $499 is the retail price on the camera, so I could get it at a physical store like a Ritz Camera or Best Buy with no shipping and a physical place to return it.* Any thoughts?
My personal piece of mind is satisfied by either buying from B&H (on-line) or from a local merchant.

I always buy from B&H for my on-line camera related purchases, and join with the others here in recommending them highly. However, if B&H can't beat the price of a local brick and mortar shop by at least the sales tax/shipping charge difference, I would buy from the local walk-in, cuz; (a) it helps the local economy, (b) it fulfills my desire for instant gratification, (c) allows me to return the item quickly for replacement if defective out-of-the-box. All of which have value to me for which I'm willing to pay extra over some on-line source than B&H.

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Old Oct 21, 2004, 6:41 AM   #9
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I think a couple of these posters work for BH. There are some very bad reports on that company on the web. Basically they are a store front. Look in PC world. I had a very bad experience. Search these news groups. The information that was given back to me was never to buy from the lowest price. Steve actually sent that. I looked at the people with the lowest price and then separately went to their web site and searched for the camera. It did not come up. I had to finally go to the 8th lowest price before the camera came up. I wrote a detailed report on the problem I had with Electric Sam back to Price Grabber and it was never published. There is no way to E-mail Price Grabber. I don't trust the reports on Price Grabber or any other Internet site reporter. I think that if you are purchasing a current model, most dealers should have it. Often people get a phone call from the vendor asking for you to purchase more. Some of the lowest prices only send the camera and them want you to purchase the battery and other accesories separately. Do some internet searching to see all the problems. In my opinion, purchase something you can actually find on the web site, don't believe the consumer reports on pricing sites. Also, don't purchase by the Internet. Phone the company. Get the name and extension of the salesperson. Write down the date and time you call. Write down what the salesperson says. Make them check their inventory to see if it is actually in stock. Don't let them tell you they can't get this information because it is at the wharehouse. They can call the wharehouse if the inventory is only on the wharehouse computer. Ask if this is a U.S. market camera and comes with all the accessories in the box and a U.S. warranty. Good luck.
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Old Oct 21, 2004, 8:56 AM   #10
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Here's my two cents: EVERY company is going to have dissatisfied customers. You will always be able to find a person that had a bad experience with a given company. Here's what I suggest - take the opinions from thisform, take those from a place like pricegrabber and resellerrating and use those two sites to find 3 companies with a reasonable price and a "good" reputation (according to what you've read). Now, here's the part that will provide you some success:

1. Each company should offer a TOLL FREE service number. If they don't then they're not going to be a reliable etailer.

2. The web site should CLEARLY state that the product is from the manufacturer, sealed and contains the FULL manufacturer warranty.

3. Any company you order from should allow for a return FOR ANY REASON with a full refund (probably minus the shipping).

4. As said before, you should be able to find the product by navigating the site - NOT JUST BY A LINK from a site like pricegrabber.

5. The company should have some sort of history - the web site should tell you how long they've been around. If a company shows up with a low price and there are only a couple reviews of them then stay away.

6. There are usually several price points you'll find any product at. You should see several retailers or etailers offering the product within 1%-3% of one another. If one place is selling at 20% below everyone else then be wary. The legitimate discounters will base prices on competition so there will almost always be 2-3 legitimate companies offering near the same price point.

OK, now that you have your 3 stores - call them to ensure the items are in stock.

I can honestly say I have been ordering electronic equipment and photography equipment for 7 years from internet etailers and by following the above tips I have never had a bad experience. Only a couple times when I failed to follow the above have I run into problems and that is usually forgetting to call them and find out if it's in stock. If you are still uncomfortable, then buy from a store front but you'll pay 30% more in many cases.

Good luck. And most of all, enjoy your new equipment!
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