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Old Apr 27, 2009, 9:27 PM   #1
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I've decided to purchase a Panasonic FZ28K and have been looking for a reputable dealer with the lowest price (among reputable dealers, that is).

I've been using resellerratings.com to check out dealers and I'll think I've got one selected but then I'll find a review that reveals this one also employs the "need to verify via phone" bait-and-switch scam or upsell routine.

Do any online camera dealers NOT pull this bs? I am not interested in conversing with an online dealer once I've made up my mind and paid for an item via their website.

I've bought lots of electronics online over the years (mostly pc parts) and nobody has EVER needed to talk to me about a transaction prior to shipment.
Am I going to have to pay an extra $20-$40 for a camera just to avoid this nonsense?

Why are digital cameras such a juicy market for bait-and-switch (and gray market, etc.) scammers anyway? Are buyers of cameras generally more clueless than buyers of other goods and therefore make better prey or what?

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Old Apr 27, 2009, 9:45 PM   #2
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I have bought more than half a dozen digital cameras online in the last 8 years. I have had good luck with buydig. The first time I bought from them, a guy called up and asked if I wanted accessories. I said no and that was that. No high pressure. The camera arrived quickly. Since then, they have never called me. I order online and the order is processed and the camera arrives. No complications.

There's a difference between the bait and switch camera swindle shops and the reputable etailers. The latter may call you, but accept your refusal of their offers and that's that. They don't offer you a battery for three times its normal price or a memory card 5 times its market value. They don't get huffy if you try to cancel an order.

Buydig is a decent place to buy. There are others. Check out resellerratings.com if you want to see customer reviews.
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 9:54 PM   #3
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Check online retailers at http://www.resellerratings.com before you order anything.
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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I usually look the camera up in pricegrabber.com or shopping.com. Put in your zip and you get the total price including shipping and tax. Sellers with thousands of customer ratings and lots of stars are never a problem. Abe's seems to have the best FZ28 price on PriceGrabber at $268.95 and free shipping. Abe is reliable – I've bought from him since back in film days.

With the sleazy Brooklyn sellers you sometimes find the item isn't really available unless you agree to some junk extras. It isn't worth the hassle IMO. I bought my TZ5 last year from a seller on Ebay for $205 and free shipping. But the seller had over a thousand ratings, high satisfaction and several people on another board had successfully bought the same camera from him. I don't see any great deals on the FZ28 on Ebay.

I don't think camera buyers are particularly clueless, just as I don't think the average computer user is a dolt who makes it worthwhile to send millions of spams. There is the occasional buyer who will deal with the unscrupulous Brooklyn sellers hoping to save a few bucks, but I don't think it is that common.

Places like Abe's and BuyDig work on minimal markups to be competitive. Only the scammers or the occasional Ebay seller can operate below that markup and keep their business going.



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Old Apr 27, 2009, 11:58 PM   #5
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html



$299.95. Includes Shipping.

B&H is as good as it gets. I have ordered from them repeatedly. Never a call back for an online order. Everything I have ordered was shipped the next business day (I do a lot of weekend shopping),arrived appropriately packaged, full USA warranties (no grey market, returns,rebuilds or usedunless you specifically order those items) andontime via UPS.

I have called B&H for one purchase.I neededinformation to assist in my purchase and the sales dude was appropriately informative and very professional.

Visit the B&H website, most specifically their showroom page:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/Hel...perStore08.jsp



Oh, and while I am pimping for B&H, also visit Don Wiss's website full of pictures of all of the NYC, NJ players.

Here is the B&H main photo page:

http://donwiss.com/pictures/ManhattanStores/h0002.htm

Which just so happens to match up with the B&H website photos.

Then check out some of the competition. http://donwiss.com/pictures/ManhattanStores/

http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/

http://donwiss.com/pictures/OtherStores/

Especially pay attention to the player's names. Even some of the "highly respected" vendors are quite notorious for using several different business names (I wonder why?),operating out of pretty shady locations,marginal showrooms or with website photos that do not match up with Don's photos.




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Old Apr 28, 2009, 1:16 PM   #6
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StevieDgpt wrote:
Quote:
B&H is as good as it gets. I have ordered from them repeatedly. Never a call back for an online order. Everything I have ordered was shipped the next business day (I do a lot of weekend shopping),arrived appropriately packaged, full USA warranties (no grey market, returns,rebuilds or usedunless you specifically order those items) andontime via UPS.
Thank you. Much appreciated and very gratifying.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 1:58 PM   #7
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I'll second B&H, the people are great to talk to if you do have a question, customer service is A+ and inventory extensive. They carry all kinds of things for photography, including some things not easily found anywhere else.

I've also ordered from Adorama ( www.adorama.com ). I've never actually talked to them (never had a question on an order) but have ordered several high dollar items without problems (no up-sell, if I order in the evening it's shipped the next day, etc.).

I've also ordered from buydig with no problems. However, their on-line inventory isn't real-time and their policy is to respond toemails within 24 hours (I think). I definitely trust them (they ship what you order,won't upsell, won't charge you is something really is back-ordered, and they will cancel a back-ordered item quickly if you ask), but I wouldn't order from them if I absolutely had to have something almost immediately. Then I'd probably call/order fromeither B&H or Adorama.
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Old May 4, 2009, 9:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I see from Google Shopping, Pricegrabber and Pricewatch that FZ28 prices have increased by $10-$30 at most of the recommended dealers. I was waiting for the downward trend to hit $250, but that doesn't seem likely now. I'll buy when prices again drop, hopefully soon, to the previous $270 at these dealers.
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Old May 4, 2009, 2:54 PM   #9
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Lazy Lens wrote:
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I'll buy when prices again drop, hopefully soon, to the previous $270 at these dealers.
Strike that! I noticed several recommended dealers were out of stock today, so I decided I'd better get it while I can and went to order from BuyDig.

I put the camera in my cart, along with a memory card and, as always, proceeded to scan for spyware before using my CC online.
While I was on the phone checking availability with the sales rep, I went back to the FZ28K page to retrieve the part number and BuyDig's price had jumped to $299! :shock:
This was about a minute after I placed the call to them! The rep saw that they had JUST increased the price, and because I had placed it in my cart at $279 he let me have it for that price as I ordered via phone.


Anybody looking to purchase this camera had better do it pronto. Prices keep rising, dealers are selling out fast and they may not get any more units in. I've read that Panasonic will not produce another run of this model, as they are concentrating on a replacement already (FZ38 perhaps?) to answer Canon's SX-1. I haven't gotten confirmation of this from Panasonic, however.
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Old May 4, 2009, 7:31 PM   #10
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You made a good decision. I have an FZ28, also black, which I really enjoy. A friend of a friend was very, very interested in it back in November. It was selling for around $260 at several etailers then and for $239 during one weekend special. He kept waiting for it to get lower. It then suddenly rose to over $300. He ended up buying an older, cheaper camera.
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