Hope this is the right place to post this. I just want to let everyone including Shutterbug know that Digitial Liqidators, who advertises with Shutterbug, is a shady dealer. Their advertising is very mis-leading. They advertised a Canon digital rebel kit with lens on their website. I think most of us would agree that a kit would imply you'll be receiving other items, at least the instruction manual and software that is typically included. Nope! After I received my "confirmation call" I got suspicious. I called back to get details of what was included since they didn't say. Nothing was included. All you got was the camera and lens. No instruction manual or software was included. I should've known the price was too good to be true. I immediately cancelled my order. They also have about 40 complaints in the last 12 months on the Better Business Bureau's website. There are also other posts regarding them on photographyreview.com.
That is becuase they deal in what is known as "Grey market" items. People do not realize that grey market also usually has flimsy warrantees and the sellers strip the contents of the package. They will then tag on the original items at often a very inflated price.
A good source that will tell you if you are buying a grey market version or US distributed item is adorama.com I have had many successful transactions with them and I even traveled from CT to their NY store.
grendel, I do not know that the phenomena is a gray market deal or not. Olympus, for one, has an international guarantee and the manuals are in several languages.
The same Digital Liquidators offers Oly at an extreme discount as well; but these folks do not have a "what's in the box" feature on the web site. I think therin lies the price descrepancy. This lack of knowing what you are getting for your money is how they can advert the merchandise for the price they do.
www.resellerratings.com. That site will rarely steer you wrong. Digital Liquidators month rating is .28 (out of 10) and their lifetime rating is .36.
While it takes a long time to have meaning, Popular Photography magazine has a "Check Rated" advertiser program and within the last few months, stopped taking ads from several of these questionable retailers.
Worst scam I've come across recently was when one of my forum members (I host a forum for photographers doing art shows) called a "shady" store to order a camera and asked the sales person if Larry Berman has ordered from them. The salesman told him that I order from their store all the time. Then the photographer e-mailed me prior to ordering for verification. Need I say that he never placed the order with that particular store....
About three years ago, my wife tried to order a Nikon N80 for me from a mail-order outfit for Christmas. Since she didn't know very much about what I wanted except the brand and model number, she was a juicy target for a bait and switch. I got an N65, which is a nice camera, and I still use it, but what *should* have been a $230.00 or so camera came out closer to $500.00. I think they tacked a lot on for shipping and handling. I wish they hadn't handled it *quite* so much; we might have gotten a better deal.
Now I will only buy locally. We have two very good camera stores in Charlottesville, Virginia, which I will patronize as long as they are in business. The small amount I might save by mail order is more than made up by their existence, and the fact that I can get just about anything I need or want there. If you have such a place within reasonable distance, go there, and try to help keep them in business.
With best regards,
There are alot of these "shady" bait and switch companies. They normally offer the items for a low price. After the order they call you up to "confirm", and try to talk you into some assecoires which are either supposed to be in the box, or you simply don't need. Seems these guys get trained at MickyD ("want some fries with it?")
If you consist on your ordered item, it is suddenly not in stock, and they offer you a similar product for a way higher price ... One of those folks got rude to my wife once when she consisted on the item we ordered (first and last time I tried that store)
Grey market: A reputable dealer (e.g. Adorama or B&H) will offer you a dealer warranty. That means if something breaks, you have to ship it to the dealer.
In my case, I have the dealer on the island, so I normally order grey imports at my local dealer (via Singapore), saves me some bucks ... never had a problem with my gear in any way.
If I have a chance to buy local, I do so. There is always a chance for a nice chat, great service with our local dealer, he gives me good deals, and he can organize my gear to better than B&H prices if I'm not too much in a hurry.
I would like to add a company to this list....Software Surplus out of Las Vegas, NV. I orderd Photoshop Elements 3.0 for $49.95, recieved an email confirming my order, credit card got charged and still no Photoshop. I tried calling the company and I can't even get through the first menu...keeps hanging up on me. I tried going online to check my order...it tells me there is no such order, try again....I tried to go to online help but they are ALWAYS ofline....so I am disputing it through my credit card company and wrote a letter to the BBB.
on a slightly happy note...i just won a bid on an item off of ebay and had great success with the entire process... of course that was a purchase from one buyer and there are many available so I suppose there is still that chance of a shady deal with them. But there was once I bought a PC from from a tv ad ..the process didnt go well at all...of course they approved me but the pc came in three seperate boxes spread out over months....every attempt to contact them led in confusion and deadends...later I come to find out once I had the entire Pc and tried calling for tech support that they were no longer in business "bankruptcy" ~Getting what you pay for really hurts when you actually get what you are paying for ----cheap price; cheap product in to many cases.
I have not had any bad experiences buying cameras. All the ones I have bought were used. except my digital which I bought new. I am not as brave as some I resarched a long time before I bought my first used film camera and decided KEH were worth a try. I have had good luck with them and if I was to buy a new digital I would probably buy off of them. Also dealt with BH photo for film and other things. I have never had a problem with them. If I buy new I always make sure it comes with a USA warentee. I know some have had good luck with grey market buys, but I do not feel it is worth the risk. There are good dealers out there and if that means a few dollars more then it just might be worth it. Monte Johnson.
The only bad experience I've had was buying a 250mm lens for my old Mamiya C330 on Ebay. The glass was perfect but the diaphragm mechanism was shot and unrepairable. (The camera is long gone, but I still have the lens, if anyone wants it - cheap!)
I've made several on-line purchases from both B&H and KEH and have never been disappointed.
I bought my Canon 10D and later a Canon lens from B&H. I recommend them and Adorama.
When I bought mf Ricoh KR5 Super2, I was looking to buy a Pentax. The dealer(Family Photo & Video) told me of the diferences between the Pentax and the Ricoh. I have not regretted the descision to buy the Ricoh.
My last purchase was a super zoom, I bought from B&H. The first dealer I talked to had the same lens for about $40.00 cheeper, but wanted $150.00 for the "T" mount that B&H wanted $15.00 for. Go figure?
What annoys me the most is to call a dealer on the phone to place an order that I have already decided on, only to have to have the person on the line to try to talk me into buying something else. If I need advice on a purchase I will ask for it.