Before you buy your camera

spectr17

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Make sure you check out the vendor you are going to buy from at Reseller Ratings.  

http://www.resellerratings.com/index.html

Lowest price doesn't always mean the best deal if you're sold used or Gray market gear under the guise the gear is new. Gray market gear is equipment made overseas and imported here and it DOES not carry a US warranty. Avoid any Gray market stuff at all costs.

Also beware that many of the low priced camera shops out of Brooklyn New York are notorious rip offs. They are boiler room operations who will promise you the moon when they don't even have the equipment in stock. Customer service does not exist at many companies who sell camera and other gear. Make sure you can get answers in a timely manner if you have any problems with your order or equipment after you receive it.

One member of a newsgroup actually drove to a number of these camera shops addresses and they were in boarded up old buildings. These vendors will have one name for awhile and then switch to a new name but will still be the same operation.

If you've had a good experience buying your gear please take the time to post an evaluation on Reseller Ratings, it only takes a few minutes and you'll help weed out the scam artists.
 

PowDuck

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Amen! to that, Spectr. I ordered a Sony DCR-TRV530 from ZeroDelivery.com and a month later it was STILL backordered. A few hours after placing my order they called me and talked me into adding a filter and extra battery onto my order. Later that day I got on the phone and called the local camera shop to get prices. I actually got better prices locally on the accessories!! I called them back and cancelled the accessory order. Voila! They were all of a sudden out of the cameras and they were on backorder. Hmmm.

After a month of waiting I looked around on the web and called other dealers and found it at DigitalDealz.com so I ordered it from there. A few days later I checked up on the order and found that it was backordered, too. (They did, however have them in stock with a $200 accessory pack. Yeah, right.) After talking with them they said the camera alone would be backordered for a couple more weeks.

Finally found it in stock and ready to ship WITH 1 YEAR USA WARRANTY from AMDV.com and ordered it from there. It was shipped within 2 days and I had it in hand within a week and a half of the order date.

Now, a note on cancelling orders from these shops. ZeroDelivery didn't show my order as cancelled even after 2 or 3 emails and 2 phone conversations. I finally had to call back and speak to a supervisor who got it to show "cancelled" on my order tracking. DigitalDealz showed that order cancelled after a couple days of cancelling it. Don't assume your order is cancelled after going through  the proper channels. Check up on it until it shows cancelled on their order tracking. It'd be terrible to get a package a few months from now with another camera and your card been charged and then have to fight the "returning it" battle.

There are some decent places out there, you've just gotta search a while for them. If they don't want to take "no" for an answer when trying to sell you accessories, etc. say no by hanging up and try someplace else.

The guy I talked to at AMDV was very courteous and knowledgable. I would rate them pretty good.
 

OC hunter

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If you think buying from these guys is bad, you should try selling to them.  I worked for a camera lense manufacturer and most of these guys would never pay their bills and always try to order more equipment.  Most of the places in the back of Popular Photography or Shutterbug are crooks.  I found three dealers who would place large orders and actually pay their invoices on time.  B&H, W.B. Hunt and CameraWorld are all reputable dealers that operate in a very professional manner.
 

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