Butterflyphoto.com?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by GnarleyMarley, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. GnarleyMarley macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #1
    Hey. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this site. It's the first time I've heard of them. Anyway, I've been interested in picking up an slr for about 2 years now. I've finally got some extra cash and extra time to spend taking photos. I was looking into the Nikon D50, but came across the Olympus Evolt E500. I've been using an olympus p&s for the past yeah and I have no complaints. And it seems as if Butterfly is selling an Evolt E500 (body only) for $449. You think I should pounce on it?

    http://www2.butterflyphoto.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=OLYE500BODY&cm_mmc=CNET-_-Olympus-_-Digital%20SLR-_-EVOLT%20E-500%20Body%20Digital%20SLR%20Camera

    Thanks.
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #2
    I've picked out lots of fun toys at ButterflyPhoto. No scams, just good prices. they will try (hard) to sell you a warranty, but that's their job!!
     
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #3
    I think you really should consider the D50 more. It's not that much more money ($469 vs. $449). If you're not already set up with lenses etc., i think the Nikon is a much better camera. (This coming from a die-hard Canon guy) :)

    edit: although the 8.2MP Rebel XT is $488...
     
  4. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #4
    The story of this forum... Canon and Nikon.


    Just get the Olympus. Stick it to "the man." Butterfly is very reputable.
     
  5. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #6

    Thanks man. After reading those reviews I am little worried. The price from them is great though and may be worth a shot. And yes I did give the D50 a look, but I think I'm going to stick with the e500.:p Anyone else have any personal experience with butterfly?
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Well 2 people here vouch for it, and carletonmusic is a reputable member of MR. I guess they might be OK because of that reason.
     
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #8
    Sample size and self-reporting flaws

    I honestly never even thought to look up its credibility - and I'm a little shocked now that I see the results, at least from that site! My worry is the sample size -- people who are really peeved are going to go straight there to complain. Not everyone with a fabulous experience goes and posts feedback on the (ex.) US Better Business Bureau's site.

    In any case, I also look at the Pricegrabber ratings a lot because of the large sample size. ButterflyPhoto's rating is actually very good - and the sample size is almost 7000 people. It sounds like they push the warranties pretty hard (like all Brooklyn, NY camera shops) but don't intentionally run a scam operation by default.

    By contrast, eTronics often sells grey market (Japanese version) cameras and passes them off as US models (no warranty) -- if you don't EXPLICITLY ask for the US version. They won't return gear without a 15% restocking fee, even if the box is still sealed! "Not refusing" the package is considered opening it to them. I had a horrible experience -- maybe just one corrupt guy (and almost had to initiate legal paperwork) -- but, not a "terrible" rating on Pricegrabber either, though not as stellar. I wouldn't dream of ordering from them again, but some people had purchases that were just fine.

    So...I dunno. For some reason, 90% of all camera eTailers are in NYC. Stiff competition drives them all to the edge of business ethics. I say use your best judgement and keep your wits about you when you inspect the package!
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #9
    Pricegrabber rating for Ritz Camera

    As a major brick & mortar dealer, I consider Ritz Camera to be reputable even though I've never shopped there. They have a terrible rating on Pricegrabber (again, small sample size.) Yikes! Below is the Ritz Camera scorecard from Pricegrabber.com
     

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  9. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #10
    Reseller Rating for ButterflyPhoto

    Sorry to keep harping on this, but I think we might want to look at the data set a little more closely from ButterflyPhoto. I am not trying to defend them, just give them a fair shake from that site (I'm a recovering researcher :D )

    The lifetime rating is almost 6.72 out of 10. The "past 6 months" rating is 5/10, which may indicate people fuming a bit more about holiday gifts during the rush season (many customer service ratings dip in late December).

    But, look at the average rating for ALL resellers on that site -- 7.09 (it's unclear whether that is a 6 month or lifetime average.) A lifetime rating of 6.72 isn't that far away from the contextual mean score.

    People self-report bad experiences far more than the good. I would read the comments for a while and see if the frustrations relate to shipping delays, poor customer service, or shady business practices.
     

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  10. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #11
    I appreciate all the input carletonmusic.:)

    Like I said before, that e500 is only $450. It's about $120 cheaper than anywhere else I've seen just for the body. I think it's worth a shot. I'm going to phone in my order just to make sure it's in stock and hopefully to expedite the transaction. I'll either do that later on this afternoon and tomorrow morning. I will be sure to keep y'all posted.

    cheers!
     
  11. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Minnesota
    #12
    Just to clarify, I've never actually ordered from them (I don't think, I'll have to ask my dad where my camera came from) but I know others who have and haven't had problems. Problems for me with an online dealer would be getting the wrong stuff, being over charged, never getting your stuff, or refusing to return any of the said problems. A problem to me wouldn't be "Their price is too high" Don't order from them. Or "It took too long to get to me" get faster shipping.
     
  12. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    Location:
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    #13
    True enough, but people generally have to be pretty ticked off before they'll bother to submit a complaint to the BBB too...and as of last month, Butterfly Photo had 61 filed complaints with the BBB.


    Larger samples can help, but it is still a self-selected sample, and a dedictated individual with time to create "sockpuppets" can bias their rating pretty easily, as this PC World article attests (which specifically names Butterfly). YMMV, but I consider the first 'feedback' report listed for Butterfly to be a very blatant example of a sockpuppet, and in reading down through them, I see a few more that I view as highly suspicious.


    B&H and Adorama are in NYC too, but their business ethics are hardly "on the edge." They're world-famous for being very customer focused and are rewarded with repeat business for it (disclaimer: such as myself).

    I'd have to say that the general problem with "Big City" (NYC) eTailers is that it is easier for the scammers to hide (change business names), play bait & switch, etc, and in a big city, there's plenty of new victims who haven't learned to avoid them.

    It is merely semi-coincidental that they're selling camera gear. They need something that has a high cost density (ie, small & expensive takes up less room) and which doesn't need to rely on repeat customers (such as film developing, etc). Consumer Electronics fits the bill quite well for them.


    BTW, also see this NY Times article on the problem, plus the two websites that reveal the actual storefronts of these "reputable" businesses:

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


    BTW, here's Butteryfly's. Note that their 'real' business name is: Accoona Corp., d.b.a. ButterflyPhoto.com, a.k.a. BuyDigitalDirect.com and DigitalETailor.com:

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0081.htm
    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0098.htm


    I'm sorry, but if I can't ever trust them to deliver the stuff I ordered (because I suspect they're going to rip me off), then I should go use another retailer and let market forces put this loser out of business.

    If we think about it, its pretty much the same reason why we give our business to Apple instead of a Windows PC: to avoid the bullshtuff.


    -hh
     
  13. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    Atlanta, GA
    #14
    Ok. So I finally went ahead and ordered the E500. Spoke with Roy ext. 256. He was kind of cool. Didn't really push the accessories and warranties and much as I expected. Seemed like he was just going through the motions when he pitched them to me. Once I declined both he was very quik to finish up the call. Which I can understand since they are commission. Anywho, $479 with overnight shipping. I recieved a confirmation email within 2 mintues of hanging up the phone which is nice. Let's just hope everything turns out good. I will let y'all know.:)
     
  14. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #15
    Oh, by the way. I ordered the body only. Anyone have some suggestions in terms of lenses. I need something with a nice amount of zoom. Around $100?
     
  15. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #16
    Right, I didn't mean to suggest that all NYC dealers were crooks -- just a high density of them. :p

    Apple isn't crystal clean with the BBB either.

    I'm not trying to be a fan boy for ButteryflyPhoto, I'm just saying that I've ordered from them in the past, have had great service and would do it again. Even if the operation isn't a walk-in store, they have their act together enough for me. For some, paying 10% more for B&H is worth it. I don't need their [really amazing] advice b/c I do my own research. Call me scroogy, but I figure out what I want, then I want it cheap. For certain things like cleaning products, cases, tripods, etc. - I go in my local camera stores, ask them all about the items, then buy them there - even at the notably higher prices. I willingly choose to pay more when I need advice or hands-on service.

    But, I don't really want to argue about this stuff so much; I hear your point hh - BFP doesn't have a spotless record and there is more risk than with a walk-in place like B&H. If our friend here has any problems, I doubt I will buy from BFP again.
     
  16. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #17
    Ok. A little update. I ordered the E500 on Wednesday afternon. I opted for the next day shipping for $30. The guy I spoke with assured me that the camera would "ship out today." I recieved a confirmation email later that day. Called 3 times yesterday (11am, 2pm, and 5pm), All 3 of the CSR's I spoke with said "You're order is in it's final stages and will be shipped today." Well they pretty much lied. It did not ship out yesterday. I really wanted this camera for NYE. I'm probably going to call up today and cancel the order and go down to Wolf Camera and pick up a D50 for the same price.
     
  17. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    #18
    Sounds exactly like my deal with Stop4camera.com. I actually purchased from Stop4camera.com 2 years ago and followed through (I shouldn't have) . They attempted to have me buy everything under the sun, they attempted to rush me into buying a bag and tripod for my pro1 when I purchased it from them.

    The order took an entire week to arrive, and I paid for 2nd day air!


    Now I see why!

    [​IMG]


    That is the reason why I bought my 30d from National Camera in the Twin Cities. I can walk in, test things out, and buy it on the spot without the bait and switch tactics. National Camera is like B&H but local, and they will not sell on the web however!
     
  18. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    Bitter lesson learned, eh? Good luck with cancelling the order! It is unfortunate that you went ahead with that order even after having been warned....

    Yes, going to a local brick-and-mortar shop, even if one has to pay a little more in price or in state taxes, is still the safest and best way to approach the purchase of something like a camera. As I've said in other threads before, you're paying not only for the actual item(s), you're paying for the service that is available to you in person as opposed to over the phone, which can be pretty important when questions or problems arise. I am fortunate in that I live in an area where there are several good camera shops so that I can just walk into the store and see whatever it is that I am thinking about buying.... I realize that this isn't always possible for those who live in less urban areas. B&H is pretty much the "gold standard" for NYC internet camera dealers, and there are also other excellent shops around the country who are reputable: in the Washington metropolitan area there is Penn Camera, which has brick-and-mortar stores (I think it's now eight of them around MD, VA and DC) and also a very good online presence.

    Anyone who is preparing to buy a camera or lens should first really consider dealing with their local camera shops if there are any; if going online is pretty much the only option, well, he/she really needs to do his or her homework, starting with resellerratings and Don Wiss' site...
     
  19. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #20
    Yeah. I did learn my lesson. Anywho, I'm loving this D50. Went out today ad walked around midtown this afternoon snapping some shot. This camera takes some awesome shots compared to my old p&s. :eek: Once again, thanks to everyone for their help.
     
  20. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #21
    thanks for posting the reply about BFP. I guess i was always lucky.

    they are definitely off of my list now!
     
  21. GnarleyMarley thread starter macrumors 6502

    GnarleyMarley

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    #22
    No problem. Everything works out for the best man. I think I'm happier with the D50 than I would have been with the E500. Now if only I could figure out how to REALLY use this thing...:D
     
  22. davige macrumors member

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    Apr 10, 2010
    #23
    Update: 4 years later

    Ordered Nikon D90 from Butterfly; best price, "In Stock". Typical call a day later saying credit card needed to be verified but really a ploy to get me to buy more accessories. Added a couple small items. Week later order still "Processing". Called to find status & told it would ship within 2 days. 3 days later still "Processing". Called & was told everyone in meeting. Called again an hour later & spoke to salesman. Camera was NOT in stock. Cancelled order.

    Immediately called Adorama. Order shipped that day. Paid a little more but it was worth it. Nice salesman; Norman.

    BOTTOM LINE: BUTTERFLY PHOTO IS DISHONEST RIP OFF! DO NOT BUY FROM BUTTERFLY PHOTO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!
     
  23. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #24
    Used.

    I have not had one problem buying anything used off CL, and I must have spent a total over $3k buying used gear.

    Then again, I have never had a problem with Adorama, NatCam, or West Photo.

    I would never buy from a small online store that does not have brick/mortar roots though. Too many horror stories of gray market/baitnswitch/out of stock etc!!!
     
  24. a.jfred macrumors 6502

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    #25
    For used, I've been told that B&H, Adorama, and Keh.com are the places to go. And FWIW, I use an Olympus E500. I purchased it via wolfcamera.com (BIG mistake - don't ever order from them), and paid about $650 for the camera + 2 lenses ... 3 years ago. Kinda makes me happy that it's still retailing for what I paid :D
     

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