Good sites to purchase from?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iPegboy, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. iPegboy macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2003
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    Detroit
    #1
    I've decided I'm going to get the Rebel XT (have had a Rebel G for a long time), and was curious if anyone knew of good web sites to purcahse from? Just searching google, I can find some good deals, but want to make sure I'm not going to get taken.
     
  2. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #2
    By searching google do you mean you're searching froogle.google.com ?

    Cause if you are then you'll probably find Abes of Maine or Buydig, which are both respectable places.
     
  3. mikemodena macrumors 6502a

    mikemodena

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    #3
    You might want to check out www.bhphotovideo.com
     
  4. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

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    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #4
    I also recommend bhphotovideo.com, they have great prices and are really the best when it comes to places to buy camera's online...or you could always try amazon.com.
     
  5. jeshepard macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    #5
    I've gone with www.onecall.com. They have a deal where any purchase over $400 I think, qualifies for no interest for a year. Which can be a good deal if you pay it off within that year. I've also heard that bhphoto is good too.
     
  6. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #6
    Only if you want to pay $100 more than the sites I talked about.
     
  7. iPegboy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2003
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    #7
    abesofmaine is the cheapest among those recommended. (silver is actually cheaper than black).

    thanks everyone.

    just an aside, i was planning on getting the camera with the 18-55 lens.. but have heard the stuff about it not being the greatest. is there another lense that you would recommend?
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #8
    Price is not everything. Support after the purchase can be. http://www.resellerratings.com/ can be a resource for those that price is the only thing important.

    But working in a shop in which we see people coming in with their "cheap" purchases, looking for support and help; there is something about paying a bit more for service and support.

    Saving on taxes is not part of the discussion, since under many state laws one is liable for paying sales taxes on out of state purchases. It is called a "use tax".

    With websites Like B&H, the prices there represent a fair representation of the actual costs of the goods and perhaps the support. My shops prices are equal or close to what B&H offers. But we will take and fight to get rebates that never arrived. We will take the time to explain how to get the most of their purchases. In the event of a lemon, we will work for the customer with the manufacturer to try to come up with a decent outcome.

    Also look at how some websites will address DOA products. Or how they try to force higher than normal extras (including shipping costs). Cheapest is not always the best.
     
  9. fuzzwud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Location:
    Houston
    #9
    I would also consider bhphotovideo, jandr.com, and amazon.com. I've purchased large amounts from them. Ultimately, I purchased my Rebel XT from amazon.com because of the triple rebates earlier this year. Also, if you pay with the amazon visa card, you can triple your reward points. Which is about 3% of the order from amazon.com (does not apply to 3rd party sellers on amazon). Also, I signed up for Amazon Prime which is $80/yr for UPS 2nd day for most orders.
     
  10. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    Location:
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    #10
    I can't emphasize this fact enough. Yes, you might save a bit of money buying on the internet, but if something goes wrong, or you have questions, you are most likely going to be out of luck.

    Until the past year I bought all of my camera equipment on bhphoto. They seem to be the best of the online resellers, and I never had anything go wrong with them.

    Last year I wanted to buy a new high quality tripod. I knew nothing about tripods however and I wanted to get some advice from professionals and see them in person. I went to the local camera store and was amazed at how friendly and helpful they were. I probably spent about 15% more on it but I have guaranteed support from the store and I supported the local economy. Since then I've spent a couple thousand on cameras, lenses, cases, flashes, etc... ( you have to spend a lot when you switch systems) and have never been disapointed by a single thing I've bought there. It really the little things they do that make it worth it to me.

    My parents own a retail store. They mostly sold hand crafted art until recently so internet competition wasn't that big of a deal. Recently though a lot of the business has shifted towards lighting. They sell high quality Italian lighting. You can often find the same lights online for 10% - 20% less. Occasionally we get people who come in, take advantage of our help and service to determine the lights they need, and then proceed to order them online form someone else. I can’t count how many times these same people have come back to our store, to repurchase the lights from us once they realized what kind of service they were missing.

    I guess I’m kind of biased on this matter. I hate it when people buy online instead of locally just to save a few dollars. That’s just me though.
     
  11. taytho macrumors 6502

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    KC, MO
    #11
    in this case that few dollars is about 250. thats no small thing.
     
  12. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #12
    My local store has the xt with the lens for $730 after a $100 rebate. With my state's sales tax (7%) the final cost would be about $790. BH has it for 680 right now without shipping. Technically you should pay sales tax on that but I doubt many people do. I think about a $100 is a small price to pay for years of service an help.

    Again, I'm quite biased. I'm also a cheap college student though, and I think I can value that $100 just as much as the next guy. It sounds as if the OP is buying his first DSLR. Its a learning experiance, even for someone used to film, and a transition that could certainly be made easier by having some local support. It sounds as if the OP has researched some though, so maybe the money's worth it.

    Don't get me wrong about trying to save money. I'm buying a MBP this summer, and I won't be buying it locally inorder to save some money.
     
  13. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

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    #13
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    I will admit that I am biased, working in a retail photo shop. In my shop we are not on commission. So it allows me to try to show why they should buy from us as opposed to shopping for the cheapest price.

    But there are tell tail signs that tell us that we are just a touch an feel place to go to. But I and others in my shop try our best to show why price should not be the only reason to shop.

    As you and I have stated indirectly or directly;, don't go into a brick & mortar shop to to touch, feel, and pump for information. Maintaining a brick & mortar shop costs money. Your purchases support the livelihood of those that work there. It also supports the tax base that pays for the roads, schools, and other services that so many complain that are lacking.

    Don't complain about handling charges to send a product out for warranty service, if you did not purchase the product from the store that you send the repair out to. There are shipping charges both to the manufacturer and back to the shop. Not to mention the possibility for long distance phone calls for delays in the repairs.

    These cost money. Most online places place that burden on the buyer. Many brick & mortar shops accept that as a cost of doing business.

    To be honest I do shop Amazon for books. 40% off beats even the occasional 30% off from being a member of the "clubs". And no I do not declare the "use tax" on these purchases, since they total under $15. But I do not purchase over the net, anything that I might see myself in needing support on, or what I might want to touch and feel. The extra costa are worth it in my mind.

    There is another aspect in your post; and that is dealing with local dealers versus the "big box" stores in a local area. I have had people walk out over just a $10 to $20 difference. This was even after them thanking me for spending the time in getting to understand their purchase.

    Despite my rant, I am truly happy to go to work each day. I live for my customers to come back with their "winning" images. And even their not so "winning" images. I get much satisfaction out of seeing some great images that I could only hope to obtain.
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15

    Does it not say something to you when local dealers and the likes of B&H have prices that are a "few" dollars of each other? P. T. Barnum may have been right.

    Maybe you need to go to work for a camera shop and see what the true price that dealers pay. It may not account for deals to some big box stores. But I do work for a major "regional" reseller, that gets "good deals".

    In the end if you want to be all about the price you paid, then don't ask for help when you have a problem from either a local store, or from some of us on the net.
     
  16. taytho macrumors 6502

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    KC, MO
    #16

    Folks, I understand completely your arguments. My local camera shops are just not at similar prices yet. The two closest to me are still around 900 for the body and lens kit. Buydig.com has it for 660. I dont want to buy it online, i dont want to buy from the man and all this. This is why i havent yet. I am mostly just getting impatient for local stores to lower their prices which is why i dont have the camera yet. I am in no way ripping on local stores...... i have supported (referals and patronage) local shops bigtime.... bottomline i am just (not so) patiently waiting for this camera and chomping at the bit in the meantime.
     
  17. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #17
    i bought my nikon 8800 at http://stores.ebay.com/Cameta-Camera, i got it at the actual store though since its only a 20 min drive, but they are awesome! They didn't have an extra battery in stock so they shiped it to me free, came like 3 days later...
     
  18. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #18
    The other day I was in my local camera shop and there was a customer at one of the counters talking with one of the sales associates. There were several P&S cameras on the counter and the guy was trying them out, asking questions, looking at them.... A few minutes later I glanced up from my own transaction and saw the man walking out calling a casual "thanks!" over his shoulder, no store bag in hand; the sales associate was carefully putting all of the cameras back on the display shelves. I shook my head as I thought to myself, "betcha anything he goes right home and gets on the computer and orders one of those cameras from some online outfit!" Yep, and when the thing arrives not working right or he doesn't know how to do perform some function or use particular features of it, he'll probably be right back in that brick-and-mortar store asking for help....

    Happily for the store, that particular day there were at least two of us making some pretty substantial purchases and demonstrating with our presence and our dollars that we appreciate the availability of a local brick-and-mortar full-service professional-level camera shop.
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    I've heard some negative things about Abes of Maine and Beach Camera over the years, and I think Buydig, too....

    B&H, Calumet, Penn Camera and one or two others which are brick-and-mortar stores that also have a web presence are considered to be the safest and most reliable sources when buying camera gear online.
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #20
    B&H is a "real store" and of course they sell at "B&H prices" why can't other real stores sell for B&H prices? I could underastand your argument if all the Internet stores operated out of a wherehouse on $2 per acre desert land and staffed with minimum wage ideots. But no, the best known Internet store is a large building in New York staffed by real photo salesmen.
     
  21. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

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    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    I was planning on buying the Rebel XT today, but B&H is closed until Friday.
    Maybe I'll check out Abes.

    As far as lenses, i've heard the same about the kit lense, buy I'm going to get it anyway. Since I'm new to DSLRs, I was told by many to learn on the kit lense and buy something better when I know more what my needs are going to be.

    I'm also going to pick up the Canon 50mm lense. It's about $80 and supposed to be good in low light.

    Can't wait to get this camera.
     
  22. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #22
    Support? As in how do I use feature X on my camera? Thats what a manual is for. As in returns? http://abesofmaine.com/support.asp#11 abes has full 30 day return policy. Buydig is stricter taking 10 days and a 10% restocking fee on returns. No restocking fee if its broken and you want a new one.

    I bought my 300D and a panasonic GS150 from buydig, both where fine.
    Sigma4less.com has similar stuff and I ordered a lens, decided it wasn't sharp enough and they sent me a new one (same model by the way) which was much much better.

    I just don't get what you think you'll get from higher end stores that you won't get from smaller cheaper places. I know I wouldn't pay more than $10 but "better service"
     
  23. iPegboy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2003
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    Detroit
    #23
    i understand the point of the "going local" angle. but my problem is there are a handful of shops in the area, but most of them are chains (Ritz Camera, Wolf --- which is owned by Ritz) and neither were very helpful. the one local-local guy i went to was helpful, but his prices were way high.

    from various sites around online, i could get an xt for $650 ish after rebate, while he wanted $800 after rebate. That's 23 percent more (if my math is right). that is quite the premium for "service".

    a compromise might be this place called adray camera that i found online. they have various stores in the area, but have special internet only prices (which is $679 for the xt after rebate).
     
  24. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #24
    Support? What if it breaks on you beyond that 30 day return policy? What if you can't figure out something in the manual? What if you don't even know what "Feature X" does? What if you want friendly advice on what next lens / accessory to buy? What if you were going to buy the wrong camera to begin with?

    I could go on and on.

    This type of "service" might not be valuable to alot of guys, but it is to me, and I think you'd be surprised if you gave the local stores a chance. I know I was.

    If I was in NY I would probably buy straight from B&H and the brick and mortar location. I've been there, the selection is great. The service isn't so great. You can't get, and I don't expect, the kind of personal help at a large store like B&H that I get at a small local store, especially when buying online.
     
  25. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #25

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