Would you buy high end SLR digital camera online or brick & mortor retailers?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by YS2003, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #1
    When you bought your high end SLR digital camera (over $1000), did you get it from online retailers (such as Amazon) or at the actual store? I would like to do it online as I don't have to pay sales tax. But, at the same time, I would like to check the box before I buy so that I don't get the open box or semi-open box camera (I want it to be brand new).
     
  2. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #2
    I bought mine from http://www.bhphoto.com

    They're based out of a brick and mortar store in NYC, and, IMO, 101% reliable and safe. I would continue to buy any camera product from them.
     
  3. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

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    #3
    If you buy the camera from an authorized dealer than you should be good. Plus it will save you some money if you buy online. Check out the manufactures list of authorized dealers at their website.

    Nuc
     
  4. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

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    #4
  5. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #5
    i plan to buy from brick and mortar. i had good experience with hunts photo and video in boston. the let you see the stuff, have a reasonable number of accessoires, filters and parts. for a film scanner they matched the bhphotovideo.com price. so why not go with brick and mortar. unless of course you have to wait forever till they get it or they don't match prices.
     
  6. ironic23 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'd buy online cos they have pretty good deals but you might want to go to an actual store to feel the camera and play around with it before purchasing. :) Good luck!
     
  7. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

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    #7
    I bought my camera from Amazon and lenses and other accessories from B&H, never had any issues and even if I did, I know Amazon has a great return process which will make it easy along with $3.99 overnight shipping it is well worth buying online with the money I saved.
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    I'd rather buy from a camera store, not online or an electronics store. However, for as little as they knew when I bought the camera, I could have gone to Adorama.com or Amazon.com, not asked questions, and gotten similar service but not the brown paper bags.

    Since then, I've not bothered to buy any equipment, nor generally have I sought information from that same store. My backpack came from there but once again, they didn't help, someone just got commission.
     
  9. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I bought mine from an AUTHORIZED reseller online. You can't go wrong buying from BH, but they'll be a little more expensive. Perhaps somewhere like BeachPhoto is cheaper and authorized?

    Make sure wherever you buy from has a good return policy just in case, and you shouldn't have any "open box" or "fooled around with" problems when buying from a reputable website.

    GO TO RESELLERRATINGS.COM and look up the website BEFORE YOU BUY. There are known camera scammers out there. Good luck!
     
  10. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Normally I would buy all expensive things from reputable online dealers, but I bought my Nikon D200 at a brick-and-mortar shop last December. The D200s were (are?) very rare and I bought the first one I could find. Incidentally, they provided very good service, even offering a no-charge tutorial.
     
  11. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #11
    I decided to go with Amazon.com as my experience with them has been very good (I bought so many books and computer equipment from them). I just ordered Canon EOS 30D and 2 lens at Amazon. I noticed the brick & mortar stores are about $100 to $200 higher than online storee (if you include the saving from no sales tax, the difference would be larger).
     
  12. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

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    #12
    I think you mean mortar.
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #13
    If you've got a local camera shop that you're likely to want to check out the camera in, check out accessories and lenses in and where the staff are really knowledgeable, then pay the slight premium and buy it from there. Get to know them and you might find it easier to get hold of lenses and 'borrow' them to test them etc.

    If you don't have a good local shop that you want to help stay in business, then buy it off Amazon or another big online retailer.
     
  14. Lebowski macrumors 6502

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    Oct 10, 2005
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #14
    I have bought all these cameras from BHPHOTO. they are great. good pricing, fast shipping.... no problems ever.

    Canon Gl1
    Canon GL2
    Canon XL1
    Canon 20D
    Sony Cybershot T1 ( 3 of them actually)

    plus over a dozen high dollar lenses, and TONS of other accessories.

    they are a great online retailer.
     
  15. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #15
    It's brick and mortar for me!

    I have bought my D200 and more than a few lenses from Penn Camera, which has done right by me. Any time I have concerns or questions, I go right to them. I watched one day as Arlene demonstrated for another customer and me how to use the Giotto Rocket blower to get any errant dust bunnies out of the camera, I've gone in and asked questions about specific functions and gotten the answers I needed, and I know that if I were to run into snags with any of my gear that they'd take care of the situation for me. They've let me play touchy-feely with a couple of lenses that we all knew I wasn't going to buy.... and they've smiled indulgently as I've played touchy-feely with the lenses that I couldn't bear to leave in the store, just had to bring home with me....

    Yes, it costs me a little more to buy an expensive camera body and/or lenses at my local brick-and-mortar store but in the end I am paying for much, much more than just that camera body or lenses.
     
  16. snap58 macrumors 6502

    snap58

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    #16
    Ditto.

    Bought my 5D (and 10D, and 20D, and Rebel, and glass,..) at a local B&M I've gone to for at least 15 years. Have a good relationship and could almost anything home for the weekend to check out if I wanted too. Price is very close (other than tax) to B&H, which I have bought stuff at that I needed in a hurry and the local shop didn't have. Normally it's the local B&M.

    It is well worth your time to build a relationship with a trusted local B&M if you can. Some day they could save your ass. I don't take pictures for a living, but if I did, and needed an emergency camera or something, I would only have to go in and ask.

    Keep in mind, building relationships takes time, so start now.
     
  17. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

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    #17

    This subject has been beat to death but, I agree with OutThere on this also. Buy online from a brick and mortar B&H, great service, fast shipping!
     
  18. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #18
    Yep. It's one of the top-10 reoccuring over the past few months, somewhere below Canon or Nikon.
     
  19. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    Fort Myers, FL
    #19
    Chip NoVaMac works at Penn Camera. If you live in their retail area, you can walk into a brick and mortar - or you can order on-line. Chip is like the resident photo expert here, so I'm sure you would get some added perks if you bought from them ;)
     
  20. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #20
    I always buy from a reputable place. I buy a lot of my stuff from the extremely reputable among the online retailers...but for actual cameras, I tend to favor the local pro shop. However this isn't the best option for everyone: this store is unusual in that it discounts the price to lower than the street price so that once tax is factored in, it comes out to exactly the same price as it would be at B&H or other very reputable places, but you don't have to pay for shipping, wait, or anything like that- you pick it up yourself, see it yourself, and can try it before you buy.

    I got my D200 through them the first day it was available. I preordered the day of announcement and was 5th on the list. Price was $1590 plus tax =1699 = the price everywhere else
     
  21. japasneezemonk macrumors 6502

    japasneezemonk

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    #21
    i bought mine from a brick and mortar store. They were knowledgeable, i received a good discount, and i got my instant gratification. If Online i would trust B&H= good reputation. Luckily I live close to a couple good camera shops.
     
  22. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #22

    Since I do benefit from buying from their brick-and-mortar store (Tysons branch) I tend to forget that Penn also has an online presence, which could be very helpful and useful for those who are not in the DC/MD/VA area....

    I've been shopping at Penn for, um, I think it's around 18 years now, and what's neat is that there is very little staff turnover there, meaning that this must be a good company for which to work, never mind a good company in which to shop..... Chip is a relative newcomer, having been there only, what, six or seven years....LOL!....but as a customer, let me tell you that it really is very reassuring to walk in there and see familiar faces year after year.

    Heh, Chip and I have fun talking about MacRumors when I'm in there! The store is an authorized reseller for Apple and they have a nice setup for showing off Aperture, etc., but only a few of the staff are Mac users so far. We've got our work cut out for us in converting them so that they see the light.... :D :D
     
  23. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #23
    Buy from any of the top tier on-line retailers and you will be OK. One of the best of B&H Photo in New York. They ARE a "real store" with a sales counter and display space. I've bought lots of stiff from them. Others are good too.

    That said there are endless on-line camera dealer that are completely dishonest and will likely rip you off a lot worse then simply sending an opened box. Check before you buy.

    Some people here will tell you to "support your local store" OK if you need personal help with the equipment selection and operation, yes then by all means pay for it. But if all you want is a closed box I see no reason to buy locally Even if it weren't for the sales tax thing, my TIME is worth something to me. I can buy on-line after I come back from the gym at 10:30 at night. To go to a store I need to drive a 30 minute round trip and give up a hour or more during the day.
     
  24. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #24
    I think I should give a chance for a brick and mortar store for my next purchase. I don't want to sound cynical; but, I found oftentimes I can find more info on products on the net (such as various forums similar to this) and find the best price among the online retailers after doing the pre-purchase research. Maybe I had a bad sampling with my brick & mortar retail experience in the past (that is why I do 90% of my electronic/computer equipment purchase online after I do some homework on what I am going to buy). I myself is in sales/marketing and answer to various questins from customers in my industry; I am often amzaed at how those sales people answer questions (I would be sacked right away if I was doing that; or maybe my standards/expectations are higher).
     
  25. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #25
    I think this is one of the potential risk. If I get the opened box from Amzaon on my purchase which is over $2500 purchase, I know that thing is going back there for new one for which I paid (I am sometimes too principaled; okay, I am 90% always). I think that won't happen with Amazon as they are pretty good. CompUSA did that to me with Airport Express Base Station when I bought it there (the sales person did not show me the box close up--she picked the opened box with one of those CompUSA stickers--and she just brought that item to the cash register right away. I let that slip as that was just $100; but, I won't let that happen at CompUSA again for any product I purchase there in the future).
     

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