Camera Purchase: On-Line or Store Front?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Designer Dale, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    This is not a poll.

    I am ready to buy my first DSLR and can save $200-$300 USD by purchasing online instead of at my local camera shop. What has been your experience in buying? If you bought online, what site/dealer did you choose and what was the shipping condition? Did it look like FedEx played football with it?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA

    I have made thousands of dollars of purchases from them. Always fast, great service, and the prices were almost always cheaper. Even if they weren't, I would easily pay more from them, knowing that I can trust my item to arrive in excellent condition :)

    (The staff members are Jewish, so the store does close multiple times for a few days throughout the year.)
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Support your local shops when you can, but if you need to save money, online retailers are okay too. 99% of shady camera retailers are in Brooklyn, so be careful. (That doesn't mean that 99% of the retails in Brooklyn are shady.)

    B&H is renowned for its low prices and quality customer service -- it is usually the benchmark for other retail and online stores.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I always buy from B&H; of course living in NY helps since I can go to their store and try out all the cameras, get some good recommendations, and then buy it.
  5. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    For a big purchase, I'll check out what I want at B&H or Adorama, and then order from Abe's of Maine (who, despite their name, are across the Hudson in NJ) to save on the NY sales tax.
  6. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    I've bought the majority of my products in store. The prices here in canada are pretty much the same between online and in store anyway and I also build a reputation with them. Also, twice I've had purchase that were defective. I always try them out in store anyway before I leave.I've had a Lexar card not read and had a filter be cracked and saved a couple days in terms of shipping.

    I say in store all the way. Also, then you don't end up spending hours on FedEx wondering when your equipment is going to arrive.
  7. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I tend to go online, more because I am not aware of any really good stores here in Denver and Best Buy & Wolf Camera don't/didn't count :rolleyes:, though I did get my monopod from Mike's Camera.

    Online I go with Amazon itself or Adorama, I haven't tried any others because I haven't bought enough stuff yet.

    If you have a quality store locally and within reason the price difference is not excessive I would encourage you to go local. If all you have local is the chain stores who don't generally view you as much more than a credit card number then I would go online.

    Ultimately it is your money being spent, so long as you are happy with how much is being spent and the quality of service you are getting then what ever you are happy with.
  8. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I always go through Amazon when buying new, they don't charge sales tax and offer free shipping. In addition, their prices are typically the best or near the best, win/win situation in my experience :)
  9. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I've received tremendous customer service from They're always my first choice.

    Bought my last camcorder from B&H. Everything went smoothly.
  10. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    my last camera purchase was from cameta camera
    bought it referb (from olympus) and saved 350

    it arrived within 3 days and in perfect like new condition with no problems

    they double boxed and bubble wrapped it

    i think you should always give the brick and mortar store a chance to price match but if you can save 50-100 or more then buy online
  11. Chimpy macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2007
    Online, but be careful. Be absolutely certain you are buying from a reputable dealer such as Amazon, B&H, Cameta, etc.
  12. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Either way, make sure you're doing business with a reputable dealer -- end of story.

    Beyond that, well, personal preference. I use a mix of online (usually B&H and once or twice, Cameta) and local purchases from an authorized dealer, since I'd still like to have a local option around.
  13. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Thanks for all the input.

    I wound up with my local Camera store, Robi's camera, here in Tacoma, Washington. They were very helpful. I got a nice used Canon xsi for a good price with a warranty. I added a Tamron 28-300 f3.5 Image Stabilized lens to the really cheap kit lens. The Tamron is built like a tank and really smooth.

    I was leaning toward online, but wanted to patronize a local shop. My area used to have three camera stores, and now it is down to one.

    Now I have to use the thing :D

  14. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    I bought my first DSLR from a local camera shop. I had done my homework and knew I was paying more than online. I justified the extra expense thinking if I needed any help, the local store would be there to help me. As it turned out, I get all the help I need from forums like this and never had to return to the store. After that I started buying on line for the savings. I did go back to the local shop to check pricing on 2 Nikon 10-24 lenses (1 for me,1 for a friend) that I was in a rush to get. BH had them for $799. each. The local shop tried to tell me their cost was more than that and would not budge on the close to full retail price. I bought the 2 lenses from BH with 2 day shipping for $1631.10. They were US models with full Nikon 5 year warranty. With no sales tax and everything, I saved over $300. buying on line. I'm through with the local camera shop. I have since bought a new body and 3 other lenses from Amazon, all came in perfect condition with good savings.
  15. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    B&H and Adorama are all I've used so far. Haven't regretted either one.
  16. djbahdow01 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    Northeast, CT
    I personally buy from online retailers such as B&H,Adorama,Penn Camera, Samys and Roberts Distributers. But.....

    I do suggest if its a rather large purchase to check them out in your local store and "test" them out. You can also check with your local store to see if they can match or at least come close to the online retailers.
  17. flakes8 macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2009
    New England
    Online, remember if it sounds too good to be true it is !! I Love Adorama & B&H. Good Luck & Happy snapping. Don,t be afraid to buy a refurbished product, great way too save some money. :)

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