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April 28, 2008 at 4:56 PM #43732AnonymousInactive
Im looking to purchase a HVX-200 or similar camera. After researching and calling numerous places, Ive noticed that some have deceptive selling practicessuch as taking the lens off the camera, and charging an arm and a lens for it.
Are authorized dealers the only way to go? I just want to know the good and bad of certain outlets. Since you cant go by online store reviews because they are all fake, Id like to know what you have to say.
April 28, 2008 at 5:18 PM #183217AnonymousInactive
I recommend B&H Photo and Video.
April 28, 2008 at 6:25 PM #183218TheDVshowParticipant
Authorized dealers are the most secure way to go. B&H is the most reputable at this point.
Purchasing from any other you could be getting a gray market item, pay extra for shipping and accessories are overpriced when they shouldn’t be. Here is a small article from our website:
7 Things to Avoid when Buying a Camcorder Online
A quick search reveals that there are well over 100 online retailers that sell camcorders! While this presents great opportunities for savvy buyers, it also creates danger for shoppers who don’t do their homework. Buy from the wrong retailer, and you may regret it.
If you buy a camcorder from the wrong retailer, either online or off, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars too much, sacrificing your right to return a faulty product, or end up with an item not backed up by a manufacturer’s warranty.
Know what you’re buying! Avoid these seven common online shopping mistakes and you’ll be able to shop and buy with complete confidence. These tips will help you find the right camcorder for your needs.
* Mistake #1: Not Checking a Merchant’s Store Rating
* Mistake #2: Not Checking a Retailer’s Camcorder Return Policy
* Mistake #3: Buying From a Camera or Electronics Store
* Mistake #4: Paying Too Much For a Camcorder
* Mistake #5: Unknowgingly Purchasing “Gray Market” Merchandise
* Mistake #6: Buying Overpriced Accessories
* Mistake #7: Paying Too Much for Shipping
Mistake #1: Not Checking a Merchant’s Store Rating
In an effort to provide you with the lowest price available, Camcorder HQ’s price comparison partner Bizrate may show close to a hundred retailers for a single camcorder. Some of these retailers have well-known names, but many do not. A quick scan of the prices will reveal large differences, and it can be very tempting to choose the store with the lowest price.
Choosing the lowest price without checking a merchant’s store rating can be a mistake, however. The lowest prices sometimes offered by retailers who, despite having professional-looking websites, receive consistently low marks for customer service and satisfaction. Among the many pitfalls that wait for shoppers who buy from only the least-expensive retailers are:
* Gray Market Merchandise: Some retailers sell camcorders that were intended for sale abroad but have been redirected back into the U.S. While these cameras often have an attractive price, they will not have U.S. warranties and may come with inoperative accessories and foreign paperwork. For a full explanation see Mistake #5: Unknowgingly Purchasing Gray Market Merchandise
* Overpriced Accessories: Less-than-scrupulous online retailers may sell you a camcorder at an attractive price, only to pressure you into buying grossly-expensive accessories. For a full explanation see Mistake #6: Buying Overpriced Accessories
* Overpriced Shipping: To make up for lower prices, some retailers will charge a shipping fee many times larger than necessary. For a full explanation see Mistake #7: Paying Too Much for Shipping
* Difficult or Impossible Return Policies: If you don’t do your research, you may find yourself unable to return your camcorder, even if it is defective. For a full explanation see Mistake #2.
Mistake #2: Not Checking a Retailer’s Camcorder Return Policy
If you choose a retailer without checking its camcorder return policy, you may find yourself stuck with a product you can’t return, regardless of your reason.
Offline camera and electronics stores often do not accept returns of digital cameras, even if they are unopened. Others charge a large restocking fee (15% or more of the camera’s value), making it very expensive to return a camera you don’t like. Some retailers won’t even accept the return of a defective camera, which they consider to be a warranty issue for the manufacturer to deal with.
Surprised? The Editors at Digital Camera HQ certainly were when we found this out. But don’t take our word for itcheck with your local camera or electronics store. Chances are you’ll find that once you’ve bought a digital camera, it will be difficult, expensive, or both, to return it.
The lesson: Be absolutely sure you know a retailer’s digital camera return policy before you buy a camera.
Mistake #3: Buying From a Camera or Electronics Store
Your local camera store may be a great place to have pictures developed, and the electronics superstore may have a flashy selection of camcorders and accessories, but neither is a good place to buy a camcorder.
Why? Because camera and electronics stores, no matter how convenient they are, cannot compete with the prices and return policies offered by reputable online retailers. If you choose to buy at such a store, you will inevitably pay more money than if you buy online.
Perhaps more worrisome, you may find it difficult or impossible to return your purchase to a camera or electronics store. These stores will often not accept returns on camcorders, or will charge a major restocking fee, potentially leaving you stuck with a camcorder you don’t want.
Mistake #4: Paying Too Much For a Camcorder
Probably the most common mistake made by camcorder shoppers is paying too much. The easiest way to make this mistake is by shopping at a camera or electronics store that charges high prices in exchange for the supposed “peace of mind” that comes with buying from such a store.
Unfortunately, this peace of mind is nothing more than an illusion. With high prices and poor return policies, camera and electronic stores offer no advantage over reputable online retailers, unless you feel like paying more and getting stuck with a camcorder you can’t return.
Mistake #5: Unknowingly Purchasing Gray Market Merchandise
Some online retailers will attempt to sell you so-called “gray market” cameras. Originally intended for sale outside the U.S., gray market cameras are rerouted to stores in this country and offered for sale, sometimes under the guise of being “international models” and sometime with no warning at all.
Though these cameras usually have very attractive prices, camera manufacturers will not honor warranties on gray-market goods, which often come with manuals in foreign languages, adapters that do not work in this country, and various other bugs. If a deal looks too good to be true, you should be wary of being sold gray market products.
To avoid purchasing gray market merchandise, look carefully at any online offer. If the price is remarkably low, or if there is mention of any other warranty than the official U.S. manufacturer’s warranty (i.e. international warranty or store warranty) the camera is probably gray market.
Mistake #6: Buying Overpriced Accessories
Some online retailers will sell you a camcorder at an attractive price, and then pressure you into to buying grossly-expensive accessories. These retailers will often call to discuss your order and then talk you into buying the accessories, sometimes even threatening to alter your order if you refuse. If you haven’t done enough research, it is very easy to be talked into buying unnecessary accessories at inflated prices.
The best way to avoid unscrupulous retailers is to check the store ratings. Any store with unusually low ratings has clearly been the subject of frequent customer complaints and deserves closer scrutiny.
Mistake #7: Paying Too Much for Shipping
To make up for their low prices, some retailers will charge a shipping fee many times larger than necessary. They’ll get you hooked by offering the camcorder at a low price, only to erase any savings you may have gained when they slap you with a huge shipping charge at checkout.
Reputable online retailers charge reasonable shipping fees, and in some cases don’t charge any fee at all. These fees are easily found on their websites, so you can be sure you’ll never be given with a surprise fee at checkout.
April 28, 2008 at 8:57 PM #183219AnonymousInactive
Another vote for B&H photo. I ordered my VX2100 from J&R music and computer world, and while the transaction went smooth, the price was good,and I encountered no major problems, the packing was subpar. (made me just a bit nervious the first time I powered it up!) Just ordered a heavy tripod from B&H and everything from ordering to delivery was perfect. I strongly recommend them.
April 29, 2008 at 5:23 AM #183220AspyriderParticipant
Another vote for B&H…
April 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM #183221AnonymousInactive
Thanks for the quick feedback, especially from TheDVshow. It sounds like B&H is the way to go. I just want to pay a fair price and have piece of mind that my camera is a USA version with a USA manufactures warranty. Thanks again.
June 23, 2008 at 3:54 AM #183222AnonymousGuest
Man, allow me to say it too: B&H is the place to buy from. Anytime I’m in the NYC area I must go to get my stuff at B&H. If you have never been to B&H, just go, man. I have never seen any other store like it. Watching the conveyor belts moving goods overhead is something else. And those sales people in their skull caps. They know how to sell.
June 23, 2008 at 5:45 PM #183223RobParticipant
Walmart. Make sure it’s one of the Walmarts that is half grocery store too.
June 23, 2008 at 5:50 PM #183224chrisColoradoParticipant
You mean a Walmart Supercenter? Those are awesome for most stuff, but I don’t think I’d trust them when it comes to cameras.
I haven’t used B&H, but they look the best. I go with the majority on this one.
June 23, 2008 at 5:56 PM #183225RobParticipant
haha…I was joking man. Everyone said B&H, so I didn’t feel the need to follow up on the same thing.
June 23, 2008 at 9:44 PM #183226AspyriderParticipant
Believe it or not, check Amazon.com. Sometimes their prices are even lower than B&H. Plus they are a trusted and respectable outlet.
June 24, 2008 at 4:49 AM #183227AnonymousInactive
This is the best tool to use when comparing online websites.
June 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM #183228birdcatParticipant
I almost always recommend B&H but if you are looking at consumer end gear, you can sometimes get a great deal from other “reputable” sources. I recently picked up a Sony SR11 at BestBuy for $100 less than B&H wanted and got 18 months of interest free financing on top of it.
August 15, 2008 at 4:14 PM #183229DanSParticipant
I agree completely with the BH recommendation and have purchased all my gear there. I can say to AVOID Broadway Photo at all costs. Before I discovered BH, I ordered on line from Broadway Photo- the next morning some greasy, fast talking, pushy salesman tries to sell me a $400 “extended life battery” for my camera (the most expensive battery that fits is $103 from BH), he also tells me my camera needs a heavy duty AC adaptor to plug in, as well as I needed to pay$250 more to get the US version, because the model I bought online was a foreign model. Stay away from Broadway, stick with BH.
September 9, 2008 at 1:04 AM #183230domineauxParticipant
I don’t disagree about BH, but I just bought a Sony HDR-SR12 from beachcamera.com and got it in 5 days as agreed.
The price was considerably less than BH.
If youlook carefully at the number of reviews and stuff, you can still find some companies that do what the advertise.
You have to do a little research on your own.
I always check Amazon, because they are probably the best of the best. IMO, of course.
IF I can buy through Amazon and the price is within reason I always buy from Amazon.
I agree with the above poster about Broadway. My best friendbought a new Nikon and it was missing lenses and stuff. He called and they gavehimthis song and dance about making him happy. He spent2,200 and said, “It’ll be a cold day in the devils darkroom, before I ever buyfrom them again”.
He wound up having to buy stuff they had taken out of the factory container as optional items. What a screwin’
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