Board index Equipment Digital Cameras WARNING TO PROSPECTIVE BUYERS FROM ONLINE CAMERA STORES

Digital Cameras

WARNING TO PROSPECTIVE BUYERS FROM ONLINE CAMERA STORES

khtaylor
 
Posts: 53

WARNING TO PROSPECTIVE BUYERS FROM ONLINE CAMERA STORES

Post Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:07 pm


Recently I had a winfall that would have allowed me
to purchase a better digicam and so went about
researching the various cameras, prices and stores
online.
I decided on a Nikon D70s - the evolution of last
year's award winning D70 and a grade up from the new
civilian model D50.
I found a great price on a package
athttp://bestpricecameras.com/229995-23 ... 0-&-70-300)-PLUS-EXTRAS.html

Granted, $799 for all that (the lenses they say are
Sigmas) seems like too little money I admit, so I
really asked questions. I was then treated like a tool
by two different salesmen and eventually a "manager"
named Dennis.

It all started over batteries. This "kit with extras"
does not include such basic "accessories" as
batteries, charger or a manual - they'll sell you the
book for $80 and allegedly the cheapest batteries they
have to offer are the nikon EN EL3 which are the very
ones that come in the package directly from Nikon and
the recommended ones from the Nikon website which
claims they last up to several weeks and 2,500
shots...BUT...BestPriceCamera.com claims (verbally)
that their cameras are hybridized by the Nikon factory
before they reach their warehouses, and that they only
use (insert generic name here) batteries which start
at $200 (the charger is even more). The guy went on to
tell me that the EN ELs are crap that Nikon made too
many of and are now trying to foist upon the public.

Also, you must be very careful to check the shipping
prices at these sites...theirs started at over $45 for
UPS ground (10-14 days) and in one day went up to $60.
They also stated on the link to buy "just the camera
body" that if you upgraded to a package that shipping
would be upgraded to express free of charge. After I'd
given my cc info to "Ted" he informed me that that was
only for "deluxe packages" not any old generic package
as it states PLAINLY on their site:

see here: http://bestpricecameras.com/227265-0-1- ... y-USA.html

When I started asking these hard questions each of the
people I spoke with became more agitated, then
aggressive and then downright rude and even a bit
threatening. The last words from the last guy before
he hung up on me (Dennis, the "manager") were: "Lady,
look at our prices...think of it this way..you can't
get a Mercedes Benz for $10k and if you can, let me
know, I'll take a dozen....You get what you pay for"
After I added up all their additional costs for
"accessories" the price is more than going to Circuit
City and buying a starter kit with a standard US
Warranty, lens and (surprise) a freaking manual.

Whew! At least I was able to hammer them down to the
truth before I made a $1000 mistake.

Please pass this warning along to any and all others
who might be drawn in by these "unbelievable prices."
The guy as much as admitted that these cameras are
crap and not legitimate Nikon D70s as they are hawked
on their website.

Caveat Emptor and happy shooting.
Kimberley
http://www.pbase.com/khtaylor
Last edited by khtaylor on Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

castledude
 
Posts: 869


Post Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:00 pm


Yep a lot of rip off out there..

Try http://www.resellerratings.com on any store that the price seems too good to be true.

I'm not affilitated with that site but have found it to be helpful.

zuiko40
 
Posts: 96


Post Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:12 pm


Alas, bait and switch started long before the web, with the back pages of many of photographic magazine filled with traps and sinkholes.

I have found B&H Photo to be a trustworthy seller.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com

Although I haven't bought digital equipment from them, Robert White in England and KEH in Atlanta for used equipment have both been very good experiences.

wildnature
 
Posts: 271

I AM GLAD

Post Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:04 pm


I am glad someone is finally discussing this issue!!
We are inundated every second by fraudulent advertising in magazines and much worse in the Internet about people and even stores selling you equipment for a "very cheap" prize and it is nothing more than a tactic to get to you.
The worse of all is eBay. Unless you are very "savy", you are for a big surprise..once you bid on eBay on anything, it is likely that you will hardly win the bid since the same people that is selling the item are bidding on them as well just to force you to pay more. Also, you will be inundated by fraudulent "second chance" offers by other eBay members that do not realy exist, but somehow are able to get eBay to send you notifications and eMails stating that the transaction is OK and safe. These eMails even have the ebay logos and address...I am not sure how they do it?
Last week was my first eBay experience...and I lost $ 5,100.00US. When I tried to get some help from eBay, and after several eMails I sent them....not a single reply; and do not even think about looking for a phone number!. Since I placed my initial bid on July 10th I have recieved "93" eMails from "supposed" eBay sellers offering the same camera at the same bid I originally placed....what a Scam!! > I am sure eBay is more than aware of this and should be able to provide better customer service and do something to prevent such frauds and protect their customers.

If you ever think about eBay....be AWARE!!

onlymeters
 
Posts: 28

No problem with Buy.com and Amazon.com

Post Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:15 pm


Not a camera, but I bought two PalmOne Tungsten E2's on the internet -- one from Buy.com and one from Amazon.com. There was absolutley no problem, and I saved about $25 each on this item that usually selld for $250. Excellent!

But then I bought a "Deluxe Leather Case" for my E2 on eBay for $2.99 plus $9.99 shipping -- it's a piece of generic junk, and this guy lists this "Deluxe Case" many times on eBay for prices ranging from $2.99 to $19.99 or so. Wow!

Lester, OnlyMeters

khtaylor
 
Posts: 53

Ebay and Amazon.com et al

Post Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:17 pm


Please note that the above is in reference to BestPriceCameras.com and other not so well known "distributors." I have purchased many things from Amazon.com, Overstock.com (highly recommend!) and even Ebay with great success (though none have been photo equipment).

I'm sorry to hear about your bad deal with Ebay. They state plainly on their disclaimers that if you go outside of their site and make a deal directly with the seller (cutting them out of the loop) that they offer no protection. If you did that, I'm very very sorry...I know it's tempting (I've been tempted myself). If you performed your business within the site and still lost that big, then I'm shocked! I honestly thought they had better safeguards and since that is such a huge sum of money, I would consult a lawyer if I were you (better to pay the stinking lawyer than the crooks, though it's six of one half a dozen of the other).

I do think it's very valuable to tell one's stories in here though. I copied the above to David Pogue of the NYTimes and his reply was that this is COMMON practice and that he's written on it many many times (wish he would do it one more).

I'm also writing to Nikon, as BestPriceCameras.com claimed that they got their equipment directly from the factory (with some "deal" where they have different battery packages etc...SKETCHY). If they do indeed deal directly with Nikon (other than the back of Nikon trucks) I'm hoping Nikon will "deal" with them.

So please, post away when you have trouble like this. The least we can do is try to prevent others from falling into the same traps. There is every indication that these guys are truly criminals.

Kimberley Taylor <-self proclaimed watch dog.
http://www.pbase.com/khtaylor

lambsfeathers
 
Posts: 169
Location: Outer Sydney, Australia


Post Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:31 pm


Have bought four different cameras from four different stores on internet sites in the U.S., delivered to Australia with no problems and with useful savings on the local price. But alas! I ordered a Maxxum 3600 flash unit from OnlineStore at 12fix.net on May 19. the order was acknowledged (order number 478), my Australian bank account was debited on May 26, but the item not delivered. No reply to emails, no phone number or address on the website. Have filed a complaint with Consumer Sentinel which deals with problems like this in international transactions, but I think they just log it in their database. Any suggestions?

wildnature
 
Posts: 271


Post Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:51 pm


I am afraid that you are another victim of the thousands of people out there taking advantage of the internet to commit fraud.
I was the victim of the eBay transaction and indeed I went through a transaction outside eBay, but this was my first time ever on eBay and did not know much about it; however, these crooks know how to confuse you. This one was even able to send me eMails and notifications directly from eBay "consumer protection department"...obviously fake, but even included the eBay logo and all the good stuff, including the address as if it came directly through eBay, basically telling me that is it OK since they have a "Second Chance" program and this person has been a long time seller in eBay, so I though that if eBay say that then it must be safe and that those notices they send about doing transactions outside of eBay is only for people not registred in eBay. These guys go even farther and they actually steal the addresses of eBay members and sellers to impersonate them. And YES, eBay send you those warning notes, but these people will convince you that in that case it is OK and that eBay will insure the entire cost of the transaction. Before the transaction I tried to CALL e Bay for confirmation but UNFORTUNATELY eBay does not list phone numbers that the customers can have support of any kind. I eMailed them once and this guy was clever enough to reply to me as if it was coming from eBay, so he got me!....for $5,100.00US.
Again, as of today, I am getting from 5 to 7 "offers" ( a total of 74 in the last 7 days only) from eBay members to buy the same camera and for the same prize, which all are obviously FAKES. I am sure this happents to thousands of people that do not win their bids and also know that eBay is more than aware of the situation. I THINK they should offer a better customer support and more clear information to their customers, as well as make it more difficult for these crooks to fake their logo and fake eMails. I am sure a lot of people have had good experience, but also a lot of people have very bad ones, such much so that eBay have "weekend seminars" and workshops on how to prevent fraud, how to recognize fake eMails, etc., etc.....so it is a BIG problem; unfortunately they make it look like it is very simple and safe, until it happents to you.

Here are some advice for people trying to buy anything through the internet, whether is from a company or a person:

1) Get their phone number and "talk to them on the phone". If they tell you a story and can not give you their phone number.....Forget it! > I had one person that told me that he could not give me his phone number because he was "deaf".
2) Any store selling any merchandise over the Web must accept credit cards. It means that they are a reputable bussiness, although not necesarely give you a good deal, but at least you know they exist.
3) Make sure they have a 30 days money back policy, in case of what you ordered is not what you get.
4) If you can get referals from other people that have had good experience with them it is even better.

I think we should warn and educate our photo friends in pBase in order to try to avoid fraud.

Good luck,

Cesar Fernandez.

ugot2bkdng
 
Posts: 929


Post Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:08 pm


I have been dealing with OneCall.com for the past three years. I have purchased several cameras and lenses including a Canon 10D, 20D, and a couple of "standard" EF lenses as well as two "L" lenses. Everything has been delivered in a timely fashion at reasonable prices. Someone always calls me to followup on my purchases to make sure everything was okay. I had one of the lenses "freeze up" on me and I returned it for a replacement, no problem. Needless to say, I am very happy with this company and always check them first before buying anything. :)
Chuck

wildnature
 
Posts: 271


Post Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:27 am


Chuck:

thanks for your comments.
It is a good thing for others to know where to look when trying to buy photo equipment at a good prize.
I will be checking them out next time.

Thanks,

Cesar

jive4844
 
Posts: 8


Post Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:53 am


I HAVE LOOKED AT YOUR PHOTOS AND YOU ARE A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER THAN A BUSINESSPERSON.
IF YOU PAID WITH A CREDIT CARD YOU MAY BE ABLE TO REVERSE THE CHARGE, OTHERWISE BE WARNED, YOU GENERALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
THE WORLD IS TOO FULL OF THIEVES LIKE THEM AND IT'S TOO BAD NOTHING IS DONE TO PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS.
ALSO, YOU MIGHT TRY LODGING A COMPLAINT WITH YOUR STATE'S ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THEIR CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY.
YOU ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY ONE THEY HAVE CHEATED AND ENOUGH COMPLAINTS MAY PRESSURE THE AUTHORITIES TO TAKE ACTION. GOOD LUCK.

soulfulimpressions
 
Posts: 284


Post Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:23 pm


get into a car and drive to a well known camera store and haggle a bit. at the very least you may get a one year membership into the store's buyers club.

jen729w
 
Posts: 1


Post Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:06 pm


Cesar,

I'm sorry to hear about your nightmare with eBay. As a techie (completely unrelated to eBay in any way), perhaps it would help if I explained why eBay are not really able to do anything about this sort of thing:

i. Anyone, anywhere, can send an email pretending to be from anyone else. It's about the simplest thing to do if you know how. I could send you an email from george@whitehouse.gov; there's not a damned thing you can do about it. If you're technical enough, you can scrutinise the "headers" to work out where a message comes from. Who has the time? Not me.
ii. eBay can't possibly restrict people from using their photos in fake emails. It's not technically possible. There's nothing they can to do stop someone going to their website, ripping off the logo, and pasting it in to an email. Nothing.
iii. The reason eBay don't have a phone number is that there are probably (this is a total guess) 10,000,000 completed auctions A DAY across the eBay network. If 0.1% of those resulted in a complaint, eBay would have to tackle 10,000 phone calls a day: clearly impossible without ramping up charges to customers.

Basically, eBay is safe... but then I recognise that I'm a technical person and that I know how it "works"; I know the scams, because this is my industry and I can work it out. If I think about my father - a very keen photographer but a luddite in all other respects! - I probably wouldn't encourage him to spend $5000 on eBay without my direct intervention and help.

As a rule, the internet isn't full of crooks. As in real life, however, they are out there. You just have to be careful. I'm sorry you got burned... :-(

j.

gregoryd
 
Posts: 29


Post Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:11 pm


I second B & H, that's one place I deal a lot with.
I'm selling my lens for my Canon - check it out..

http://cgi.ebay.com/Canon-EF-S-18-55mm- ... dZViewItem





quote="zuiko40"]Alas, bait and switch started long before the web, with the back pages of many of photographic magazine filled with traps and sinkholes.

I have found B&H Photo to be a trustworthy seller.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com

Although I haven't bought digital equipment from them, Robert White in England and KEH in Atlanta for used equipment have both been very good experiences.[/quote]

pajeffw
 
Posts: 1


Post Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:24 am


All of this talk of FRAUD has been worring me. I am new to all of this and have a very limited budget. I've been watching this company that has a store on ebay....the pricing seems to good to be true. Can anyone please have a look at this site and tell me if you think this is a scam. The reviews are all good...but the pricing seems out to lunch. I desperatly want to graduate from my point and shot camera into something better...but I don't want to get burnt at the same time.

http://stores.ebay.ca/DigitalCorp

The camera kit that I'm looking at is the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT + $3500 Pro Kit + 3 Lenses

Any help or feed back would be great help.

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