Is it worth the risk?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Chris W, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Chris W

    Chris W Guest

    I have been thinking about getting a Nikon D200. However $1,300 is just
    more than I can justify at this point. I recently did a google search
    and found the camera at 4 different online stores for the following prices.

    CCI Camera City $509
    Express Cameras $549
    Royal Camera $729
    Century 21 Electronics $519
    best price cameras $849

    I have read all kinds of bad things about these some of these places and
    was wondering if it is worth the risk to save $500 to $800

    Any thought?

    BTW they all say it has a 1 year USA warranty, but from the reviews I
    have read, it will likely be the gray market version I receive, so I
    will be making the decision based on that assumption.


    --
    Chris W
    KE5GIX

    "Protect your digital freedom and privacy, eliminate DRM,
    learn more at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm"

    Gift Giving Made Easy
    Get the gifts you want &
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    Chris W, Jan 12, 2007
    #1
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  2. Chris W

    Cynicor Guest

    No.

    If you get one with a problem, you won't be able to fix it under
    warranty. You won't get the original manual. My D200 has the banding
    problem and Nikon USA won't touch it, and the dealer won't talk to me.
     
    Cynicor, Jan 12, 2007
    #2
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  3. Chris W

    Bill Funk Guest

    You have the information you need to make your decision.
    You know, given what you say, that these places have very bad
    reputations.
    What do you want to hear? That everyone is wrong, and these places
    will sell you the camera at these low prices?
    Go ahead, risk it. It's only money. Lose all you want, you'll make
    more.

    --
    Senate Democrats proposed ethics
    reform legislation on Tuesday.
    It calls for lawmakers to pay the
    real cost of corporate jet flights
    and the full cost of skybox tickets
    for sporting events. If you want
    to know ahead of time what's going
    to happen to this bill, you simply
    need to watch the last five minutes
    of Old Yeller.
     
    Bill Funk, Jan 12, 2007
    #3
  4. If it is gray market you should be able to send it to Japan and get it
    fixed. It is a PITA, but doable. I would be more concerned with other
    problems from the vendor.

    ljc
     
    Little Juice Coupe, Jan 12, 2007
    #4
  5. If you decide to risk it use a credit card. This may or may not give you
    some protection if the company goes to screw you over.

    The chances are you will get gray market meaning for warranty service you
    have to send the camera to Japan, a little slow but do able. The bigger
    issue is will you get a complete camera or are they going to sell you all of
    the stuff that normally comes with the camera there by making the price
    $1300 or more.

    I would call and ask questions, get the name of the person you talk to and
    if you can record your conversation. Tell them up front you are doing this
    (to avoid any legal issues with recording the conversation) and then ask
    flat out what you are getting for the money. What comes with it, what
    doesn't, how much with shipping, tax, etc. What the warranty is, etc.

    If you can't record the conversation then do it by e-mail so you have a
    paper trail. Make sure and send the e-mails with a delivery and read receipt
    attached. The first one you will get back so you know they got it. The
    second one they can decline to respond to, but is worth a try anyways. Ask
    for the persons name you are dealing with and refer to them at all times in
    your e-mails.

    You are taking a risk, but if you can get it for that price without getting
    stuck having to pay $500 for the owner's manual and you actually do get a
    USA warranty (make sure it is from Nikon and not them. Some will offer a
    warranty themselves, you send it to them and they send it to Japan. The
    problem is if they go bye bye you are out of luck as then there is no
    guarantee you have any warranty even if you want to send it to Japan. You
    are better off with a real gray market that you know you have to send to
    Japan instead of their half-assed warranty that disappears with them).

    Good luck. Personally, I would save up and buy a real one. But, if that just
    isn't possible go for a D80 or a Pentax K10D both are more affordable from
    good dealers.

    ljc
     
    Little Juice Coupe, Jan 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Some heavily discounted stores/eBay strip the package down, and sell you
    all the FREE stuff that should be in the box;

    Strap
    EN-EL3e battery
    MH-18a charger
    Strap
    USB cable
    video cable
    software disks

    The dealer mark-up on most dSLR cameras is about 10% or less.
     
    Not Disclosed, Jan 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Chris W

    Mark² Guest

    With all you've written here...you seem knowingly bound and determined to
    become the latest sad story in a long line of "tales of the sucker."

    If you can't afford to buy it from a reputable source...

    ....then you most certainly can't afford to buy it from a bad source..at ANY
    "price."
     
    Mark², Jan 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Chris W

    AZ Nomad Guest

    You can get opinions of online stores at epinions, shopping.com, or
    frugal.

    Just because you paid way too much at a local shop doesn't mean you didn't buy a
    gray market camera. All buying local means is that you paid more for the rent
    of the building and the pretty display cases and perhaps for that snotty pimply
    faced youth you had all that trouble getting to pay any attention to you.

    The "knowledgable store owner" was home collecting his profits laughing all
    the way to the bank.
     
    AZ Nomad, Jan 12, 2007
    #8
  9. Chris W

    AZ Nomad Guest

    All zero of them.
     
    AZ Nomad, Jan 12, 2007
    #9
  10. Chris W

    Skip Guest

    Check resellerratings.com. You'll find that Express Cameras, for instance,
    has a Customer Satisfaction Rating of 0.39. Out of 10. Pretty poor. I'm
    guessing that you'll fine the others with similar ratings. It's not so much
    if the camera is grey market, it's whether you'll actually receive the
    camera at all, or that you'll end up buying "extras" like battery, battery
    charger, strap, things that you would get included if you bought the camera
    from a reputable dealer, like B&H. Or you might get a demand that you
    upgrade from the plastic lens mount version made in Viet Nam to the metal
    lens mount version made in Japan, only to find out that (a) if you refuse,
    the camera you ordered is back ordered 6 months and (b) that there really
    isn't a plastic lens mount version made in Viet Nam.
    Stick to the good guys...
     
    Skip, Jan 12, 2007
    #10
  11. Chris W

    Chris W Guest

    Actually I have learned a lot more from the other responses to my post.
    None of what I have read so far has said they never got a camera.
    Just that it was a pain and many were suckered into buying their
    seriously over priced accessories like the $300 2gb CF card and $600
    battery. I've also not read of anyone getting this good of a deal at
    these stores. Thought I haven't read about all of them.

    Right now I am leaning toward waiting for the price at B&H to drop below
    $1,000. I have no idea how long that might take.

    Another thought I have. All of these places will try to sell you an
    extended warranty for a ridiculous price. All it really is, is an
    insurance policy. I called my insurance company and they will sell me a
    policy for loss of electronics that will cover any kind of loss from
    theft to defect to vandalism, for less than half the price retailers
    want. I'm sure they would probably give you a hard time about trying to
    get it repaired, which could be difficult if it doesn't have a warranty.
    Will the US repair places work on a camera for that doesn't have a
    warranty like I assume that would for cameras that had an expired
    warranty. I probably doesn't matter anyway since I probably won't be
    buying any time soon.


    --
    Chris W
    KE5GIX

    "Protect your digital freedom and privacy, eliminate DRM,
    learn more at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/what_is_drm"

    Gift Giving Made Easy
    Get the gifts you want &
    give the gifts they want
    One stop wish list for any gift,
    from anywhere, for any occasion!
    http://thewishzone.com
     
    Chris W, Jan 12, 2007
    #11
  12. Yah, like the box! :(

    Robert


     
    Little Juice Coupe, Jan 12, 2007
    #12
  13. That's true. If you can't afford to buy from a good place, then you can't
    afford to flush the money down the toilet.

    Robert
     
    Little Juice Coupe, Jan 12, 2007
    #13
  14. One thing I haven't seen mentioned is and I have had friends this has
    happened to is that they place the order, it looks like all is fine, they
    don't try to screw you by selling you the camera box for $200, the battery
    for $600, etc. They charge you card and then cancel the order saying the out
    now out of stock and that they will get more in in a week or two, but the
    price will go up. Do you want to go ahead with the order, but at the higher
    price. This is like bate and switch.

    You see they never planned to sell you the camera at that price. They are
    just hoping that you will be the next sucker.

    But, at least if you do this you are going in with your eyes opened. Just if
    you have problems and have to turn to your credit card company don't let
    them see these posts.

    Robert
     
    Little Juice Coupe, Jan 12, 2007
    #14
  15. Chris W

    Mardon Guest

    Here's a couple of links from the Camera Store Front pages of Don Wiss.

    Express Cameras, a.k.a. Photo King, a.k.a. Jack's Express Photo
    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0020.htm

    Camera City Inc., a.k.a. Royal Camera and Video Inc.
    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0009.htm
     
    Mardon, Jan 12, 2007
    #15
  16. Chris W

    Mark² Guest

    I didn't mean to be harsh... I've just grown tired of seeing people be
    completely ripped off.

    It can be worse than you think.
    You may well get "a camera" but it may be used...with a non-English
    manual...no warranty...and simply not worth your money. I have a friend
    who--despite my warnings--insisted I'd paid too much for my 5D, and that he
    could get it for hundreds less, blah blah blah. So...He sent his money, and
    while he did indeed get a 5D, it was dirty, scratched, not in its original
    packaging...had a German manual only, and of course had no warranty. When
    hs went to return it, he found that they had applied more than half of his
    paid price to SHIPPING, meaning they then argued that they'd refund his
    "purchase price" only. So, of course, they did that, but they had cheated
    him out of his money by keeping the huge, so-called "shipping costs."

    It was all I could do to take pity on him, and not tell him "I told you
    so..." -I didn't need to say it, because he knew it was true. So... I
    continue happily shooting with my 5D, while his attempts to save a $$ left
    with with literally NO camera, and hundreds of $$ lighter in the wallet.

    So my point is...there are many ways you can get screwed, and just because
    you resist buying accessories or warranty does NOT mean that can't get you.

    -Mark²
     
    Mark², Jan 12, 2007
    #16
  17. Chris W

    Al Dykes Guest


    Reseller Ratings is a great website. For what they have to say, I
    wouldn't touch CCI on a bet; I've not looked at your other stores.

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/CCI_Camera_City
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 12, 2007
    #17
  18. Chris W

    Al Dykes Guest




    The problem with the third party and home insurance coverage for
    computer gear is that the fine print says "or equivalent". I've helped
    business folks get their low-end printer "fixed" on such a warranty
    and all they did was send us a refurb of the current low-end model,
    and left it to us (me) to reinstall drivers on a bunch of computers
    and some ink carts had to be chucked because the new model had new
    carts, of course.

    People buy the warranty card, which is sealed in plastic, and toss it
    in a drawer, unopened. My business owner did that and found, when he
    pulled it out, that it had to be registered and this took a mandatory
    two weeks before they would talk to us about the tech support request.
    I'm in Manhattan and am used to carry-in factory authorized service
    whenever I want it. The "Warranty card" folks could care less that we
    could carry the printer to a authorized repair station. It was all
    done by mail, at the cheapest rate.

    It's a scheme designed to take your money and make you jump through as
    many hoops as possible and discourage you before they actually have to
    fork over anything.
     
    Al Dykes, Jan 12, 2007
    #18
  19. Chris W

    Dave Cohen Guest

    More likely he saw you coming and had better things to do than converse
    with an idiot.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Jan 12, 2007
    #19
  20. Chris W

    Bill Funk Guest

    All zero of what?

    --
    Senate Democrats proposed ethics
    reform legislation on Tuesday.
    It calls for lawmakers to pay the
    real cost of corporate jet flights
    and the full cost of skybox tickets
    for sporting events. If you want
    to know ahead of time what's going
    to happen to this bill, you simply
    need to watch the last five minutes
    of Old Yeller.
     
    Bill Funk, Jan 12, 2007
    #20
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