Pre-ordering from B&H

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Bill Hilton, May 26, 2004.

  1. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    I'd like to pre-order an expensive item from B&H but I'm also on wait lists for
    this at two other places, where they might get it in stock sooner.

    The pre-order info from B&H says "Your card will be charged upon placing the
    order" ... this is what has me worried since I might get charged up front and
    then can't get the item (I need it badly before a certain date) if someone else
    has it in stock first.

    Anyone have experience with pre-ordering from B&H? Did they charge you right
    away and did they give you a chance to back out later before shipping the item?

    Bill Hilton, May 26, 2004
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  2. What you effectively expect to do is commit criminal fraud. No worse than
    paying for goods with a Cheque (check) and stopping payment on it. When will
    the penny drop?
    You can't order goods and not expect to pay for them. Either cancel the
    order with the other stores (you already ordered it more than once???) or
    get a grip on what you are doing. The world does not owe Bill Hilton a

    Not for Publication, May 26, 2004
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  3. Bill Hilton

    z-one-b Guest

    That's not the point. Re-read the original post. If the item becomes
    available, he will pay for it.
    Indeed, but I think you may owe him an apology.

    z-one-b, May 26, 2004
  4. I can't speak for B&H, but I can understand their situation. They are
    ordering for customers, not maybe customers. If you want to be a maybe
    customer then you need to deal with a retailer who will accept that kind of
    transaction. It sounds like B&H does not. In their shoes, I don't think I
    would either.

    Personally I believe I would just order from B&H and cancel the other
    Joseph Meehan, May 26, 2004
  5. Recommend that you don't do that. It is, in effect, fraud.

    What you can do is place yourself on the waiting list to be notified when an
    item comes into stock. You have not committed yourself to purchasing the
    item, so all you expect to receive is notification that the item is in

    If the item is a special order, however, this does not apply. So there is
    actually no such thing as a pre-order. Sometimes, however, if you request
    an item that the store might or might not stock, they will order one on the
    chance that you'll buy it. The difference here is clearly spelled out in
    advance, however.

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 27, 2004
  6. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Not for Publication"
    Cancelling an order is criminal fraud? LOL ...
    I don't have "orders" with other stores, I'm on wait-lists to be notified when
    the item comes in, as I said clearly in my post ... " I'm also on wait lists
    for this at two other places"
    I'll get on the wait list at every place that is reputable and will take my
    order ... I'm covering all my bases :)
    I learned that at age 7 when I got my first job!

    Bill Hilton, May 27, 2004
  7. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: Nick J
    Thanks Nick, that's what I was asking.

    Charging the card the full price without guaranteeing a ship date is something
    I'd like to avoid, for obvious reasons. Right now I'm still waiting for a
    printer (Epson 4000) which I paid a $100 deposit on last November ... I'm up to
    # 29 out of 154 on a list at another vendor and I'm hearing "maybe July". I
    think I'll pass on B&H until they get it in stock.
    Yeah, I always try to buy from B&H but sometimes they don't have stuff in

    Bill Hilton, May 27, 2004
  8. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Joseph Meehan"
    Actually they have an email "notify me when in stock" service too, which kicks
    in when all the pre-orders are filled.
    If I knew they'd have it in a reasonable time I'd probably do this, but when I
    called today after getting notice this item (a Canon 1D Mark II digital camera)
    was finally available on "pre-order" for the first time I found they were
    closed for a couple days.

    My worry is I'll get charged $4,500 for this on a pre-order and still not
    receive it in time for a trip to Alaska in a few weeks, which would really hurt
    if one of the other vendors gets it in stock in the meantime.

    Bill Hilton, May 27, 2004
  9. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "William D. Tallman"
    Cancelling an order on something you haven't received is "fraud"? Don't think
    so ... some of their items are listed as "special order: pre-pay with no
    refund" but not this one.
    Yeah, that's what I'm doing with other vendors and I guess I'll just have B&H
    email me with their "notify when item in stock" service.
    Here's what I got from B&H this morning ... "pre-order" is their term, not
    mine. I'd call it "pay now, eat later, how much later we cannot say" :)

    <from B&H email>
    "This item did not come in to stock yet,
    However, we are now accepting pre-orders and the item will be shipped when
    it comes in to stock. If you still wish to be notified when it actually
    comes in to stock, please re-submit your request to be notified.

    To pre-order or to re-submit your notification request please click
    Bill Hilton, May 27, 2004
  10. It is only fraud, if you are planning on canceling it if another
    supplier gets it in stock first, or if it does not come in be a specific
    date or some other reason AND you don't tell them about that first.

    Most dealers are understanding about things you could not know about
    when you placed the order, like losing your job, but they do expect that
    when you place and order, it is in good faith that you don't have plans to
    cancel it that you don't share with them.
    Joseph Meehan, May 27, 2004
  11. Joseph makes the salient point here. Having an agenda and/or intentions the
    other guy has not been given to understand is misrepresentation in a
    business transaction, and (I think) constitutes fraud. I'm not a lawyer,
    and am not giving legal advice, but I'd guess that the opinion is supported
    by statute.

    I also think that B&H is tainting themselves by using this terminology thus.

    An order is an initiation of a transaction. The transaction actually occurs
    when the exchange of money and goods takes place. Pre-ordering is putting
    a conditional order in place, backed by the availability of funds (kinda
    like escrow). The default situation is that the order goes forward when
    the stock arrives, and the funds are acquired when the goods are shipped.
    This can happen so easily on the net with the inclusion of a card number
    with the pre-order. In effect, it constitutes an order that is cancellable
    without penalty.

    What B&H is telling you in this case is that they intend to make it
    difficult for you to cancel because they've already got your money. I
    won't suggest that they'd try to keep it because I certainly don't believe
    they would, but they're making interest on your money in the mean-time, and
    that's not really an honorable practice, I think.

    Is B&H justified in doing this? It depends. If in fact B&H has suffered
    seriously from cancelled orders specifically for the reasons you
    contemplate, they are certainly entitled to defend themselves in this
    regard. But: I doubt that B&H has been seriously hurt by this sort of
    thing. And I think they do not serve themselves well by this mild
    subterfuge. They should either stipulate up front that they will only
    accept prepaid orders for specified items out of stock, or they should
    conform to standard practices, whatever the consequences.

    Just my thoughts. I guess I wouldn't care what B&H does if I didn't feel
    they were such a top-notch outfit in general. And I throw that in because
    its true, and so that Henry will know if he reads this.

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 27, 2004
  12. Bill Hilton

    RWatson767 Guest

    Yeah, I always try to buy from B&H but sometimes they don't have stuff in

    FWIW. Try But they too have a waiting list. I did get my 2200 at
    CompUSA for the same price as B&H. Saved on the shipping.
    Bob AZ
    RWatson767, May 27, 2004
  13. Bill Hilton

    PhotoMan Guest

    Sounds like a 1D Mk II :)
    PhotoMan, May 27, 2004
  14. Bill Hilton

    Nick J Guest


    When I ordered an out of stock item from B&H they did charge my card
    right away, as they clearly stated they would.
    Although I can understand their reasons for doing so, I don't agree that
    it's the correct way for a retail transaction to occur.
    Hence I now generally order from Adorama when I'm pre-ordering*

    I've had nothing but good service from both of these stores, which as an
    international customer is worth a lot.


    * what the hell does that word mean anyway, surely I've either ordered
    an item or I've not ;-)
    Nick J, May 27, 2004
  15. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    Recommend that you don't do that. It is, in effect, fraud.
    I tried calling them to see if they could give me a ship date or at least tell
    me where I was on their list but they are closed for two days for some reason,
    maybe for a Jewish holiday.

    Recently I tried ordering something expensive and no one with a high customer
    rating had it in stock, except one place. When I called them the guy said they
    didn't actually have it in stock but could *definitely* get it in 3 days if I
    paid in full (this was about $8,000 for a 1Ds, memory cards and extra battery).
    I told him I would place the order and give the credit card info if he would
    let me back out if they didn't get the item within 5 days, cutting him two days
    slack. He said fine ... and five days later when he still didn't have it (but
    promised it was due 'any day now' :) I backed out. For all I know they STILL
    don't have it in stock! A week later B&H did get it in stock and notified me
    via their web service and I got it there, as usual.

    So I wouldn't want to enter into a one-sided agreement (you get my money up
    front with no definite ship date) and since only the web site was open for this
    B&H order I was leery about pre-ordering without hearing what others in this
    situation had experienced (thanks, Nick J, your post was what I needed to hear
    -- and you didn't even accuse me of fraud :)

    A couple years ago I thought the B&H policy was to put a hold on your credit
    card funds (so they knew you actually had the credit) but not to bill you until
    they actually shipped the item, which seems fairer to me, especially if there's
    no clear delivery date. Looks like that policy has changed though.

    Bill Hilton, May 27, 2004
  16. Dont squirm Bill.
    B&H said you have to pay and you want to be able to reneg on that agreement
    if someone else offers you one first/cheaper.
    It's fraud!
    Not for Publication, May 27, 2004
  17. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Not for Publication"
    Thanks again for your input Douglas, I always look forward to reading your
    insightful posts. LOL ...
    Bill Hilton, May 28, 2004
  18. Bill Hilton

    Mark M Guest

    Wrong again.
    Mark M, May 28, 2004
  19. Bill Hilton

    BandHPhoto Guest

    <Anyone have experience with pre-ordering from B&H? Did they charge you right

    If you pay by credit card, the card is charged in full when the order is

    <and did they give you a chance to back out later before shipping the item?>

    If you cancel before the item is shipped you get a full refund. If you cancel
    after, you pay shipping.
    - --

    Henry Posner/B&H Photo-Video
    BandHPhoto, May 29, 2004
  20. Bill Hilton

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: (BandHPhoto)
    Thanks Henry, I can live with this. I'll give you guys a call tomorrow and see
    how deep the queue is for this camera.

    Bill Hilton, May 29, 2004
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