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Thread: Best online camera equipment

  1. #1

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    Best online camera equipment

    Hi, any ideas as to what online camera store is most reputable? Best return policy is a real consideration.

  2. #2
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    There are quite a number of completely reputable stores. I most often use B&H, sometimes Adorama. There are a number of other stores that are also very good, but I will let others who purchase from them chime in.

    I have only had to return things to B&H a couple of times that I can remember. Once was because the merchandise arrived damaged. The other time was my fault: I ordered the wrong thing. In both cases, the process was quick and painless, and the customer service reps were courteous.

  3. #3
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    My experience with B&H and Adorama is the same as Dan's. I usually use B&H as they have a painless system (duties and taxes) when I order from Canada. I order one day and the stuff is usually in my hands two days later. Their prices are usually very competitive.
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 2nd January 2013 at 12:36 PM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    I also normally use either B&H or Adorama and have always been pleased with them. Most of the time, I seem to use Adorama. I have also used Amazon on occasion. They are quite reputable, although they don't always pay the attention to packing that I would like. On the plus side, if anything is damaged in shipment, returns are no hassle, though. For used or refurbished equipment, I have used both Adorama and KEH and have been fully satisfied with both. They are accurate in their descriptions and stand behind what they sell.
    Last edited by tclune; 2nd January 2013 at 02:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    I will chime in for B&H and Adorama. I've ordered both large and small items (presently awaiting a Brother scanner from B&H) from these merchants and have never had a bit of problem. The shipping is fast and reliable and is often free (at least within the lower 48).

    If you find a price on the Internet for any item significantly below B&H or Adorama, I would bet that the Internet offering is a scam...

    BTW, I have purchased several Adorama house brand items (Flashpoint brand name) and have been satisfied with their quality and price. I use their Flashpoint F-1 Arca Compatible ball head for my lightweight travel tripod...

    BTW: Another reliable merchant is Calumet Camera but, since there is a brick and mortar Calumet store near my home, I have never purchased online from this merchant. The prices are not always the best from Calumet but, I will often purchase there for ease of buying. Their top-line house brand filters are quite good. I was told by the store manager that Calumet gets their filters from Schneider of Germany. I have no reason to disbelieve that statement.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd January 2013 at 02:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    +1 for B&H. Have returned stuff (including a camera) to them with no problems at all and their return system is easy to use.

  7. #7

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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    I last bought Amazon but previously B&H and KEH and all times the gear has been very well packed ... an education for when I sell on the net ... not had to return anything as yet. Old fashioned and make sure what I spend on is what I want.

    I did have a problem with the delivery of a snowblower and found the Amazon site quite imposssible and eventually used google to track down the delivery outfit and sort things out directly.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    An aside comment - regarding both the OP and Dan's post about 'returns':

    It is a luxury that in some countries one is allowed to return goods and expect a refund or replacement, if one orders erroneously or, if after the purchase one chooses to change one's mind.

    It's interesting, (my company had a retail sales entity for many years), the number of Northern American visitors who have assumed that a 'returns' policy is universal and I have seen several quite disgruntled when they are made aware of the precise consumer laws which might be in effect in other countries.

    I.e. (in general terms) that the goods could be returned if defective, but there is no obligation for the vendor to accept any returned goods if the Purchaser changes their mind.
    And in some cases a non-defective item may NOT be accepted for return and then resold, even as ‘second hand’.
    And any returned good, may NOT be resold as a new item.

    WW

  9. #9
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    B&H or Adorama never had any problems with them

  10. #10

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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    My experience with B&H and Adorama is the same as Dan's. I usually use B&H as they have a painless system (duties and taxes) when I order from Canada. I order one day and the stuff is usually in my hands two days later. Their prices are usually very competitive.
    Manfred - could you elaborate a bit about this? The few times I have ordered from the US has been a PITA so have now confined purchases to times when I am outside Canada. Particularly annoying is that so called brokerage charge for I have no idea what.

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Manfred - could you elaborate a bit about this? The few times I have ordered from the US has been a PITA so have now confined purchases to times when I am outside Canada. Particularly annoying is that so called brokerage charge for I have no idea what.
    Bobo - B&H have an option where they take care of customs, brokerage and HST (for a fairly reasonable fee when compared to UPS and FedEx). This option pops up when you go through the checkout process and identify country and province. You sign for the package when it arrives and no there are no other fees.

    I find their Purolator Ground option quite cost effective; I live in suburban Ottawa and if I order prior to their shipping cutoff (later in the afternoon), the goods are usually delivered two days later. If I'm not home, I can pick up my package after 5:00 at my local Home Hardware store. It works really well for me.

  12. #12

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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Thanks Manfred.

    I will give it a go for a next purchase. Have nothing in the lust bag atm.

  13. #13
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Thanks Manfred.

    I will give it a go for a next purchase. Have nothing in the lust bag atm.
    I have lots in the lust bag, but unfortunately the discretionary spending bag is rather empty right now.

  14. #14
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    The last time I ordered from B+H I experienced the same thing as Manfred - the box came from Oakville though. So I'm assuming they have a warehouse, or some other means of shipping from within Canada. When I asked them why I still have to pay the duty on it, it was explained to me that B+H in New York, then have to replace that piece of equipment in Canada, and therefore have to pay the duty themselves.

  15. #15

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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    I just wanted to update my view of Amazon: I ordered a monopod using a gift certificate, and they charged me for the item twice. I have been on the phone for hours with them and in e-mail communication multiple times. Virtually everyone that I have talked with has understood the problem, and no-one has fixed it. It has taken enough of my time that I am about to let them keep the money -- but they won't be getting any more of my business. FWIW
    Last edited by tclune; 4th January 2013 at 01:09 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Has anybody bought fron 42nd street Photo in New York!

  17. #17
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    I have not purchased from 42nd Street Photo but, I did buy a few big ticket items from 17th Street Photo, years ago. Their prices, delivery and customer service were right up there with B&H and Adorama. I don't know why I stopped buying from them. I think that it was the fact that several years ago, their website was not as easy to navigate as was B&H and Adorama.

    I do remember when there had been some talk about the 70-200mm f/4L IS (not IS) lens front or back focusing (when it was first introduced); Paul of 17th offered to check out the lens before sending it to me. The one he sent was spot on!

    However, 17th Street Camera website now seems easy to nagigate through. I have not purchased from them in years but, see no reason why their customer service and reliability would have changed...

    http://www.17photo.com/

  18. #18

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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Hmm, no one from the UK / Europe has chipped in on this thread... I'm afraid that despite being in that region I can't offer any wisdom as I last bought camera gear way back in the early 90s. I only entered the digital world when I inherited a Canon 400D + 18-55 kit lens + Tamron 55-200.

    I'm in the same state as Manfred (lust bag full, spare cash bag empty) and likely to be that way for several years yet, until my two stucklings are out the other side of university.

    Still, I'd like to hear where those of you on this side of the pond do buy your kit.

    Ken

  19. #19
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Another +1 for B&H, including a lense bought from the 'refurb' dept and most recently a 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Lens, bought from the Used Dept. It looked brand new and I've not had any issues with it at all.

  20. #20
    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Best online camera equipment

    Thanks Richard, My wife said that I an have a Canon 7D to replace my 1000D for Christmas/Birthday. when we get our tax returns. So I am starting to shop around.

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