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Thread: Talk about a rip off artist...

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Talk about a rip off artist...

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of rip-off artists working the Internet, at least in the USA. many of these are simply store fronts with just an address but, no merchandise.

    They will advertise gear at a very low price and after the poor soul pays for the gear, they will try to sell the accessories which Canon supplies with the lens at crazy prices. This boosts the price of the gear well above the normal retail price and that is how the scammer makes his profit. If the sucker doesn't want to pay the price, they say the item is not in stock and the customer has the Devil's own time getting his money back. It is bad to pay with debit cards and crazy to pay with money orders of checks. Because the seller has your cash and you have to get it back from him. At least with a credit card, you have some recourse.

    The newest scam I have heard of regarding Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lenses is claiming that the rash of poor focusing has resulted from lenses produced in Malaysia or Taiwan or Thailand, and that the sellers lenses are more expensive because they are manufactured in Japan. What hogwash!

    For some reason, these gypsy scammers often work out of Brooklyn, New York, When the district attorney closes one down, it just opens under a different name. I had some problems with a Brooklyn reseller when I first bought my Canon 10D many years ago and never purchased from one again.

    I am sure there are honest resellers in Brooklyn and in Eastern Europe, JUST AS I AM CERTAIN THAT A FLOCK OF PIGS JUST FLEW OVER MY HOUSE!

    For U.S. buyers, check http://www.resellerratings.com/ for comments on Internet sellers. I am sure that there are equivalent sites in the U.K., New Zealand and Australia.

  2. #2
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    For your amusement. Back in 2006, one lone photographer decided to do a little investigating of his own on all the bait'n'switch scam operations in Brooklyn. Here's his story:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/ny...pagewanted=all

    And here are the photos:
    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Thanks Richard & Kathy
    A timely warning - I am buying equipment for our school at the moment (for me to use ) and was told about 1 seller who has both Internet sales and stores that 'oh did you know that theyr are a parallel importer"........I'm not quite understanding that.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Good information, I guess the best option for photographers is to find a good source and stick with them.

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    I don't want to scare people away from the Internet as a viable method of purchasing photo gear at good prices. There are several sellers in the New York area with whom I have done business. I have purchased both DSLR cameras, high-value lenses and other accessories from Adorama http://www.adorama.com/ , B&H Photo/Video http://www.bhphotovideo.com/ , and 17th Street Photo http://www.17photo.com/ . These dealers are all based in Manhattan, New York City (as opposed to Brooklyn which is also part of that city) and are very reliable and offer good prices. Sometimes one or another will have a slightly better deal on a specific piece of equipment but, it is usually not a significant difference.

    I like Adorama's online catalog a bit better, like their house brand (Flashpoint) for many accessories and like that they sell Canon refurbished equipment and add their own 12-month warranty. Buying directly from Canon results in only a 90-day warranty for refurbished gear. Adorama usually offers free shipping on Canon refurbs and since I do not live in New York State, I don't pay New York State Sales Tax. This can amount to a significant savings. I was researching a refurbished 7D from Adorama and from Canon using their Loyalty Program. Since I could get about a hundred dollars or a bit more for the 10D I would trade in and I would have no shipping or sales tax added; my bottom line price at Adorama would be very close to Canon's Loyalty Program cost... and I would get a full 12-month warranty.

    I have received some very personal assistance from Paul of 17th Street Photo who offered to test a piece of equipment before sending it to me when there had been a flurry of complaints about quality control on this lens.

    I have had absolutely no problems buying from B&H either.

    Any of these three resellers are good choices. However, if you find a piece of gear advertised on the Internet at a significantly lower price than the average price of these three sellers, I would bet THAT THE GEAR IS BEING OFFERED BY A SCAMMER AND YOU WILL NOT GET THE ITEM AT THE PRICE YOU EXPECT!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 16th February 2011 at 02:32 PM.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    What I can't understand is - in the USA, where (like New Zealand) shall I say "it's a lot easier to end up in jail than it is in a lot of other countries", "why aren't these perpetual scammers being sent there for a long, long time?"

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    One dayers at one location and gone the next...they have more phones than Edison, more addresses than most midwestern small towns...it is why I only buy from reputable dealers like B&H Photo Video (and, they ship worldwide). I do pay a little more in some cases, but not enough that it worries me and I don't have that scammer worry factor. Count yourself lucky it wsn't more money and take it as a nasty trick lesson learned.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    That is all very interesting to know. I can't remember the last time I was scammed and they got away with it, in fact I don't think anybody has successfully scammed me.
    But then I forgot Cannon prices, this is surely a scam where they can charge 3x more than anybody.
    I'm not so worried about Ebay since I can use Paypal; but I always check traders outside of Ebay at Companies House, get an address and geographic telephone number, also check at Trading Standards who always say Data Protection Act but worth looking anyway, before committing any details in an INTERNET transaction.
    For instance I had a 50 year old freezer which needed replacing; the cheapest place for what I wanted avoided giving an address or telephone number, nevertheless I found them and telephone in Manchester as a large company, that tells lies.
    So I bought from another also checked out company that wasn't hiding, for a bit more.
    On the INTERNET you have to ask; why is this company making it difficult to find out who they are.
    Then you can't get scammed.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    But then I forgot Cannon prices, this is surely a scam where they can charge 3x more than anybody.
    Any particular brand of Cannon?

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Any particular brand of Cannon?
    Exit: Basil Brush.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    Exit: Basil Brush.
    You'd need two cannons for that

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Ever heard of Simplyelectronics? They offer Nikon (and probably other brands) at sometimes very attractive prices. On some forums (see DPReview or AV) they are branded as a con. They seem to be Europe based, but there is a suspicion that they are really in Hong Kong.

    On another note @rpcrowe: I am not sure about the value of Made in Japan versus Made in Malaysia, Taiwan or Thailand. TBH , I would personally prefer Made in Japan, although the production in the other countries is probably just as good with all the quality control that you might expect from the big established brands. It is funny that some of the more expensive Nikon lenses are made in Japan and some of the less expensive elsewhere, but that can be just a coincidence.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    If you look at the box for the new Nikon D7000's, they are assembled in Malaysia...it is an international world where everything is outsourced to the lowest bidder. The United States is probably the worst offender in that category, and now for that sin, we pay heavily...c'est la vie.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    If you look at the box for the new Nikon D7000's, they are assembled in Malaysia...it is an international world where everything is outsourced to the lowest bidder. The United States is probably the worst offender in that category, and now for that sin, we pay heavily...c'est la vie.
    Well, actually, we probably pay less because of that. But I get your drift, just saying though.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by Letrow View Post
    Well, actually, we probably pay less because of that. But I get your drift, just saying though.
    Well, when you consider our young people have very little to do other than fast food if they aren't high school or college graduates, it becomes a huge problem. In this country, the high school graduation rate is dismal, the college graduation rate nearly as bad. We are dumbing down the system to accomodate everyone, outsourcing our commodities and then wondering why selling drugs, armed robbery, and petty theft have become so popular...unfortunately, I see the same thing happening in many of the other more industrialized countries in the world.

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Any particular brand of Cannon?
    Not really; can't think what I was thinking; CLI dye ink 20 in some high st places for 13ml, TC80N3 125 or more, battery for 50D 90.

    I think a TC80N3 should be less than 50, ink less than 10, battery less than 20.

  17. #17
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    Well, when you consider our young people have very little to do other than fast food if they aren't high school or college graduates, it becomes a huge problem. In this country, the high school graduation rate is dismal, the college graduation rate nearly as bad. We are dumbing down the system to accomodate everyone, outsourcing our commodities and then wondering why selling drugs, armed robbery, and petty theft have become so popular...unfortunately, I see the same thing happening in many of the other more industrialized countries in the world.
    I think it is great what our government (sarcasm) is doing for foreign students; reducing fees and lowering the entrance level, at the same time increasing fees for indiginous students and raising the bar for them.
    Although when I went to university, Cambridge required 4 straight A's at a harder A level than now, but apparently I saw on a toff private schools website they only require 2A's and a B now, which was what was the average at my university, Birmingham.

    Poland has a higher percentage of graduates than Britain had in 2007, suspect they are streets ahead now.

  18. #18
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by Letrow View Post

    On another note @rpcrowe: I am not sure about the value of Made in Japan versus Made in Malaysia, Taiwan or Thailand. TBH , I would personally prefer Made in Japan, although the production in the other countries is probably just as good with all the quality control that you might expect from the big established brands. It is funny that some of the more expensive Nikon lenses are made in Japan and some of the less expensive elsewhere, but that can be just a coincidence.
    The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses are all manufactured in (I believe three different factories) Japan. That was the point of my original post... The scammer was trying to get extra money from the "mark" by claiming that his lenses were more expensive because they were made in Japan and better...

    When I purchased my first DSLR, the scammer tried to tell me that his camera was better because it had the Canon CD's. All Canon DSLR cameras come with the requisite CD's.

  19. #19
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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    As we say here in the UK, (and maybe in the USA also), if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
    I purchased a Nikon lens recently from Camera Box, price included free shipping. They 'phoned me to say the lens was in their Express Warehouse, and for an extra 6.95 they would despatch it the next day, otherwise it would be sometime next week. I refused this offer. The lens arrived two days later!
    Last edited by charzes44; 17th February 2011 at 06:19 PM.

  20. #20

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    Re: Talk about a rip off artist...

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Not really; can't think what I was thinking; CLI dye ink 20 in some high st places for 13ml, TC80N3 125 or more, battery for 50D 90.

    I think a TC80N3 should be less than 50, ink less than 10, battery less than 20.
    Ah - I get it now ... you we're talking about Canon, not cannons.

    Many people look at items and think or say "it should cost a lot less", but the reality is that the money people pay has to be split a LOT of different ways; some to think about ...

    - some of it goes to the retailer so they can make a profit
    - some of it goes to the local or national distributer so they can make a profit
    - some goes to the manufacturer to cover production costs
    - some of it covers the cost of tooling up a factory to manufacture the item
    - some of it covers the research and development costs
    - some of it goes towards the salaries of management
    - some of it goes towards the cost of maintaining corporate buildings
    - some of it goes towards the cost of insurance / of legal fees

    ... and the list goes on and on and on and on and on.

    Canon publish their yearly financial results on their website ... the other day I downloaded and had a look at the 2010 result. If they were were to reduce the cost of everything the sell by just 10% - and assuming that this didn't result in more sales - then the overall profit that they make as a corporation would drop to ZERO.

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