Where do you buy your new photo equipment?

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Planapo
Posts: 1533
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Where do you buy your new photo equipment?

Post by Planapo »

Guys,

For "hunting" in the field I plan to buy a new Canon 2.8/100 mm or Sigma 2.8/150 mm EX DG APO HSM IF macro lens but with no good local photo store around that I would know of, I more and more tend to buy stuff not locally. And with the EURO to USD or GBP rate being attractive at the moment so that the prices plus shipping costs and tax/custom fees can be lower in the USA or UK , I take into consideration to buy some parts from abroad. Here I mean such new, up-to-date things like lenses, flash units, etc. and not the used "goodies" we hunt (or rather "fish") for elsewere for our special purposes.

One thing I am unsure about is whether the Canon or Sigma warranty of such an item that was bought from abroad, is valid and can be claimed from the local Canon or Sigma service centers here in Germany in case a problem should occur. Do you know anything about this?

And can you recommend trustworthy mail order stores you've bought photo equipment from to have it shipped to your place?

Thanks.

--Betty

Mike B in OKlahoma
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:32 pm
Location: Oklahoma City

Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

Hi Betty!

My short answer: I suspect you might have warranty issues, but don't know for sure. For US purchases, buy from amazon.com or B&H. Longer version of answer follows:

My understanding is that each regional company of Canon (for instance, Canon USA) is independent and has the right _NOT_ to service Canon equipment bought from other regions for use in their part of the world. I know nothing about Sigma warranties, I've never had problems with Sigma.

My favorite place to buy photo equipment is Amazon.com, they have competitive prices and an excellent return policy (in one case I bought a Canon lens from them that would not focus reliably, and after I reported the problem and got the return authorization, they immediately (without waiting to receive my returned lens) sent me a replacement by 2-day delivery. I'm not sure if Amazon.com will deliver camera equipment to Europe, however. Here's a link to their international shipping policy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/ ... eId=596184&

My second favorite place to buy is bhphotovideo.com. B&H is a real brick-and-mortar photography store in New York City. I've dealt with them for years, including doing returns, and they were good to deal with. In one case they accepted an unused return (never removed from packaging) simply because I changed my mind ("buyer's remorse"). So they are also very good to deal with. Since they are a photography store, they have some specialized photography stuff Amazon won't carry. I've been satisfied with the used equipment I've bought from B&H. Here's a page from B&H with their international shipping policy:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/HelpCe ... ngPolicies

I have also dealt satisfactorily with Adorama.com and with Samys.com, and both are long-established and legitimate businesses, but they don't rate as high with me as Amazon or B&H.

Be warned that there are a number of businesses that advertise very low prices over the internet but use deceptive practices. One of the most notorious of these is Broadwayphoto.com, but there are others as well and they continually change their names. An example I have direct knowledge of is when my stepmother wanted to buy my father a nice point and shoot camera. I recommended B&H or Amazon to her, but she found a slightly better price (I believe about $30 on a $400 camera) at Broadway Photo. I advised her not to purchase there, but she placed her order anyway to try to save a few dollars. Soon after she received a call from Broadway explaining that the camera she had ordered was special "import" version that did not come with a battery. But they'd be happy to sell her a battery for only $60 (this placed the total price significantly higher than from legitimate retailers). She asked to buy the camera without the battery, and was told that wasn't possible. After considerable arguing with them, they did finally agree to cancel her order. This is pretty typical of those retailers. If you find a vendor that beats the Amazon and B&H price by more than a percent or so, I'd be extremely suspicious. I'm sufficiently happy with Amazon and B&H that I don't even research prices at other stores unless both my preferred stores are out of stock and the item is something I feel I must have immediately.

Sorry to drone on so long!
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin

Charles Krebs
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 pm
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
Contact:

Post by Charles Krebs »

I've been very satisfied with Adorama (www.adorama.com) for many years.
Also, if you do a search for the product you want with Microsoft's "Bing" search engine you can usually get 3-6% "cash-back" of purchases from Adorama and other stores. (Not sure if this is available to non-US residents)

Occasionally this Bing "cash-back" percentage is much more for Ebay vendors. There are a few stores that sell on Ebay that I trust. "Cametaauctions" is one, "Calumetphoto" is another. But I'll usually only consider these if the "cash-back" percentage is 10% or more, and they are offering the product I want, and it represents a significant savings over Adorama.

elf
Posts: 1398
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:10 pm

Post by elf »

Mike B in OKlahoma wrote: My favorite place to buy photo equipment is Amazon.com,
Be wary of Amazon.com. They allow 3rd party businesses to advertise and some of these are the shady photo stores. A friend at work with a brand new Nikon D300 was refused warranty replacement of a defective shutter.

Mike B in OKlahoma
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:32 pm
Location: Oklahoma City

Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

elf wrote:
Mike B in OKlahoma wrote: My favorite place to buy photo equipment is Amazon.com,
Be wary of Amazon.com. They allow 3rd party businesses to advertise and some of these are the shady photo stores. A friend at work with a brand new Nikon D300 was refused warranty replacement of a defective shutter.
Agreed. To be clearer, I was speaking only of Amazon.com itself, not affiliated sellers.
Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin

Planapo
Posts: 1533
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

Mike, Charlie, elf, thanks much for your input boys. Such places like B&H, Adorama and trustworthy ebay shops is what I was looking for. From over here, some items like photo gear one can't buy from amazon.com itself but only from amazon.de. And that is that with free trade!

Mike wrote:
Sorry to drone on so long!
No, no, keep on "droning"! Much appreciated"

And what about our members form the British Isles? Do you buy locally or in the USA, or are there no trustworthy mail order shops in Britain you know of? Hey c'mon Dave, Laurie, Andrew, Chris ..., do you really want me to boost the American economy with my dosh? How about some patriotism?! Look at me, I would never go for any other stuff than Leitz/Leica or Zeiss, (shush Charlie!) and then of course nothing but VW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche... what, that Toyota in front of the house?... erm.. well it's his not mine, you know, ... well I'm using it,... just occasionally ... :^o :D :wink: :wink:

--Betty

lauriek
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:57 am
Location: South East UK
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Post by lauriek »

Betty I drive a VW! :)

I don't buy much photo gear new, but when I do and it's from the UK I have used Warehouse Express, and Digital Depot without any problems. I think the UK prices are not great compared to US though...

NikonUser
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Post by NikonUser »

Betty:
If ordering from the USA be doubly sure that the seller will 'personally' mail your item preferably by USPS (United States Postal Service). I have had gear from the USA and the seller relied on a 'broker' (whatever the heck that is) to do the mailing. Such 'brokers' seem to charge a minumum of $50.00 + postage simply to mail the stuff. I think that unless you are buying nuclear weapons then there is absolutely no need for a 'broker'.
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Peter M. Macdonald
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:59 pm
Location: Berwickshire, Scotland

Post by Peter M. Macdonald »

Betty,

Canon have a European warranty, so a UK purchase can be sent in for service anywhere in the European Union.

WarehouseExpress give good service, usually have most things in stock but they are not cheap. Calumet are also good and usually not cheap. Their special offers can sometimes be very good.

Mifsuds have a good reputuaion and are about the cheapest advertised prices in UK for many things. Also worth a try is the Southampton branch of London Camera Exchange. Not sure why only that branch. Think it may be a franchise.

If bringin camera equipmet into the EU you may have to pay an import duty. When I looked at getting a Canon 600 mm f 4.0 a few years back duty was running at 4.2 % on price paid, including the carriage. You will then have Value Added Tax on top of the total of the above. Postal Service and courier companies charge a handling fee for the collection of the duty and tax. When I looked at it all, the saving was less than £100 on a £6,000 lens. I decided that it was not worth doing as I would get a European warranty.

Given the way that the Pound has fallen against the Yen and the US Dollar in recent times, it may be that the equation works out better now. Canon prices in the UK have risen by a little over one third this year.

Happy shopping

Peter

DaveW
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:29 am
Location: Nottingham, UK

Post by DaveW »

Hi Betty, if you are buying within the EU you have certain rights in law that override manufacturers Warranty exclusions. In many other countries the manufacturer is responsible for faults, but as I understand it in the EU it is the firm selling you the new items responsibility to put it right, and it is up to them to deal with the manufacturer not you.

Therefore manufacturers warranty exclusions don't concern you as you simply contact the seller to put things right. Whether they can get the manufacturer to do it for them is not your concern. See:-

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/ ... 022_en.htm

The following UK Sale of Goods Act based on EU legislation says:-

"It is the seller, not the manufacturer, who is responsible if goods do not conform to contract."

http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consume ... 38311.html

In the USA, unlike the EU, they still seem to be working with the law of "buyer beware" and seemingly usually have less statutory protection:-

http://www.usa-vs-uk.com/consumerrights.html

If a seller refuses to deal with a faulty item in the EU contact your equivalent of Trading Standards or your Consumer Protection Services.

DaveW

Planapo
Posts: 1533
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

Laurie, NU, Peter and Dave thanks much for your help and thoughts boys!

So I can do my homework now and lets see from what direction Santa will bring it. Yep, Christmas seems to be dawning :smt114, it's still over 20 °C, people go to the beach for a swim, and I have already discovered the first stollen in the shops. :roll:

I dislike shopping for more expensive stuff, it stresses me as I want to make sure not to be ripped-off, hence this posting. When I have to buy such things like clothes or shoes and I find something good, I sometimes buy it double and store one piece so that I don't have the hassle too soon again.

Thanks again!

--Betty

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