Have you ever bought a camera from Amazon?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Sanford, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. How was the experience compared to B&H? Does Amazon insinuate itself into your life or can you make one purchase and never hear from them again.
     
  2. SCL

    SCL

    Once. No problems, no they don't pester you unless you check boxes asking for promotions.
     
  3. I have been doing business with Amazon since the days when they were nothing more than an upstart, online bookseller... :rolleyes:

    Now they have moved into the position of being the largest online retailer in the world--and killing traditional B&M stores by the month.

    Here is the thing. "Buying from Amazon" can mean several things. The first is that Amazon stocks and sells the item--and therefore offers certain consumer protections. The second is that the item is sold by an online affiliate store--and is stocked and backed by that particular store. Pay very close attention to the consumer satisfaction ratings for those stores. Some are stellar--some suck to the nth degree. The last is "fulfilled by Amazon" in which someone is running an affiliate online store, but has the product sent from Amazon stocks and shipped by them.

    You must also be very careful to discover whether 'great buys' are regular, USA warrantied items--or are 'grey market' products with limited, seller warrantied, or 'pray it keeps working a long time' deals. Some sellers are not so clear about this--and a few are downright deceptive. :mad:

    I have no issue with buying a body through Amazon. There have been other things I have bought that problems emerged with--and no problems were had with returns, reshipment, or refunds. In the interest of balanced discussion, B&H also sells both USA and grey market items--they are really clear about which is which. Plus, I know where they are at... :p

    Bottom Line

    You can buy from Amazon and reputable affiliate stores with confidence. They will pester you no more than any other online seller--including B&H or Adorama. But I will tell you something about those latter stores. I whined in general about the repeated, damaged condition of large format inkjet paper and how things were shipped by B&H here in a PN thread. A week later, a replacement box of paper arrived at my door--with no charges or conditions.

    Try getting that level of customer care from Amazon. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  4. Thats enough red flags to make me back off. I have a few Lumix lenses and saw an Olympus OMD EM10 Mark I (what a name!) at a very good price but some information was vague or buried.
     
  5. I shop a variety of online places for equipment. I prefer to deal with B and H for new large items. Or obscure items. Or accessories that are hard to find. I bought two cameras in the past year. Both were used. One was from KEH where it advertised Like New. The other was from Amazon Warehouse Deals. It was clear that the good price used like new Amazon was not US import but I accepted that. Or could have returned it. For used I do not expect much of a warranty and not a factory one anyway. Amazon is as clear as most online stuff and I have a Prime subscription on shipping, No, Amazon does not spray me with e mails. They are now adding sales tax but that has been long expected. Beats hunting around without much alternatives on this island. I give high praise to B and H for new items shipped fast and well packed. KEH for used and good descriptions. And Amazon for both new and used but less descriptive info on the used category. Though simple and efficient return procedures from latter. No red flags on these guys.
     
  6. I buy a few things on Amazon every Christmas. I try to do all my Christmas shopping on-line. I have not bought camera gear from Amazon but I imagine its as good a place as any. I have bought stuff from BHPhoto, KEH and Freestyle photo and I like all of those places. I am looking for a Medium Format and I looked at BHPhoto and KEH and both of them have stuff I like but it's all to expensive for me. My plan is to just take a Tylenol and go lay down until the GAS goes away and then keep shooting my 35mm Nikons.
     
  7. I've purchased cameras and equipment from B&H but I'm also lucky enough to have an excellent local camera store in my area (Tempe Camera). The sales staff at the local store is always kind and helpful and they match any online price I might find. When I've gone through B&H it's because the local store didn't stock a particular item. As for Amazon ... I've bought camera equipment through them, as well, and have had no problems to report. Just be ready for targeted ads to appear in your browser whenever you search for something or try to do a little advance research.
     
  8. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I reckon we get an average of 2/3 packages a week from Amazon and have a Prime membership. More round Christmas We have no problems with money, delivery and where we want, with returns. The right to return means that we can use online for things we're not 100% sure we want till we see them and things we need to try before keeping. I bought my current Canon 5Diii body via an Amazon affiliate. I guess we are more circumspect when its a large item not sold by Amazon itself, but apart from occasionally slower delivery we've had no issue with any transaction under the Amazon umbrella. If it wasn't Amazon it would be Wex or another online photo specialist, that I might lean towards if I needed a conversation or email to establish an items suitability for example, or another generalist if I don't. Even when not bought from an online dealer, most photo purchases are made from the manufacturer via phone or web. I wish bricks & mortar stores offered better advice, better stockholding, better pricing but my experience in recent years is the exact reverse and I get more knowledge, help, and a slicker transaction online. My only regret is that our shopping streets in towns are full of restaurants, coffee shops, phone outlets and charity shops which makes going to a town less interesting.

    I don't get emails from Amazon except to tell me that my order's confirmed/dispatched/out for delivery, and if I get ads whilst browsing they're not terribly intrusive. Of course you have to reckon on a purely arms-length transaction with Amazon- you'll struggle to find a phone number which will get you to talk to someone. If you really value human interaction even on the phone, then best to go elsewhere.
     
  9. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I once bought a Nikon DSLR camera on Amazon because I could use my accumulated AMEX card points to do so. Mostly I buy Kindle ebooks and small items that I don't know where else to look or care to bother such as jeweler's rouge. I am never bothered with emails from Amazon.
     
  10. There are scams on Amazon. Anyone can become a seller, and post a listing. Here's one for a Canon 35mm 1.4 L II, like new for $400!
    Three tip-offs are ridiculously low price, and "contact us before ordering," and "just launched seller." When you contact them, they will have you pay directly, not through Amazon. When you never get the goods, there is no recourse, because you didn't go through Amazon. Otherwise,I have purchased a lot of gear through Amazon with no problem. Frequently one of their legitimate sellers is the first to stock a new item, the shipping is quick, and returns are easy. I also use an Amazon Prime credit card that builds points for "cash back" discounts on Amazon purchases. Just don't bite on those sucker deals in the "used and new" listings on page two.
    Phil Stiles

    $400.00
    & FREE Shipping + $0.00 estimated tax

    Used - Like New
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    • Arrives between April 14-21.
    • Want it delivered Thursday, April 13? Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.
    • Shipping rates and return policy.
    Lagrue Pascal
    Just Launched (Seller Profile)
     
  11. One of my kids went to Arizona state and I spent some time in the area. I thought Tempe Camera was great. The closest camera store for me requires making a day of it. Just to far to deal with.
     
  12. I won't repeat my long story about being told to pay for my "Amazon" purchase by money order to Transylvania, Rumania.

    Just be sure that you ARE buying from Amazon, not one of the nearly unsupervised "vendors". Amazon has never been good about weeding out the frauds and no-goods.

    It is pretty rare to get anything really for less than the prices charged by Adorama and B&H, if you're in the USA.
     
  13. There is no daylight between prices at B&H and Amazon. Both ship quickly and reliably with excellent tracking. With an Amazon Prime membership, many items can arrive the next day (for a morning order), free or with a small premium. Again, B&H offers the same level of service, interrupted only by religious holidays and Saturdays. Amazon never sleeps. The choice often boils down to availability, product information and customer service. For me, that tips the scales to B&H for cameras, lenses and professional sound and rigging equipment.

    I haven't been in a camera shop in over two years, The good ones were never that convenient, and now mostly gone anyway. I do my homework, then buy with confidence.
     
  14. I bought ordinary stuff (RAM, a book and my backpack) from Amazon. - My rarely checked email gets AFAIK spammed by others. Amazon might place cookies on my PC to track what I am looking up there but these get removed once in a while. For cameras I prefer cash & carry and so far only mail ordered from the used department of Meister Kamera in Berlin.
    But let's be honest: It takes close to nothing skills wise to stuff a more or less factory sealed box into another and ship it to you, on your demand. - It might take wisdom and patience to make up your mind inside a brick & mortar store though. I like them and will carry onj to support them as long as they are somewhat competitive. BTW: Amazon isn't really in all fields. - If you need little things like a lens cap here, a generic hood there mail ordering from China via ebay could be cheaper.
     
  15. Like PapaTango, I've been using them since they only sold books, with no significant problems. Buying directly from Amazon is no trouble, though they do tend to push Prime membership pretty hard - sometimes they insert a screen into the ordering process that makes signing up to a Prime 'free trial' look like the standard option, with 'no thanks' much less prominent. If they start spamming you about products, you can go to your account and switch promotional emails off. Buying from one of their traders is also fine, provided you take simple precautions and always use the Amazon payment system on the website itself. Check feedback and the location from which goods are being shipped and the estimated shipping date. Some traders use Amazon's warehouses for fulfillment. Some ship directly, but have an excellent record for shipping and customer service, sometimes offering free shipping without the minimum spend Amazon requires for this from customers who don't have Prime. Third party sellers with a good track record can be a good source of secondhand gear - I bought my X100T this way.

    Never deal with a trader that requires you to contact them before ordering , or which cancels the order and emails you about payment - this will be an attempt to run the sort of scam that JDM and Mostly Sports mention. Typically these scammers will send you an 'Amazon' email that looks official, but really links to their own payment system - you will never see the money (or the goods) again. Scammers sometimes use new accounts, but also commonly hijack legitimate accounts. If you see a small trader that usually sells bathroom fittings or garden furniture, and has now suddenly switched to offering a large range of consumer electronics at half the usual price, with a note to contact the seller before ordering, you are looking at a hacked account.
     
  16. I've purchased one camera - a discontinued Nikon D7000 in December 2014. I was considering the 7100 until I found the 7000 on Amazon for $525 (~1/2 the price). On the day it was out for delivery I found that the price had dropped to $475 so I immediately contacted Amazon and they refunded $50.

    I do enjoy buying from B&H, though - been a customer for 20 years.
     
  17. Seems like B and H has upped its game in shipping time and shipping choices. I am inclined to look to them first for a camera purchase in the future as I have in the past. I just ordered two brass step up rings and a fliter caddy. I can find what I want faster on B and H and be sure the descripiton fits. B and H often uses UPS and so sometimes does Amazon Prime. Lately, B and H has upgraded their packaging for the long slog to Hawaii ( which was something I used to gripe a bit about but not lately) . I have a stronger loyalty to B and H as a camera and video and electronics store and a cel phone store. For used stuff it is KEH. And noone bothers me if I do not want to be hassled. Amazon has a nifty return procedure which is a shap to use. I have not had to return anything to B and H lately. I had to return a CD player to Amazon and it went lickety fast. Online shopping is a great thing in my experience. Also the user reviews are great. PS: Noone is able to ship a lithium ion device here----airlines are chickening out. I understand. We still got ships. And COSTCO.
     
  18. I'd always buy my gear from B&H.
    Amazon deceives customer in my opinion. The website tricks those who are not paying attention into signing on with Prime. Jeff Bezos has lost touch with his customers. He's shooting off rockets while his web people are tucking it to customers. He doesn't care. He's busy with politics and his newspaper.

    https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit...-faces-prime-membership-class-action-lawsuit/

    Every purchase I've made from B&H went smoothly. Returns are never a problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  19. I had another of those Prime signup screens yesterday, right in the middle of an order. A prominent yellow button was set to activate the 'free' Prime trial, while the only other way to proceed was to click an inconspicuous plain text link that made some negative statement about not wanting to 'save' money on postage. That's a pretty sleazy tactic, unworthy of a household name like Amazon.
     
  20. Prime is not unlike the membership upgrade you choose. It has perks. For me, where most items shipped here involve a surcharge, the annual fee usually brings a cash saving in shipping of so many small items. Example: I need two HDMI cables. Shipped free from the mainland. Often the shipping is by FEDEX or UPS with a firm arrival time. I also can use the Prime videos on line and that would normally require a monthly membership. I have not had any sleaze in my dealings with Amazon over at least six years. And I buy a lot online so can compare with other vendors. Take for what it is worth.
     

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