More about where to buy... Beach Camera anyone? at

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Old March 7th, 2002, 11:16 AM   #1
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More about where to buy... Beach Camera anyone?

Hello, all...

New to the forum, I found you while searching high
and low for reliable information on shopping for
an xl1s. I'm happy to have the recommendations
on this site for vendors - thanks Chris!- but given my very tight budget I'm still trying for a super deal. I've seen many many mixed reviews on Beach Camera - who are the only one of the low priced places I've found that is supposedly an authorized Canon dealer. So what I'm wonder is: Has anyone actually purchased and xl1s from this company? Would love to hear any personal experiences.

I have to say I'm headed toward ZGC, but I figure I should do my best to make sure I can't actually get the camera for less first.

Thanks in advance!
Ilya Pearlman
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Old March 7th, 2002, 12:27 PM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
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Hello Ilya,

I have heard nothing but negative reports from that place, and all other shady outfits that advertise similarly super-low prices. Buyer beware! If the price seems too good to be true, then it is. They're going to make up the difference in outrageous shipping charges, charging extra for components that are supposed to be included, making you buy extra junk, worthless warranty, etc.

If the XL1 is not in your budget, consider a different, less expensive camera. That way you'll have enough left over for a decent tripod, DV tapes, all the extra stuff you're going to need. Don't blow your whole budget on the camera alone -- it is only one piece in the chain of gear you need to get going.

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Old March 7th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #3
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Not had any experience with them myself, but I did just see this on another DV site:

"I got my GL1 at Beach Camera ( for $ 1798.00 plus $40 shipping. They didn't even try and sell me extras (I did buy a uv filter ). It came in 3 days even though I went with the cheapest shipping."

Although if Chris says stay away, its probably a good idea to atleast consider his advice.

Last edited by Dan C.; March 7th, 2002 at 01:55 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2002, 01:43 PM   #4
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The site lists Beach as not being too bad. Overall out of 70 user surveys just over 50 came back as pretty favorable.
Lady X Films: A lady with a boring wardrobe...and a global mission.

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Buy with confidence from our sponsors. Hand-picked as the best in the business...Really!

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Old March 7th, 2002, 03:52 PM   #5
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From the Central/Southern New Jersey BBB website. Beach Camera of Trenton, NJ, web-based business.

- - - Begin extract - - -

BBB Membership
This company has been a member of the Better Business Bureau since June 1999. This means it supports the Bureau's services to the public and meets our membership standards.
This company offers digital camera and video products.
Customer Experience
Based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record with the Bureau. To have a Satisfactory Record with the Bureau, a company must be in business for at least 12 months, properly and promptly address matters referred to it by the Bureau, and be free from an unusual volume or pattern of complaints and law enforcement action involving its marketplace conduct. In addition, the Bureau must have a clear
understanding of the company's business and no concerns about its industry.

H O W E V E R!
If you check mid 1999 copy of the Photographics/Video Mail Order Survey, 10 of 27 reviewers gave it an "Avoid - major problems ..." rating. In mid 2000 the rating has improvd to 1 of 7, so perhaps they ahve improved ther act. Not sure how they are rated today.

Sounds like when they work they work OK, but if there is a problem you may have a hassel getting it resolved.

Its your money, your time, your risk/reward, and your decision.
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Old March 7th, 2002, 05:09 PM   #6
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Again, to re-iterate, please consider making your camera purchase from one of my authorized site sponsors as listed on the Sponsors page at -- not only are they some of the best, most reputable deealers in the business, but they support the site and make these message boards possible. Thanks,

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Old March 7th, 2002, 05:46 PM   #7
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Hi, Chris, et al,

Thanks for your comments re: Beach Camera - I must say just can't get a good feel for them - all the positive reviews I've gotten are second hand, and there are so many negative ones... plus, all reputable sources say that the price they offer on the xl1s is too low to be legit. So never fear, Chris, I'm pretty positive I'm going to take your expert advice and tried and true relationships and go with one of your recommended companies. I've already made a preliminary contact and I like what I hear and see so far.

I'd still be happy to hear from anyone with actual personal experience with the other guys. At this point just to see if any actually exists!

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Old April 12th, 2002, 06:20 AM   #8
Capt. Quirk
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Where to buy?

I'm not sure about Beach Camera, but I can assure you that Broadway Photo will rip you off. Grey market, bait-and-switch, etc. I wish I had found this site before I bought my Canons.
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Old April 15th, 2002, 10:13 AM   #9
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I decided to check Beach Camera out since they are in NJ also. I mostly go to B&H because they carry everything and are only a block away, but the sales tax is an issue (High priced items are apparently picked up by NJ audits or reported to NJ by B&H -- I know because I got billed for tax [by the state] on a $6,000 purchase I ordered by phone and had shipped to NJ!)
Anyway -- I purchased my [second] XL-1s from Beach in April 2002. No problems. They do want to sell the extended warranty because (as they were very honest with me), they don't make a lot of money of the camera at their price.
Beach is a real "no frills" store -- looks more like the shipping dept. than a typical camera/video store -- nothing like B&H. Interestingly, they consider themselves the B&H of NJ!
They obviously don't spend a lot on "looks" and help is very scarce -- though someone came up to assit me as soon as I walked in. It seems everyone does several jobs -- probably the reason they have good prices. You'll notice they also don't spend a lot on large flashing advertisements either!
I happed to speak at length with one of the owners who was handling orders, incoming calls as well as the register. He seemed a pretty decent guy who was open about his pricing and business practices -- including saying that they try to keep prices as low as possible to draw in business hoping to sell extras for additional profit - because of their rather out-of-the-way location, they don't get the walk-in business of a B&H.
As far as I know, they don't sell gray market items, gouge on shipping or take accessories out of the box to sell back to you as extras -- some of the places in NYC are notorious for this.
B&H is the best! But Beach is probably worth a serious look -- just be understanding an patient with them!

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