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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old September 6th, 2001, 12:52 AM   #1
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Where to buy the XL1S

Howdy from Texas,

A question I get asked a lot is, "where is the best place to buy a (insert camera here)?" The answer is, the place which will give you an honest deal with great service, and not rip you off by suckering you in with ridiculously low prices and then pulling the old bait-and-switch.

I'm working with several of my sponsors on a DV Buyer's Guide to avoid rip-offs. For now, though, I recommend that you deal only through my sponsors. Three of them can put a Canon DV camcorder into your hands: Pro Tape, ProMax, and ZGC. Their prices are *realistic* and their reputations are the best you'll find anywhere. Hope this helps,
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Old December 11th, 2001, 11:21 AM   #2
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Chris what I would like to do is find a place that sells the XL1s and try it out. Then probably buy by mail order. But it is tough finding a place that have camera's the XL1s in stock.
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Old December 11th, 2001, 11:31 AM   #3
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Since you haven't filled in the "Location" part of your user profile, it's difficult to give you any advice in this regard.

Why would you not want to purchase from the dealer who lets you see the camera in person? Do you perceive some advantage to walking out and buying instead through mail order?

Hopefully you are not thinking that you will save a big chunk of money this way -- it would be a serious mistake for you to assume this. The "lowest price" mail-order place you'll find, will pad the purchase in one or more ways so that by the time they have your credit card, you've paid more than you would have if you'd just bought it in person.

Get your hands on the camera at the tradeshows... there's a major one every month or two... I just came back from COMDEX and DV Expo, back-to-back shows where you can handle the cameras to your delight.

Then... buy from my sponsors. They're the best -- *trust me.*
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Old December 12th, 2001, 01:27 AM   #4
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Chris:

Any trade shows that you know of coming to the Dallas (North Texas) area any time soon?

On another point, I have to differ on one aspect of your previous post, which suggested there was no validation to "testing" a camera at a local retail shop and then buying that equipment from an online (out-of-state) retailer.

Consider this: I priced an XL1S kit in Dallas for $6k; I would owe about $480 in taxes if I bought the camera from the Dallas retail store. The same kit is available online (from a out-of-state retailer I trust) for $5,700, without any taxes due (shipping is relatively negligible).

So, how do I gain by purchasing from the store in which I tested the camera? Return policies are the same: they both send the camera back to Canon.

Having said that, I will definitely still consider your vendors, if they are out of state, as I believe several of them are. Until Congress changes the Internet tax rule, I have to encourage everyone (on big-ticket items purchased from etailers you trust) to shop locally and buy out of state.
 
Old December 12th, 2001, 08:32 AM   #5
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Are you using the XL1S for business purposes? Do you intend to make money with it? I hope so; it's a little "Overboard" for hobby use... ;-)

If so, fill out a Blanket Tax Exemption form, and skip the state sales tax altogether.

Also I'm glad you've found a reputable out-of-state dealer who, like my sponsors, charge honest, negligible shipping rates. However one of the big "lowest price" scams out there is to charge upwards of several hundred dollars for shipping, no kidding.

Plus when you buy locally, in addition to supporting your local economy and keeping your money in the same area where you live, there's the added advantage of walking your camera into the store if there's ever a problem.

Re: Dallas events, check DVCreators.net for their travelling workshops which swing through Dallas, and keep an eye on my site for a list of events later this year. Hope this helps,
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Old December 12th, 2001, 02:32 PM   #6
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Chris I live in Illinois. The reason I would like to see a camera at a dealer is just to hold one and see if I like it. The same reason you go to a car dealer. If the dealer price was ok I would buy from them. Even if the total cost was alittle higher. Once i decide what camera I will get then I will shop around for price.

You would think Chicago or St Louis would have a trade show.
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Old December 12th, 2001, 03:25 PM   #7
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Blanket Tax Exemption Form

Chris:

Where can you find these forms?

-- alan
 
Old December 14th, 2001, 07:39 AM   #8
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Alan,

Many local businesses have them on hand, as well as your local county or municipal tax office.
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Old December 27th, 2001, 07:51 PM   #9
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Hi folks!

Busines and re-selling seems to take new forms nowadays. I have run my own photo shop in a small place, so I do know what is meant by "serving your customer in person". I have done that and I've done it with all my hart. Now I'm doing other things to make my living, so fortunately those times are just a memory for me.

Nowadays big re-sellers own good know-how and low prices and customers get answers to their problems via the Internet - if they only learn how to use this new media. And they'll learn.

I bought my XL1S for the lowest price in Finland ($ 3858 in USA dollars). I have never visited the store in person and perhaps I never need to. They send the camera to me.

Receantly I bought lots of new audio-stuff from Germany (via the Internet). Great service and low prices! To my old mates working in my old music store I just have to say: "sorry".

The question is: should I stop buying stuff from Germany and instead by the same stuff from Finland in higher price just because the re-seller here in Finland is my friend?

I know this is not how it should go, but this is how it goes.

--Markus
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Old December 28th, 2001, 11:49 AM   #10
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Zimvg304,

If you are simply wanting to look at an XL-1, I know there are stores in both St. Louis and Chicago that carry them. I found them in a couple of stores in St. Louis but they both wanted nearly full retail as the selling price.

Where in Illinois are you? My business has 3 of them in Southern Illinois.
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Old December 29th, 2001, 07:18 AM   #11
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I'm in the Champaign-Urbana area. No one has them here.
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Old January 5th, 2002, 02:17 PM   #12
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Just purchased an XL1s and some accessories from ZCG referred from this board. Great service, fair prices, Chris in sales was great to work with, I now not only have a great camera, in addition I have a great business relationship.

Jerry
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Old January 9th, 2002, 06:23 PM   #13
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Here's another way to look at it, I find it more convenient to shop without leaving my office, either by buying online, or calling the dealers on the phone--most of them ship it right out and many are very helpful with advice (I mean the legit dealers, not the bait & switch artists). There are tons of dealers in NYC and other towns that are a mere phone call or mouse click away, whereas there are very few dealers in my area that stock anything but entry-level consumer camcorders.

And let's not forget the sales tax. I don't know about anywhere else, but here in Connecticut, the state expects you to pay sales tax on all business tools, whether you are an auto mechanic buying Snap-On wrenches or a videographer buying an XL1 (or a corporation buying 100 computers for its own use). The key is whether the merchandise is for resale (that's why I mentioned "for its own use"). If you are buying these to resell to customers, then you don't pay the tax, instead you collect it from your customers and mail it in to the state. Or if you are a school or a church or some other valid non-profit org, you can escape paying sales tax by showing proof to your dealer.

As for service, the camera has to go back to Canon anyway. I had a problem with my Elura, sent it to Canon and they had it back to me in a week--I must add that their tech support people are very friendly and informative and really seem eager to make the customer happy.

I will be happy to give your recommended dealers a try on my next equipment purchase.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 11:17 AM   #14
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Denmark

I just bought my XL1S PAL in Denmark a couple of days ago. I went there on business so it was easy. I am not sure if they ship it internationally but it is worth a try. I paid app. 3,300$ for the standard kit excl. Danish VAT. Try www.cav.dk
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Old May 14th, 2002, 07:21 PM   #15
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Buying from Japan

I've noticed with the exchange rate that it would be at least $1300 cheaper for me (Canadian) to buy a Canon XL1s from Japan through a broker even with taxes and shipping. I would also pay no duty for personal use. (I've worked out these numbers.)

However, the Canon reps here in Canada told me that the warranty would be country-specific and that while they might let 'small' servicing past, larger jobs they would have to charge for.

What are your opinions on doing this? If the difference was $500 between getting it from Japan and getting it in North America (the warranty here covers North America) then I would consider buying it from a U.S. dealer for the peace of mind.

If there was a major problem then I would have to ship back to Japan. Not only would that be costly and be a severe inconvenience, it would also bear the risk of overseas shipping once again.

Are the maintenance issues too large to take this risk?

I have the details if people are interested in hearing them.
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