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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: La Crescenta, CA
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Wary of something "too good to be true"...

Greetings -- I'm in the market for a new camcorder, so naturally my choice is leaning towards HD. After searching around a bit, I found a place offering a Canon XH-A1 for, shall we say, "an unbelievable price". Since I've not heard of the vendor before, I've started my own "background check" on this company and I'm not having much luck. This seems a bit unusual as the search-portal that directed me to this site had over 5000 "highly positive reviews", so I figure /somebody/ out there has to have heard about them...

So now I've come to this site -- I see the owner has a fairly rigid policy about what can or cannot be discussed about vendors, based mainly on whether or not they buy advertising space from him AND he deems them suitable customers for his advertising space. With that in mind I've avoided mentioning this "other" site until I know the discussion will be civil :)

So far, recommendations from people have been to check whether or not the camera is sold as "just the body" with really important things like lenses, warranties, and batteries as "optional" equipment [well, in this case the lens isn't interchangeable, but...] Sure enough, the description on the site doesn't really say whether or not what Canon says "should be in the box" [per their marketing materials] really is included at that price. There are some "package" deal versions which include things like the battery and charger, but looking at the prices they are charging for the batteries [which look generic in the photos, and the description doesn't specifically mention "Canon"], I see that they could be making up a large portion of the "savings" right there [$400+ for a battery that sells for $40 elsewhere...]

I've sent an e-mail to the company asking for clarification, but they have not sent a response [or it was eaten by an aggressive spam filter] and I'm not yet sure I want to call them on the phone [since it is "something I WANT", I'm fairly sure I'm a bit more likely to bow to sales pressure...]

Now, should it come to pass that this site REALLY does deserve the "thousands of positive reviews" that is has elsewhere, maybe they would be a good candidate for being a sponsor -- that, of course, is up to the site owner around here ;) -- and I'd feel reasonably comfortable buying from them.

So, what's my next step here?
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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Your next step is to make your purchase from one of the trusted dealers on our list of site sponsors: http://www.dvinfo.net/sponsors

I don't care who the outfit is that you're referring to, and I'm not seeking to expand our list of trusted dealers at this time, so as far as DV Info Net is concerned they're irrelevant. I have already provided a list of trusted dealers, and that's as far as I care to go.

DV Info Net is not a substitute for Google. The only discussions I allow here about dealers are discussions about the ones which actively support this site. If you're looking for feedback on any other dealer, you'll have to go elsewhere because that's not what we're about. Start with www.resellerratings.com

Quote:
I found a place offering... "an unbelievable price".
Then don't believe it. Hope this helps,
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Old April 8th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #3
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OK, looks like you're right -- thanks for the pointer though

(I'd have replied in the original, but it appears you closed it before I got back to it)

Thanks for the pointer to the the reseller rating site -- they had mostly "very disastisfied/bait-n-switch" type posts (about 35 of 40+ reviews) and a handful of vague-but-positive reviews with no real details. One post in particular mentioned the 5000+ "very positive" reviews on the pricing depot site that got my attention in the first place. Another post even mentioned the very camera I was interested in, so it was good to find a specific reference.

From one of the posts, it appears that this "company" has only been in existence for a couple of months, hence why I was finding it so difficult to find anything about them -- only now are they starting to appear on the search pages (and almost all are bad...) If I may, I'd like to provide this link to a blog I found:

http://thoughts-of-dave.blogspot.com...amerascom.html

as it has plenty of info on not only this site, but several other operated by the same shyster (and if not obvious, stay away from all of them -- and yes, of course, this is covered by your counter argument: only buy from the folks you list on your sponsor page -- when that's not practical, though, it's good to know who to avoid :) )

As such, I was/am leaning towards purchasing from your sponsor (B&H) rather than the "local but well respected" dealer here in california simply because I'll avoid paying sales tax [and for a $3000+ camera, tax can be quite taxing...] Also, for a camera that expensive, I'd want "accidental damage" coverage, which it doesn't appear this other company offered to begin with.

I've also considered buying a used one on ebay, but it seems this camera is too new -- not very many "used" listings (most are "buy it now" only offers ranging from a little less to considerably more than "the street price"; one of the true "auctions", though, has the starting bid at 90% of the new price for a used camera...)
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Old April 9th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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DV Info Net strongly advocates supporting local businesses and buying locally from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood. There are many advantages to this which make it well worth the state sales tax. For the Orange County area, I recommend Cal's Camera in Costa Mesa. Otherwise if you must shop online then please consider our trusted site sponsors.
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