Posts Tagged ‘ avoid scams ’

More eBay Skulduggery

I ordered a Nikon D700 last week from a reputable seller with positive feedback from thousands of buyers.  Everything looked good except the price which was nearly a thousand dollars less than you would expect.  Not listening to my own advice from an earlier post on camera scams, I ignored the  “If its too good to be true then it probably is” rule.  And sure enough, it was bogus.  After ordering, I received an email politely asking if I would mind paying by western union rather than PayPal.  Luckily, as I wasn’t smoking crack I didn’t send the money and will be getting a full PayPal refund.  Its still an annoying waste of time.  The fuller story has emerged and it seems the seller was not aware these items were listed using there account.  Its not clear if someone hacked in through the users account and listed these items but it seems the most likely.

The lesson here? If you’ve got some advice that you believe in and give regularly to other people, you should follow it yourself!

Buying a Camera? Watch out for scams

By Jack Berglund

I’m assuming you use your common sense and judgment when ordering expensive items online but there are a couple of specific things to look out for that have caught out people I know:

Bait and Switch

There are a number of companies in the US and I’m sure elsewhere with an extremely frustrating business model.  They will advertise items with a low but not completely unbelievable price.  When you place an order, they will contact you and push to sell additional items such as an uprated battery or more memory for hugely inflated prices.  From what I’ve been told, their sales tactics are very pushy, boarding on unpleasant.  If you decline all the options, more often than not you will get an email that your order has been canceled.

To avoid waisting your time and effort, do a quick check on any company before ordering, particularly if it seems to be to good to be true.  Reseller Ratings is a good site for checking companies in the US.  Here is an example of one company to avoid:

I recommend using a known reseller such as B and H Photo, Admorama Camera and in the US. In the UK try Fixation, Calumet and Mifsuds.

A note on Amazon has been criticized for not checking out its third party vendors as carefully as people would expect.  In the US, Amazon stock a lot of the mainstream photography equipment themselves, but check when ordering where the item is shipping from.  If you’re unlucky, one of the smaller resellers listed on the Amazon site might not be legitimate or go out of business before you receive your order.

To eBay or not to eBay?

There are deals to be had but when using eBay be very, very careful…

My girlfriend recently found what looked like a good deal on a new Nikon D3.  The seller had a well organized store front and 500+ positive ratings.  Continue reading

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