When dealing with digital camera prices, avoid your natural tendency of “buy low, sell high. " What do we mean?
Let's say you're interested in purchasing a Canon digital SLR. Once you're sure you have identified your ideal camera, you search the internet and photography magazines for the best price. In this example, the “retail" price for the Canon body is $700 (remember - SLRs are only the camera body, which can be mated to a variety of individually purchased lenses). After checking a variety of sources for discounted digital camera prices, you determine the best prices for this specific Canon digital SLR runs between $570-$590. What do you do?
Not so fast. If you have only bought from traditional retail outlets, you need to familiarize yourself with some on-line buying strategies. . .
- Shipping prices vary significantly depending upon who you buy it from.
- Tax may or may not be charged.
- Therefore, when purchasing ANYTHING online (i. e. , from a non-retail outlet), only consider the entire cost of digital camera + tax + shipping.
- So, let's reevaluate the first point again. The Canon digital SLR body alone may range between $570-$590, but when figuring out true digital camera prices, use the formula above.
Now, we discover that the real total cost for your Canon (Nikon, Fuji, or whatever) ranges between $587 - $629. Now, we're getting somewhere.
- Do you run out and order from the $587 place? If you say “yes, " you've made a rookie internet purchasing mistake.
I know, I know. You're chomping at the bit. You know what you want, you found the “best" price (you think), you have your credit card in hand. . . why shouldn't you buy now? Because you're using “retail store" mentality to purchase on the internet.
When looking for the best digital camera prices on the internet, there are new considerations that only experience can teach you. Here are the most important points:
- Is the Canon in stock? There is often a mysterious correlation between the cheapest prices and product unavailability. You don't want to order your digital camera and then have it sit on backorder for 6 weeks, do you?
- Does your Nikon come with a USA warranty or is it what's called “grey goods?" You want to verify it's a USA warranty, unless you don't mind having to service it internationally.
- What is the customer service level of the seller? You can find out by checking up on them before you buy at www.pricegrabber.com/rating_summary. Personally, I won't buy from anyone who doesn't have at least a 4 out of 5 star rating and plenty of history.
- The last “test" I use before purchasing at the best total digital camera prices is my gut. I have walked away from deals after speaking with certain order entry people. Let's face it, if you're older than 25, you start to develop of sense of who NOT TO BELIEVE when they say “trust me. "
- Finally, always order with a credit card because if something goes wrong, the credit card company can be your greatest friend.
OK. You've done it! You're about to congratulate yourself on uncovering the best digital camera prices, from the best vendor, with great delivery, etc. There's just one more thing to be aware of. . .
Here's how this approach goes. Using the same example figures above for our wonderful Canon digital SLR, you found a vendor who is willing to sell you the Canon body + tax + shipping for the fantastic price of $515 (remember, the true range you had previously determined was $587 - $629).
In the land of best digital camera prices, this is known as “winning the lotto. " So, what do you do? You jump on it of course! But, here's how the end of this telephone order typically goes. . .
(Seller) Congratulations. You just got a great deal. And, would you believe that we have a super-saver package on this Canon which includes the EF 28-200mm lens for an unbelievable package price of $1,000. (That puts the cost of this lens at $485, when you can buy it anywhere for $360, but you don't know that. Maybe that’s what they meant by “unbelievable. ”)
(You) Well, I already have 6 lenses, so I don't need anymore.
(Seller) No problem. You do know how these new digital SLRs eat up memory. We have a 2GB memory card that we currently have a promotion on. It's normally $460 (really $220) that they're allowing us to sell for only $375 with the purchase of a camera.
(You) [Since you do know you'll need memory, and haven't had time yet to see what a good price for accessories of digital camera prices are, you might agree. Instead, however, you let the seller know that you're holding off on memory right now. ]
(Seller) [Knowing it's his last chance. . . ] Ok, then. Let's just pick out a solid camera bag so at least your camera will be secure. (His point is valid, but what he's going to try to sell you is a $120 camera bag that you can purchase anywhere for $49.95. )
(You) I already have 3 bags, so I'll pass. How soon can I expect delivery on my Canon?
(Seller) Let me check the computer. Oh, I can't believe this. . . while we were on the phone, the last 3 Canons were sold, so we don't have any more. But, I'll be happy to take your order and ship yours as soon as it comes in (read as “never").
Of course, the actual phone conversation may be slightly different, substituting extended warranties and batteries for camera bag and memory, but you get the picture.
Bottom line, when looking for the best digital camera prices, consider all the costs and buy from someone you can trust.
Article courtesy of http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com, where you can learn numerous additional photography tips.
Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.
Robert Bezman is a professional photographer and owner of Custom Photographic Expressions. Robert has created http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com to help beginning and intermediate photographers create better photographs. Robert is offering a free newsletter and eBook that can be obtained by visiting http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com/photography-newsletter.html