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Ok, before I put a fish hook in my mouth...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tell me what's up here! http://www.pricingdepot.com/compare.asp?item=1191B001

Look at the price variation among what appear to be legitimate businesses. Are the price leaders ($999 and $1,149) giving themselves false feedback, or selling refurbished units? Of course I'd love to save a truck load of money but it's not passing the smell test.

As a bit of background, I'm thinking about making a major upgrade to my digital camcorder that just got stolen (among other things). I had a Canon HV20 which was brand new (as in never used) but it's gone now so it's time to move on. When I bought it several months ago (and believe it or not never got around to using it), I had contemplated getting "into" the video thing and trying to do wedding videos as well as some indy film making, and of course spending a lot of time and effort to learn about filming as well as post production editing. If nothing else it will give me a new hobby.

But then I figured I'd do the wise thing and start off on a smaller scale with the HV20 and take a "wait and see" approach before taking the big leap. I actually started a thread about it and took the advice of a lot of wise peple here on Head-Fi who said to take it one step at a time (which is not my usual practice so it was kind of hard to follow that good advice, but I did, despite myself). I figured I could get something like the Canon XH-A1 later on if I really got off on the HV20. In the meantime, circumstances never really allowed me to explore the HV20. I was waiting for the right moment and in the 3 months that I owned the HV20, it never happened. But then maybe with a bigger and more complex gadget, I would have found the time. Dunno.

So here I am back at sqaure one again and this time thinking I'll take the leap of faith and just throw myself into the videography hobby head first and learn as I go. I've actually got a couple of interesting projects in mind and after refreshing my research (from 3 months ago), I've decided to get an XH-A1. The B&H price is $3,499 but I figured I'd shop around just in case there was another reputable company that could beat their price.

All of which led me to these crazy prices that I simply can't get my mind around. Rather than calling these companies to find out what the deal is, I figured I'd throw the question out there to people who are much more savvy with these things than I am. I mean, afterall, I just got ripped off by the scum bags that broke into my truck. No sense in throwing more money down the drain on another ripoff artist. But then again, if these really are "new" XH-A1 camcorders and these really are legitimate companies, then maybe there's a scoop here!

When it seems too good to be true, it probably is, but I can't put my finger on the "catch" in this case. Can you? It's not the shipping. The company that offers it for $999 wants only $50 for shipping (not $2,500 or something silly like the scammers on eBay sometimes do).
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's another company offering it at less than half of the B&H price:

http://thecameraprofessionals.com/pr...FQ2aOAodEC3MwA

And some other companies offering it at $2,699 and $2,799 which are a little more believable.

http://www.1wayphoto.com/products.as...oduct_id=12486

http://www.fotoconnection.com/viewit...FQ2aOAodEC3MwA

I guess it just comes down to knowing the company and their reputation. I don't want anything that is used, refurbished, grey market, or that doesn't come with a legitimate factory warrenty. Within those parameters, I don't want to spend more than I need to.
post #3 of 13
Refurb in disguise?
I've seen refurbished stuff at low prices falsely listed as new. Only explanation I can think of...
post #4 of 13
Maybe, It's hot. Fell off the turnip truck.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken36 View Post
Maybe, It's hot. Fell off the turnip truck.
That's another possibilty in which case maybe I can buy back my HV20 at an unbelievable price. Of course if this were the case they wouldn't have the original packaging as they all claim they do.

I've been reading through some of the feedback of the low cost companies and in some cases you can find evidence of bait and switch where you order an item at a low price off their website (which shows it as in stock) but then they email you saying it's out of stock. So you call them and they don't know when it will be back in stock and try to switch you over to another more expensive product.

I've also seen some evidence that certain of these listing/rating sites (that show all of the companies offering the product along with their prices and feedback record) cannot be trusted. In one case, the company the does the rating is in the same location (Brooklyn NY) as the low cost leader company that is rated so highly, but yet they cannot provide a physical address of the company that they are rating.

Anyway, it gets kind of frustrating as a consumer because you're looking for the best legitimate deal and there are 2 basic risks:

1) you enter into a deal that is not legit and get screwed in one way or another...

a) you don't ever get the product that you paid for and thus get completely ripped off,
b) what you get isn't what you bargained for (used, gray market, out of warrenty, etc.),
c) they do a bait and switch after you've placed your order,
d) they won't take it back because their return policy is overly restrictive and designed to catch you in conjunction with b) or c) above.

2) you miss the opportunity to buy the product at a much lower cost than you ultimately paid from a legit business because you were so paranoid about getting ripped off that you weren't able to "see" the great deal that was right in front of your eyes!

But I suppose it's still a better world today than it was during the pre-internet era where the only way to price shop was on the phone or by wearing out your shoe leather.
post #6 of 13
B-stock?
post #7 of 13
I usually refer to ResellerRatings. Most of the time, the companies turn out to be scams, ala Express Cameras, The Camera Professionals, 1 Way Photo, Foto Connection. I'd stay away from all of them.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
Here's another company offering it at less than half of the B&H price:

http://thecameraprofessionals.com/pr...FQ2aOAodEC3MwA

And some other companies offering it at $2,699 and $2,799 which are a little more believable.

http://www.1wayphoto.com/products.as...oduct_id=12486

http://www.fotoconnection.com/viewit...FQ2aOAodEC3MwA

I guess it just comes down to knowing the company and their reputation. I don't want anything that is used, refurbished, grey market, or that doesn't come with a legitimate factory warrenty. Within those parameters, I don't want to spend more than I need to.
Check resellerratings.com for any online store you don't recognize. Here's the llink for TheCameraProfessionals (There's nothing good there) :

http://www.resellerratings.com/store...aProfessionals

Same for 1wayphoto:

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/1_Way_Photo


Once you place the order these guys will need you to call them back to "confirm" your order. When they get you on the phone they will try to sell you all the accessories that are included with it in the retail box. The warranty, battery, software, strap, etc., they pull all that stuff out and try to sell it back to you. Literally, everything you are supposed to get when you buy it new. They will mark up the accessories big time and/or try to sell you a bunch of other crap. If you don't buy their marked up stuff the item you originally wanted will suddenly be out of stock. That's one of the more popular scams.


B&H is the "gold standard". If a company has a price that's significantly lower, I get suspicious.
post #9 of 13
They're all scammers. I only by my camera/video gear from B&H anymore.

GAD
post #10 of 13
If it sounds too good to be true...
post #11 of 13
B&H is one of the best places to buy. Might not be the cheapest, but our production company have bought quite a bit of gear from them.

It's hard to find a good deal. If it's that cheap it's probably B-stock or grey market.
post #12 of 13
Wow sorry to hear your camera got stolen.

I also can't believe you haven't used it at all.

I think it's wild to start off with a more complex device. Do you actually feel more guilty on the more expensive item to feel you need to use it?
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan View Post
Wow sorry to hear your camera got stolen.

I also can't believe you haven't used it at all.

I think it's wild to start off with a more complex device. Do you actually feel more guilty on the more expensive item to feel you need to use it?
Oh, I don't know, I think I was just chatting out loud. This whole experience of getting robbed has been a real eye opener for me. I'm a rather open and trusting person who grew up in a Midwestern town of 4,000 people and have lived on a small island for 11 years now, so I let my gaurd down and they got me good. It's a lot of stuff to replace and some of it I won't even bother to replace.

The (rather long) story on the HV20 was that it kind of got shuffled off to the side on a major trip that I had planned for this summer when I had car problems and then ran very short on time. I flew out out to Portland to pick up my Ariel Atom in Southern Oregon and then drive it back to South Florida. The plan was to take my time and take a lot of pics and videos (Grand Canyon and such) along the way. But I made the mistake of buying an '01 Jeep Grand Cherokee as my towing vehicle and it just wasn't up to the task of towing a 20' enclosed car hauler with the Atom inside.

This killed a big chunk of time. It actually broke down twice before I finally abandoned it (left it with some relatives in Torrence CA, and I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with it) in favor of an '07 Dodge RAM 2500 diesel. Man, what a difference! Anyway, so by the time I had the Dodge I needed to boogie back to Denver without any sleep to catch a flight to Cayman. I left everything there for a week and then flew back and drove to Illinois, then back to Cayman, and still no vidoes because I was always on a tight schedule! Then on the third leg of the trip (that was originally supposed to be one big trip) I flew back to Illinois about the time Hurricane Dean was heading right at Cayman, so I did a bee line to Miami thinking I'd need to get back right away, and still no videos.

It's not that I wasn't interested, it just didn't work out. I like to spend a lot of time with a new gadget to learn as much as I can by reading the manuals carefully before using it, and at least I did that much. In fact, this is a big part of the fun for me and goes a long way to explaining why I'm now thinking very seriously about getting the XH-A1. There will be so much to learn it won't even be funny, and when I dive into something head first I always love the challenge and take great pride in not being a total hack when I start putting the gadget to use. By the time I'm ready to start doing any 'serious' filming, I'll know the camcorder inside out from hours of reading and experimentation.

Ok, back on topic. Thanks for all of the replies, guys, most especially the link to resellerratings.com! I knew that these places were scam artists but didn't know how to put my finger on what angles they were using (and it seems that they use all sorts of angles). I agree with those who have said that B&H is the way to go in terms of the best legit price from a company that will stand behind the product.
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