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I recently order a camera from two of the mail-order/web dealers who had good ratings at NexTag.com, BizRate.com and Yahoo. They were both in Brooklyn NY. The camera (Olympus C-2040) had been discontinued but was popular because of a top rating in Consumer Reports.
Both stores said they had new (not refurbished) cameras. The first one shipped a camera in a plain white box and the memory card slot didn't work (I tried several memory cards which worked in other devices). It also had only the customer copy of the warranty card, not the one you return to the dealer. They claimed they came in a white box from the supplier even though they were new. Olympus said that is not true. I did get a refund on my Credit Card about a week after returning it.
The 2nd dealer said they would ship the camera the next day. After 10 days I called (it took 3-4 tries to get through) and after several calls they claimed that Fed Express lost it and it was their last one, but they could get another model (for more $$) to me the next day in time for my vacation.
I checked with the Better Business Bureau one of the dealers had several outstanding complaints.
New dealers seem to keep pop up in Brooklyn. My guess is that they get their friends to send in good reviews when they start up and after they accumulate enough complaints and bad reviews they close down and re-open under a different name.
Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/04/04
Wellcome to the land of ... NYC Camera stores. I have been dealing with them for 35 years. NOTHING has changed. Use your Credit Cards whenever you buy from them. That way, you can get your $$$ back if something goes wrong. A good idea is to make sure you specify, in writing ( fax works) EXACTLY what you are buying, and with what kind of warranty. If they do not honor it, you have a contract that will hold up. A verbal order could be a bit trickier to have them live up to. The big 3 are B+H, Addorama, and Camera World of Oregon. Deal with them and you should have significantly less problems.
Photographic Mail Order Survey
See: Olympus Gray Market Product Advisory
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