Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BestPricePhoto Jack Webb Version: Just The Facts Ma'am

This is a condensed version of a longer posting containing additional background, interpritation, and fluff.

BestPricePhoto.com World HQ
FSC_6458 (2378 60th St) by bigleehimself
2378-2380 60th St, photo by Don Wiss taken 5/9/2011, used by permission by bigleehimself on Flickr.


Update: 26 October 2011 (Bumped)

Several commenters have asked if I was able to get a full refund or if I found myself out the 'restocking' fee. As of earlier this week I have recovered the full amount. Please bear in mind that charging a restocking fee is not always a rip-off. When you cut the manufacturer's seal on a product and open the box you have destroyed a noticeable percentage of the product's value in the retail market. If the product arrives in good condition, is as advertised, and was shipped in good faith then the vendor is entitled to some compensation for that lost value if you change your mind about the purchase and send it back. But, if any of those conditions do not apply -- if the product arrives broken, or the advertisement was deceptive or inaccurate -- then, provided that you can document the problem, your credit card company can probably recover the restocking fee. The trick is to expect to write to your credit card company twice, once for the initial partial refund and once to get the restocking fee back. Your credit card company's computers will assume that the initial partial refund is fair and will automatically close the case. The second letter to your credit card company will re-open the case and bring the attention of a human investigator who will evaluate your claim.

From the merchant information on my credit card transaction and from my return authorization email, BestPricePhoto's mailing address is 2389 60th St, Brooklyn, NY. I was fortunate to find Don Wiss' page where he has photos of most of the Brooklyn Camera Store storefronts (http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/). I sent him a note asking if I could use his photo of the building but he said it was too old and he would send me a newer one. His newest photo is still a couple of months old and the "going out of business" signs may be gone. And to be totally fair: the building shown in the photo has two addresses. The "going out of business" shop (at 2378) may not be related. BestPricePhoto.com, technically, does business out of the whited-out door on the right (2380).


I found BestPricePhoto.com through Google's shopping application. Their offering wasn't the least expensive one I found -- another dealer sells refurbished Nikon D7000s for a bit less -- but they were slightly less expensive than Amazon.com and claimed to be selling new products with US warranties. Here's the ad to which I responded:

 bpp2 by bigleehimself 
The Ad, a screenshot by bigleehimself on Flickr.
Note the line items for "Battery" and "1-Year Limited Warranty" in the content list


Elsewhere on the page this text appears:

bpp3 by bigleehimself
bpp3, a photo by bigleehimself on Flickr.
Note the promise of a USA Warranty


Before your online order is processed, BestPricePhoto will give you a call to make sure the order is legitimate and correct, and to help you select additional accessories you might not have thought of when you placed your order. When I spoke to Chris, who helped me with my order, he asked if I wanted the "two hour" or the "four hour" battery. The item list for my order included a battery but BestPricePhoto has several battery upgrade options available. I declined his offer but later I looked up the batteries they have available for the D7000.
 bpp4 by bigleehimself
bpp4, a photo by bigleehimself on Flickr.
What is shown here is their advertised price. Five-star reviews from grateful customers have suggested that BestPricePhoto will frequently give discounts on these batteries when ordered to replace the battery that comes in the kit.


But the funny thing is... There is only one battery that can go in the battery compartment of a Nikon D7000 -- the Nikon EN-EL15. It's a new battery and the knock-off battery manufacturers haven't gotten around to it. As far as I know there's no such thing as a higher-capacity version, nor a "demo" battery. All four options -- "battery" "EN-EN15", "Nikon EN-EL15" and "EN-EL15 Extended Long Life Lithium Battery" -- are the same item, with an MSRP (as of this writing) of $72.95.

Two attempts were made to charge my credit card. The first (by MCJ DISCOUNTS INC) was declined by American Express as suspicious. I received email both from BPP's billing department and from American Express, both saying the charge had been declined and asking me to verify it. I didn't think much of it at the time. Credit card companies will often call to verify a charge that seems 'unusual' and I don't place orders of that size with online dealers all the time. I called AmEx, verified that I had expected a charge for that amount on that date and then called BestPricePhoto to tell them they could try again. The second (successful) charge shows the merchant as

8887821617BESTPRICEPHOTOBROOKLYNNY
Doing Business As: 8887821617BESTPRICEPHOTOC
Merchant Address: 2380 60TH ST BROOKLYN NY 11204

My camera arrived nine days after I launched my order, within the time I was told to expect. The contents of the shipment were a Nikon box for a D7000+lens kit with the 18-105mm lens pulled out, presumably to sell separately. The promised "accessory pack" was a no-show; no toy tripod, no memory card wallet, but I hadn't wanted that stuff anyway and I didn't care. The accessories were all present and the charger had US plugs. The contained no "quick start guide" and no warranty paperwork of any sort.

I tried to register the camera online. The Nikon product registration page didn't like my serial number.
20110816_1 by bigleehimself
The Box, a photo by bigleehimself on Flickr.

20110816_2 by bigleehimself
serial number, a photo by bigleehimself on Flickr.

graymarketd7000 by bigleehimself
graymarketd7000, a photo by bigleehimself on Flickr.



I called BestPricePhoto and spoke with “Raymond” who appears to be their entire customer service department. I mentioned the lack of warranty documentation. His response, as I recall: “Oh, did they forget to put that in?” I also mentioned my inability to register the camera with Nikon. His response was that they worked directly with a Nikon service facility and that they would handle the process of registering the camera. He promised me a certificate of warranty “straight from Nikon” and made me hold the phone while he “had the Nikon guys send it to me.” After a few minutes wait he said he had the certification and would send it to me along with another copy of my invoice so everything would be together. In a few minutes another email arrived. Here are the more interesting parts of it...
Capturea by bigleehimself
Cert part A, screenshot by bigleehimself on Flickr.

I've omitted a few more links to Nikon pages. The email ends with a Nikon, Inc signature:


Captureb by bigleehimself
Cert part b, screenshot by bigleehimself on Flickr.


My “certification of warranty” didn’t mention a warranty at all – no warranty period, no description of coverage, nothing – it was merely an assurance that my product had been registered for me. Also, the telephone number provided was the toll-free number for BestPricePhoto and, being, I’m afraid, a suspicious person, I wondered if the note had actually come “from Nikon” as claimed.

I contacted someone who does work for Nikon (but has asked not to be identified), providing him with the text of the note above and asking if the warranty it described was likely to be legitimate. His opinion: "None of the information you provided looks legitimate. If the serial number of the D7000 is 6223221, this is not a USA model."

I called BestPriceCamera and, once again, spoke to Raymond. I told him that the warranty confirmation he had sent, since it contained no information about what was warranted, for how long, what would be fixed or by whom, was not sufficient and that I considered his advertisement deceptive and wanted to return the camera. At this point he offered to give me a warranty in writing and to extend the warranty to three years at no charge. He told me that the warranty would be offered by CSPCentral.com and that I should look into them and I would be satisfied. He sent another invoice, this time including a three year warranty (paperwork to be shipped at a future date).

I researched CSPCentral.com and found that, while they have a well-designed website, their reputation for servicing warranties on high-dollar items was spotty. The mailing address provided on the CSPCentral “Contact Us” page -- 1678 McDonald Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230 – was exactly one block from the address for BestPriceCameras. I am once again indebted to Don Wiss for this photo of CPSCentral',s storefront:
FSC_3070 (1678 McDonald Ave) by bigleehimself
CPSCentral (1678 McDonald Ave), photo by Don Wiss used by permission by bigleehimself on Flickr.
Those not familiar with Brooklyn addresses might find this map useful. Point "A" is BestPricePhoto.com and point "B" is CPSCentral.
View Larger Map

A Few Thoughts About Online Reputation

One problem one has when complaining about one's treatment by an online merchant is how many happy, contented customers they have -- how many five-star ratings they have been given. One feels about as welcome as the guy in the third row at a magic show who yells things about mirrors and shaved cards. Most of BestPricePhoto's customers are blissfully happy with their transactions, and many of them have every reason to be. They were looking to buy a working, inexpensive camera at a discount price. And that's what they got. There may be a few line items -- for accessories and upgrades -- where they have paid more for showmanship than for value, but they are happy with the bottom line nonetheless. The ones who have purchased the less expensive cameras may have been ever-so-slightly ripped off in the warranty department but warranties for cheap cameras are of very little value anyway so, hey, if they are happy with the camera, why not?

It's the people like me -- people who fall for their "Hot Deal Today Only" special on the more-expensive 'enthusiast' cameras -- who queer the deal for everybody. If we are sold an expensive camera that we plan to use for many years and it has no warranty, or a warranty of limited value, and if it will be difficult to obtain service for the lifetime of the camera, then we have been harmed. Many of us won't know there will be problems getting service for the camera for years and when we do find out most of us will be mad at Nikon.

I decided that I could not accept BestPriceCamera’s latest offer since: 1) what was shipped was not what was advertised, specifically a camera with a US warranty; 2) When questioned about the warranty BestPriceCamera had made a concerted effort to conceal the warranty status of the camera, including sending me the above email, claiming it came from Nikon; and 3) the warranty they offered when they realized they could not convince me the camera had a Nikon warranty was not a fair substitute.

I called BestPriceCamera back and told Raymond that, having looked into the matter I still needed to return the camera and that, if charged a restocking fee, I would contest it since the product shipped was not as described when I ordered. Before he would issue the return authorization he had me go to his website and view a different listing for the D7000. He was hoping to convince me that I had received a gray market camera because I had mistakenly ordered the “Nikon D7000, 16.2 MP Digital SLR Camera Body” instead of the “Nikon D7000, 16.2 MP Digital SLR Camera Body -USA Retail Kit With Long Life Battery & Quick Charger”. It is impossible for me to know what I would have received if I had ordered the other (slightly more expensive) item but if you open both offers and look at the “This Product Includes” list you will see that both kits have the same exact contents listed including the same exact wording for the “one year limited warranty”.

The camera has gone back and a replacement ordered from Amazon.com. Whether I wind up paying the 10% 'restocking fee' to BestPriceCamera remains to be seen.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

To BigLeeH.
Since you used a credit card to pay for the camera, be sure to write a letter of full explanation to your CC company and ask them to deny (or reverse, if necessary) any charge from BestPricePhoto, including especially the restocking fee. I had a similarly bad experience once with another Brooklyn fraud house and eventually beat them with the help of my CC company.
Cheers,
Fred in Texas

sanjaykattimani said...

I usually scan through contents, but this one I ended up reading every word. I was alsmost thinking of buying from BPPhoto.com as they were offering tenpting $150 less than rest of the ligit stores.
Your blog gave the the details of how they trap us and we ultimately get what we pay.
Thanks for writing this detailed article that helped me decide not to buy at BPPhoto.com (those photos really helped)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post! The extra low price and lack of physical mailing address were the first clues that made me want to research the company. You helped me from making a large mistake. The positive reviews on other websites makes me question whether all those are real customers.

BigLeeH said...

Anonymous(1): I'm still working with my credit card company to see if they can do anything about the restocking fee.

Sanjaykattimani: Glad I could help.

Anonymous(2): I think most of the online reviews are real. There may be a few bogus good reviews put in by cronies to help the numbers but most of the people they rip off won't know it has happened until long after BestPricePhoto has folded their tents and moved on.

StormP said...

I do thank you for your taking of your time to type this for us. I was just about to order a Canon T3i. The things that made me slightly wary, were #1 I swear NO WHERE on the page does it EVER state that the item is NEW, and also... They have the same product WITHOUT a lens, for over $100 more. Red flag? As red as it gets.
-storm

BigLeeH said...

Hello StormP, thanks for dropping in. I found probably the same ad you were talking about. I think that other ad -- for the camera in a "retail" package without the lens for a hundred bucks more -- may be part of a legal dodge. That way if you had ordered the camera at the cheaper price they could say that they carry the camera with a real US warranty from Cannon but you chose not to order it.

As for not saying that the product is "new", you are right about the ad itself but if you look on the right side of the page in the "Why Choose Our Site" box you will see "All Product[sic] Brand New" right under the part that says "All Products Come With USA Warranty."

Anonymous said...

Wow, i bought a Canon T1i about 3 years ago and where I bought it did the same thing. Heck maybe it was Bestphotoprices for all I know. Anyway thanks for the info saved me some trouble. These guys seem less than straight.

kenstogie

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is terrific - thank you. I was just about to pull the trigger on the same D7000 from BestPrice Photo. I think I'm just going to pay a little more and stick with the big name sites.

Thanks again.

fjtagle said...

Unfortunately, I didn't see this post before, and I have just bought a camera from BPP. According to Nikon web page is a real one, but I ended paying $170 aprox. over all the other shop to get just what is normally included in the camera.
Does somebody know if I can return the camera even though I through away the box and all the packaging stuff? I am just arriving to this country to study, so I am still learning how to know what is real good price from simple cheating.
Thanks
Fernando

BigLeeH said...

Hello Fernando,

Welcome to the US. Most online merchants here are honest. I'm sorry you ran into one of the few who are not.

Since you don't have the original box you will find it hard to return the camera. Also, BPP charges a restocking fee of 10-15% on all returns so you wouldn't get all of your money back.

If the camera works fine and you can register the camera with Nikon Product Support then you are probably better off keeping the camera. The restocking fee from BPP would eat up any savings you might see by buying the camera from another vendor.

Barking Mad said...

Fabulous! I really appreciate the detail, the documentation, and thought that went into this write up. My choice is now easy; go with B&H or Adorama. At least they'll be in business next year and I'll get a camera that carries a manufacturer warranty.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, Fernando! Never throw away the box to something like that! :(

cyncyn said...

Hi BigLeeH, I was happy to find your post about BPP, but unfortunately am finding it after I fell for it and made a big purchase. I now feel very stupid because I'm usually VERY cautious and I don't know how I didn't see all the glaring red flags!

The Canon Mark 5D II I purchased has a defective anti-aliasing filter and the 24-70 L lens has no U.S. warranty (even though the product page clearly listed it as a US Model), but rather a completely blank European warranty card (no serial No. or model No.). I am still within my 30 days of being able to return the merchandise and am unable to contact their customer service because their "offices" are closed for a holiday until Monday.

I plan on returning EVERYTHING as soon as I get the RMA#. I'm obviously very nervous about getting my money back. I was wondering how smoothly the refund process went for you, whether you received your refund, how long it took to process it, if they charged you the restocking fee and how successful you were at getting your CC company to reverse/deny the charge.

Thanks so much for all your help,

Cynthia in Washington DC

BigLeeH said...

Hello Cynthia,

Thanks for dropping in. Sorry it couldn't be under better circumstances.

My impression is that their 'customer service department' consists of one guy. When he takes a day off the department is 'closed.' Most likely, when he comes back on Monday you will be able to get an RMA and return the stuff. Your "restocking fee" will be between 10 and 15 percent and your refund will take about a month to be credited.

That's the most likely thing. Unfortunately, there is also the possibility that they have decided it is time to fold their tents and move on. But their business is only about five months old and will probably be around for a bit longer. In either event your credit card company should be able to help.

When you talk to your credit card company make sure they know that, since the item was defective and not-as-advertised, you will not be satisfied with a partial refund. Expect that your credit card company will tell you that the issue is resolved when the partial refund is made. Their computer will do that automatically. You will have to write them again to remind them that you are looking to charge the restocking fee back too.

My current status is that I have received a partial refund and my credit card company is investigating the 'restocking' fee.

Good Luck.

BigLeeH
Cary, NC

andrew said...

BigLeeH-

Did you get the restocking fee back from your credit card? I just got a D7000 from these guys and am trying to figure out what to do (I will return it if I get the $100 restock fee back; if not, I probably will not). I wish I had come across your blog before I placed my order.

Thanks,

BigLeeH said...

Andrew,

I haven't gotten the restock fee back yet but Amex is still looking into it for me. I remain hopeful but it won't blight my life if I don't get it.

As a practical matter you should make sure you have a registerable US camera (one that Nikon will acknowledge and support) and, if you do, keep it. If you don't, send it back and try to recover the restocking fee through your credit card company. Remember that a non-US Nikon not only doesn't get warranty service but will also be refused for paid service by most US Nikon service centers for the lifetime of the camera.

If you wind up out the hundred bucks write it off as an education expense and enjoy the D7000 you bought from a legit dealer. I am very happy with mine so far.

BigLeeH

Kate Wall said...

Thanks for this review. I almost ordered a new lens from them because they were about $50 less than B&H.. Because of this I decided to just shell out the extra $50 and get something I could depend on.

Pisaster said...

Glad to see this posting! I saw a Canon 7D for $1200 on their website (retail is $1700) and started to drool. I was immediately suspicious and am familiar with the whole "grey market" phenomenon so I called and asked the guy (probably Raymond) if it was new and had a US warranty and he said 'Yes' (they must get that call a lot). As you pointed out, their reviews are generally quite good. However, I decided to google for a few minutes and found this. I'm sorry that you had to go through all of this mess, but grateful that you may have saved me a good deal of hassle. I'll just have to save for another few months...

Good luck in your effort to recoup your costs!

Anonymous said...

FYI, any online electronic store based in Brooklyn will be unethical in their business practices.

Anonymous said...

Thanks BigLeeh for posting this in such details. I was about to buy camera from them, now i will stick to Amazon which is amazingly excellent place to shop and get good deals...

BigLeeH said...

Hello Anon,

You have to be slightly careful w/ Amazon, too. Stuff you buy from Amazon itself is fine. But some of their affiliated stores -- stuff listed on Amazon but sold by someone else -- do have some gray-market stuff (not that there is anything wrong with that as long as it is clearly identified so you know what you are buying.)

Sandra said...

Thanks for your extensive review of BestPricePhoto. I wanted to purchase a Canon camcorder HF S30 model and CNET had BestPricePhoto listed along with several other online retailers and I became suspicious because their price was so much lower. So looked up reviews on the business itself and came upon your review. I'm fully convinced you saved me hundreds of dollars. I'd gladly pay $200 more to get the camcorder from a reputable dealer, especially one I've bought from before, such as B&H Photo or BuyDig. I don't especially trust gray market items, not when it comes to spending that much money. Turns out those 2 online retailers I just mentioned only charges a little over $100 more. So thank you VERY much. My sanity thanks you as well.

Anonymous said...

I think FumFie.com is owned by the same person? I read similar story like need to verify the order over the phone. I was checking SONY NEX-C3 at nextag.com. Only these two and ajrichies.com have discount.

Unknown said...

Hi Big Lee,


I made the mistake of buying from this unscrupulous company two days ago. I want to send back my D3 as soon as I get it on Thursday (hopefully avoiding the restocking fee). I don't want anything to do with their gray market cameras. Especially after seeing the graffiti-ridden grease hole they operate out of. My problem is I can't get in contact with Chris (the only person I've ever talked to there). They play Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer on an endless loop on their sales line and your calls get disconnected when you try customer service. What should I do? I was thinking about leaving a message saying that I wanted to buy another camera just to get him to call me back, then demand a return number. Did he provide you with a physical address to return the item? Did you send it back certified mail?

Thanks,
Allison

REVOLUTION MMA said...

I just bought something from this company. They called to confirm my order and "upsold" me a batter and card. I usually do not fall for such offers, but the day they called I happened to be horribly down with the flu. I went online as the guy told me about the cards, looked at them and was like ok sure.

After we hung up I started researching. I paid 3x the price for the card and battery. I sent an email immediately asking they take them off before shipping. I got a call the next morning that I missed. Then I got an email invoice that was for over $400 more than the price I originally paid and it was some "package deal" price. I called for an explanation as to why it was so much b/c when I went on their site, the parts did not equal the whole price by quite a bit.

I then began researching the company and found this blog. I ordered the "body only" and not the "usa retail kit" Their site states that all products come with a warranty but upon clicking on the info about the body only i ordered it DOES NOT come with usa mfg warranty.

I called fedex and asked what I had to do to refuse the shipment. Fedex went a step further and is stopping it in its tracks and sending it back. I took screen shots of their site saying full 30 day $ back guarantee on unopened items, should I need to dispute it. But honestly I dont care about some 10% fee as long as I get the 1800$ back.

I'm assuming you actually got your money back?
Good grief I feel like an idiot

REVOLUTION MMA said...

In addition to my above posted experience, I emailed them letting them know I asked fedex to return the camera. No response.

2 days later they call me asking me if I want a refund, and explaining I returned it without authorization and to the wrong place. I asked how I can return it to the wrong place when fedex sent it back to the sender. they said thats not where returns go adn the company was trying to charge them shipping. If it was returned to their distribution company, as he sated, why does it need to be shipped anywhere else.

Later I receive an email asking me to sign something stating basically they will charge me 15% restocking. Good thing I took screen shots of their site ! Their site at teh time said 100% refund on all unopened merchandise! Their site has since changed. I told them I don't agree to the terms and will file a credit card dispute, which I did.

Rob J said...

Thanks for your post! I wish I had read it first before ordering. I did received my D7000 kit with the 18-105 lens. I attempted to register on nikon's site, and it seems to have taken the serial numbers. I unfortunately fell for the battery upgrade scam. I got charged an extra $31 for the "5-hour" battery upgrade from the 2-hour battery. Oh I feel so stupid! I got uphold to their 5-year warranty as well. I haven't received it in the mail yet, so I guess I don't know what it all includes. I was led to believe I could take the camera to any Nikon service center and was entitled to a cleaning once per year. Oh and the free accessory kit is a joke!

Anonymous said...

Thanks I also had problem with New York and New Jersey stores.Some of these stores in New York and New Jersey have difference names for the same store.I am afraid to buy anything from those stores.Thanks for the info.


thanks
Master K

Glanglois said...

Thanks for taking the time. Alas, not enough people will see it.

In other news ....

fumfie and ajrichies (AKA AJRichards) are sellers to stay away from.

"USA Warranty" is not the same as "USA Manufacturer's Warranty".

"Manufacturer's Warranty" is not the same as "USA Manufactuer's Warranty". Some makers have a "International Warranty" that would require sending the product to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Brussels, etc.

My rule: any outfit that wants to sell me a $15 memory card for $150 is fraudulent. Period. So sue me for libel.

By the way, I disagree with an earlier post. Most of those positive reviews for BestPricePhoto on resellerratings seem to be as fraudulent as the business seems to be. I've read enough over the years to recognize unprompted, unpaid reviews. There are very few there. Happy, smiley people who've been paid (with "fre gifts" or have overdosed on soma (please see Brave New World).

Best clue: entirely too many sublimely happy five-star reviews and nearly zero few four-star and three-star. This does not happen to even the very best retailers, like B&H and Adorama.

Md. Gaffar said...

Thanks man.. I was about to buy T3i from them. But now I understand how they sell things in such low price.

Anonymous said...

I am going to link to your blog whenever I see these guys selling things. You did a great step-by-step here. I absolutely loathe scam artists. And you've been linked to a recent T2i "deal" they made.

Thanks again

bruce remington said...

Yeah, thanx for post. Gives me ALOT of further pause as to buying their $1879 MarkII for $350 below anywhere else, essentially. I had already put them on my "warning list" for ignoring my first email inquery, then was going to strike them entirely when they ignored my second email about warranties, etc, and when I could not reach by phone WELL-WITHIN their posted open hours, which are WRONG and difficult for me to call-within from West coast. BUT, greed at saving $ almost had me just plunging-into all this with a couple clicks, but now I'll reconsider AGAIN, as I don't need more hasstles and even tho the Canon would probably be fine for years, who needs more worry, and a bad taste from all this when taking photos 5-10 years from now? BR

Julian said...

thanks for all your research, and for sharing the results with us :)

Anonymous said...

me too, I was almost thinking to buy a Canon DSLR from this site.
thank you for your info !!!
I will deffinetly noy buy from them

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for your THOROUGH review/explanation! My wife and I are looking to upgrade from my old Canon Rebel XTi (I have 10's of thousands of shots with this old camera) to a Canon 7D. My wife asked if I had ever heard of BestPricePhoto.com and I said no, that it sounded like a shady name. She mentioned the cheap prices, so I looked. Once I saw USA Retail and the same thins without that - and a several hundred dollar difference, I finally remembered the old grey-market issues. Nice how you exposed both them *and* the warranty company! Saw some other reviews of folks complaining about not being able to register products. I agree with you that cheap products without warranty is not so bad, but expensive items... yes, I want a registerable, warrantied item, too! Thanks for posting the info!
Chris in Florida

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your research... I placed my order with them yesterday unfortunately... This morning I found your article and I called my bank right away and blocked my credit card (since apparently transaction hadn't been authorized yet... thank goodness... Although when I called "Bestpricephoto" three times (!)yesterday they said my order had been processed and shipped.... Apparently they didn't ship anything. Thanks to your blog, I hopefully saved my money! I hope! :)

Timothy K. Hamilton said...

Thanks for the in-depth information. I had just ordered a Sony camera from them on Thursday, and they replied on Friday

"Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your purchase, because of the high value of your order, please contact us at 1-888-782-1617 x502 to confirm your order before we ship it. We apologize for this inconvenience, but because of increasing concern over fraudulent online purchases, we find it necessary to confirm all high value purchases."
That's patently ridiculous. I've never had a phone or online purchase questioned since the delivery address and the Billing address are the same (not to mention the 3-digit security code that was provided).
Quite obviously an opportunity for some "add on" or bait and switch sales.
I've cancelled my order, especially since there are suspicions or experiences of "grey market" products.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review and analysis! Consumers in today's world need people like you

Stormy said...

I read your blog about 2 hours after I made my purchase from BPP. I called them back, asked them if they had shipped it yet. When they said no I said I changed my mind and wanted a refund. Fortunately I caught it in time, and only had to wait the week for the refund to be credited to my account. Did anyone happen to notice that when you try to use their website online, at the point where you enter your credit card info, the www.https changes to www.http with a red line through it...that is, an insecure website...that was my first hint that something was amiss and I should've not ordered anything! Live and learn... Thanks for your article...I bought my new camera from the manufacturer. Oh, and the reason they get those good reviews is the seller offers you free overnight shipping if you give them 5 star rating.

Anonymous said...

As I am reading this blog, I swear I got another tab opened with a T3i body sitting in my shopping cart at BestPricePhoto for $539. That's how close I was to pull the trigger on purchasing from this company. Like many I was drooling over the great price, still decided to do a little google search before clicking Check Out, found your blog through a link at dpreview.com No need to say I will be buying from Amazon, it will cost me $85 more but this is $85 I am happy to pay. I work in online retail and this kind of people spoil it for all of us. We will all end up buying exclusively from Amazon and a few big name stores. As for your blog it embodies the best the internet can be. Thanks a million!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. Really appreciate it. Came close to buying something here

Anonymous said...

Please read the very end...evidently a real possible threat...And THANK YOU for such a detailed review!

This company BAIT AND SWITCHED ME, did not tell me the truth about warranty, did

not ship EXPRESS, would not give me a return #, and say they are going to charge

me 10% restocking fee...WHEN THEY DID NOT SHIP ME WHAT I WAS TOLD I WAS GOING TO

RECEIVE! No extended warranty ($249.99) was in the box either-that was supposed to come in 6-8

wks! (? and what, another big surprise?) Stopped pmt. at credit card

company. This companies argues all they have to do is show that I accepted their

terms to my credit card company to obtain their 10% restocking (total order was $1289.00)



What about their 30 Day Money Back Guarantee? This item was returned within days. never having been taken out of the box!...and would have been returned sooner if the company had been professional and given me a RMA# when first requested...but somehow, the 30 Day Money Back Guarantee doesn't

pertain to me! CONSUMER ALERT...When something SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE

(pricing!) IT IS! BUYER BEWARE! They are "trying" to rip me off!

ps...I was also Pro-Active, and canceled my credit card # because I read a review on another website concerning possible identity theft/fraud. The company has been so unprofessional, I wanted to eliminate any concerns.

Rich said...

Just as a counterpoint, I recently failed to do my research and ordered a T3i from BPP. It arrived within 8 days, everything seems to be fine. They did call & email, presumably trying to upsell but a curt email back and they shipped with no issue.

I don't know that I'd necessarily buy from them but it tends to be people who have problems who make the most noise so I just thought I'd add my good experience.

BigLeeH said...

Hello Rich,

I'm glad you had a more positive experience with them than did other commenters here. Cannon is reputed to be a bit less willing than Nikon to subject their customers to collateral damage in their war with the gray marketeers so even if your camera that 'seems fine' is gray market you will probably be OK.

But if you do want to look into your warranty status, here are some links you might check out.

http://usa.canon.com/app/pdf/dealer/CanonAuthorizedDealers.pdf

http://www.usa.canon.com/app/pdf/support/warranty/warranty_EOS_digital_camera.pdf?WT.mc_id=C126149

JoseKalel said...

Thanks for your article! Like many posted above, I was about to pull the trigger on a T3i that was $130 less than Amazon ($619.19 vs. $749.99)...it sounded too good to be true, and as always, I ended up researching about it. Thankfully I'd rather spend more money to buy legit and with warranty than this bust.

Anonymous said...

There are many people operating this way. Unfortunately, American citizens don't get angry with the true perpetrators. The manufacturers. They set this up, as I understand it, for precisely the same reason prescription drugs cost more in the USA. Because they can get away with it. If another country has a factory sealed identical product sold at a significantly lower price, what will happen? There's profit to be made and the manufacturers look the other way rather than deal fairly on an open market. Be relieved your camera didn't have a rebate offer from Nikon that involved slicing off the s# and barcode from the outside of the box. Right- the outside of the box. Then it turned out to be gray and marketed for either Canada or Panama. That's happened to me and cost me time and money, including having to rent motion picture camera packages to make a job happen. Panasonic in this case, but: They're all the same. It's marketing that causes the opportunity for anyone to profit from a gray market.

Anonymous said...

I wish I looked at your blog before ordering from BPP. They did exactly the same thing to me, but I was unfortunate to open the box and was charged restocking fee.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, figured the mark3 price was a giimick or refurbished, glad to see you put the time into research!

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody, I ordered Canon Body Only on November 22, received confirmation email and never heard from this guys again. Tried to call their customer service hundred times with no luck. Then I did some research and found this feedback page. They never charged my card, which I'm glad, but I changed it, in case they try charge me. Thanks for all that helpful feedback. Stay away from them...

online casino games said...

breathtaking journal style at no cost http://bestonlinecasinoworld.tumblr.com casino online

TL said...

I ordered Nikon D5100 with 18-55mm lenses. Below is the entire process:
Dec 29, 2012: Placed the order online.
Jan 5, 2013: Sent email to check the order status.
Jan 9, 2013: Got email back from them and asked me to call the toll free number to check the order status.
Jan 11, 2013: Received email that asked me to call extension 502 to confirm the order.
Jan 14, 2013: I called and confirmed the order. The agent informed me that he would send my order to warehouse and the charge will be applied to my credit card. The agent didn't try to sell me anything. On the contrary, I asked him to match the price since the price at its website dropped by 20 dollars since I made the purchase. The agent said he would do that. That was the whole conversation.
Jan 15, 2013: Credit card was charged and 20 dollars credit was applied.
Jan 21, 2013: I still didn't receive the camera. I started to worry and did some research online until I found this blog. I started to prepare on how to handle the worst case scenario: Grey market product… Can't get warranty… No charger… Demo battery etc.
Jan 22, 2013: I got email saying that my package reached the first UPS hub. I called and obtained the tracking number.
Jan 24, 2013: I received the package today. It says “DLX retail Package” on the seal. The packing doesn’t look professional but at least nothing is broken so far. It comes with all accessories that listed in the order. It surprisingly includes EN-EL14 battery and the MH-24 charger. I registered both camera body and the lenses at support.nikonusa.com without issue.

The only issue I can see here is that it takes too long to get the camera. But this can be offset with 70- 120 dollars I saved comparing to other big-brand company.

blazer003 said...

It's all been said, so I will just say thank you!

Anonymous said...

I just want to thank you for your detailed review. It helped me as I was about to pull the trigger on Canon T3i which BPP is selling at a huge discount compared to other reputable retailers.

Anonymous said...

Wow... just wow. I cannot understate how pleased I am that I decided to research these guys before pulling the trigger on my new 6D purchase. I'll be looking elsewhere. Thanks!

Santi1970 said...

On July 17, 2013 I bought a Canon D6 in BestPricePhoto.com website. Hours after the purchase they called me to offer a long lasting battery for $ 180 (approx.). Unfortunately I accepted the offer. On the night of July 18 I changed my mind (since I researched that the price of the battery on Amazon.com was actually no more than $ 20)and I called BestPricePhoto to cancel the order, however I was told that the camera was already shipped and had to wait until delivery to return it. Three weeks later the camera never arrived. I called customer service to complain about the delay in delivery and was told there was a problem with the manufacturer. Taking advantage of this, I asked again to cancel the order, they accepted and said that it was canceled. On August 20th, I called again to ask for the credit card refund and was told that just that day the order was canceled and wait 7 to 10 days for the refund. To this day I have no the camera nor then money. Any advice??

BigLeeH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BigLeeH said...

Santi,

You need to call your credit card company ASAP and contest the charge. You probably have nothing in writing that shows that you have been working with their customer service trying to cancel the order and they are dragging their feet. They may be waiting for someone else to return a camera so they can ship it to you and try to charge you a restocking fee.

Your credit card company can probably help keep this from succeeding.

BigLeeH