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  • Buyer Beware!

    Just wanted to offer a "Heads Up" to my Forum friends, if you plan to buy electronics online please be cautious. Make sure you are dealing with an authorized dealer, and immediately cancel your order if you get a follow up call urging you to upgrade your order. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it is!

  • #2
    Re: Buyer Beware!

    Fess up, what's the rest of the story?
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Buyer Beware!

      My wife wanted a nice digital camera for christmas, so I went online to see if prices were better than the local stores. One of the search engines like nextag showed severral vendors and the lowest price. Name of the place was Ajrichie.com formerly Ajrichard.com. The price was good, free shipping, warrantee, the works. They even had what seemed to be a high rating until I searched further. Seems they are not an authorized dealer so they can't offer a true warrantee. They don't charge shipping but tack on expensive handling fees. They call to confirm your order and pull a very hard sell for additional items which bring your total much higher than if you brought it locally. Some real horror stories about such vendors. I'm relieved I took the time to investigate and found 42photo.com, authorized dealer and great prices. Did not place the order yet, but at least they are reputable. Frank

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      • #4
        Re: Buyer Beware!

        Boy, been there done that. They are generally gray market cameras. I canceled a similar deal several years ago. After reading reviews for the seller I canceled the card as well as it seems they charge even after canceling. I've dealt with 42nd St. Photo without issues. I also like B&H Photo.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Buyer Beware!

          My favorite electronics online retailer. I buy most all my computer parts, accessories, software, and about anything else here.

          Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Buyer Beware!

            Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
            My wife wanted a nice digital camera for christmas, so I went online to see if prices were better than the local stores. One of the search engines like nextag showed severral vendors and the lowest price. Name of the place was Ajrichie.com formerly Ajrichard.com. The price was good, free shipping, warrantee, the works. They even had what seemed to be a high rating until I searched further. Seems they are not an authorized dealer so they can't offer a true warrantee. They don't charge shipping but tack on expensive handling fees. They call to confirm your order and pull a very hard sell for additional items which bring your total much higher than if you brought it locally. Some real horror stories about such vendors. I'm relieved I took the time to investigate and found 42photo.com, authorized dealer and great prices. Did not place the order yet, but at least they are reputable. Frank
            Well I'm very glad to hear that they didn't get your money. I sorta thought that's what happened after reading your original post. Again, glad to hear that you were smarter than they were.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buyer Beware!

              Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
              Well I'm very glad to hear that they didn't get your money. I sorta thought that's what happened after reading your original post. Again, glad to hear that you were smarter than they were.
              Thank you. When I search a new medical claim, treatment, or most anything that might cost money I put the word "scam" after it and that seems to reveal complaints. I feel bad for all the folks who lost money to all these cheats, even savvy consumers can get taken some times.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buyer Beware!

                Ahhh... that "Gray Market" crap still goes on, unfortunately. You have to be very, very, VERY careful indeed; and the internet just makes it all that much easier for these crooks to get your money.

                I'm not sure of how it is defined today, but years ago "gray market" was basically brand new products that were purchased overseas (regardless of where it might be made) and then sold here in the U.S.A. without the proper U.S.-required warrantee cards, service, etc. So you might end up with a great camera, but one that was intended for sale in some other country with no warranty and therefore at a greatly reduced price. Such sales are generally frowned upon, but not necessarily illegal (hence "gray"). Problem of course is that if you need service, the question of "warrantry" and "registration" and point of sale issues comes into play and you find that while service may well be available, it will cost you.

                Back in the 80's, I was heavily into photography, using it as a tool for my technical illustration needs. I subscribed to a couple of the most popular photography magazines and always noticed that heavy, 3 and 4 page Ads that some particular NYC dealers had. So, rather than just call them up and order $4,000 worth of equipment that I needed to start my freelance business, I decided instead to take the drive and spend a few days shopping these places. I recall a couple of these stores being absolutely terrific, full service, display, sales associates who would set down with you or take your list and help you out with whatever your questions might be.

                But, there were a couple that were absolutely a complete shock. One was pretty much like and auto parts warehouse, and that exactly what it looked like... a long counter with a couple of guys who would go back into the "bins" and get the item and bring it out and open the carton and show you the stuff... but you weren't allowed to touch it, just look at what they showed you! Then if you made the purchase, they'd write it up, take your money and someone would go back into the "bins" and grab another box and bring it out and hand it to you. I didn't buy from there... I'm just too damn suspicious I guess.

                The other (and that large "advertizer" that I earlier mentioned), was really strange. I asked several people for directions and just couldn't find it. The problem was that I was looking for a street-level store, on a scale of what their advertisements might warrant. I just kept walking past the plain old blank steel door that had a little sign above it. Finally catching that, I (actually my FIL and son in accompanyment) proceeded down a long narrow hallway and up three flights to the fourth floor and then down another hallway to a rather small room where two old Jewish guys were standing behind a few glass display cases containing some rather old and used photo equipment.

                I asked if this was the right place and in turn was asked, "What da ya want?". I told them I had a list and could they give me some prices and I handed them my computer printout of all the stuff that I wanted. They just handed it back to me and told me they couldn't help me.

                I replied that I was serious, was here in NY for just today and tomorrow and had the cash to make the purchases, but that I wanted some pricing to make sure that I was getting a good buy. I also said that I had followed their Ads for several months and was sure they were the people to help me.

                What I got was a repeat of "We don't have any of this stuff.... get out!" On my hesitation and further attempt to explain, the guy said, "What, you need for me to call a cop?!" We left!

                I finally went to "Competive Camera" which was a small and rather old looking store. I recall the sales kid yelling up to the mezinine, "Hey Bernie, this guy's got a list!"... at which this middle-aged guy came down the stairs, asked to see my list and then followed up with, "Are you kidding... I'm not going to waste my time going through this and giving you prices so that you can go up town and buy it from somebody else!"

                I told him I had already been "up town" and to several other "stores" and that he was my final stop. He responded with, "And you didn't find anything did you?" At that, he said he had everything except the particular model of copy stand on my list... but he had one better and would give me a matching price. At that he handed the young guy the list and told him to get working on it.

                I spent some time in the store and the guy was pretty nice, explaining that there was an abundance of these advertisers who simply maintained no inventory, but waited to you got your money and then would order the stuff and make lots of excuses to the buyer until the order could be filled... and that most was "gray market". I ended up coming back the next morning to get everything and that the guy went through every single box with me. All the stuff was new, factory fresh, U.S.A. warranteed and I was happy at such great service. I was also VERY glad that I had made the trip, instead of ordering from what appeared to be big company's with fancy advertisements.

                Let the buyer beware... absolutely!

                CWS

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buyer Beware!

                  it seems like a lot of the brick and mortar stores are nearly doing drop ship as well any more, go in to the local tire store and they can order it in and will be here friday, or tuesday, the auto parts store it be in tomorrow, the lumber yard we can order that door in for you it will be a few days, and two weeks later it still is not in,

                  I know they can not keep ever thing in stock but some of it is just poor customer service,
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Buyer Beware!

                    Originally posted by BHD View Post
                    it seems like a lot of the brick and mortar stores are nearly doing drop ship as well any more, go in to the local tire store and they can order it in and will be here friday, or tuesday, the auto parts store it be in tomorrow, the lumber yard we can order that door in for you it will be a few days, and two weeks later it still is not in,

                    I know they can not keep ever thing in stock but some of it is just poor customer service,
                    You can thank the brilliant "bean counters" for stores not "warehousing" goods anymore. They were told it is wasteful to maintain stock. When I was a fleet mechanic at the phone co. more than thirty years ago they did the same thing. In my opinion it more wasteful to diagnose a simple repair and not have the parts to do the fix. Our entire society is wasting time and energy with this practice. I do think there needs to be some common sense and compromise to keeping stock because some items get upgraded by newer models so fast.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buyer Beware!

                      YEP!
                      it's called just in time inventory!!!
                      The hospital environment had gone through the same process
                      via the damn bean counters!

                      A company offered to warehouse inventory and provide inventory every 24 hours
                      of course traffic was not included in the "formula"
                      This reduced required square footage for warehousing and allowed more beds to be installed!

                      I remember one time we ran out of alcohol [the rubbing type]
                      Can you imagine that!
                      Anyway the director of SPD [supply process distribute] old name was "central supply"
                      went across the street to the local grocery store armed with a pocket full of cash and
                      purchased 2 cases of alcohol [not the drinking kind although I bet he was tempted]

                      I do understand the economics of having a warehouse loaded with parts but that's the
                      price of doing business and selling a product.

                      Quite often the only parts are actually on the assembly line and spare parts are minimal!
                      Thus when you do find a source for a party you may wait 6 months for it.

                      We have become a throw away society!! The engineers design stuff so it's impossible to access it and fix it
                      The manufacturer makes repair parts expensive or just unavailable, the bean counters design built in
                      obsolescence, and know exactly the MTBF ratio [mean time before failure] then design their warranty accordingly

                      If the product fails initially or within the first 30-60 days you have a chance of a replacement. This is also
                      known as equipment infant mortality of the product.

                      Finally it's out of proportion too.
                      Go price a new car....then price the individual parts if you decide to build the same car!
                      You need a replacement headlamp..no problem give us $100.00.....
                      their cost $2.50


                      Cactus Man
                      Last edited by cactusman; 12-04-2011, 12:06 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buyer Beware!

                        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                        You can thank the brilliant "bean counters" for stores not "warehousing" goods anymore. They were told it is wasteful to maintain stock. When I was a fleet mechanic at the phone co. more than thirty years ago they did the same thing. In my opinion it more wasteful to diagnose a simple repair and not have the parts to do the fix. Our entire society is wasting time and energy with this practice. I do think there needs to be some common sense and compromise to keeping stock because some items get upgraded by newer models so fast.
                        Its not necessarily bean counters per say. In my company we look at two aspects of inventory.

                        Aspect one Shelving. Go to my post titled, Why we Press, in the pressing forum and look at the pictures. Those valves you see in the pictures have about thirty to forty individual parts inside of them. Those valves are just one of about twenty different models from one manufacture. Then take in the two or three other brands of additional valves we service and there parts requirements. If I actually stocked the parts necessary to fix all these units my inventory cost would run about $250,000.00. That's product sitting on a shelf not making me money.

                        In the majority of cases when customers call us we ask them to describe the problem. Sometimes we go as far as to have them make a video or take some smart phone pics and email them to us, while we have them on the phone. In 90% of the cases we can diagnose the issue and get the parts necessary from our suppliers. Case in point. We got an emergency call from one of our customers in South San Diego County this past Thursday. Within a minute of talking to the customer I knew what the problem was. The valve was a new style valve and the part to fix it was not in our minimum inventory. (With other valves we usually rebuild the part and keep it in inventory) However in this case because the valve was so new we did not have a replacement/rebuild in stock. So I ran to Los Angeles on Friday, got a new one, $146.00, and went down on Saturday morning and did the repair myself.

                        Over the years of operating my business this way we have found it actually makes us money in the long run, by not having inventory on the shelf. Another unique thing that has saved us money over the years are pictures. We take extensive pictures on every customer. From under the counter R.o.s in a house, to Oxygen Sensors in a waste water treatment plant. We take pictures of all the plumbing, potential repair issues. Boilers, Cooling Towers, everything you can thing of that we can fix at some point in a customers plant. We download that into our computer systems and use that as a reference weekly. I started doing that over twenty years ago, and I cannot tell you how many times it has saved not only us but the customers in emergencies.

                        Reason two why we don't keep inventory anymore. About two months ago I get a call from a residential customer I have known for 20 years. Friends of the family type thing. They have a Hydrotech R.O. in the house that needs service. I go out, do an annual service on the unit and then test it and it won't shut off. No biggy, I keep a small parts kit in my truck just for these units because the parts are so small. I replace all the necessary parts, still will not shut off. Do it again, still will not shut off. I then take the unit back to our shop and use parts we had in our shop inventory. I'm completely stumped. So I go back into the office and pull the Hydrotech vendor file to find out the last time we ordered parts from them. Over twelve years ago. (back when we used to inventory massive amounts of service parts) I turned around ordered out a minimum order of replacement parts from the vendor and threw out all the old inventory of parts. New parts came in, rebuild unit with new parts, and viola the thing worked again.

                        Aspect two: Taxes. In California we have to inventory all stock at the end of the year and we get to pay state sales tax on it, even when it has not sold. Less Inventory, less taxes. Back in the early 80's I worked for this Tight Ars guy that would literally send back all his inventory to his vendors a couple of weeks prior to doing his annual inventory, then when it was done he would order it all back.

                        I have several key suppliers who I know keep a large inventory of stock. For the water treatment aspect of my business I have one main supplier. I can go into his building 24/7 and get what ever I need. I'm one of the few customers that he has that has the ability to "freely Shop" his warehouse, write down my order on an order pad and leave.

                        My plumbing suppliers are numerous. For general plumbing needs there is usually one within a couple of miles from wherever we are at. When it comes to Viega Fittings for ProPress there is only a couple that I go to. However the one we frequent the most is 22 miles from our office, and we go there 95% of the time. Why? Because they guarantee that they will have stock on virtually every item in the Viega Inventory. From 1/2" to 4" I can walk in 24/7 and they will have it.

                        I'm helping a close friend of mine with a bathroom remodel so I am letting him buy all his materials on my accounts. I had two of my vendors compete for the fixtures. One of them, who had a little better pricing had a two to three week lag time on getting the inventory. The other, Ferguson was a few bucks more had the stock in the Western US. Warehouse which made the product one day out. So I ordered the parts through him. Some of the stuff came in so I drove the thirty miles to the main branch where my inside rep works to get them. This branch is a hub branch that distributes throughout Orange and L.A. County. I pick up my stuff and figure all grab a bag of 3/4" Viega 90's for the shower remodel. Go to the Viega bins and half of them are empty. Go in to talk with my guy and he tells me the Branch Manger does not want to keep stock because only a few guys actually use ProPress and the stuff just sits there. Where not talking 3" & 4" stuff here, were talking about a $20.00 dollar bag of 90's.

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