In 2001, I tried to purchase an Epson 1280 I found at a good price. Instead of the product, I got a “hard sell” over the phone trying for ink and a USB cable at an outrageous price—they didn’t want to ship me just the 1280. I had them cancel my order and went to MicroCenter.
That was my first exposure to the dark underbelly of Brooklyn camera dealers. After that experience, a network search told me my experience was a common modus operandi.
Often when buying photography and video gear the best price you see often isn’t. What goes on is you try to purchase something from them at the price listed, and they’ll try to do things like sell you parts that are supposed to be bundled with the product or other accessories that you don’t want or don’t need.
Even when you find multiple similar (but not the same) prices for the same product from different stores, it turns out the stores are actually the same store—the DNS records and web design offer a clue. Also, these places will spam the merchant review sites to artificially pump up their ratings. It takes a lot of work to winnow the good from the bad. BoingBoing points out that there is an ongoing project to post pictures of these dealers. I love it.
Last week, however, when I ordered a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens from Adorama, they delayed my order to try to sell me a 52mm UV filter.2 The evil influences of these Brooklyn camera dealers?