Camcorder shopping and a reminder of caution



The last few days I’ve been heavily researching the purchase of a camcorder. I guess I can’t just go out and pick something, I have to research at a number of levels. (Editorial reviews, user reviews, pricing, media, computer compatability, quality, etc. all of these come into play.) So, after several days of researching the product itself I was VERY close to going ahead with one place that had a fantastic price. But then I wondered, how come, this one place had a price that was a clear $100 lower than most anywhere else?


The prices that camcorders go for are fairly steep for our relatively modest budget and I was eager to find a good price, but it seemed odd that I found ONE retailer with a price at least $100 under everyone else.

I started looking online and in newsgroups and quickly found out why. They weren’t exactly the most reputable place to buy from. In fact, I read an account from one individual that had started to order and got the order page, saw it wasn’t https and (right clicked and looked at the source of the page to verify) he called. They were somewhat rude over the issue (and now I know why they had disabled the right click menu on the web page – that always frustrates me…. I’m a “right-click, open in tab”-aholic.)

So, they’re out and I start to look at others and find there are a lot of camcorder-store/digital camera stores that have less than warm and fuzzy feelings about them. The most common complaint I saw was the bait and switch, where a camcorder might be the lowest priced model on froogle, on visiting the site and trying to order, the camera was out of stock…. hmmm froogle said it was IN stock. Then, they notice that “lo and behold” the product IS in stock, IF you pay another $100 for this REALLY great KIT which includes everything else you need to get started. (Likely the kit components are overpriced.)

So, ultimately, I’ve saettled back on good reliable amazon.com for my order. I’ve finally settled on the Sony DCR-DVD405 3MP DVD Handycam Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom…. I did get a pack that has a nice case, spare battery and a blank dvd-r and I bought a few other branded dvd-r’s and dvd-rw’s through J&R Music world (Their amazon store.)

I guess the bottom line is to beware when you seem to get a REALLY GREAT deal on a product that is just out of the usual line of pricing. You’ll see it more with more expensive items, because there’s a greater opportunity there I think. Also, be sure to look at a good sampling of THIRD PARTY reviews of an online business before doing business with them. It could save you a lot of frustration and heartache.

Oh, and yes, you can expect to see a bit of a first hand review after it’s in and perhaps updated after I’ve had a chance to use it a while.

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