Online Shopping: Go for the best deal, or not?

by Derrick Story

In my world of online shopping, there are three gold standards: Amazon.com, Apple.com, and B&H Photo.com. Over the years these sites have provided me with a good browsing experience, offered fair prices, kept me posted about the status of my order, and delivered the goods I requested. With these positives under my belt, why would I consider buying anywhere else?



It's those darn ads. Every time I research an article, read a photo column, look up a camera review, they're lurking there in the side nav bar. "Hey buddy, don't pay full price for that new digital camera. I'll sell you the same one for 30 percent less." Like a kid coming home from via the back alley I know to avoid, I usually just say no to the tempting voices.



Am I crazy? What if these other operations are just more efficient? Why should I throw away good money? I decided to do a little informal test. I was looking to buy a new Olympus C-5050 digital camera (an amazing piece of equipment), but did not feel like spending the $799 asking price advertised at the brick and motars.



First I checked my favorite online vendor for photo equipment: B&H. They had a much improved price tag of $699. Fantastic! They knocked a hundred bucks right off the top, and I know I can trust them. I just had to get a few more bucks together, then I could order it.



But, as I was doing a little more technical research on the camera I saw one of those ads offering the camera -- with USA warranty, all accessories, and unopened box -- for $545 from DirectSource.us. How could they do that?



I went to the site, and it was very nice with all the bells and whistles and lots of "protected by" the usual suspects. So I decided to test the water. I ordered the camera from their slick e-commerce site.



The next day I received an email stating that I had to call them to "verify my order." I know this ploy. What they really want to do is sell me more stuff at a premium price to make up for the loss leader they had sold me. I called, said I didn't need any accessories (How about this? How about that? No! No! No!), and the gruff voice on the other end of the line said the camera would ship within a while. I asked "what's a while?" The answer was, "a week or so." Click.



The next day, I receive a back order notice from DirectSource stating that my camera shipment will be delayed 3-4 weeks because the manufacturer has delayed its shipment. Funny thing, it's still posted as "in stock" on their very sophisticated site. More monkey business. I promptly cancelled my order.



I tried another site, BuyDigitalDirect.com. This one with a 3-star rating on c|net, for a still great price of $629 with free shipping. But then the next day I received the dreaded email from them too, asking me to call to verify my order. "Oh darn!" I thought.



I called, and they actually asked for my 3-digit credit card security number and my billing address. Then the voice inquired about any additional accessories I might need. I said I didn't need any, and the voice replied that my order would be shipped right away. So far, no back order notice. Hmmmm. This one might actually go through.



I'll see if the camera arrives as promised, with USA warranty and all accessories. But in the meantime, I think I'll save the super discount sites for those times I can afford to be hassled, delayed, and somewhat in doubt. Maybe they can be my thrill-seeking substitute for a trip to Las Vegas. The old adage, "You get what you pay for," seems to apply to peace of mind as well as merchandise.




What are your thoughts and experiences in the world of online discount shopping?


46 Comments

tpherndon
2003-01-21 14:37:07
For computer components...
For computer components, there are really only two resources you need: www.pricewatch.com and www.resellerratings.com. Pricewatch will tell you the lowest price on the internet for a given part, and Reseller Ratings will tell you whether or not to trust the selling company. Find a company on Pricewatch, look them up on Reseller Ratings. Lather, rinse, repeat until you are satisfied that you have found a reliable company.


Three things to note: Pricewatch only lists those vendors who voluntarily send in their pricing information; Pricewatch lists a *combined* price that includes any shipping and handling fees, so the listings are realistic; Reseller Ratings is driven by consumers who rate a given company, and lists overall ratings, ratings within the last six months, and has comment logs per company.

benh57
2003-01-21 18:02:13
resellerratings
Going for the best deal works, if you are sure to check a site like http://www.resellerratings.com/ before ordering.


A quick check on directsource.us on resellerratings - http://www.resellerratings.com/seller3543.html - shows that they are to be avoided. EVERY review is bad!

derrick
2003-01-21 19:48:31
resellerratings
Good tip!
anonymous2
2003-01-22 08:04:16
Keep your eyes on the return policy
Online resellers vary greatly in terms of return policy as well. B&H is generally very good, but you'd get only 7 days to return a digicam, though presumably without a restocking fee if you returned it in sufficiently good condition. BuyDigitalDirect gives you 14 days but assesses a restocking fee if the box is opened.


J&R is generally my own gold standard, with 30 day return policy, price matching of legitimate offers, and excellent customer service....

derrick
2003-01-22 15:59:28
What's the real scoop on "email me a better price"?
Since a lot of folks reading this post have some knowledge about the complex world of online shopping, I have another question I'd like to hear comments about.


Many of the sites, including ones I like, use the "email me a better price" method for quoting prices on equipment. The standard explanation goes something like this:


-----
"Some of our store and Mail Order prices are below what some manufacturers encourage their authorized dealers to advertise. To most of these manufacturers, putting these prices on a website constitutes an advertisement. You will usually be able to tell these items by the price appearing in gray color instead of our usual red.


In most of these cases, we display our lower price only if a customer "asks" for it, since this constitutes a private conversation. That is why you will see the message ?EMAIL ME A BETTER PRICE!?; in this way, we can send you our lower price, and a link back to that product with the lower price showing. We know that it is a minor inconvenience to ask you to enter a name and click a button, but the alternative is to put a higher price."
------


Do you think this is the real reason, or is there something else brewing behind this somewhat inconvenient approach?

derrick
2003-01-22 16:08:31
Keep your eyes on the return policy
I visited the J&R site (http://www.jandr.com/), and they had a nice homey feel to the place. I checked their price for our test camera, the Olympus C-5050, and they quoted $699 -- the same as B&H, and what I call the other "full service" suppliers. But J&R's return policy is better than most, and that is important to consider.
anonymous2
2003-01-25 12:10:59
Directsource.us
I'm giving them a shot and I ordered the Nikon 5700 from them on Friday. The web said the product was in stock and the product should ship in 2 days...we'll see. I'm hoping for the best. I used to run the sales support team at Apple...so I will sent the FTC hounds after them if they give me any flack about what I just ordered...
derrick
2003-01-28 09:40:19
Directsource.us
Did you order any accessories with the camera? If you did, your order will probably go through. If not, it's just a matter of time until you get the "back order email."


Let us know how it turns out.

derrick
2003-01-28 09:44:22
BuyDigitalDirect.com Delivers
Just to close the loop on my order from BuyDigitalDirect.com: The Olympus C-5050 arrived as promised with warranty, accessories, and in the original packaging.


I was provided with a FedEx tracking number that allowed me to follow its trek from NY to CA, and I was able to make plans to accept delivery.


My credit card was charged correctly.


Bottom line: I got a good price and BuyDigitalDirect held up their end of the deal.

anonymous2
2003-01-28 14:04:27
Directsource.us
Hi,
I also ordered a Nikon Coolpix 5700. That was last Thursday (Jan. 23rd). I added the basic accessory kit to my online order. I didn't receive an immediate e-mail message confirming the order as is common in online purchases. DirectSource.US did call me back the next day to "confirm my address" and make me a "special offer for a set of lenses" at 50%. I declined. Click.
I called them up the next Monday to ask when to expect my order. They said I'd receive an e-mail message confirming my order indicating when to expect my shipment.
So, if I'd decide to cancel now that I know more about this company, what would be the best approach?
Thanks and good luck for you all.
derrick
2003-01-28 14:42:33
Directsource.us -- How I canceled
In my experience, canceling was pretty easy because they didn't want to sell me the camera at the quoted price anyway.


I just replied to the back order notice (support@DirectSource.us) and simply asked that the order be canceled. They replied via email:


"We apologize for not being able to fulfill your order at the time frame needed. Upon your request your order has been canceled."


And that was that.


Best of luck!

anonymous2
2003-01-29 07:46:55
Directsource.us -- Canceled too...
Hi,
I canceled my order yesterday too, shortly after writing about my experiences here in this web log. When I called Directsource.US They first transferred me to the customer service department, which was closed at 3 PM (?!).
Then I called again. "SALES!" was the first thing I heard... Anyway, as soon as I mentioned the word cancel this guy asked for the order number and said I would get a confirmation e-mail message. I didn't get such a message, but in the online order system I found that the order was indeed canceled. Was I relieved!!!!
Let my experience be a warning for others....
Thanks for the suggestion!
anonymous2
2003-02-16 18:53:02
DirectSource.us - Is Everyone Notifying the FTC?
Hey there. I just got the same message after confirming my order and turning down all pushed accessories. I was even "Red Flagged" as a new customer and was approved for savings of 50% off of all accessories. Suddenly the item I want is backordered for 3-4 weeks. I got that message 3 hours after I spoke with Jim on the phone.


Anyway, I sent them a message after reading this article and finding out how many people are having trouble with them. Has anyone contacted the FTC reguarding their attempts to purchase at the advertised price? There's got to be something we can do to prevent this kind of company from advertising like it is.


Good luck everyone! Thanks for posting.

anonymous2
2003-02-25 23:52:10
Online Discount Sites
I'm very grateful for the info regarding directsource.us. I've been considering the decision to order the same camera, the C-5050 Zoom, from the same site. The writer's account of the hassles and delays will help me avoid similar experiences. Thank-you for this public service. Please continue your good work.
anonymous2
2003-03-05 01:41:22
starlightcameras.com
I recently ordered a FUJI FINEPIX S602 at starlightcameras.com at at an advertised price of $499. I new this was a to good to be true price because the day before I tried to order the same camera at dbuys.com and got the dreaded "please call to confirm your order" via email. I got a phone call from starlightcameras.com to supposedly confirm my mailing address, then came the questions; would you like to order this and that? After arguing with the guy on the phone for 1 minute or so about recharable batteries, and "it will only last you 5 minutes with one time only battieres" he suddenly changed his tone. He asked me "did you order 3 day shipping?" I said "that's what you have don't you?", he said "well you can't get that", I knew he was just playing me by now, I should of just hung up the phone, but instead I wanted to know how far this idiot would go. I asked him "what shipping method is available?", he said "Non". I asked him if the camera was new in box and manufacture sealed, he said "no". I told him that it stated on his site that every thing they sold was new in box etc. He asked me "where does it say that?", I said "on your policy page!", he then said "not on that camera". From that point on I just hung up on him.


What does the guy expect, he thinks I'm going to do what he wants, after all its not his money, beside his company is the one that stupidly puts up prices. The whole thing is a scam, I can't believe the law permits them to do stuff like that. Websites like Epinions and Nextag should be should be held liable also for allowing these sites to exist.


All these scam businesses are all located in New York. They exist, yet they don't exist, if you know what I mean. They are truly criminals, you should see the negative reviews put up by those unfortunate victims that fall for the accessory deal. Sometimes they get used stuff, broken items or nothing at all.


I think one of the things we can do to help get rid of these supposed businesses is to tell places like NexTag and Epinions and Pricscan to take them off. Another way is to put up tons of negative feedback for those 20 or so stores to warn buyers, bring ratings down and eventually turn them all off.


You can usually tell which store is a scam store, you just have to look for "NY" on their contact page, that is if they have it or not. You can also just tell by feel, sometimes their websites seem cold. Also some business have two or more stores with different prices and looks. I found this out when I started calling up stores and noticing that the same guy would pick up the phone.


I did finally get my camera, got it at www.jandr.com which is a great store to shop at. I couldn't believe the low price they had on a Sony camera, It looked like a "to good to be true" price like the ones I've seen on those scam stores, but not so, www.jandr.com saved me $300 hundered bucks! By the way, they are very nice and friendly when you say you don't want any accessories;-)

derrick
2003-03-06 08:06:47
starlightcameras.com
Thanks for writing about your experience. And I'm glad you had a happy ending.


I think your point is a good one. Let's get the word out, whether it be via blogs, Epinions, whatever. Google will help us by making the links available.


And of course, be sure to do some research before clicking the "Order" button.

anonymous2
2003-03-25 10:24:23
More on directsource.us & FTC
Two weeks ago, I ordered a digital camera from www.directsource.us. They listed the Canon G3 for an incredibly low price (first hmmm...). The next day, I received an email saying I need to give them a call to "confirm" my order...this after receiving my confirmation email (second hmmm...). When I called them, they started off by asking me if I wanted to buy this and that accessory that goes along with my camera (third hmmm...). After saying 'no' about a thousand times, the phone representative proceeded to tell me that my camera was backordered and will be shipped out in 3-4 weeks (fourth hmmm...).

The problem is that I failed to put all these things together that day and realize that they were trying to pull something off. I gave them a call today to check up on my order and they told me it'll be another 3-4 weeks before it was shipped out. I immediately cancelled the order and filed a complaint with the FTC.

They are a legitimate (if I can call them that) company. They just offer really low prices to lure people in and try to make up for that by attempting to force people into buying expensive accessories. The lesson (as always) is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Please let people know about this. I'd hate to see someone else go through what you & I went through.


jookim@netzero.net

anonymous2
2003-04-08 16:52:32
starlightcameras.com
Just got of the phone with guy named Scott from Starlightcamera.com
This morning I placed order for Canon Elan 7 and canon 28-135 IS, 75-300 IS lenses. Cost 879.99 With S&H total cost was 929.99 not bad.
Guy call me to confirm the order, and told me to buy batteries and filters, with out them camera and lenses will not work. I told him NO. Then I was inform that lenses are discontinued and I have to buy new one. After few minutes one way conversation he told me that they do not have that package in stock and will have to cancel my order. Willshop there again?? NO!!
anonymous2
2003-04-25 11:02:28
starlightcameras.com
I just got off the phone with a jack-ass (pardon my French) at starlightcameras.com. As stated in other postings I found them on the web and they had a great price on a Nikon Coolpix 5000 that seemed almost to good to be true. I first called to confirm that it was "NEW" as stated on their policy page and a USA model. The response was "Yes" and that it came with all standard accesories, 32meg memory card etc. I said great and told them I would call back to place an order. When I did, the salesman said that the price was after the rebate (so it jumped $200 from advertised) and that I would need to send that in myself, which was ok with me, I just verified that the package would have the needed UPC sticker and that they were a approved seller for me to qualify for the rebate, he said "yes" but his tone went negative from there. He then proceeded on a "high pressure" sales pitch from there from using almost criminal tactics. Luckily I had done quite a bit of research on the camera so I wasn't pulled into his lies easily. His first statement was that the camera wouldn't work without a "lens kit", after I questioned his statement he fine-tuned it to say that "it's needed to protect the glass lens and if I didn't protect it and it got scratched it wasn't under warranty", but I politely told him I wasn't interested in that yet. His next statement was the memory card, he mentioned that I could only fit 4 images on the 32meg card, which is only semi-true if I saved images at their highest resolution, so once again I politely said "No" and that I had my own memory cards. Every "No" I told him he grew increasingly agitated, to the point I was starting to wonder if he was mentally challenged (NO joke). The straw that broke the camels back was the "Needed" battery and charger. After telling me this was a New USA model with all included accesories he proceeded to tell me that I will need a battery and charger. Knowing that new models come with this I Questioned him on whether he was trying to sell me an extra or was he telling me that this camera actually did not come with a supplied battery and charger. OH BOY - it then got UGLY. He then said "Let me check because this is my first day on the job", thinking he was serious I said "Thank you and I would appreciate that because I know that new models come with a supplied battery and charger". Not realizing his the previous comment was actually sarcasm agitated him worse and he stammered off "I've been doing this for over 11 years and sold more than 500 of these cameras, so I know what the hell I'm talking about". In shock all I could say was "I think I need to do a little more research on this camera". He then said "Then why don't you get off my phone!" and hung up. I was sitting there with the phone still on my ear dumbfounded at the conversation I just had. My shock turned to anger so I started searching anyhwere I could vent and came across this forum. I was suprised that they were not on Nextag or some of the other vendor comparison services, but maybe this is why. In a nutshell this operation is a SCAM and these people should be shut down.
anonymous2
2003-04-25 11:16:56
starlightcameras.com
I just got off the phone with a jack-ass (pardon my French) at starlightcameras.com. As stated in other postings I found them on the web and they had a great price on a Nikon Coolpix 5000 that seemed almost to good to be true. I first called to confirm that it was "NEW" as stated on their policy page and a USA model. The response was "Yes" and that it came with all standard accesories, 32meg memory card etc. I said great and told them I would call back to place an order. When I did, the salesman said that the price was after the rebate (so it jumped $200 from advertised) and that I would need to send that in myself, which was ok with me, I just verified that the package would have the needed UPC sticker and that they were a approved seller for me to qualify for the rebate, he said "yes" but his tone went negative from there. He then proceeded on a "high pressure" sales pitch using almost criminal tactics. Luckily I had done quite a bit of research on the camera so I wasn't pulled into his lies easily. His first statement was that the camera wouldn't work without a "lens kit", after I questioned his statement he fine-tuned it to say that "it's needed to protect the glass lens and if I didn't protect it and it got scratched it wasn't under warranty", but I politely told him I wasn't interested in that yet. His next statement was the memory card, he mentioned that I could only fit 4 images on the 32meg card, which is only semi-true if I saved images at their highest resolution, so once again I politely said "No" and that I had my own memory cards. Every "No" I told him he grew increasingly agitated, to the point I was starting to wonder if he was mentally challenged (NO joke). The straw that broke the camels back was the "Needed" battery and charger. After telling me this was a New USA model with all included accesories he proceeded to tell me that I will need a battery and charger. Knowing that new models come with this I Questioned him on whether he was trying to sell me an extra or was he telling me that this camera actually did not come with a supplied battery and charger. OH BOY - it then got UGLY. He then said "Let me check because this is my first day on the job", thinking he was serious I said "Thank you and I would appreciate that because I know that new models come with a supplied battery and charger". Not realizing his the previous comment was actually sarcasm agitated him worse and he stammered off "I've been doing this for over 11 years and sold more than 500 of these cameras, so I know what the hell I'm talking about". In shock all I could say was "I think I need to do a little more research on this camera". He then said "Then why don't you get off my phone!" and hung up. I was sitting there with the phone still on my ear dumbfounded at the conversation I just had. My shock turned to anger so I started searching anyhwere I could vent and came across this forum. I was suprised that they were not on Nextag or some of the other vendor comparison services, but maybe this is why. In a nutshell this operation is a SCAM and these people should be shut down.
anonymous2
2003-05-05 14:15:45
starlightcameras.com
I attempted to order from starlightcameras and asked several basic questions. The person handeling all calls and orders was rude and started yelling at me and calling me names. I was absolutly dumbstruck, I have never been treated like that before! I had to hang up he was yelling so much. I hope no one ever orders from this company and has to be verbally abused like that.
anonymous2
2003-05-08 16:07:06
starlightcameras.com
Thanks for the posts, guys. I was indeed surfing the Web trying to decide whether to trust such an expensive purchase to this vendor. The answer is no, not after reading these posts. Bad vendors, beware.
anonymous2
2003-05-09 23:30:53
starlightcameras.com
How DO we go about getting illegal operations such as these shut down? Does it do any good to even complain to the Better Business Bureau? These bad experiences occur way too often on internet sites. Think of how many people get intimidated by monsters like the one you spoke with and end up buying from him!
anonymous2
2003-07-30 15:13:55
starlightcameras.com
We had a similar experience. Was misled with false information trying to sell accesories. Could never confirm shipment. Was hung up on 4 times. Very rude to deal with. Said ordered was cancelled. Hope it was. It was a mistake to try to do business with starlightcameras.
anonymous2
2003-10-16 09:11:18
starlightcameras.com
Starlight Cameras is even in PHOTO graphic magazine with a nice ad! I was THIS close to ordering an Olympus C5050 (Special $407). You would think a reputable magazine would censor its ads. SHARKS ARE EVERYWHERE, AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!


THanks for the "heads up". I feel like calling just to bother them. Something like " oh yeah, that sounds great. Umm-hmm, I suppose I need that too" and then throw in some profane words, New York style!!

anonymous2
2003-10-17 14:27:22
starlightcameras.com
Thanks to all for the 'heads up' I was thinking of purchasing a Nikon D-100 but will now go elsewhere.


So glad I decided to check them out on the web!!

anonymous2
2003-11-11 10:34:27
Directsource.us
I too ordered from Directsource. They have quite a racket going. The camera was "in stock". I checked their website for peripherals, so I knew what I wanted before I called them. The guy there, "Jim", then offered me the "package" that I thought I'd seen on their site. Whooops! No. The package was inexpensive enough to raise a flag. So I called back immediately to cancel the order. They claimed that Jim was out of the office and I had to call back the next day. I instructed them to NOT ship the order. They did any way. Long story short and after much grief, it cost me $300.00 restocking fee and I got NOTHING from them. I'll never order from them again and caution all who read this to be very wary of what you're ordering vs. what they are actually selling you !! Good Luck !
anonymous2
2003-12-04 07:52:59
More on directsource.us & FTC
I NEED TO GET A TELEPHONE NUMBER FROM DIRECT SOURCE BECAUSE I PLACED AN ORDER AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY CONFIRMATION.


DIRECT SOURCE IN ORANGEBURG,NY.


THANKS

anonymous2
2003-12-09 15:09:15
Directsource.us
WIFE BOUGHT BOUGHT ME A LEATHER JACKET BUT NEVER RECEIVED IT AND JUST HAD TO PUT A TRACE ON IT SHE GOT IT FROM A ADD IN THE STATE NEWSPAPER IN COLUMBIA SC . LOVE TO TELL THEM THANK'S FOR MY PRESENT.
anonymous2
2003-12-11 06:44:43
starlightcameras.com
Please give me there tel. number. (Direct Source)
I have not been able to find it.
Thank you
Bob.
anonymous2
2003-12-11 06:45:25
starlightcameras.com
Please give me there tel. number. (Direct Source)
I have not been able to find it.
Thank you
Bob. dmoran2727@aol.com
anonymous2
2003-12-11 14:11:03
starlightcameras.com
Starlightcameras.com is a JOKE! I placed an order for a brand new Sony Mavica 500 Digital Camera. After placing the order, I was informed that I had to call in and confirm the order, which at first I thought to be kind of fishy because I have ordered products online before, and never had to call in to confirm. After waiting for a week for the camera to arrive, which shouldn't have taken that long because I only live in New Jersey, about 40min away, I called them to see what was going on with the order. Some nasty talking woman picked up the phone and sent me to the sales line. From that point on, all I got was attitude for the sales guy, and all i wanted to know was when the camera was going to be sent out to me. Then he finally tells me that the camera is on back order. Which to this point, I had idea. I wasn't informed about any of this. Decent companies would have called you and explaned to you that the item was on back order. I would of never known this, if I hadn't called. So I advise everyone, do not order anything from Starlightcameras.com This company is a fraud, and just a bunch of scam artist.
anonymous2
2003-12-11 19:59:34
More on directsource.us & FTC
the number is 845-398-1317
anonymous2
2003-12-14 15:48:02
starlightcameras.com
Thanks for this post -


I'm shopping for a Canon 300D and they had a great price. Of course I know that most of these sites in NY and NJ are scam artists. Camera stores like this have existed for decades.


For those of you shopping for camera equipment - always call first! Simply ask first if the item is in stock. Then verify the price. Then simplly ask: "Is this a US Retail Package or Grey Market item?"


Usually they will quickly reply that it is Grey market saving you tons of time. If you know what questions to ask, you will save yourself hours of time and frustration.


Good Luck!

anonymous2
2003-12-21 15:53:53
starlightcameras.com
I tried to order an Olympus 740 from this "company". My experience was like everyone elses. Great price on the camera and then you get hassled about buying $200 worth of items. After that you get told it is out of stock, not to mention the rudeness of the people on the phone. I won't go into detail about my experience because I could go on forever about what a joke this place is. DO NOT BUY from starlightcameras.com because you will never get your order and if you do you will have wasted your money! If it looks to good to be true it probably is!
anonymous2
2003-12-21 17:12:55
starlightcameras.com
I cancelled an order after being harassed over the phone on confirmation. A real jerk tried
sell me crap I din't want or need. I asked if he wanted me to cancel the order, he said yes
then sent me an e-bill for 53.10 for cancelling.
I contacted my credit card company. and stopped any transaction.
YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS! Here is the email I got
from Star Light:


"let me ask you are u a looser or what why would you place an order and then cancel it no one forced you to buy it you went on the site and placed teh order by your self unless your a retard person who deserves to die die mother fucker and believe me ill charge your credit card big fuck and we have your address"


Sorry about the poor English and filth but you
need to see whar you are dealing with. Very
Disturbing

anonymous2
2004-01-04 23:14:05
resellerratings
I almost put an order with starlight cameras, when stumbled upon this discussion. After reading a couple of articles I doubt I'll place an order with them but I went to resellerratings just out of curiosity:
http://www.resellerratings.com/seller4099.html


and their replies are quite positive! so it's either a different store or we cannot trust resellerratings... any ideas would be appreciated..

anonymous2
2004-01-05 21:06:10
More on directsource.us & FTC
I purchased something from Direct Source in Orangeburg, NY via mail on Dec. 1, 2003. They have had no problem cashing my check but I've yet to see the merchandise. So much for the promise of "promt delivery". Is this a common practice for this company.
anonymous2
2004-01-09 07:27:53
starlightcameras.com
I, too was scammed by Star Light Cameras. I intend to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. I suggest all those who have had bad experiences with them do the same. Only when several complaints are registered will the FTC investigate with "an order" of their own and take unscrupulous venders like Star Light off the web.


You can file your complaint on line at
https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

wildflower60s
2004-01-20 06:36:14
More on directsource.us & FTC
How did you contact the FTC? I have had a similar problem.
wildflower60s
2004-01-20 06:37:50
More on directsource.us & FTC
How did you contact the FTC? I've had a similar problem.
xl
2004-02-02 01:10:49
Camera Catastrophe!
I've tried ordering the Canon EOS 10D, but had the same luck as most others. The company I tried was Digital Liquidators. They said that the advertised $879.00 model was the European "Gray???" version. He confirmed that gray was the product type, not the color, and that the camera is made by Canon. The downfall is that the gray version does not come with a warranty. After offering me a $799.00 warranty for $499.00, and trying to sell me everythig seperate that is supposed to come with the product; I had enough! The sales person then tried to tell me that the camera may not work when it arrives, and that they are not responsible if such should happen. Despite the fact that I was looking at their ad in Digital Photographer Magazine that read, " 21 Day Satisfaction." I suppose that refers to them and not the customer.


Overwhelmed that these guys can run such a scam in what I thought, once, was a resourseful and respectable magazine.


At this point it became funny because it was so odviuos. When I refused to by the warranty he actually hung up on me. Seriously! So I called back. He then tried to act, very poorly, like he was someone else, and that he had no idea whom spoke to me. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed that he was an idiot twin. After I tried to order again, but still refusing to buy any accessories; I changed my mind just before giving him my information.


I'm still curious to know if they would have actually sent me a old gutted camera body in a paper sack.


Currently I plan to contact several magazines and camera companys to confront them about this serious problem. There must be someone that wants to help expose this story or help prevent scams. Also pehaps I can discourage Canon and others from selling to these scam artists due to misrepresentation of their prduct and image.

joemiller123
2004-03-07 07:14:06
starlightcameras.com
you know what? all these digital camera online stores that seem to offer such low prices, they're all from NY or NJ? what the heck is that? i have been trying to buy a digital camera and a camcorder for a long time now, 6 months actually and i have been very weary of buying things from NY and NJ just because of their goddamn NY coning accents, but it is true what these guys are saying about these crooks. i tried at a place that was getting negative reviews just like these and yes, it took the guy 1 week to call me back and then he offered me a bunch of accessories which I did not take and then cussed me out and he cancelled my order. this guys sounded like a sissy tho. i believe it's all a scam. you either buy a whole lot of stuff or else they will jerk you around.


go to register.com and check on the domain name:


www.starlightcamera.com


and you will get the following:


Registrant:
eric anderson
295 ave
brooklyn, ny 11230
718-627-7111
starlightcamera@aol.com

Domain created on 05-Aug-2002


so you see this guys is not a company. he's a goddamn crook. he's operating this whole online shop from his desktop. man ... businesses now adays...it's so easy to setup and fool the world. call the FBI on this sucker if you have been scammed.

cameraman
2004-08-03 16:53:18
starlightcameras.com
THEY WILL TAKE YOUR ORDER FOR A LOW PRICE CAMERA, BUT WILL NOT SHIP IT UNLESS YOU ORDER HIGH PRICED ACCESSORIES! I've had the same experience as the other reviewers. I ordered a Nikon coolpix camera from them because of the great price. I called and after resisting the hard sell for accessories, I was told that the camera was on backorder. In tne next 2 months, I called again, and again, but was told it was 'on backorder' if I wanted just the camera. Finally I asked how soon it could be shipped if I ordered the accessory package and they said 'it would ship immediately'. They would ship ONLY if I ordered the high price accessory package.
foosy
2004-10-18 15:31:00
starlightcameras.com
Starlight camera is STILL a scam operation. Ordered a camera through the web because they had the lowest price. I figured something was going to happen especially with a brooklyn store - but I gave it a chance - after all they said: "buy with confidence"...
2 days later someone from the store calls me to "verify the address". After I verified, he said - "let me check if the camera is in stock" - I figured he was going to say it is not. I was surprised when he said: "excellent pick, yes it is in stock". However he then proceeded to try to sell (should I say forced?) a memory card, batteries, etc. When I politely refused he said he is "cancelling the order- because the camera is not in stock".
DO NOT DEAL WITH STARLIGHT CAMERA- YOU WILL WASTE YOUR TIME, AT THE BEST... There are better operations out there.
tljbd
2005-04-19 13:11:52
More on directsource.us & FTC
i have had a similar problem. i ordered a military hat for my husband and never got it. i thought it was because we moved but then i saw your website and knew i wasn't alone.