Recently, we shared that we’ve seen a big increase in the number of camera deals in the last few months. With lots more deals to be had, how can you score the best deal on a solid DSLR camera?
We asked Iconian, our Deal Editor and resident expert on cameras, to share his advice on how to find the best deals on a great DSLR.
Which retailers should prospective DSLR buyers be monitoring?
Iconian: The best deals right now are found at Adorama, BuyDig, Amazon, and B&H Photo. What people might not know is that several of these retailers sell on eBay and often for additional savings relative to their own websites. Check out eBay's Daily Deals on the weekend for some of the best deals on DSLRs.
What type of sales should people be looking for?
Iconian: Some of the best deals on DSLRs can be found when two things happen: manufacturers release instant rebates through authorized partners combined with generous rebates on printers from the same manufacturer (we've seen them recently go up to $400 for a printer rebate).
Should users consider refurbished and reconditioned products?
Iconian: Yes, definitely. Prices on refurbished products are often 30% below those of new ones, and they will often come with manufacturer warranties. Warranties will range from 90 days up to 1 year. Many Slickdealers have reported that they've bought higher-end DSLR bodies and found that their shutter count was below 5000, meaning it was only very lightly used (higher-end bodies are rated for 100,000+ shutter counts). Think of it as buying a used car with less than 5000 miles on it.
Additionally, many Slickdealers know that manufacturers will sometimes mark brand new products as refurbished, in order to sell products below MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) and offer reduced warranties. This helps them manage channel conflict between online sellers and offline sellers.
How do prospective buyers know which retailers are authorized and which aren't? What's the difference and what risks are involved if buying from an unauthorized seller?
Iconian: Users can simply Google for authorized dealers by brand name and find official lists from the manufacturers. Here are examples from Canon and Nikon .
As far as differences, unauthorized retailers are not restricted by manufacturer enforced pricing policies like MAP, so they can discount products freely. On higher-end bodies, unauthorized retailers can offer price breaks ranging as high as $200 to $400. The trade offs may include no warranty on the unit, unit could have issues, such as not be a brand new unit or refurbished masked as new or not be USA model, which may have issues with menu's not being in English
Do you have any other advice on how someone can score the best deal on a DSLR?
Iconian: I would encourage Slickdeals members to create deal alerts for DSLRs, and read through the associated comments in the deal threads, as there are many DSLR experts in the community that help break down value by components and resale value in great detail.
Expert Advice: Tips on Buying a DSLR from a Slickdeals Deal Editor
03-04-2014, 10:46 AM