I read all the reviews, I read where the New York camera shops will bait and switch. Get you to buy then tell you that it will take two weeks or more for the camera to ship. Or they high pressure you to buy accessories and better yet, extended warranties. I was careful but I didn't entirely believe the stories. I thought that the whinners were inexperienced at online purchases or just easy to con. NOPE - all the stories were true. Here is how it went.
First I shopped all the sites. I used all my search tricks to find the very lowest prices on the Minolta 5D that I wanted. (Yes, this all started with a Minolta). After all Konika-Minolta had gone out of the camera business and the prices should be dropping. Well, they did for a while. I finally found the camera, body only, at for just $399. WOW, that was a great price, but surely it would come down more? No, it went up $50 so then I started shopping again. I found it at for $399 a couple of days later so I decided that I should quit messing around and place the order. I placed the order with "Best Price Cameras" and didn't get a response. Nothing until the next day when I got an email from "Steve" saying that the order is not complete until I talk to him via telephone. Email orders are not complete until he comfirms it. I called the next day and it took over 3 hours to get him on the phone. First he tried to sell me a battery (was supposed to be part of the package) then a memory card ( 3 to 4 times the price of other sites) then he hit me with the extended warranty. After I convenced him that I didn't need any of these things he said that the price had gone up since I placed the order (over a $100 uncrease). I had looked at their site before I called and I was ready for the change. I told him to cancel the Minolta and make the order for the Nikon D50 with the 18-55 lens that I saw for $485. I got 3 day shipping putting the total at $527.50. More than I wanted to spend but I was caught a little off guard and I wanted a camera in the worst way. Steve then said that the "that" camera wasn't in stock and it would take two week to get it. Crap! Send it any how. I was mad, and worried that in two weeks something else was going to happen. Sure enough it did. I emailed Steve last night to find out where the camera was. Some one else called back this afternoon and said that the "Minolta" was ready to ship. What Minolta, I had ordered a Nikon. "Oh, the Nikon is still back ordered but the Minolta (at the higher price) was ready to ship." Great, I canceled the order!
Back to the beginning. I started shopping again. Found another "good deal" by using at Prestige Camera, by this time I was willing to pay a little more to keep from getting jerked around again. The price at Prestige through Digitalsaver.com was $585 which included ground shipping for $25. Long story short, by the time I finished the checkout the price was $612. Now I'm pissed. Cancelled order.
Back to shopping. Finally found Abes of Maine (really New York too). Place the entire order on line (so far) the price of $622.89 includes 2 day air shipping, full US warranty, a free 512mb memory card and all the manufacturer supplied accessories listed. Believe it or not that IS a big deal. The memory card, the battery and charger would have cost me at least $100 more with the other guys. So I lucked into actually getting a better deal. (I hope) I let you know.