So, let’s say you’ve finally figured out what to buy. Now, where do you buy it?

I’m not that keen on experimentation when it comes to finding places to purchase camera equipment. Stick with trusted sources with excellent reputations. I generally purchase my equipment over the Internet, due to how much the prices are marked up by retailers, but if you decided to go this route, make sure you watch out for a few things:

First, because you’re usually dealing with a lot of money, beware of people who want to take advantage of how easy it is to spend that money over the Internet. When a product looks too good to be true . . . it probably is.

Secondly, consider the quality of the equipment you are purchasing. Most sellers on sites like E-bay do not give all the facts whether they are withholding it intentionally or not. Cameras and lenses are very intricate pieces of craftsmanship, so when you don’t know the kind of use it has been through, you’re taking a risk to invest in it.

Third, before you buy a piece of equipment over the Internet, you might want to physically try it out first. One time, I was considering buying a lens that seemed to meet my needs perfectly. However, I was warned through reviews that it’s build quality was less than fair. The reviews were not enough to convince me, so I went to the closest Wolf Camera to see for myself. Sure enough, as soon as I picked it up, the plastic construction and obvious lens-creep told me this was not the lens I was looking for.

Keeping these factors in mind, here is a list of trusted sources that I have purchased from in the past:

  • Amazon.com – They have great deals, usually with free shipping.
  • Adorama.com – Great place to get new, refurbished and used equipment for a reasonable price.
  • Bhphotovideo.com – More expensive, but always reliable.
  • The manufacturer’s website – Though expensive, you won’t have to worry about counterfeits if you go directly to the source.

Hope these recommendations help with your next big purchase!

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