AjRichard – Beware of buying gear from unauthorized sellers

I recently witnessed how a friend of mine got robbed by an online camera store called AjRichard based out of New York, USA when he purchased a Canon 5D Mark II. The camera was out of stock for a few weeks in every single local and online store he trusted and he could not wait any longer. That’s when he decided to expand his search and see if he could find an Internet store that had the 5D MKII in stock. He eventually ended up on Nextag.com looking at a list of merchants with “in stock” indicators. The top sellers all had very high ratings and he noticed that some of the sellers were advertising the 5D MKII at lower than the $2,500 “normal” rate that everybody else sells for. The top result was AjRichard.com and with over 1,000 reviews, 5 star rating and a “Trusted Seller” status, he decided to take the plunge and order the camera at just $2,350 – a really good deal he thought he was getting. The sad part is, he felt something was not right while making the purchase and still did it, thinking that his credit card company would protect him in case something went wrong. Next day, he got a call from AjRichard sales rep, who told him that camera battery and charger were not included in the $2,350 price and convinced him to buy those, along with some accessories he did not need. The order went up to $2,629 and he was promised free three day shipping. He needed the camera ASAP, so he agreed to complete the transaction and paid in full. Here is what his order looked like:

AjRichard Order

The moment I found out about his purchasing fiasco (which was on a Friday, approximately after two weeks since he placed the order), I picked up the phone and started calling AjRichard. I wanted to cancel the order as soon as possible and hoped to be able to recover his money. It was around 4 PM Mountain Time, which was 6 PM Eastern Time – the phone rang and then an automated message said that the store was closed. Unfortunately, it was the Memorial day weekend, so the store was closed for an extended period of time. On Tuesday morning before calling AjRichard, we checked the order status and the item was marked as “shipped”. A tracking number from UPS was provided, which indicated arrival on the third of June, two weeks after the order was placed – and that’s with the item being “in stock” with a free three day shipping. I called AjRichard and asked if it was possible to cancel the order. I was told that cancelling the order was not possible since the item was already shipped. Bummer. Now we had to wait till the package arrived. Meanwhile, my friend called his credit card company only to get disappointing news, that he would have to resolve the dispute with the merchant first. The whole dispute process could take several months.

I then decided to give a call to AjRichard and explore the purchasing process myself to see what I would get sold on on a $2,500 5D Mark II (as it was listed as of that day on their website). Here is an audio of the last part of the conversation, after I gave a fake name, address, email and credit card info:

Recorded Conversation with Mark @ AjRichard – click to listen/download.

And the above audio in text:

Me: Is this a new camera?
Mark: Brand new, factory sealed. OK, sold you the camera, we’ll do the warranty, then what else do you need?
Me: That’s it.
Mark: And the battery, you want to get the battery as well?
Me: Uh, doesn’t it come with a battery?
Mark: It comes with one battery, which is only 35-40 minutes, so I would definitely recommend getting one of the extended life batteries.
Me: What do you mean by 30-40 minutes?
Mark: It is a short battery, it is not a long-life battery. You need to buy the extra one, the long one.
Me: So when you say 30-40 minutes, it is for taking pictures or video?
Mark: Both of them. When the screen is on or anything, it cuts down very short (yawns).
Me: Oh, so the one that comes with the camera only lasts for 30 minutes?
Mark: Yeah. Then you have the two hour which is $129 and a four hour which is $169.
Me: Wow, so if I take this camera and take pictures, it is only going to last for 4 hours?
Mark: If you do the bigger battery, yeah.
Me: Let’s go with a bigger battery then.
Mark: OK, I will put the charger as well.
Me: Wait, wait, what is a charger?
Mark: No, you get the charger as well I am saying.
Me: Oh, so the battery comes with a charger?
Mark: Correct.
Me: Doesn’t the camera come with a charger though?
Mark: That’s what I am saying, you get the charger with that! The camera comes already with a charger in the bag with the battery.
Me: OK, so the only thing I am buying then is the battery, no charger right?
Mark: Correct. If you want, there is a separate charger, which is faster, if you want the “rapid” charger. It charges the battery within an hour, instead of waiting for 8 hours, it charges your battery in an hour.
Me: Oh, well, I guess I travel a lot, so let’s add that too.
Mark: And do you want to get a memory card?
Me: No, I already have a compact flash memory card.
Mark: Now they have a special memory card if you are doing like video and stuff. They have a special card which is for high definition.
Me: Yeah, I just got the one from Best Buy the other day and they told me that it can record video.
Mark: I mean if you want, because we have the new ones which are “error free” and “ultra high speed”. They are the ones that when you take a picture you are not going to have a 3-5 second delay time, and they actually say on the packaging “1080p high definition video”.
Me: Uh…I think that’s what my packaging says – it says “for recording 1080p video”. It is the “Sandisk Ultra” or something like that.
Mark: Hmm yeah, those aren’t error free, but they’ll work, they’ll take pictures and stuff.
Me: So when you say “error free”, what does it mean?
Mark: Error free means you are not going to get any glitches if you do action shots and someone running, you are not going to get any blur in the picture or anything like that. And you are not going to lose any pictures.
Me: Ohh.
Mark: You know, I’ll do this deal for you. I have a kit you might be better off doing, like right now if you are doing the camera with the battery, charger and the warranty and your total price was $3149.88, I have a kit I could do for you. It is a little more like $3399 as a whole bundle, but you would actually first get instead of the 4 hour battery I would give you two of the 6 hour batteries, so you get two batteries and it would be the six hour ones. You get also the charger now, which is the the charger that charges your batteries within one hour and it works in the house and in the car, so it is both AC/DC and it charges your batteries within one hour. Also, if you ever travel overseas, it is going to work overseas as well. You’ll get the 5 year warranty and I will give you the “platinum” warranty, it is the warranty you could take to any local service center. It will cover the screen, cover everything on that full parts and labor and it also covers professional cleaning as well.
Me: And the warranty we are talking about is US warranty right?
Mark: Yes, this will give you 5 years that you could take local, so you don’t have to ship to them or anything. And also covers the screen and everything. You are going to get the 32GB memory card, the ultra high speed “error free”, which is the bigger card.
Me: What brand is it?
Mark: That’s “Digital Film”, that has the full 5 year warranty, it is made for high definition video 1080p and also when you take the stills you are not going to have the delay time or the errors or anything. It is ultra high speed and error free.
Me: What was the company name again? Digital Film?
Mark: Digital Film, uhum.
Me: I have never heard of them.
Mark: Oh they are very good. The make the special ones for video and stills as well. Also if you do that kit you will get the car reader, so you get the ultra high speed card reader and you get everything for $3,399, which is worth it, because it is like $200 more, but you are getting the memory card, which is usually like $300 by itself, you are getting an extra battery, and you are getting the 6 hour one, so you are getting 3 batteries total.
Me: Oh wow, that sounds like an overkill for me though.
Mark: Yeah, so I will do that for you.
Me: OK.
Mark: So everything together comes out to…let me give you the order number as well, do you have a pen and paper?
Me: Sure.
Mark: The order number will be 1152214 and the total with everything will be $3549.98. And that’s with shipping, insurance, everything in that.
Me: What kind of shipping do you guys have?
Mark: You will get that probably within 3 to 5 days.
Me: So on the website it says “free shipping”.
Mark: Yeah, that is free shipping I did for you. The insurance is extra, usually it is like 8 percent, I gave you a break on that as well, so this way it comes to you insured and everything.
Me: So insurance is 8 percent of the total dollar amount on top of that?
Mark: It usually is, but I gave you a break on that, I did not charge you the 8 percent.
Me: Got it, OK, sounds good. How much did you say it was for shipping?
Mark: Everything together was $3549, with insurance and everything.
Me: So that includes the shipping.
Mark: Yeah and everything. I put the express shipping and everything for you.
Me: When you said “express” shipping, is that like through Federal Express?
Mark: No, UPS. Instead of like 10 days, you will get it in like 5 days, so you will get it quicker.
Me: Oh, OK. Can I change that to 3 day shipping?
Mark: Yeah, you want to do that? I can do that for you.
Me: How much is that going to cost?
Mark: I will do it for the same price.
Me: So instead of 5 days I will get it in 3 business days then?
Mark: Yeah, you will get it by Friday.
Me: OK, that sounds good.
Mark: All right, so I will do that for you and I will process it right away.
Me: Sounds good, thank you very much. What was your name again?
Mark: My name is Mark, my extension here is 218.
Me: Thank you very much Mark.
Mark: Thank you Nick.
Me: Bye.

The camera that was $2,499 is now $3,549, thanks to Mark’s sales efforts. Wow. I can’t imagine what they are selling to other people that don’t know what they are doing. Everything was going so wrong, I don’t know how I did not just explode in laughter (which we did, as soon as I hung up). The best part is when he says “Error free means you are not going to get any glitches if you do action shots and someone running, you are not going to get any blur in the picture or anything like that”. A lesson for beginners – now you know where all that blur is coming from! Just buy the right card and your images will be sharp and you will catch all the action shots in the world. LOL. Did you notice how smooth he went from $3399 to $3549? And that was apparently for “insurance” that he gave me a break on. That’s $150 that I got screwed on for shipping on a $2,500 camera.

Wondering what happened to my friend’s order? He received an opened half-empty 5D Mark II + 24-120mm kit box with what looked like a new 5D Mark II, with no lens or warranty card. Everything else was in the box, including manuals and battery + charger. The second battery and charger he got were from some unknown brand. He also received a worthless $3 cleaning kit and some other junk he did not need. He called AjRichard and this time it was supposedly a different guy, but with the same voice as Mark. The sales person said that he shipped a brand new 5D Mark II and that the box was not open. When my friend told him that he wanted to return the order and get his money back, Mr. Mark said that he would have to charge a 15% restocking fee for the entire order. Plus, he would be responsible for shipping and insurance as well. My friend decided to keep the camera.

Lessons learned:

  1. Never buy photography equipment from an unauthorized seller/dealer.
  2. Never fully trust third party sites like Nextag.com for vendor ratings and trustworthiness.
  3. Know that if anybody lists prices significantly lower than top sellers like B&H and Adorama, most likely they are scammers.
  4. Do not assume that your credit card company will help you when you make stupid decisions.
  5. Do not engage in phone conversations about your order with sales people, unless the company is calling to verify your payment/address information.
  6. Do not believe in 8% insurance fees, there is no such thing.
  7. Buy from reliable online and local sellers with a long history.
  8. Always check your gear after buying it. Check for camera shutter actuations and check all lenses you receive.
  9. Always be extra careful when buying from online merchants. Read seller reviews from multiple sources and Google for information on the seller.

These guys should be shut down for what they are doing. The good news is, they are probably not going to stay in business much longer. The bad news is, they will probably reopen another company under a different name and continue to rob people. If we as consumers do not learn how to differentiate good guys from bad guys, companies like AjRichard will thrive on new, often “not-so-knowledgeable” customers. Please spread this message to your friends and family and do not let it happen!

Let me know if you have experienced anything like this before – our community should know who to stay away from. I will soon create a list of sellers I fully trust in a separate post and provide some tips on purchasing camera gear.


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Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Sam

    Thanks for the lesson. Sad for your friend.

    • Thank God his camera is working OK for now, but he is worried about what to do if anything goes wrong. I was told that CanonUSA will not take cameras for repair sold by unauthorized sellers. I will post a separate article on this later today.

      • 15
        ) Dhanad

        Oh wow, I did not know about this bit. I bought mine from Amazon themselves and not any other 3rd party/merchants. I am not aware if Amazon is an authorized dealer. Didnt think about this until I read this article.

        • 62
          ) MH Media

          Buying from “Amazon” can be quite annoying, especially when you find out that you’re placing an order with a reseller, and not buying from Amazon direct.

          • 129
            ) Visitor

            Wrong. It takes no knowledge or time at all to see on amazon if you are buying directly from amazon or from another company and only paying through or shipping from amazon. When you are buying from amazon, under the title of the product you will see “sold by: Amazon.com”.

            • 131
              ) Sue

              I thought the same thing – and have always been careful to make sure that my item is from amazon, since they sometimes offer free super saver shipping from other sellers – until an item I purchased on amazon, fulfilled by amazon this December was instead filled by another seller. Fortunately, when it got lost in the mail (the tracking info just stopped after pick-up, so I don’t think the seller failed to ship it), they did what amazon would have done and approved the refund without problem. But when I hit “buy,” it was displayed as being fulfilled by amazon, and I’ve heard of this happening to other people too.

        • 139
          ) JOE

          the new scamming website is AJRICHIES.COM NEVER BUY FROM THEM. IF YOU DONT BUY THEIR OVER PRICE ACCESSORIES THE DONT SHIP YOUR ORDER.

    • 70
      ) tina rosenberg

      sadly,i must admit,it’s my own kind that does this all the time..i live in manhattan and i’m qualified to say this,sounds anti-semitic,but it’s true…

      • 71
        ) MichaelG

        I won’t let your comment go unanswered. I am not one of “your own kind” but find the comment way out of place here. What possible relevance could the religious or ethnic background of the merchant have with respect to the quality of the transaction, unless it is to imply that all people of that background are unscrupulous? It may indeed be a fact those unscrupulous merchants were of one particular ethnicity. But your comment sweeps up the overwhelming majority of legitimate, honest, hard working merchants of that same ethnicity who are not like that. As a matter of fact the two dealers who receive the most consistent high marks on every level and have the best reputation for customer service are themselves of “your own kind”. Did you intend to besmirch them as well? I would hope not. All I want to have you understand is that your comment really adds nothing constructive or relevant to the topic under discussion, but wrongly tars many honest people. Please give some thought to this. Thank you.

      • 130
        ) EricD

        I believe “the largest photo reseller in the world that is used more than any other to buy photography gear” also closes for the holidays of that religion, so we certainly should not generalise “all the time” !

    • 99
      ) bob clarke

      Thought you would like to know that this company has a full page ad in this months SHUTTERBUG. I almost fell for the price of the same camera above for 1899.99. Glad I did my research,I wonder if the folks at Shutterbug realize what kind of company this is.
      bob

    • 101
      ) Erik

      I had an almost identical experience with A J Richards with a Canon Vixia HR R20. They called me after the order to check by credit card and shipping address and then started their up-selling effort. I learned that their advertised camera does not come with a warrantee. I was told that it did not even come with a factory warrantee from Canon — that was extra. They gave me the same pitch on the battery and charger and memory card too and the price went up and up until it was higher than their competition. I backed out of the deal at that time, fortunately. The ultra long-life battery they were describing I could not find as a product on the internet in any form — another red flag. I recently purchased the camera from a more reputable camera store via the inernet. It taught me a lesson to NOT believe a good deal — to check out all the details, including the warrantee, first.

      • 132
        ) Sue

        From my research (they just scammed my dad), my guess is that they were going to sell you a gray-market camera (no manufacturer’s warranty, since imported in an unauthorized manner) unless you paid extra or purchased the insanely unmarked extras (that would also net them an extra few hundred). In handling our credit card dispute (once we couldn’t get ahold of them at all during the seven-day return period on the invoice…listed as 30 days with the items online) after we mailed back and were refunded for all the marked-up extras, they want an extra $300 for the camera because that was the “wholesale” price. (Of course, it’s listed as the retail price online.) Total bait and switch.

    • 102
      ) lindsey

      They did change their name they are now aj richies no longer rachards wish i read this before i bought something from them thanks though!

      • 103
        ) bigpig1

        I did warn people the few days after they changed their name, but you have to read all the posts down the thread to find it. I don’t blame you and there is no easy way for me to alert people. They basically just changed their name, the web pages and everything else are the same, very efficient and effective in dodgig the bad name/comments.

        Now, you will be waiting for the order to come. Most likely they will email a reason for you to call them and upsale you. If you decline, they will say your item is in back order. You will then be waiting and wonder when the order is going to come and if you should cancel it.

        When you call again and if you are willing to continue waiting, they will say it is still in back order. It will become a never ending wait. Then, if you become upset and call to cancel. They will then ship immediately. If you return or refuse it, they will charge you restocking or refusal fee. If you just accept it and call it a day, they would have made a good profit by then. Because the price would have come down quite a bit since. (They would charge the price when you are ordered it.)

        That was what happened to me. I would advise you if you decided to cancel it, record every step of the way, your phone record of cancelling, email record of cancelling, the FedEx or UPS tracking code, etc. You need to prove to your credit card company that you cancelled it before they ship. (They will ship the same day you cancel, so timing is very important.)

        SO, once you placed the order. it is a wonder, worry and hassle.

        P.S. It is their game plan. They could make a 10 or 15% and it doesn’t matter if they ship you an empty box or not, you will return or refuse it anyway.

    • 113
      ) brucc

      Dont buy from this company. Placed order for “In Stock” digital camcorder 12/22/11. Jerked around and stalled by this company until mid January where they tried to sell me their over priced larger battery pack and memory cards. I realize this would result in excessive profits, so I said no thanks, they said two more weeks on the orginal order – not. Three more weeks, no shipment, and no end in site, I canceled order. Notice how they just keep changing company names to suck in more unsuspecting customers. Dont be fooled, go somewhere else.

    • 138
      ) Lee

      OK, before I go into details on my situation, I just want to say that you should expect to get what you pay for.
      If you want full, 100% customer comes 1st, service, then pay full retail.
      If you are like me and driven by saving money, then it common sense that you better do your own thorough research and know exactly what you want and why before ordering from a discount place like AJrichies.
      Think about it… Every company needs to make money.
      No one can consistently sell well below retail and still be profitable.
      If you want to save, you need to understand this concept and the dynamics of the specific product and situation, and expect that if you are simply blinded by savings with out putting in the effort to “play at that level”, then yeah, you might well get taken for a little bit of a ride…
      THere’s just no free lunch in this world. At least not thought and scott free.

      THat said, here’s my story:

      In spite of all the NUMEROUS really bad reviews on sites I found from all the review places, I decided to give AJRichies a try anyway, blinded by price.
      The were offering a Sony RX100 camera for $540 (vs. the $650 everywhere else).
      (Plus they were throwing in a few little extra freebies, like small tripod and cleaning kit, etc.)
      The numerous reviews warned of getting used stuff, getting dinged with huge extra charges, and simply getting orders cancelled and never shipped because the client failed to purchase extra accessories.

      Happily, my experience was nothing of the sort.
      My only slight complaint is that it took over 2 weeks to get it, but the wait was well worth the savings, and I did opt for the free (slow) shipping option.

      The other item of interest was that they sent a Japanese model rather than a US one, which worried me about the warranty, so I called Sony cust service and they confirmed that there would be no problem fully honoring the warranty since I purchased it in the US, and in fact, the fact that it was made in Japan (unlike manyof the US models which are made all over, many of which in China), was actually highly sought after, so was actually a positive, not negative.

      Further, I decided to use the money I saved to purchase an extended 4 year warranty. No, I didn’t buy the AJrichies one, rather, the manufacturer one directly from SONY was more attractive. It was $79 for a fll factory 4 year (or $149 for a 4 year with accidental damages included).
      So total, I ended up paying $540 (AJrichies for camera) + $86 (4 year warranty extension after tax) = $626 – Still $24 less than ANYWHERE else I found, but a wonderful 4 years factory/SONY warranty thrown in!
      I never buy extended warranties, but in this case, such a nice camera, and the fact that such items only last me about 2 years before something wares out on them… I decided to get it.

      Bottom line, I’m glad I followed my “Jewish :-)” instincts to save money instead of listening to all the horrid reviews which from my one time (so far) experience, are simply not valid.

      BTW – regarding accessories, yes, they did suggest I consider the somewhat overpriced extended battery upon my initial purchase, however, they did not pressure me, and when I said “no thanks”, they responded, “very well, then we’ll process your camera”, and sure enough, they really did and I now have it in hand and am delighted !

      • 141
        ) JOE

        AJRICHIES DIDNT PROCESS MY ORDER BECAUSE I DIDNT BUY THEIR ACCESSORIES. I WAITED FOR WEEKS AND COULD NOT GET A RETURN CALL AFTER LEAVING SEVERAL VM AND WHEN I CALLED CUSTOMER SERVICE IT JUST RINGS, I TRIED 16X AND WHEN I TRIED TO SEE IF ANYONE IS SALE CAN HELP THEY WILL PUT U ON HOLD. I FEEL YOU ARE ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES. IM ALWAYS TRYING TO GET THE CHEAPEST PRICE BUT UNDERSTAND HOW NOT TO GET SCREWED. IM A RESELLER MY SELF AND I CAN TELL WHEN FOUL PLAY DISHONEST PPL ARE TRYING TO MAKE CASH. WHY EVEN ADVERTISE A PRICE THEY CANT FOLLOW, ITS JUST THE BAIT TO GET YOU TO BUY 1000X MARK UP CHINESE PRODUCTS WHICH ARE SUB PAR. JAPANESE ELECTRONICS ARE HIGHER QUALITY U SIR LUCKED OUT. LOL

    • 140
      ) JOE

      thanks for your post. ive been scammed by their new site called AJRICHIES.COM IT WAS A GIFT FOR MY GIRL A NIKON AW110 UNDERWATER CAM FOR HER BDAY AND UPCOMING VACAY TO HAWAII. ITEM NEVER CAME AND THEY HAVE MY CARD INFO BUT NO MONEY WAS TAKEN OUT OF MY ACCOUNT. THESE PEOPLE ONLY WANT TO SELL CHINESE CHEAP ACCESSORIES FOR 1000X PROFIT. THEY WANTED TO ADD ABATTERY FOR 129.99. NO NAME AND IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS EBAYS 2 BATTERY PLUS WALL CHARGER FOR 9.99 FREE SHIP. ALSO I TRIED TO EXPLAIN IM A NIKON FAN FOR 10 YEARS PLUS AND THEIR BATTERIES LAST AT LEAST 4 HOURS OF VID AND SHOOTING. HE ARGUED WITH ME VERY RUDELY. HIS NAME IS ALAN HIS NUMBER IS 888 871 1256 EXT 518.

      BUYERS BEWARE.

  2. Wow, crazy, but I’ve seen a lot of this in the IT world. I’ve done very well buying used gear on eBay. Ironically, it’s probably much safer than buying “new” from many online vendors since it is a little harder to generate fake feedback there.

    • Aaron, I agree, there are even more of these kinds of robbers in the IT world! I have also been lucky with eBay, but I have never bought anything for more than $1,000 – just too risky for me.

      There was a well-known case of a couple from some other country that ran a legit business on eBay for 1 year, generating lots of positive feedback. Then one day they executed their “real plan” and stole over $100K and went back to their country. They were never caught and hundreds of people were left with nothing.

    • 115
      ) bigpig

      My recent eBay experience is not so great! They advertise their item, a major component, as compatible with my laptop in B&W letters. My laptop (IBM) consistently rejected it as ‘incompatible’ and warned not to proceed. They asked me to do a bunch of things and then decided it should be returned. The return shipping was outragous as they are in China, the cheapest way that has tracking was Express Mail by USPS. And guess what, they shut down for Chinese New Year for two weeks. Item was never picked up until I initiated a claim thru USPS; then they acknowledged it was there waiting.

      Although they refunded the purchase price, they promised to share the return shipping but they never did. My last inquiry about it returned a two digit response that my browser and computer couldn’t translate. Probably something not nice.

      eBay’s return shippment policy has never been great, it is always the responsibility of the buyer, no matter what sh_t you got. In this case, their false ad. was the cause of my lost of time and a big chunk of money, on top of aggravations.

      (I would support national sales tax. That would stop a lot of the truck traffic squirrelling around. You are likely to find your item at a nearby store anyway. Because of competitions and customers don’t like shipping charges, they have been kept artifically low, with a lot of free shipping offers, with the shipping cost built into the price. With sales tax replacing shipping charge, you may even see the overall price being lower. And buying local let you confront your seller face to face and keep them honest.)

  3. 3
    ) Tom Sweet

    I had a similar experience with a company out of New York (might have been the same guys under a different name). It was the same “MO” with a call asking if I wanted a battery, etc. I, too, was locked in and had to minimize my loses.

    I usually buy ONLY from Adorama or B&H any more. There are no great deals through the Internet only rip offs. However, I have gone through Amazon and had good luck with their partners like Ritz.

    Thanks for the report. I hope it prevents some people from being taken.

    Tom

    • Tom, thank you for letting us know. Looks like many get caught in this kind of scam, which is very sad.

      • 74
        ) frank

        Oh,NO!
        I about to make a purchase from Ajrichard.com of a Canon EOS 7D plus a Canon EF-S 18~200mm lense(about $1900), and as the last thing, I did the search “ajrichard” on google and found your original post. This changed everithing that was in my purchase plan. I will buy this from a local store. Thanks! You saved me!

  4. 4
    ) Peter

    I’ve been buying cameras/lenses from B&H and Adorama for 50 years. NEVER had a problem with either place. I may have paid a little more in certain situations, but I always had piece-of-mind.

    If I do want to buy some less costly camera stuff (bags) from a new place, I will first check it out on this site: http://www.resellerratings.com

    For example: Using this rating site, AjRichard has a 1 star rating with less than 10 comments, and B&H has a 9.8 star rating with 18,823 comments! Case closed. Also, beware of places with few submitted comments because some may be from the resellers paid friends! Nasty people out there.

    • Peter, I agree – I have also been using B&H, Adorama and a couple of other trusted sources and I have never had any problems. As of today, it is hard to find a good authorized seller that has a better price than B&H and Adorama…

      And Resellerratings.com is certainly good, I wish my friend had seen the 1.67 rating there before he placed his order.

      • 85
        ) Anand Ethirajan

        Many Thanks Nasim.

        i was about to do what frank was, i was planning to buy Nikon Cool Pix P500. Even i saw ajrichard’s best value price at nextag.com. Now i am planning to buy from a trusted reseller and thanks peter for letting all know about the website resellerratings.com.

    • 56
      ) Nina

      If you look at the reviews now (as of 7/6/11), you will see they are up at 6.85 now. It’s funny how all of a sudden they’re receiving reviews almost every other day at 5 stars.

      • 57
        ) peter

        Nina, you observed the right thing: “‘all of a sudden…”

        They are stupid, too. All of a sudden they’re recieving great ratings at 5 stars. They don’t think we can figure this out?

        They just proven the case that they are a “schlock” outfit.

        Believe them when their respones get into the thousands like B&H. Their employees can hold out that long!

      • 133
        ) Sue

        There are also reports that they’re willing to reduce the restocking/return fees for dissatisfied customers in exchange for changing or removing their negative feedback. Probably worth it for individual customers who were scammed, but makes it even easier to fake their ratings.

  5. 5
    ) Natt

    Sorry for your friend, but thanks for your info. It could narrow down lots of choices when I need to buy things online..

    • You are most welcome Natt! Now he knows that he will only buy from trusted sources.

  6. 6
    ) Dhanad

    I am a total newbie when it comes to photography. I had a really bad experience just 4 days ago. I am a student and have limited finance. I wanted to get my wife the 50mm 1.4 from Canon. I usually buy from Amazon and read reviews of lens, camera, etc before purchasing. I was supposed to buy the lens long ago but been keeping myself from buying as I wanted to make sure if I really wanted it, if its worth it, etc.

    I wanted to try out the lens in person before buying it online. So I was traveling at the time, it was near Fishermans’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA. I came across a store that had signs saying “Discount Store”, “30-70% Discounts on all items”. I was like what the heck, let me just see what they got. I went in and asked if they had a Canon 50mm 1.4 prime lens. The sales person named “Ricky” started saying “I give you good lens brother, no need to get 50mm…look I will show you”. He took out a wide angle conversion lens that you can attach to your given lens. On the body it was written “PRO HD 1.2 IS WIDE ANGLE LENS with MACRO” . I have never heard of this brand. He said “Oh, this is the best brand, professional grade”.

    He started showing me the quality of photo I will get using that converter lens. So he took my camera and took a picture of me. It came out really dark. He then put on that converter lens and the picture came out really bright. What I did not notice is that he did something on the camera to intentionally make the picture come out bad the first time around. I asked how much, he says “this lens costs $299 but i will give it to you for $150″. He then convinced me to buy a PL filter from a brand called Digital Vision which I could not get a review of and it didnt work qutie as well. He sold that to me for $89.99. In the end I was charged $273. I asked owner of the store “Sam” that I will return it if I dont find it fitting my needs. And asked their return policy, they didn’t say you come back 2/3 days no problem. I come home to find out it says “no exchange, no refunds”. I played around with the lens and found out that it did not have anything to do with a 1.2 aperture. I got fooled because I didnt know better, and those people realized that I didnt know much about these things.

    I tried to return it, they said the cant refund and if i take the canon 50mm 1.8 i will have to pay more $40. I thought i rather have a good prime lens than get stuck with this crap. They didnt take the filter, so now i am stuck with a useless filter thats worth $89.99. In the end i ended up paying a lot more than what its worth. Guys, stay away from all the stores around the Fisherman’s Wharf!

    • 7
      ) Dhanad

      Edit: they didn’t sayanything instead they said “you come back 2/3 days if you do not like it, no problem.”

    • Dhanad, thank you for telling us the story. I am sure those guys at AjRichard would do the same if they had a local shop somewhere (which they probably do have). Or perhaps the guys at AjRichard are that same store in San Francisco, who knows? :)

      Either way, if I happen to buy anything in a local camera store, it will be a well-known company like Ritz/Wolf Camera, Mike’s Camera, Best Buy, etc. I would never buy from any other store, no matter what discounts they have. As Aaron said above, it is probably safer to buy a used item from eBay than buy a new item from an unknown store.

    • 14
      ) Peter

      Dhanad, don’t trust anyone that calls you “brother”, especially one named Ricky.

    • 33
      ) David G

      I use to sell computers for Staples and Best Buy. I was always honest with my customers, but at Best Buy they wanted me to push fancy cables with Gold plating and expensive add on products. During training for Best Buy my group was told, “If someone buys a printer do not for get to push paper and get them to buy five ink cartridges!” They pushed the idea of sending you home with everything you will need, but the stuff they wanted us to push was the items they earned the most profit from! Anyways, I stuck my hand up and said, “I can justify getting customers to buy an extra cartridge but what can I say so they will buy five of them?” The trainer gave me a dirty look and said, “Don’t think just do!” Always remember that a sales men is there to get you to purchase product and are very capable of bending the truth and lying to get you to buy!” Oh, and those Gold platted cables (like Monster Cables) are pure crap (your buying the gold platting which does nothing)…buy the cheapest cable (it will do the same job). Also, product protection plans (or what ever they call them) are considered pure profit for the store and are seldom (if ever) used! The only item i would consider getting one for is a laptop and even then it is iffy.

      • 94
        ) bigpig

        Thanks for telling your story. It is interesting to hear the Best Buy pushing. I had wondered how they (businesses) make profits. As always, there are little traps here and there. I knew Monster Cable from day one but I bought their cable for ‘nostelgia’ and not technical superiority. Their true face shown when recently they started to sell regular zip cord with their name on, an act to squeeze the last penny from the lowest level of customers.

        Remeber, being a good salesman is not easy when your livelihood depends on it. There is always someone trying to get ahead and cheat, like drug use in sports. And remember, a truly good salesman would always act in the best interest of the customer. The customers may not know at first, but when they realize they would feel your warmth and sincerity.

    • 122
      ) arrowhouse

      They are still trying to pull this stunt – offering a PRO HD 1.2 IS WIDE ANGLE LENS with MACRO and passing it as a lens.

      I was in Fisherman’s wharf area last week and wandered into one of the many ‘discount’ camera shops. After lots of flattery of my camera the shop assistant suggested he had a great deal for me that was both a wide angled lense and a macro lens. I had a macro lens in my bag but hey I’ve been thinking about a wide angled lens for a while. A great show was made of showing how wide the lens could go compared to my kit lens and how close in you could focus. This was a true macro 1:1 I was informed. First thing that rang alarm bells was that I realised it was actually a set of filters not a lens, though he persisted in calling it a lens; and second warning was there was no branding on the box. Just PRO HD 1.2 IS WIDE ANGLE LENS with MACRO.

      I was offered a deal. Instead of $399 he could do it for $273. I wanted to do a bit of investigation online and see some reviews first so I took a snap of the box. When I got home I noticed the price on the bottom of the box was $1689.99 so maybe they just look at your camera and come up with a figure they think you might part with? Who knows! I drew a near blank in finding aything out about the filters themselves. When I found this comment I was so relieved that I hadn’t bought it. I hope this will stop someone else from being stung too.

      In future I’ll be very wary of making a purchase in any tourist area. The shops there know that most of their customers are far from home and unlikely to be able to call back for a refund or complain.

  7. 16
    ) grush

    Awhile back my step-daughter in Canada ordered a Nikon D90 from a Chinese outfit that requested a funds transfer to pay for it. When I heard this, I thought to myself “Oh No!). I was hoping for the best but of course she never received anything, and all her communication went unanswered. She ended up having to buy the camera again from an authorized dealer at the regular price. It was a hard lesson, but she learned when the price is really low it’s probably a scam.

    When I order equipment now, I order from Porter’s, a small Midwest chain that has been in business a long time and gives me excellent service, or B&H. Years ago I ordered an Asahi Pentax Sportmatic from Japan at a much lower price(when Honeywell distributed them in the US) and everything went fine. I don’t think there were as many scammers back then. I recently ordered a set of Monster headphones where the price was too low to pass up and the item turned out to be counterfeit. My emails went unanswered ant the site is still advertising on all these deal of the day sites. I am going to send photographs and turn them in to Monster Cable.

    I can’t say enough to check vendors you aren’t familiar with on resellerratings.com, as was previously said. If the ratings are low or they don’t have much feedback, I don’t buy from that vendor now. AJ Richard seems like they are trying to pose as PC Richard, which is a New York area electronics chain. There are only 6 reviews of which 5 are one star and one is 5 star which is probably a plant.

    Anyway thanks for the interesting article and letting people know how important it is to buy from an authorized reseller.

    • @ Grush: I agree with 99% of what you say! But I do want to remark on the 1%: a bank transfer does not mean it is a scam.
      Besides being a photographer I run a company that organises climbing expedition and have done so for over 12 years (I am sure I am not the only photographer that needs a real job to pay for the photography ;-) ).

      We only accept bank transfers for several reasons:
      - The costs of accepting Credit Cards and/or PayPal are too high for international merchants. To actually get a PayPal payment into our USD account means a total of more than 11% of costs. With our low margins this means that PayPal would earn on your Kilimanjaro Expedition and we wouldn’t.
      - CC’s are incredibly unsafe to begin with. Millions of CC details are stolen and sold/traded online every year (I just wondered how these guys selling CC’s get paid?). The buyer is protected as the CC companies know they have a very flaky business, but the seller will have a much harder time reclaiming his product. 2 bank accounts are connected to physical people and physical addresses, a seller never knows here a CC actually is legitimate and delivery addresses for physical items can be fake.
      - Many people cannot pay (and many shops cannot accept) large amounts with their CC.
      - Checks are almost not anymore used outside the USA. Of course because they are so easy to forge. Besides that, they take weeks to clear for a foreign merchant, while costing over $50 per clearance.

      My prices of Kilimanjaro trips are up to 70% lower than those of competitors. Partly this is because I do not accept CC unless people are willing to pay the charges as well. In that case I would still be cheaper but that is for different reasons like not having a 24/7 phone support, not sending out full-colour brochures and not sending an expensive USA guide on vacation to Tanzania as I have dozens of more experienced English-speaking local guides (who are required by law anyways).

      But I digress. They can accept CC’s because of their huge margins, so said differently, if somebody can accept CC’s then their prices are too high. This is not just their fault, it includes the CC fees, but even people that want to pay differently pay the included CC fees. In many countries you get immediately 10% off everything as long as you pay in cash (or 10% is added when paying with CC). This is good business, and shows respect for the customer by not adding the costs if they are not made.

      I have customer’s feedback from a decade on my site, most unsolicited, and send out contact details of past customers if asked (and if the customer has told me that they would be happy to be a reference). Of course it helps to be known in my area of expertise personally and I can be found online easily. Google is your friend, just google the name of the person and company you are doing business with if they are not on resellerratings.com.

      Bottom line: You need to be very careful when doing business online, especially for photography items, but for products that do not have internationally fixed prices, just low prices and requesting a bank transfer does not mean it is automatically a scam. If the company/contact persons are legit, it likely means you get a better price.
      Of course if the bank is registered on some far away island and there are no positive references and the owner is only referenced by Google as a criminal, run away quickly :)

      Great article and discussion, the more we spread knowledge like this, the fewer people will get scammed.

      • 42
        ) grush

        Thanks, Harry. You make a good point.

        However, I don’t believe I have come across any legitimate seller of photography gear in recent times that do not accept credit cards, whether foreign or domestic.

        There is a large problem with CC theft, and the companies are constantly trying to come out with ways to prevent it.

        Now that I think of it, I believe she was requested to send funds via Western Union, not bank transfer. This would even raise more red flags.

        Anyway your point is well taken. Best of luck with your photography and expeditions.

        • Thanks Grush.
          Oh yes, Western Union is a definite red flag, thanks for mentioning. One time a client wanted to pay for his trip using WU, but I refused as I do not even want to be associated with it. It might be perfect for far away family and stranded travellers, but if a business uses it, it’s usually very bad news!

          Cheers

  8. 17
    ) Carlos

    This is a classic “bait and switch” scam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait-and-switch). If it is too good to be true…

    So be careful!!

    • 25
      ) MarkL

      +1. Yes, this is a classic. I’m surprised neither the author nor his friend knew about this. Most of these stores are located in NYC.

      If the deal is too good to be true, IT IS. Well, at least they learned the lesson :) The sad thing, thousands more will do the same. These stores have been in business for decades.

  9. Always always check ratings of the seller on multiple sites.
    Like http://www.resellerratings.com/store/AjRichard

    • 48
      ) photo_wilma

      Also, this outfit has created its own seller ratings pages where they list their own site along with known reputable sites, and of course they’ve rated themselves quite highly.

      On their own site the links to reputable ratings companies are displayed, but without the links that normally would send you to the information on that site that pertains to the company.

      When clicking on the cart the domain name changes to rtsplus.com (it does go to secure mode). AJRichard.com does not have an ssl security certificate itself.

      http://www.rtsplus.com/rtsplusweb/portfolio.asp RTS Plus seems to create bunches of these fake sites!

  10. 19
    ) Adil

    Your tel. conversation with AJRichards was very enlightening. I was about to buy a Pentax K-5 from them because they had good ratings and the best price. Now I will look for other sellers. How does one know if the seller is an authorized seller?
    Anyway, thank you for all the time you take to answer questions as well as all your suggestions and advice.

    • 21
      ) peter

      Adil, AJ Richards does not have a good rating: 1.67 out of 10. Total of 6 comments – the only positive one looks faked. See http://www.resellerratings.com

      Based on Nasim’s follow-up, that 1.67 look very real.

  11. 20
    ) Tim

    Can we do anything else to shut these suckers down? I mean, I’ve heard of these type of scams before, and thankfully, I haven’t been affected by it (buy all of my equipment from Amazon, Adorama, BH, etc.), but seriously, it sickens me to see that these people decide to suck money out of their customer’s wallets! Do we report them to the BBB?

    Like I said, I haven’t been affected by any of this, but I just want these people shut down!

    • 23
      ) Peter

      Caveat emptor will shut them down and P.T. Barnum will keep them open.

  12. 22
    ) Peter

    Here are some sample ratings (score out of possible 10 and number of comments) from the reseller rating site mentioned above:

    B&H 9.8 (18,823 comments) – My primary camera store
    Newegg 9.79 (33,862) – I buy all my computer/video stuff here:the best
    Adorama 9.56 (5,601) – My second choice
    Abe’s of Maine 8.71 (2,767)
    Beach Camera 7.91 (1,127)
    BuyDig 7.34 (1,558)
    AJ Richard 1.67 (6)

  13. 24
    ) thatgirlblogs

    #1 – Adorama
    #2 – B&H

    I don’t buy anything anywhere else, EXCEPT lenses, which I’ve had 100% positive experience with on ebay and amazon.

  14. 26
    ) Chilly

    WOW!! I can’t believe there are still scams like this today. For the old timers probably remember there were lots of these Internet companies back like 15 years ago, they would advised for a lower price to lure people buy additionals or accessories. For those who didn’t take the bate, merchandise would be back ordered .

    You pay what you get! Good reminder that we should stick with authorized dealers. Thanks Mansurovs for bringing this up!

  15. 27
    ) kim

    Their 5th ave address is fake and a real location. We should all call them and call them on their bullship. Also call better biz bureau and interstate trade comission if they are lying selling grey market stuff across state lines can’t they be super busted?

  16. 28
    ) Spencer

    Had a similar experience about 10 years ago trying to order a 3CCD JVC video camera from RoyalCamera.com, I was only 16 or 17 at the time. Lured in by low online prices, I placed my order but then was told via email that I needed to call the company so as to complete my order. The guy who took my call told me that unless I wanted all the menus on the camera in Japanese, I needed to upgrade. Also, the battery that it came with was going to leak “memory” into the camera, so I would need to upgrade that too. I decided that none of this sounded legit so I cancelled the order.

    I made friends with a guy in college a few years later and found out he had a similar experience with that company, so he and his friends decided to make a mock commercial for them. Below is the link.

    Note: video contains profanity.

  17. 29
    ) jeff

    I had an experience like that years ago. It sounds just like you said, that they opened the store again under a new name. They called to verify my online order and during the conversation informed me that I would probably want to upgrade my lenses. I asked why and was told that the lenses in the package I ordered were made of plastic, not glass. He made it sound like I had to make a choice immediately, because my order had already been packaged and was about to be shipped and he would have to stop it to change my lenses. In the rush, I agreed. The price was quite a bit higher, but at least I was getting glass lenses, right? Later I was talking it over with my father, and realized I was hustled and called to cancel the order, but of course my card was already charged and the package was already shipped. When it arrived, it was missing the memory card reader and the tripod that were in the package and I received an 8gb card and not a 16gb card like the package said. I called back and they reluctantly sent me what they “forgot.” The camera was fine. The tripod was smaller than pictured and was very flimsy, the card reader has since fallen apart, and instead of sending me a 16gb card they sent me another 8gb card. Lesson learned. I won’t buy expensive items online anymore. I would much rather go into a local store and support a local business with quality customer service and not worry about shipping.

  18. 30
    ) dawn

    Being a fairly new photographer, this exact same thing happened to me! The good news is, I caught on and was wise enough to cancel my order just as quickly as I placed it. Same thing, line for line happened to me. Its unreal reading about it now. The order I was trying to place was for a Canon 7d body only. No battery or charger was included. They added these for additional costs as well. 30-45 minute battery was included, same issue with the memory card and blah blah blah. The order I was placing didn’t seem right nor did I get a good feeling about the Rep I was talking to. So in the middle of my order, I canceled it and took to the web to do some more research. I found b and h photo and have since placed ALL my orders through them. This is totally a scam and I’m so thankful I listened to my instinct and canceled the order as quickly as I placed it. Will only buy trough b and h photo!

    • 75
      ) Sammyncubs

      The same thing happened to me through N4digital.com. I canceled my order and did research on AjRichard before I placed the order. Thanks for saving me the hassle!

  19. 31
    ) David G

    I bought a Canon 5D mk II package from someone on ebay, and I did get the promised package right away. They did suggest I upgrade to HD lens which I did. Everything was as promised but all the extra’s (tripod, lens keeper, card reader, etc…) were all made by Zeikos! I now know that Zeikos makes crap! I put the lens cap keeper on and the first time the cap left the lens it went all the way to the floor, the tripod is so cheap that the center pole is incapable of holding up the camera, and the card reader erased/corrupted the card. I am very happy with my camera but doubt I will ever buy an expensive item off ebay again.

    • 34
      ) David G

      Also, the photos that were put up on Ebay did not show the name Zeikos at all. In taking the picture the seller placed the products to hide the Zeikos name

  20. Crazy story, wonderful that you recorded and transscribed this. I will post a link to this from a warning about online scams that I posted on my blog, see http://blog.exposedplanet.com/shop-digital-direct-broadway-photo-and-other-online-scam-photoshops-warning/

    Note that 1) these companies switcc names often and 2) your friend was still lucky, as often you would get nothing at all, or your CC will be charged many times over,. so tell him to check the statements carefully.

    Cheers, Harry

  21. 35
    ) Timothy

    I have no faith in Nextag, I have heard lots of stories of how retailers can boost their scores. There is a better site to use: http://www.resellerratings.com

    Now, your entire order that you places with Mark, what happened to that order? Did you cancel it?

    Great work!

  22. 36
    ) HEATHER JOHNSON

    Yikes. I only use 3 dealer B & H, adorama, and KEH however I have used photo barn out of Atlanta and they are good as well. The cheap dealers are cheap beacause they are also shady I would steer away from them as much as possible. YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET!

    Heather

    • 89
      ) lynda

      IS THIS THE HEATHER JOHNSON I KNOW?

  23. 37
    ) kombizz

    Dear Nasim
    Salam – Thank you for sharing your horrible experience with the world thru your blog. A friend told me about it another day, so I decided to read it by myself.
    I rarely buy my stuff online. I only buy certain accessories. I usually buy from certain shops that are authorized dealer.
    I hope all of us do the same that you did about AJRichard, so other fellow photigraphers know about these crooked companies.
    kombizz

  24. 38
    ) Jay

    I almost got scammed by accessorycircut.com. After much fighting and yelling I ended up getting my flash lower than advertised. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Don’t stay quiet when you’re placing the order.ask a million questions until you end up frustrating the salesman. : ) but I will never fall for stupid websites again.

    • 39
      ) Peter

      Here’s the rating at www. resellerrating.com for accessorycircut.com:
      Rating: 0.94 out of a possible 10 (Yes, that’s right – zero point nine four!)
      291 Reviews

      Compare to this list:
      B&H 9.8 (18,823 comments) – My primary camera store
      Newegg 9.79 (33,862) – I buy all my computer/video stuff here: the best
      Adorama 9.56 (5,601) – My second choice

  25. 40
    ) Peter

    “TRUST BUT VERIFY.” A phrase made famous by US President Regan, and also used frequently by Lenin.
    Now, when you can get these two politicos to agree on this point, you may want to follow their advice when you buy your next camera. http://www.resellerratings.com…etc.

    Check multiple references, reviews, and other opinions on the Internet. If you are prone to “impulse purchasing” there is a high probability that you will get screwed by people like Ricky in San Francisco. If you picked out a camera you like, verified its value and the retailers reputation, then sleep on it over night before you buy it.

    I hate to see people get shafted, but, let’s admit it, it could have been avoided with some due diligence.
    Trust but verify.

  26. 44
    ) Myrna

    Thanks for the insight…sorry for your friend. I originally bought my first dslr from Ebay and thought it was a good deal and so I persuaded my sister to my a similar kit like mine. She told me that after she ordered, they actually called her back and tried selling her “better lenses”. I think they were being honest but she had to pay a few $$ more but she called me asking if they had done this to me…Im not sure if she got scammed but she likes her camera alot and is happy with the lenses she got.

    Nasim,
    I have a naive beginner question that I dont know where to post. I am not a professional but I would say and advanced photographer. Ive been taking pictures of my girls school activities for the past 3 years.
    Ive posted them on a website to share my photos but now Ive seen my pictures posted on newpapers in the community and on the schools newsletter (online)…I have not received credit for any pictures published. Do I have photographers copyrights? Dont they have to ask my permission for them? Some have found a way to go online and save and copy my pictures….I did this for school, but still I would like the acknowledgement for the pictures I take…Next year when I post I plan on putting watermarks on any photos I put on a share site….

    Please give me some feedback on this situation (or anyone else who can tell me).

    Greatly appreciated….

    Myrna Sharma

    • Myrna, you have copyright of all your photos the moment you take them. You do not need to register them (though it helps in lawsuits as you can claim more).

      Nobody is allowed to use your photos for anything without your explicit permission, does not matter if they are a school, a charity, or Ford motor company. You own your photos and only you can decide to let others use them, if and how much they should pay. Note that you cannot sell/license any photos with people in them to commercial companies if you do not have a ‘model release’ from the persons in the pictures. You can sell/license these images for editorial usage, so newspapers etc.

      You can check online (for example at gettyimages.com) what they would have paid for the usage.
      Check http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/06/01/what-to-do-when-your-image-is-stolen-online/ for more info.

      • 46
        ) Myrna

        THANK YOU for letting me know…Im internalizing my frustrations that they are taking advantage of me and using my pictures…I have not sold any of my pictures bec. I dont know how much to sell..Im just a parent who wants to take pictures…I at least want the recognition since the entire school newsletter is full of sickening “thank you’s”… I really appreciate all the information you told me…Ive been a sucker for 2 years now…THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

  27. 47
    ) WAM

    http://www.donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/h0139.htm

    Look at this web site picture. Notice the first initials are the same, the font is close to the same, same area code for International orders and the greens and blues in the lettering are reversed. I’ll bet this is the same company, just with a different name from previous complaints.

  28. 49
    ) Jeremy

    lol. The guy I spoke to told me that the camera would not work without the memory card that apperently only THEY exclusively have. He said that without this “special memory card” i would not be able to use the camera. He also told me that the battery would only last 30 minutes. I did some research on that battery and it lasts a lot longer than that.

    Hopefully it comes in good condition…

  29. 50
    ) T G

    wow, u got farther than me.

    when i first saw sites like this and started pressing them for information they actually hung up on me. this is unbelievable. they r just straight up rip off artists

  30. 51
    ) Michael Freeman

    Also beware of this online reseller in Brooklyn, NY:

    http://www.accessorycircut.com/

    They are the kings of “bait and switch.” They lure you in with a low price on a “stocked” item that is in high demand (Nikon 85mm f/1.4G lens, etc.) Once your order is placed, they immediately send you an e-mail to say the item has been back ordered for 3 weeks from the manufacturer. However, they have a 3rd-party lens in stock (which is listed at a higher value on their website) and they will sell it to you for the same price as the lens that’s back ordered.

    Remember, if the price is too good to be true, it probably is a scam!

  31. 52
    ) Peter

    Caveat emptor. Watch your a_ _.

    Based on excellent (ELITE) ratings on resellerratings.com (I use it all the time), I nearly bought third party ink for my Epson printer from Inkfarm. com. However, I decided not to.
    Why not? It had outstanding ratings and it appears they deserve them.

    Well, I checked further on the issue of third party ink (not Inkfarm.com per se) and discovered from the Wilhelm Research Institute that there are issues regarding third party ink. The issues are permanence and color rendition. Third party ink prints do not last as long as OEM inks! 5 years!

    I do a lot of work for the local historical society, and the last thing we need it that the prints will start fading in 5 years. It’s not worth the savings in ink.

    So, I ordered my OEM Epson ink from a place that gives excellent prices, and I’m glad i did.

    Conclusion: Reseller ratings might be great (most are based on process not product performance), so check other sources, too.

    Now, I know lots of you want a simple answer to issues raised here, but that’s life. The simple answer is usually wrong, especially if it’s what you want to hear.

  32. 53
    ) Curt Kriegshauser

    Extraordinary documentary, and a wonderful contribution to our society.

  33. 54
    ) Carl TightShooster

    Probably a white-list/Black-list would be an idea; very hard story!
    /Karl

  34. 55
    ) adam

    Thanks for posting this.

  35. 58
    ) Dan

    The same is true for in person stores as well as websites. I stopped in at a place called Broadway Computer and Video yesterday (50th & Broadway in NYC) – they’re going out of business and I thought it might be worth looking to see if I could get a good price on a new lens.

    So the guy pulls out a Canon 75-300 lens, the box is marked $700 (which I knew was ridiculous), and tells me he can give it to me for $399. I asked if he could do any better, he comes back with $299. I told him I’d have to think about it and checked B & H on my blackberry – same lens there was about $165. Needless to say I didn’t make the purchase.

    As always, Caveat Emptor, and if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

    • 59
      ) David G

      Typically when a business goes under and puts up the clearance sign the good stuff is taken off the shelf, and sold off through other methods and the end result is the stuff that is left really is not worth it.

  36. 60
    ) Bob

    I’m getting a sick feeling- ordered a camera thru Nextag and selected ajrichard, since they were well-rated by nextag. This morning, “Mark” emailed to try to sell me a new battery and memory cards. Misspelled words in the email made me suspicious, and I called him to say I wasn’t interested in additional items. Ithen found this site- I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!

  37. 61
    ) Shawn

    Thanks to reviews on a couple of forums (I checked after getting a “sick” feeling in my stomach) I cancelled my order with AJ Richard just in time. I made sure to call my credit card company to confirm the cancellation as well. Here was MY experience today (and yesterday):

    1. AJ Richard magically charged an extra $29 (or so) above and beyond the price it was going to be when I made my purchase online and was about to click on “confirm order”. I only called in because I was not being offered the warantee promo that was clearly advertised on the site. Extra cost was for handling charges??? What? Why would I have to pay extra if I call, but not if I charge online? hmmmm

    2. It took 2 calls extra just to receive an email receipt of my order. (no hyperlink to show what “stage of the process” my order was in. That felt strange/unprofessional. I was gruffly told that I’d get a confirmation by last night-never happened.

    3. The RUDE guy told me that my order could not be cancelled because it was on the UPS truck already (5 minutes earlier in my last call it hadn’t left, but it was supposed to be on a truck YESTERDAY. I call “BS”.)

    4. The nicer man did cancel my order just 5 minutes after RUDE DUDE said it was impossible to do so because my order was already on the truck. I thanked him at least for not giving me a hard time for cancelling)

    5. I asked for a confirmation email of the cancellation of my order, was told “yes” and never did receive that. The order was indeed cancelled, luckily.

    6. No matter which line you press, mostly it seems to be one guy… Rarely does anybody else answer. That also seemed fishy to me.

    7. Yesterday I called during business hours and nobody answered. Voice mail said to call back during regular business hours. # I used was 1-888-871-1256.

    This taught me a HUGE lesson to research even more thoroughly than I thought I already was. I’m so grateful for the feedback here. This could have been so much worse.

    bottom line: DO NOT EVER DO BUSINESS WITH AJ RICHARD. THERE IS SOMETHING SHADY GOING ON THERE. (AND VERY RUDE) -always research who you decide to shop from!!!

  38. 63
    ) Linda

    OMG!! When I listened to the audio from your conversation with the AJRichard salesperson, I realized that I have heard the same voice and the same sales pitch and immediately felt a chill up my spine. I had a very similar experience with Thundercameras.com. I was never credited a refund that was promised and am out about $900.00. After looking into things a little more, I am sure this is the same company. I pretty much am forced to leave it as “a lesson learned” as I don’t have any of the paper work (that was promised) regarding the credit that was due to me. I’m usually very cautious but was completely taken in (and confused) by the smoothness of the salesperson. This company has many alias’ and many complaints with the BBB. I will only buy from known companies from now on.

    • 65
      ) Paul

      I too sent back an item from AJ Richards b/c it was a “gray market” item. Everything was in Japanese:( I sent back the camera on Friday and I am waiting on a full refund. Any idea how long the refund will take?

  39. 64
    ) David G

    Slightly off topic but worth mentioning… Received a call yeseterday warning me that my computer had been compromised and that I needed to delete everything and redo my computer. I was not home at the time but I believe this was another con game of some type… Linda’s comment made me think of it..

  40. 66
    ) Gail

    OMG I just went through the same thing. His name was Mark also. I ordered a camera online but then decided to order on the phone. I was told on the phone I had to pay Insurance. I told him I did not want the insurance and went back and ordered online. Mark called me to “confirm” my order and started talking about batteries. I told him I did not need anything more in a rather gruff matter. I hung up and received an email that the camera would not be coning for 14 days. Somehow I decided to check on the company and ran into this blog. I called and cancelled the order. I recieved an email stating that it was cancelled. I just hope they did. I should have checked the company first.

  41. 67
    ) Selim Williams

    I can’t thank you enough! You really saved me! I was about to place an order and just googled for a promotion code and then saw your website. I was suspicious when I saw that accessories were so expensive compared to their cameras. I wouldn’t buy any accessories if they called me though. I hope more people google this company and find what you experienced.

  42. 68
    ) pete

    a few days I want to purchase a camera , I saw some ajrichard review from nestag.com,these are postivie ,soI have placed anorder ,next day he called and emailed me to confirm my order information, I said I just want to contract by email,from then he still not repone me, and now I saw your experience, I very worry my experience.

  43. 69
    ) anna

    i am so sorry, that i did not read your blog before i purchased my camera. i had the same experience as you did. after i placed my order on line a sales person called me back named michael from extension 257. he said he wanted to confirm the order. i was told that the free shipping they offer takes 7-10 business days, and if i want my camera sooner i have to pay 29.95 for 3 day. than he proceded to talk me into buying the better battery as well.
    never again i will buy from an unauthorized dealer.

  44. 72
    ) Mortaryan

    Sorry to say…but there is something called “buyer beware.” Do I agree with the manner of the seller, it’s not how I would run a business…but…listening to the call, there is not much to pick at…he gave you what you allowed him to sell you, and never questioned him (appropriately) or refused a purchase. The buyer is responsible to be an educated (especially when most, and I do mean 85%, of the sellers are not educated), and then your not supposed to wait over 30days to be unhappy and demand satisfaction, if you do you’re just asking to be reamed. It is the buyers responsibility to know what they are buying and then demand what they want. And it should be a clear sign to anyone, as an educated buyer or not, that something ain’t right in Denmark, if something all of the sudden is not at the advertised price…don’t blame the player, blame the game…Remember, nutin is free, and you never get sumpin for nutin…if your believe you can get sumpin for nutin, I have a bridge I can sell you. The seller did nothing wrong, he sold you a bag of goods, that you allowed him to sell you.

  45. Wow. GREAT post. The transcript of your conversation with “Mark” reminded me exactly of one I had a few years ago when I bought an HDV camera online from one of thoseNew York dot com companies. The moral of the story is if you order something digital/electronic online at a low-ball price and get a response email or phone call from that company right after, you are almost guaranteed to be sucked into a hard-sell of extra stuff you don’t need.

    I was about to buy a DSLR from AJRichard but now, no way! They are not alone, either. I don’t think I will buy electronics online from a company I never heard of, and go with reputable ones like B&H, NewEgg, and Amazon. Otherwise I will go brick and mortar.

    Thanks so much for exposing this scam.

  46. 76
    ) Sammyncubs

    The same thing almost happened to me through N4Digital.com for a point and shoot Sony camera. But I caught on after I started to asks questions and he was getting frustrated and then I canceled my order. When I placed the order online it said I would receive the order in 5-7 business days and they called me at about 10 days to let me know it did not come with a battery or charger and tried to sell me a battery for an additional $100.
    ********Do not buy anything from N4Digital.com***********

    • 77
      ) Sammyncubs

      They are also under http://www.Need4Digital.com. This company is a scam. Thanks for helping me not buy from AjRichard to have the same thing happen again.

  47. I just recently purchased a camera from them. I am wishing I would have read this review first. They sent me an extra $150 8 Gig memory card ($20 in value) and stated that I requested it. The funny thing is that when they shipped my order they called and tried to upsale me. I was falling for the upsale at first then I realized that I did not have enough on my credit card that I use online. I did not want to give them my bank card so I told him to cancel everything and just send what I originally ordered. He asked how much I had available. I told him the amount and then I end up with a memory card that I did not request and the dollar amount charged to my card was exactly what I had available. Now they are charging me a restocking fee equal to the $150 surcharge and will not let me send back the SD card and credit back the $150. They are a scam. They are unworkable. They should be investigated for scamming.

  48. 79
    ) Shelly Flanagan

    DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!! THEY WILL ROB YOU!!!!!!!!
    I have been taken by this company. They have charged two, yes two of my credit cards for a total of $868. I have tried several times to call them during their normal business hours and it always says to call back during their normal business hours. I was too stupid to google them until AFTER I had ordered from them. I guess I will have to start the long process with my bank to have this issue resolved and to cancel my cards but I am also going to be filing a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center thru the FBI. I suggest you all do the same. http://www.ic3.gov
    The more that complain the sooner this outfit, or person I should say, can be put in custody. Each complaint can be considered one cound of Fraud. That could add up to a lot of time in jail, where they need to be.

  49. 80
    ) Rob

    A disturbing thing is that they can get “positive” reviews in many of price searching websites.
    Some associates are most likely filling those with good reviews.
    One can go on Ebay or Amazon and check the prices and still may end up with those guys since they seem to have a better price. A question is whether they have products in stock or are only a front for some other operation, collecting orders and selling overpriced accessories. Sounds like one of the New York “business models”, known before already in the age of film photography. The products were from “grey markets”, typically without the US warranty. Now they have more opportunities, since they can sell batteries, chargers and memory cards.
    Do not buy from them is an advice, but for many it seems to be to have or not to have the item if the price difference is $100 or more. Thus they can prey on dreamers who end up as suckers.
    Some practices are right fraud, thus if complaints accumulate, those people shut be shut down and prohibited from opening another business using a different name. Not in New York?

  50. 81
    ) mike

    I just went through this nightmare with this company. Upsold on the extra battery as well. And he lied on the price of it. $30 handling and insurance add to the lens I bought was not discussed at any time. I will never ever buy from this fraud again. And I will enter my negative review on every website I can find.

  51. 82
    ) Meg

    i am REALLY glad i went ahead and Googled AJRichard prior to spending almost $700 on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 with 14-42mm Lens. I KNEW the major price difference between their site and retail was just too good to be true! I am truly sorry for your friends hardships, and to anybody else screwed over by this scam of a site. If enough of you keep reporting them and their activities to the BBB or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, they will eventually but surely get shut down.

    Is Amazon not a safe site to buy from, either? Because they were my second choice, as I could bundle certain items and also find the lenses I desired for this camera at a much better deal, up to 40% off. The store I was planning to purchase from on Amazon DOES also sell Panasonic warranties, including the Platinum warranty, so I am not sure if they are affiliated or just are able to sell this as a product? Here is the link to the specific store:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0054YVA8S/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    I’ve not had any problems yet with Amazon, then again, the only electronic I have ever purchased from them was the first Kindle for my Mom and, well, Amazon MAKES Kindle, so… duh. I’ve done a LOT of research on cameras, being only an intermediate photographer I still have much to learn and am a young grasshopper :) (though, who REALLY ever wants to stop learning when you are an artist? The last thing I want is to get burned! I finally decided that this is the camera for me; it has everything I want & need, and THEN some, and with the addition of HD and upgraded lenses, easily transforms into an expert level camera because of all the features, settings, etc… So, how do you know if it is safe to buy from an Amazon store? I am definitely going to purchase the camera itself through Panasonic now, but am questioning my possible choice of wanting to get my additional lenses through Amazon…

    Furthermore, I just need to say how hard I laughed when the rep told you that the ‘error-free’ card is what reduces blur in your photos! HAHAH! Not only are they scamming people, they are IDIOTS scamming people.. I guess they think the people they are scamming are as half as stupid as they are. Memory has NOTHING to do with ISO/shutter speed or capture or how long the shutter is open, which is what makes a photo ‘blur’ depending on the speed, aperture, and lighting.
    Also- LOFUCKINGL at the RoyalCamera.com ‘commercial’, two thumbs up!!

  52. 83
    ) Shelly Flanagan

    They way they get these good reviews is by strong arming people. They took my money and when I put on resellerratings.com that they would rob you they contacted me on a SUNDAY and told me they were having the item they shipped returned to them and when they got it back they would put my money back as long as I agreed to remove my negative review and give them 5 stars. Got my money back and canceled my cards. I changed my resellerratings info to say “My mother says if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. And by the way Adam I canceled my cards.” Now I am contacting the FBI because I have an email from the dumba$$ telling me what I had to do to get MY MONEY back. And I have two witness’ to the 3 phone calls he made telling me what stars to bump the review to before he would issue the credit. Guess he didn’t think I am smart enough to have witness’ and a speaker phone.

    That is how they get good reviews. Most people just let it go after they get their money back, not me, I am going to be their biggest pain in the butt ever!!!

    • 95
      ) bigpig

      Your comment is very good and important. I am very surprised by how many people on this thread think highly of resellerratings.com.

      Think of it this way, you are the gamblers and they are the dealers. The dice is stacked against you. Where is the money coming from to run the casino? Where is the money coming from to run these ratings website? You know the answer. Resellerratings.com or the BBB, they are al the same.

      Here is a response from resellerratings that I got. You decide how much you want to trust:

      Dear bigpig,

      Your comment in reply to ___’s review of Ajrichies.com (formerly: Ajrichard.com) has been posted but please note that your comment is neither emailed to the reviewer nor the merchant.

      If you’re Ajrichies.com (formerly: Ajrichard.com), you can post PROMINENT comments as a verified merchant and CONTACT REVIEWERS DIRECTLY TO RESOLVE ANY ISSUES BY CLAIMING YOUR PAGE TODAY.

      They have the upper hand in all these ratings site. I remember I had to post a review on resellerratings for another company, it was not under a voluntary circumstances. Now I remember, they gave me a little goodies to do it.

  53. 84
    ) Frustrated

    So I placed a order for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 (Lumix DMC-TZ20 / Lumix DMC-TZ22). The website price listed was $219.99 which is a great price… the ad also said the camera “usually ships in 1-2 business days”, which lead me to believe the item was “in stock”.

    The following day, I received a voice message and a email from the company saying “Thank you for shopping at Ajrichard.com. We Value your business in order to verify some of your billing information please give us a call at your earliest convience 1-888-871-1256″ I called them back and spoke to a sales person. They did not ask anything about my billing information, delivery, etc. It was clear to me that this was an attempt to up sell me on additional items. The salesman recommended everything from a second battery, carring case, extended warranty etc. When he was unsuccessful, he informed me that the color of the camera (Black) which I had ordered was “out of stock” and suggested the color Silver as that was in stock and would ship out. I agreed.

    Over the next week I checked my online account with AJRichard and it showed the status as “Processing”. I emailed the company asking for a status update. No response. After a week, I called the company as my online order was still indicating “Processing”. The customer service agent, who was not very polite, informed me that the company does not carry any inventory! I couldn’t believe that. He went on to say they had placed my order for the “Silver” Lumix DMC-ZS10 and that it would take another 15 to 20 days before they expected them to arrive. Special Order? I explained that my original order was for a “Black” DMC-ZS10 and that was really the color I preferred if it was being special ordered. He then told me, Black is not available! What? At this point, I could tell he would have liked me to cancel the order as he was short with me, didn’t want to really answer any more questions and when I suggested they include this specific information within their website… he didn’t respond, just hung-up. Needless to say, I believe this company is using this item as a loss leader with no intention on actually selling the camera at that price without the customer purchasing other (over priced) items.

    After reading simular stories I decided to call and cancel my order. Which I have done.

    Frustrated AJRichard Customer

  54. thanks so much for this – was about to hit the “buy” button on a camera from at an “almost too good to be true” price. will just go back to Adorama where i had one scoped out already. thanks again!!!

  55. 87
    ) petra

    The SAME happened to me !!!!! My Nikon D 700 Body ONLY!!! was suppose to be 1490, and I ended with purchase of 2799! The scenario completely the same, same man, ……………..and my camera is in service now by the way:-( DO NOT BUY FROM THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. 88
    ) lynda

    what a joke, I placed an order with a great price on a camera & then they cancelled the order with some bullshit story about my billing/shipping address had to be verified with my credit card. I have been shopping online forever & never have I heard the story of needing to verify my shipping address, your cc is verified against your home address only. This was a great excuse for cancelling my order as now the camera is $50 bucks more then what I had bought it for. DON’T BUY FROM THIS COMPANY..THEY ARE NOT REPUTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. 90
    ) lynda

    I am new to this & forgot to mention the dealer is AJ Ritchies***stay away***

  58. 91
    ) bigpig

    Here is my experience. I ordered the Pana ZS-10 at $259. The lowest I could find without checking their reputation. I got email to call them, so I did. But I did not take the sales pitch. Then 2 weeks passed without hearing or seeing my order. I called and was told it is in back order. Then some more weeks passed, no camera no nothing. I called again and was told still in back order. I inquired about their new price of $249 and if I would get that. The person did not answer.

    After hanging up the phone, I decided to cancel the order. I followed their email to cancel. From the records I sorted through, emails, FedEx, etc, THEY SHIPPED OUT THE ORDER IMMEDIATELY following my email to cancel. This was a deliberate act, so that they can get restocking fee, etc.

    I refused the order when it came. They did make a refund automatically, I wondered why so smooth. However, they did take a 10% for refusal fee. It is hidden somewhere on their website.

    I am still disputing this with AMEX. My stand is that the order had been cancelled. It will be interesting to see how AMEX interprets the timing. It is clear that I sent cancel notice before they shipped though, albeit a couple hours difference.

    THE THING IS, ONCE YOU PLACED THE ORDER, YOU ARE ON THEIR HOOK. I wonder what would be the best way to cancel, there is no sure way. May be to call your credit card company that you cancelled the order before you actually do it. Still, they can ship and bill you.

    One more thing, I don’t trust the resellerratings.com. They must have added many positives comments lately, either through small enticement to real customers or create phony customers by buying and selling to themselves. Or cleaned up their acts for a little while to perk up the rating.

  59. 92
    ) bigpig

    They just changed their name to AJRICHIES.COM

    Administrator, can you update the title so people can find this page and know their history.

  60. 93
    ) michael

    Found a camera I’d exhaustively researched marked hundreds of dollars lower at AJRichies and put it in their online shopping cart today. Their site also lists a promotion offering double the memory for any memory card you added to your order, but when I checked their inventory of cards, the list of brands I’d never heard of did not sit entirely right with me. When I looked at the shopping cart page and found a space for promo codes I did an online search for said codes (it defaulted to former name AJRichards) and thankfully found this page. Due diligence applies as much for the vendor as the item and I’ll gladly pass on the buying experience that so many others have detailed here. I empathize with those who have been burned or oversold by AJ du jour, but your posts here and on reseller.com are really providing a valuable service for those who care to look beyond an irresistibly low price. Thank you!

  61. 96
    ) Saadaoui Alaeddine

    Is The Digital Hunter a trusted website because this website has nice prices. Thank you in advance.

  62. 97
    ) bigpig

    NO! Stay away! Look at the no. of reviews at resellerratings. Read the low star comments. Bait & switch tactics.

    Read their website pages, everything! First, they don’t even have 1-800 no. Second, they pride themselves as experts to give you good advice. When you call them, they will smooth you and talk you into buying over price stuffs or things you don’t really want.

    Let’s say you stick with you gun and no get talked into, you may not see your stuffs shipped for a long time. They may wait until the price has dropped enough so they have a good profit before they ship. They will tell you it is in back order if you call. Once you placed your order, you are played into their hands! You will be waiting and don’t know if you should cancel or not.

    Buy with the reputable guys! Not worth the worry and hassle to save 5 to 10%.

    • 98
      ) Saadaoui Alaeddine

      Thank you very much for your advice. I was going to buy a D7000 from this store

  63. 100
    ) meg

    check out the glowing review i left for ‘AJ Richies’ (which now has 3 new site nam/aliaseses coming up…) :D under ‘MegW’

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/AjRichard

    I really really really hope they, as well as all of their “affiliates” see it. I have a feeling it won’t be long until the real motive of my post is uncovered (it kinda IS un the link name, lol) and it gets removed….. after all, having never ordered from them (thankfully) I made up all my order info. but, I don’t see that as any different than the massive amount of deception they’ve been using on and to get customers…

    anyway, hopefully a few people find their way here from resellerratings.com

  64. 104
    ) Shelly Flanagan

    The only reason I was able to get a total refund on my refused package is because I told them that I was turning them in to the FBI’s online criminal complaint center but they strong armed me by making me give them a 5star rating on reselleratings before they would put the money back in my account. I then canceled the cards that were used for this transaction. It wasn’t long after a complaint was filed against them that they changed the company name. I am just going to keep following them and keep reporting them. I hope everyone does the same!!!

  65. 105
    ) kathy

    I ordered a canon t2i for a gift for my son. Reviews on their website seemed good. Like others, salesperson pitched memory cards and chargers. Did get convinced to get a memory card. Didn’t get email confirmation; said they had the wrong email. Canceled payment through credit card company after reading complaints online.

  66. 106
    ) Jerry

    I don’t know how I ended up on this page but I’m glad I did. I almost bought a Nikon 7000d but backed out at the last minute. The next day the price went up $50 and never came down. This was just before black Friday. Later I noticed the battery was excluded as was another item. I moved on to Cameta’s and they have been good, except they are a little slow on processing the orders. Thanks again for posting this, I am really relieved I didn’t push that order button and will never visit ajrichie’s again.

  67. 107
    ) Triperka

    I just so wish I had seen this blog before. Honestly, I had the same conversation with extension 218, except that I gave them my genuine details. Ahhhhh, I mistook the arrogance for a more American approach to selling. I should have known better. I am sharing my experience, because your comments have dates, for people to know that they are still doing the same thing.

    Yesterday I tried to buy a Nikon D7000 from AjRichard, as they had the best price for the kit, but also it is not available in other stores and I badly want it. Obviously, to get their upgraded warranty, you have to call and make the order on the phone. It’s a catch – DONT DO IT. I have read that salesmen in US are a lot more ‘in your face’ than in Britain, but in this case it is an understatement – the guy was plain aggressive. He wanted to sell me all other extensions I didn’t need or want, as though for a good price, clearly overpriced and anyone who has researched the product knows the real price of things. All this with an attitude – I know best. Exact same conversation as recorded above. I had to hang-up and call again, because of the pressure. I feel so stupid, I should have researched them then and there, would have found your blog. When I called back extension 218 and firmly said I only want the camera kit & warranty without anything else he somehow processed the order indifferently, without gusto. Or rather never processed it, as I received an email from billing saying that they’ve had problems with my card, so I need to call them back. Today I call the ‘billing department’ and upon giving them my order number they immediately sent me back to the same guy (extension 218) who was selling me expensive batteries & memory cards yesterday. Sales and billing departments all one person, a very interesting concept! He told me they couldn’t process my order because the address is overseas. My bank account is opened in US with my address in US and was never linked to an international address. Called the bank, no such nonsense as international address. It’s 21st century, you have different bank accounts when you move countries, simple as that. I was forced to cancel my order. Thank god!

    Bottom line, I did not bite their sales tactics of buying other overpriced accessories (probably that’s how they achieve their sales margins) so they came up with this ‘international card excuse’ (easy one as I have a foreign accent) because it wasn’t worthwhile to backorder a camera that costs more than what they were selling it for. I do have a copy of a cancellation email, forwarded it to my bank. Please do yourself a favour, go to a serious seller and AVOID this one.

    After this debacle today, I posted a comment on resellersrating.com. Eureka! Just like everyone else, minutes after posting my review I receive a phone call from the ‘good cop’ owner Adam to rectify things. This was expected after reading a lot of other bad reviews online. For the record, he calls with a non-identified caller ID. When I made it very clear that he will not be able to bribe me to change the review (not even with a free camera!) he literally hung up on me. Wow, now everyone – this is their true spirit!

  68. 108
    ) Peggy

    Oh, no! I wish I would’ve seen this before ordering my new Nikon D5100YESTERDAY, from one, “Ajrichies.com” Gotta be the same place. It was so much less expensive than anywhere else. Hopefully, I can cancel.

    • 111
      ) bigpig

      I had tried cancel before. But they deliberately shipped just right after I sent email to cancel. This way, if I return they can charge restocking fee and if I refuse, they charge refusal fee. I am still disputing that charge with AmEx, after many letter writing and document collecting. You should document everything, including UPS or FedEx tracking and including time to show that you canceled before they ship.

      • 112
        ) Peggy

        I was able to cancel, with no problem – I called instead of sending an e-mail, and checked with my bank card to make sure it hadn’t been charged, and luckily it hadn’t. I feel fortunate that I saw this post and was able to cancel without any problems. Good luck to you.

  69. 109
    ) johny

    hi,
    I am planning to purchase canon 550D in ebay online purchase.Is it trustworthy one to buy in ebay please reply ASAP.

    thanks
    Johny…

    • 110
      ) bigpig

      eBay is generally OK, it has been getting better. Not great. You will get some protection. You should read the whole web page of the ad. and all fine print.

      My latest experience is that the ad description did not exactly match the item I received, they send me 6200mah instead 7800mah battery. Another experience is that, I had to return item (hard disc drive) to seller in China. Shipping cost was $30 for Express Mail, which is the only way to have tracking. eBay policy is that the buyer pays return shipping no matter what. If I knew it would cost $30 to return ship, I would not have made the order. (This is out of topic of this thread, but just to answer your question.)

  70. 114
    ) Mathew Dennison

    This is to all those people who go by ratings and customer comments. Don’t trust them completely. People pay for others to write such stuff. I am telling you this because I have done it in the past. I work part time on Amazon’s mturk after school hours so that I can afford my camera gear and I encounter such requests often. They pay you anywhere between a dollar or two for a positive comment or a 5 star rating. initially I used to do it. But later on, my conscious started pricking me. Especially when I wrote false reviews about high value works like car repair/services. I decided not to accept work of such sort and its been 3 years since I wrote a false review.

  71. 116
    ) lorraine

    just want to say thanks. Do not have a lot of money to spend and want to get a reasonable digital SLR, the nikon D3100. It is everywhere for 550 basically. I found it at this website fore 479 with free shipping. I am thinking, wow! Well, I looked at the contact information on the company trying to see where they are located and could not find anything. So I did a google search and this came up. THANK YOU! I can easily purchase this camera in town today for 550 and save myself the headache and drama of losing the money I have saved to buy a digital SLR at a slightly lessor cost. Just glad you put this out there and anyone who has been scammed or treated badly by this company needs to contact the BBB and report them.

  72. 117
    ) Thomas

    I was considering purchasing a camera from this company until I found a significant number of complaints about this company on the Internet. Before order from this company I thought it advisable to contact the sales department by email and ask for written confirmation that the camera they had advertised was new, unused, undamaged and in its original packaging. I also asked for confirmation that the camera had a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. could be registered with the manufacturer, and had all the accessories shipped by the manufacturer with the camera. When I did not get a response from the sales department I sent the same message to their customer services department. Still no reply. I decided not to buy the camera rather than risk a runaround after placing the order, which seems to be the normal order of business for this company.

  73. 118
    ) Regina A.

    Does anyone have the return shipping address for AJ Richies? The company refuses to give it to me and I am trying to return a lens.

    • 119
      ) bigpig

      The best info I have is that they are in Brooklyn NY, this is 9/2011. I had refused an order and UPS returned to them. Brooklyn NY is as much address as shown on the tracking ticket.

      I suggest you contact your credit card company immediately and report the situation. They can inquire and put pressure on them. I am still contesting their bogus stocking charges after 9 months and a seesaw letter writing battle. Also, document everything with date, hour and minute.

      My take is that, it will depend on your determination and tenacity.

  74. 120
    ) Leigh

    I appreciate the heads up. Just saved me a huge hassel. I was looking at their site to buy a camera. I decided to check them out first…

    You are doing a number of consumers a great service.

    Thanks again!!
    Leigh

  75. 121
    ) Juan Antonio Melian

    Yeah…..they probably closed and reopened as THE DIGITAL HUNTER !!
    The name Mark is awful familiar……..
    I had the exact same experience.

  76. 123
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  77. 124
    ) Filomena

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  78. 125
    ) Chris

    I’m shocked… at my own stupidity. I fell for this exact script a year ago.

    I bought the Canon EOS 7D from AJ Richies because it was the lowest price on the web, by about $250. I placed the order online and received a phone call from a sales rep with the same script, word-for-word. I’ve been shooting for 25 years, but I’ve resisted going digital until the cost to buy and develop film have become so ridiculous that going digital seemed like a must. I didn’t know about shooting HD video on media, so I bought the “error-free” high capacity battery. I bought it all. I was a sucker.

    The camera is great. But I noticed right away that the light meter was consistently dark. Not being familiar with digital, I’ve assumed this is just normal. I’ve owned many different types on camera bodies, and have never had one with the meter this off. So I basically have to shoot stopped down -2 to get a balanced image. Also, I did take notice that the box had been previously opened, even though it was “brand new from the factory.” The camera was spotless, so I assumed all was fine.

    Anyways, a great big thank you for writing this, even though it’s too late for me. I hope it helps someone else.

    I don’t think “upselling” is wrong or bad, it’s just the normal course of business. But telling lies in order to sell a redundant product like a “faster charger” (full charge in 30 mins instead of 12 hrs), is unethical and likely illegal. Again thanks for looking out for the people.

  79. 126
    ) Dude

    I too ordered form this distributer a year ago and ordered the canon 60d for a cheaper price. The same guy called and gave the same speech, to bad that I did not know about cameras like I do today to know that the battery that the camera comes with is not 30 minutes but a long time. Also the battery and the memory card that the man convinced me to buy but both broke (the battery drained quickly, the card broke and could not operate). Now listening over this call I noticed that they scam you, and they did it pretty well. I always had a weird feeling about the website, fortunately the website is down now. ***Next time you buy something everyone*** always go with the large websites, and also read the comments that people post, sometimes websites pump comments of their own to hide the real comments of other people or to make their rating go up. There are a lot of scammers out there, be careful.

  80. 127
    ) Christopher

    Yep, this site and list of people with their testimonies convinced me NOT to purchase the Canon 5D Mark III from these guys. It’s worth it to pay extra to not have the merchant headache from these guys. Thanks for the tip.

    CB

    • 128
      ) BigPig

      Glad that you checked them out first; our efforts didn’t go in vain. Also, you are not paying extra at other sites, it is just that the discount never exist.

  81. 134
    ) Laura

    I wish I had read reviews on this company before I ordered. However, I was able to cancel the order before it shipped but not before I was ready to pull my hair out after being given the runaround online and on the phone. I ended up ordering the camera from Amazon for a little more money but I’m getting my order within two days.

  82. 135
    ) David

    I honestly don’t know how this slipped past me. A friend recommended this website to me (he heard great things from a friend…in New York) and I researched a little and found no negative reviews whatsoever. Placed my Order for a Canon 7D and a 55mm f/1.4 lens and Mark – same man on the recording – said it would be here in a few days. I just placed my order today when another friend asked where I bought it and showed me this link. How did you resolve this? Because, as an uniformed young college student photographer – I prefer not to be fucked out of $1800. Called my bank – Wells Fargo – and they said they would contact the Merchant. But I want to know if I can do anything else. Please, any help counts.

    • 136
      ) BigPig

      David,

      First of all, no need to be too paranoid. The worst case, I believe, is that you won’t get a good deal. They have to ship you something, otherwise your credit company have to give you a complete refund.

      However, you have to decide whether you want to see what they are going to give and if it is worth keeping. You can try to cancel the order and inform your credit card company. But they may still ship you (something) to collect restocking / refusal fee, etc.

      My advice is to document EVERYTHING down to hour and MINUTE. When you make your claim with your credit card company, it will be all about documents. I had my long campaign /battle to fight the refusal fee, which wasn’t much, but as principle. I eventually won after many, many months, they must have figured it is not worth their time trying to collect $30 or so in refusal fee. They can better use their time in smooth or pressure talk someone into buying.

      If you decide to cancel, document it and send your credit card company a copy. Timing is crucial if they try to collect restocking or refusal fee. (Any by the way, they can ship you something broken or even an empty box when they know you are canceling. It doesn’t need to be the real McCoy.) Get or download as much tracking info from the carrier as possible. That is your official proof of when it is shipped or received. Wish you the best!

  83. 137
    ) Chris Herrick

    I just placed an order for a canon t4i dslr on ajrichies.com and I’ve had a positive experience so far.

    They have it for about $375 cheaper than anywhere else. Unlike some of the other posters above I’m completely aware that it’s body only, no lens. I don’t care about a warranty because it’s discounted so much.

    After placing the order I received an email clearly explaining the purchase, that it takes 3-5 days to process and takes 10-14 days after that to arrive with free shipping. It also gave instructions to call if you wish the order to be expedited. I called, got a person on the phone and they were nice enough to expedite the order. They did pitch the extended battery and sd cards but I declined and they weren’t pushy about it.

    I won’t say that my buying experience is good until I receive the product so we’ll see how it goes.

    I think most of the comments and complaints above are very illogical. Most of the commenters didn’t even actually make a purchase and the rest of them are whining about having purchased sd cards or batteries that they agreed to buy. If you don’t want something, don’t buy it! Also if a retailer sells you something and you don’t receive it, all you have to do is call your bank, ask for a chargeback and they will place the funds back in your account immediately.

    I think people need to grow up a little bit with their goofy purchasing behavior such as constantly returning things, etc.

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  85. 143
    ) Chris

    Today is October 2, 2013 almost 2 years after the original post was posted. This site now goes under the name AjRitchie.com and are still the same scumbag company that they were 2 years ago. I was luckily able to cancel the order but they tried to charge me a 15% cancellation fee. There is nothing on their website about cancellation fee only a 15% restocking fee. They informed me that the restocking fee is actually 25%… per time. They were unable charge me for the full price due to the limit on my debit card and so I let them know I wanted to cancel, knowingly incurring the fee. Luckily my bank was able to help me out with that I was not charged a “cancellation fee”. I do not know how they are legally running a business. They need to be shut down immediately.

  86. 144
    ) wf

    If you are thinking about dealing with a.j. richies, i have one bit of advice! DON’T!!!! I can stress enough that your order will not be processed until you call so they can upsell you on sub-quality accessories… Then you will not receive your order for 3-4 weeks after placed. Also, you will not receive the correct order so that will delay you another 2 weeks to get the correct order. You will be sold a warranty from a company that doesn’t exist… AND… you will be treated rudely and hung up on if you can even get through to anyone. A.J. Richies is the worst company I have ever dealt with. Do yourself a favor…. The money you save is not worth the headache. deal with B&H or deal local… The local guys will treat you with respect that you will not receive from A.J. Richies… They suck!

  87. 145
    ) TJ

    Thank goodness I came across this discussion thread. Was going to give them a shot myself, but see nothing but bad news here. Yikes! And, thank you very much for the good, and detailed, information.

  88. 146
    ) Alex

    This is a perfect example of dishonesty and complete disrespect towards clients.
    They advertise items at lower price to lure buyers and after tell you that item is not available and to get it you have to pay extra for priority shipping; and after all send you already opened items as “new”.
    How more dishonest it could get?
    Next, you call spent minimum 30 min on hold each time you call or redial after you got disconnected in attempt to get your money back.It is almost a month I am trying to get my money back from these…
    If you are looking to buy do not buy from these people.

  89. 147
    ) Noah

    They’re still at it. All of the same tricks and tactics described above were brought to play on me as I placed my order for a camera. I resisted the up-sell and was told that the item was mystically out-of-stock and would arrive without a battery or charger (both of which were included in the item description on the website). I am sending an ultimatum by email that if they don’t intend to send me the item complete and on-time, they can save us both the trouble and cancel my order now. We’ll see if that does anything useful …

  90. 148
    ) timg

    Thanks, almost pulled the trigger on a Nikon 3200 because they were clearly the cheapest but i suspected something because they were too cheap.

  91. 149
    ) Jen

    So glad I found this – I am trying to upgrade from the D5100 to a D7100 which they are offering for about $750 – a totally insane price and I knew something had to be wrong. Decided to do some research and came across this – not worth the risk. Back to saving my pennies! :)

  92. I just had an unpleasant phone call with one of AjRichie’s “Sales reps” regarding a Sony NEX EA50UH that was “On sale”

    I was told it was an “Import model” and not a “U.S. Model” – which is strange, because it is a Sony, and they are ALL imports.

    I was then told that the data on the screen wouldn’t be “In English” – ????

    I was then told by the “Sale Rep” – I use the term sales rep in quotes, because this idiot didn’t actually sell me or represent himself honestly.

    Despite their advertisement, they wouldn’t honor the price, and tried to tell me that “I should have known it was an import, and not a U.S. model.”

    I was so angry, I wanted to crawl through the phone and choke the guy.

    I am going to be contacting the BBB out of New York and report their asses for fraudulent and deceptive advertisement.

    Anyone in this thread who wishes to add their name(s) to this complaint, please send me your e-mail info and name to my e-mail address:

    dproce@yahoo.com

    Put in the subject line, “BBB complaint against AJRichie” so I can filter the responses.

    These kinds of practices will continue only if we do nothing.

    Thanks for allowing me to vent and for your forum.

    Sincerely,

    Douglas Proce
    Professional Videographer / Filmmaker

    • 155
      ) Tracy

      Same here, read my comment below. Import,lol.

  93. 151
    ) Karen

    Like most everyone else here leaving comments, I saw the camera of my dreams listed on this site for a couple of hundred dollars less. I make the purchase and a couple of days later, I received an e-mail asking me to call a number to verify my order. Immediately, a red flag. That feeling you get when you suddenly think you may have been scammed came over me and, I called them and canceled my order. I also replied to their e-mail with a cancellation. The man on the phone said he would cancel it. He did. I was surprised he didn’t question it and didn’t try to sell me anything else. After the call, I immediately called my bank and put a stop on my debit/credit card. I am glad I did.

  94. 152
    ) lisa

    we had the same bad experience with this guy please tell all the people you know and hopefully we can shut this guy down from harming other Innocent people.

  95. 153
    ) Srini

    Pretty sorry for your friend. I am always skeptical of third-party sellers online. I do not mind paying a little higher price with an approved retailer/e-tailer than chasing cheapest deals.

  96. 154
    ) Tracy

    DO NOT BUY FROM AJRICHIES

    I ordered a Canon t5i ( body only) at $349.00. I was sent an email to call a number. I was put on hold for ten minutes. The person on the line began the old game of Bait and Switch. He starts to explain to me that this Canon t5i was an import model from China and the touch screen language is only in Chinese. I asked why the description on the website did not say this for I would have not chosen this camera. I for one have no idea why you would even offer this Chinese language model to an American consumer unless you wanted to draw people in by the low price. They then have me call them and try to sell me the correct camera at a much higher price of $750.00. (No lens) body only.
    I told the operator to cancel the order and he told me it’s already been processed. I told him I still wanted it canceled because I know that we as consumers have 24 hours to cancel. He was dismissive sounding in his tone and said okay. He said he had to transfer me to billing and abruptly hung up on me.
    I quickly went to my online checking account and transferred all my money but $10.00 to savings so to stop Ajrichie from withdrawing any money. It worked. A few minute later I received an email from Ajrichie saying their attempt to withdraw money was refused because of lack of funds, lol.

    I finally bought my camera from my local camera store, no hassles , no problems. I also feel good about supporting a local business.

    Moral of story, always,always do online review research.

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