Where Should You Buy Your Digital Camera?

There are three different types of stores to buy a digital camera

  1. On the Internet
  2. At a large general merchandise store
  3. At a local camera speciality store
Where Should I Buy a CameraThe best option for you depends on your knowledge and your needs. I have provided a short review of the options below to help you buy your digital camera from the best place for you.

Online

There are stores like Bestbuy, ebay, Ritz Camera, Buy.com, that sell digital cameras mostly on the Internet and don't have any stores in your area (although there are some large stores in New Jersey) and then there are the big guys like BestBuy, Ritz Camera and Walmart that sell both at stores in your area and over the Internet. More and more people are now buying their digital cameras online and this can be a good option for some people.

Buying on the internet - Pros

You can often Best Prices for the best price by choosing a popular model of digital camera and then looking through a set of many offers for that model. In addition to being the cheapest place to buy a digital camera, it is also the most convenient because you don't have to drive anywhere, run the risk of the store being out of your camera, and you don't have to talk to a bunch of sales people who are often on commission and trying to sell you something you really don't need or want.

Tips for buying on the internet

Make sure you buy from an online store that has a good rating on one of the big comparison shopping sites like ebay, BestBuy, Buy.com, Ritz Camera. Make sure they have a lot of feedback and  customer reviews. If they have a lot of positive feedback on one of these sites and very little negative feedback you are likely to have a good experience buying from that store.

Buying online Cons

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Stay away from unknown online camera stores. There are many counter fit and repackaged used items being promoted as new and genuine.

Here is a direct quote from Canon: "Canon recently discovered counterfeit lithium-ion battery packs and chargers on sale, and in circulation on internet auction websites, being passed off as Canon genuine lithium-ion battery packs and chargers. Because these counterfeit lithium-ion battery packs and battery chargers are often not equipped with certain protective devices meeting Canon's and the industry's basic quality standards, using or recharging these counterfeit lithium-ion battery packs could cause your camcorder to malfunction, or lead these battery packs to overheat, leak liquids, ignite, or explode. Accordingly, these counterfeit lithium-ion battery packs and/or battery chargers should not be used. Also, for further information on counterfeit batteries, please see Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) Notice Concerning Counterfeit Battery Packs at Thank you for your continuing support of Canon brand products. Sample of Canon Battery and Counterfeit Battery Notice, the upper part of the Canon logo is blurred on the counterfeit battery."

Big General Merchandise Stores

All of the big retailers sell digital cameras like BestBuy, CircutCity, Costco, Kmart, Sams Club, Sears, Target, and Walmart.

Buying from a large general merchandise store - Pros

They often have very good pricing on a limited set of models that they carry and you can return the camera to them if it doesn't work or you don't like it on the same day or in the same week.

Buying from a large general merchandise store - Cons

They always have a limited selection of newer brands and models and they might not have what you are looking for and many times they are more expensive than what you can find online by comparing prices from multiple stores. The clerks also might be the least knowledgeable

Local Camera Specialty Store

These are small local retailers that only sell cameras.

Buying from a local camera specialty store - Pros

The people there are often the most experienced and knowledgeable and they can help the best when it comes to guidance and service. You can pick up the merchandise and ask questions

Buying from your local camera specialty store - Cons

They are usually the most expensive and sometimes they will give you the wrong advice based on the commissions they get from the brands that they sell. Their hours man not be as convenient as shopping on the internet