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the local shop...

So, I've been eying a new camera on Amazon.com for about a week and a half, now. It's got a ton of great features, and sounds a lot like it has a more solid feel to it, less slip-in-pockety, more hang-around-necky. Which is what I think I need, for whatever illogical reasons may sway me. It'll get me out more, off my ass and enjoying my hobby.

I went to the little camera shop on Mass Ave. in Arlington, the one between Arlington Center and Blue Ribbon, to see if they had it there for me to hold, and see, and mess around with. They did. But here's the (predictable) kicker: they're selling it at full retail price, while Amazon has a significant (over 10%) discount on it. If I buy the camera from Amazon, that's one more straw on the local shops' camelbacks...

There are free market arguments here, and there are tragedy of the commons arguments to be made.

If I buy it from Amazon, do I put a penny in the jar of "Don't let anyone but serious customers look at the equipment" at all the camera shops around the world? I suppose at some point even Amazon has to worry about this trend; I don't think I'd buy this camera without getting to see it first, and I imagine most people are in the same boat.

Bleah. It's the wrong season to be looking at stuff for myself, anyway.


Dec. 10th, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
When we bought abce's SLR, we got it from the camera shop because the salesman was really helpful in demonstrating features and helping us figure out which camera would be best for him. We'd mostly narrowed it down to two, but his input was very helpful. When I went back to the same camera store to try to figure out which camcorder to get him, the store really couldn't help me. They just didn't know about camcorders. I got my info online, did go to Bestbuy, or somewhere to look at the sizing of the buttons, etc., but didn't feel like I got much help beyond that from staff. The SLR salesman earned his commision and got the sale. The camcorder sale went to crutchfield.com (which has a very nice return policy, btw.) They even threw in a free (nice) camera bag for it.

It's ethics. There isn't necessarily a right answer, although there may be a right answer for you. Anyway, that's how I resolved the dilemma when I was faced with it.


just a guy made of dots and lines

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