Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Digital dilemmas

I am thinking of buying a digital camera. One cannot just leap into these purchases without research - at least I cannot. I found a good website with digital film clips, where an anonymous pair of male hands shows you the camera and talk you through the buttons like this.
I went into a local camera shop and noticed that their 'special offer' prices were still about £20 or £30 more than internet prices. A shop assistant man with a strange ('lazy'?) eye tried to sell me one of the special offers. I said I didn't mean to be cheeky but I had noticed that all the cameras are much cheaper on the internet.


He seemed exasperated. Digital cameras get a lot of faults, he said, people come in here all the time with broken cameras from the internet and we won't fix them and you have to insure it to send it in the post for repair....etc. I found it difficult to know which eye to look at. He must have known my eyes were flitting with indecision, he must get that all the time plus people who tell him the internet is cheaper. Meanwhile he was trying to sell me a product that breaks all the time for £159.99.
Later that evening I watched a documentary about how supermarkets are putting three UK dairy farmers out of business each week. I was nearly crying for the farmers and the cows and the supermarket capitalism gone mad. Eventually our milk may be imported from thousands of miles away in Europe because it's cheaper to produce there. (I use mostly soya milk, but that's not the point, Mr Tesco.) I thought maybe I should buy the 'dige-y' camera from the smaller shop for £30 more.
(Which reminds me, when we were at school digital watches were the new status symbol and we used to look at the boys with new silver or black Casio watches strapped to their teenage wrists and whisper to each other, 'nice dige-y'. I make no apology.)
-C

5 comments:

mistertones said...

Been there, felt like that ! I went into Jessops and haggled over mine - they couldn't match the internet price but seemed happy enough to give me discounts on the extras ( leather case, larger memory card & spare battery ) so that I got a good deal... tough ethical choice !

Milk is slightly different because I think the stuff from this country is better quality than the imported...?

Canons are great, by the way - fantastic colour :o)

Mo said...

We've been using digital cameras for years and they've never broken down! Tosser is trying to frighten you into buying, Ciara. Alan got his SLR from Jessops and they matched the Internet price.

Good luck in the search. You'll love digital when you get it. It's so easy to crop and improve photos.

Digitalesse said...

I don't reckon much to his sales patter, telling you cameras break all the time? Doesn't exactly inspire confidence. When it comes to buying online I would far rather buy from a reputable internet trader like Amazon, or one of the online retailers that also have real shops, like John Lewis or Jessops. I don't have a local camera shop as all the wee shops have gone out of business, due to ridiculous rents and competition from people who shift more units at cheaper cost. My local camera shop is probably Argos. Ugh!

I've bought cameras from John Lewis and Jessops (the shops, not online) and their customer service has been commendable. They are also good at explaining things, too.

It's a tough decision - spend a bit extra to support your local shop, or buy on price? I think I'd go on my gut feeling, how I felt about the service I was getting and whether I could buy with confidence, knowing that I could take something back if it went wrong.

I remember going swimming wearing a waterproof 'dige-y'! And when you'd go on the bus, you'd hear all the different watches going beep-beep on the hour, but all at slightly different times.

EXSENO said...

You resemble your father a lot, it's a very nice photo.
I scrolled down and read some of your post and yes I too like your blog. The pink flat looks spaceous I like lots of windows.
Strange that I should run into a blog of someone from Scotland, I just met a man from Scotland (he lives in England now) he was visiting the US. He said his parents own a bed and breakfast called the wellview in Moffat.
One thing I like about blogging is you can meet people from all over the world without traveling of course it would be much more fun to travel.

Michelle said...

One, I'll second mistertones about Canons -- I get the best pictures from mine. And it's been dropped and dumped a gazillion times and still works beautifully.

I'd also try buying through Amazon. You can usually get a lot of customer ratings on products and often refurbished ones will work just as well (mine does). You save money and you're recycling. :)

Also feel for ya about local farmers vs. supermarkets. Here in the States even big chains like Safeway are jumping on the "buy local" band wagon. I can buy milk from a local dairy as well as the most delicious organic mushrooms from a farm just a half an hour from my city from my local Safeway.

Since Tesco and Sainsbury's are offering organic now due to consumer pressure, I don't see why they wouldn't start offering local options if pressured enough.