« An Open Letter to Adobe Systems Inc. | Back to Home | Asking the Right Questions »

June 16, 2005  The Power of Community

Last year I decided to buy a digital SLR. In the interest of getting the best deal I did a fair amount of Internet research using all the usual suspects:, Froogle, MySimon, EBay, Amazon, Ritz, etc. I found the lowest price at a company called Royal Camera (I won't link to them just yet). I placed my order and was instructed to call customer service to confirm my purchase. Over the phone the customer service representative told me in a rude and condescending manner about additional items that I could bundle with the camera (lenses, tripod) but the prices were outrageously high and I turned them down. Then he told me the battery was sold separately--asking $280 for the battery and charger--at which point I realized the entire operation was one big scam. I got off the phone, called my credit card company and had them issue me a new card.

But this post isn't about how Royal Camera is a scam. It's about how I made an error in judgement by not tapping in to the power of the online community to learn more about the company I was about to deal with. I had done my homework when it came to learning about the nuances between the Canon 10D, Nikon D70 and Nikon D100, but when the time came to make the purchase I was hasty.

The silver lining to this whole escapade was that in doing some web research on the company after the fact I came across their review page on a helpful site called Reseller Ratings. The site was full of testimonials posted almost daily warning people to stay away from this company.

One of the benefits of having people's thoughts and opinions available freely on the Internet is that it becomes very straightforward to use the power of the community to defeat scams like Royal Camera, Broadway Photo, and Express Cameras. That is, if you take the time to listen to what people are saying.

Posted by johnnie at June 16, 2005 09:01 AM


" The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is currently under court order to consider extending regulation and restriction of political speech outlined by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA, also known as McCain-Feingold). The court order was the result of a lawsuit filed by advocates of regulated speech, including the architects of BCRA, Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold. Users of the Internet, such as online publications and blogs, so far have enjoyed a broad exemption from the speech restrictions favored by reformers. But the court-ordered rule-making by the FEC could change that. The FEC has asked for comments from the public before a scheduled hearing on the matter that will take place June 28-29 in Washington, D.C. "

My guess ... bloggers are spending the day posting cool quotes from their 8th grade book report on 1984. Good grief, these guys need a leader.

Posted by: Joe Manzari at June 29, 2005 07:49 AM

What a Small World!
One of the Ads next to your article is the following:
Ads by Goooooogle
Low Price New Nikon D70
Great Service, Fast Shipping, Wide Selection Of Accessories!

Their business moto must be: " We Succeed by fooling some of the people some of the time... "

Tom Manzari

Posted by: Tom Manzari at July 12, 2005 12:20 AM

Yep, Reseller Ratings is used by many which makes it incredibly helpful! You can shop prices there, as well - I like their product categorization.

Posted by: J. J. at July 21, 2005 09:10 AM

Post a Comment

Remember Me?

Type the word 'Manzari' in to the box below:
(This is to limit spam)

the 9rules Network logo