Buy First DSLR Online or From Local Dealer?

Started Aug 21, 2010 | Discussions thread
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steve88
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Buy First DSLR Online or From Local Dealer?
Aug 21, 2010

After many, many months I've finally decided to buy my first DSLR (narrowed it down to the 50D or 7D) and now I'm trying to figure out whether I should buy it online or from my local camera store.

My local store is in a fairly big city and is very well-established but their prices on bodies and lenses are generally about 5% higher than what I can get online. This is actually a decrease from a few years ago when they were 10% higher. I think they realize they're losing business to online retailers so that's why they've come down a bit (or maybe it's the economy).

I believe in supporting local businesses but I also want the best deal I can get as a consumer. The one plus I see to buying locally is that if there's ever a problem with anything they're only a few minutes away (compared to if I buy online I've got to pay for shipping and the hassle of sending stuff back). When their prices were 10% higher I didn't see the point in buying from them but now that they've come down I'm tempted.

However, even at 5% I'd still be spending about $200 more on everything I want to buy (body, nice L lens, filters, etc). That's $200 I could put towards all kinds of stuff (editing software, camera bag, tripod).

So, I guess I just want to know if it really makes a difference. Are there really any advantages to buying from a local shop? Do bodies and lenses really fail that often to begin with and require returns to the shop or online retailer?

Thanks for any advice and thanks for all the great threads here. I've learned a ton about lenses and bodies from everyone here.

 steve88's gear list:steve88's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
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