The true meaning of the word bait and switch can be found at 42nd St. Photo. Here's my story... shame on me -- I know better.
I'm headed down to Miami for a couple weeks to shoot three different jobs - catalog, advertising and editorial. Two days ago, a friend said he really wanted to buy my Canon 1D Mark IV. I decided -- a bird in the hand, and sold it to him for a fair price. I've been looking seriously anyway at the 1Dx. I've used Canon's CPS cameras a couple times as well as rented the camera for a couple of jobs. So, though I own the 1Ds3, I NEVER do a shoot with only one body ( another story..). Yesterday I was on the mad hunt to find a 1Dx for my shoot, rather than rent again. Though I've always purchased the USA models of my cameras, I was willing to consider a grey market. I called one place -- grey market for about $5400 -- and plunked down my Amex. An hour later, they called saying they'd only sell with a wire transfer for over $5k. No way -- Amex stands behind me. I cancelled the order.
Then I called 42nd St. I really should know better. I usually buy from B & H or Adorama for a reason. I've purchased a few things through 42nd St, and it was OK, so I thought, what the hell. I talked with a guy named Jack. After dickering around about the grey market version (he was saying, oh it's a 3rd party charger, blah, blah blah), I decided not to take the chance, but got them down to $6450 for the camera. So far, so good. Oops. Shipping & Handling. Miraculously, the charge was now back to $6700, just a $100 cheaper than B&H. They said that the camera would ship overnight, and it did.
I got the body today. My first suspicion was that there was no USA registration card in the box. Hmm, something smelly. Then, I turn on the camera. Oh, gee, Japanese writing for the date menu. Never Had THAT. I scroll through the menu, all Japanese (or maybe Korean or Chinese). And when finally finding language, the only three options are two Asian and English. NOT at all like any of my Canon digital cameras since 2000. I've owned the original D30 and every model 1D since the beginning : 10 actual cameras total, and not one was like this.
They sold me the grey market camera for the USA price. What? Do they really think I'm THAT stupid that I won't notice? Fortunately, I bought with my Amex Business Platinum card and they really stand behind their cardholders. I'll try dealing with 42nd St. and try to get the grey market price I should have had, and if not, Amex will try to help. Let my sad, stupid story be a lesson. Buyer Beware.