AjRichard.com Scam Shop . . . or One More Reason to Stick with B&H, Adorama & Amazon

Nasiv Mansurov has a great article that sheds some light on yet another bait and switch photo retailer operation.  I know everyone wants to find the best deals on camera gear, and folks are having a hard time finding popular gear in stock since the Japan earthquake earlier this year.  However, Nasiv’s investigation into AjRicard.com (aka scam shop) after his buddy ordered a 5D Mark II from the site should serve as a reminder that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

AjRichard.com looks to be another version of Broadway Photo, Sonic Photo and Best Price Camera, which were busted by the NY Attorney General a couple of years ago for their predatory bait and switch schemes.  If you’ve been shafted by AjRichard.com, I would encourage you to contact the NY Attorney General, as well as your home state’s attorney general office and report their misdeeds.

AjRichard.com is a NY corporation based at 244 Fifth Avenue, Suite J231, NY, NY 10001, which is a fictitious address created thanks to NYMail.com (whose service gives you a “Prime business address on 5th Ave New York.”).  In fact, AjRichard.com has no physical address listed on its website and has used a proxy to register the domain – so it’s not possible to even track down where your stuff is actually being shipped from or who is behind the operation.

If you need a second opinion about the trustworthiness of an online retailer, then I would recommend using ResellerRatings.com, which rates AjRichard.com a whopping 1.67 out of 10.

Reseller Ratings, unlike Nextag and other retail price checking sites, does a great job of policing its reviews in order to prevent scam shops like AjRichard.com from gaming the system.  That’s certainly what happened to Nasiv’s buddy when he check Nextag for prices.

 

Nextag should be ashamed to allow this crap to go on.  Undoubtedly, Nextag’s gamed listing for AjRichard.com has led to plenty of other consumers being ripped off like Nasiv’s friend.  Let this be a lesson to stick to Reseller Ratings when you want to know what’s going on with a given retailer.

Once again, I encourage you to stick with stores you can trust.  If you aren’t sure who to trust online, I recommend using B&H Photo, Adorama, and Amazon.com.  I order from each of these retailers on a regular basis for my own personal purchases, and I have chosen to work with them in affiliate relationships here on Photography Bay because I trust them.

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Comments

  1. bob solomon says

    Do add Henry’s of L.A. and Toronto as a trusted, high-approval rating site. And a rarity: shipping cost that is not a ruse that compensates for unjustifiably low prices.

  2. says

    You can add Canoga Camera, and Buydig.com to the list of trusted sellers. I always check resellersratings.com before I make a purchase from an unknown store.

  3. Rod Seagrist says

    If you check Ajrichards rating on resellersrating.com now it shows a much higher rating. ^ reviews is not a large enough sample to determine the quality of a merchant nor is the present 13 reviews large enough. That is the failing of sites like resellersratings.com. People who rate a site usually either really disliked it or really liked it. That skews the ratings. Only when you have 100’s or 1000’s of ratings does that tend to level off. ALso when you have a handful of ratings i.e. less than 20 it is easy for a company to get some peopleto rate their store and artficially raise the rating.

  4. Tony says

    Indeed, there are thousands of scammers online, big and small. A couple of years ago, I spent several months assisting a friend who was seeking reliable suppliers of digital cameras and computers. It was startling what we uncovered in just a short time. Even those at popular trade sites such as Alibaba and ECPlaza are filled with scammers! Gold membership means little, because many will just pay the fees (as much as $3000 or more) to obtain this status, then scheme! Excellent scam list here is: http://www.firetrust.com/en/blog/chris/the-bigger-list-of-chinese-scams

    Also, FraudWatchers is a great site for the latest news about online scammers: http://www.fraudwatchers.org/

    Its hard to track clever scammers, even with the best research. Many times a single operator will register several dozens, or even several hundred domains, to maximize profit before thy are eventually closed down.

    Luckily, my friend was only ripped off for about $300 before we realized that most of the so-called great deals didn’t exist at all! Still, its not the way you want to learn about good dealers.

    Yes, Henry’s is a great stored, mentioned in a post above, Henry’s is a top class retailer who just celebrated their 100th year anniversary as a camera and electronics store. I have personally been going to their stores (they are a franchise with many locations across Canada) since I was a teen, and I live within a few minutes of two of their retail stores in downtown Toronto. Their Ebay shop is one of the most highly rated for service and satisfaction by buyers.

    As the author mentioned, its important to deal with trusted retailers/dealers, who have been in business for years and has a solid reputation of delivering what they promised. Make use of the WHOIS service, in order to track the whereabouts of the person who register a particular domain.

  5. Glenn K says

    A thought and a recommendation. I, too, can vouch for B&H, Adorama, and Amazon, especially B&H which is my go to source for web purchases of electronics. This included a big screen TV that they shipped mnotor freight express. (I held my breath on that one but it all worked out well.) And in addition to their very good prices, their service has been excellent, in my experience. The combo of B&H processing of an order and UPS shipment gets me my order in 24 to 48 hours (and a few times in less than 24 hours). That NYC to rural Maryland.

    Recommendation: Don’t forget you’re local camera retailer. My local store is Service Photo (NFI) in Baltimore. They match or (sometimes do better than B&H). I buy camera bodies and lenses from them and chalk up the sales tax to the cost of keeping a local camera store in business. If you value the hands-on service that a local camera store provides, consider supporting your local shop. They also have a website. See http://www.servicephoto.com.

    Finally, thanks to all above who added good info. Much appreciated.

  6. DUNCAN says

    For on-line camera equipment I have bought 2 pentax cameras, a K10 and aK7 from
    Galaxy Camera out of Ottawa Ca. and have loved the sevice and prices. would and will buy from them again when funds permit.

  7. Greg Brecker says

    The Ajrichard link is now up tp 6.3 on the ratings. Seems like they got a bunch of shills in the past couple of days to go online to pump up their ratings! Your right about the 3 you mention they are all very good and I’ve had dealings with them for years.

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