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.