How I Paid 10% of Sticker Price and Still Overpaid


During a trip to Times Square yesterday, I made a discovery about a camera/computer store, which is: you don’t have to pay sticker price for electronics.

Let me explain further: earlier this summer, I bought a 70-300mm lens that I fell in love with for $350. I was really REALLY excited about it, until I looked online and found out I paid double, DOUBLE for the lens. Had I thought to take out my iPhone and check the lens, I would have seen that B&H would have sold it four less than $150. I’ve used the heck out of that lens to justify the cost, since I couldn’t get back to the store within the 7 day return period.

Sunday I went back to try out a lens before I ordered it online, as my d5000 doesn’t have an in-body autofocus motor and some sites aren’t specific if a lens does or does not have it’s own autofocus motor. Once again, I saw the same salesman, (who, it should be noted, could sell catsup popsicles to women in white gloves) who immediately looked at my camera and asked what I was buying.

I said “I want a 35—”

“Wide angle or telephoto?”

“What I want is a—”

“Wide angle or telephoto?” he was stubborn, but I just said:

“Wide angle, but a fixedfocus1point4lens!” I had to say this quickly, trying to keep him from selling me anything.

“No, you want a filter.” he said, leading me to the back.

“What? No nonono I want…” but he was already. Behind a counter, pulling out a small box with one hand and gesturing for me to give him my camera. I handed it over and watched him screw it onto the front of my kit lens. He gave me his spiel about its benefits over the lens I wanted, then while he was giving an example of how he could get a picture of the store, I flipped the box over and looked at the sticker price.

$1,400.

No.

Freaking.

Way.

I said that, in a different way. $1,400 is two months’ rent, utilities and my parking space for two months. Plus I had bills. He tried talking, but I pointed out my friend with my left hand, which was holding a box of pastries.

“Today is her birthday, and I spent a ton of money touring her around and getting her pastries. I can’t buy a lens like that!”

“Nonono, come here come here!” he grabbed my camera and again, as he did our first meeting and invited me to try out the lens. After a few shots showing off wide angle and the macro functions, he brought me inside. I said I still couldn’t afford it.

Then a man he called his boss, looked over at the lens, then at me and goes “Fifty percent off.” before turning to do other business.

I knew it. There was no way this lens was normally anywhere near $1,000, let alone $1,400. I decided to push further, taking the lens off and backing away while shaking my head. My friend was already inching out of the store.

Then the price plummeted.

400.

300.

Nope.

Nuh uh.

He sighed, probably about to try another spiel and I pretended that I got a text.

“See? My boyfriend is testing me. I promised I wouldn’t spend any more money on lenses! I’m sorry, but we have to go!”

“$150! I don’t have to do this, but I can tell you really want it and your boyfriend doesn’t have to know!”

Bingo. But…

“I’m really sorry, we have to…”

“$134, because it’s your birthday!”

So that’s how I got to pay 10% of the sticker asking price in NYC. Now, I probably still overpaid on this lens…filter thing, but I WAS able to get some great wide angle shots of NYC as well as some macro shots. I’ll have to experiment in the coming weeks (since I found out there is no returns on items, unless it’s for in-store credit) on its worth, but I AM enjoying the piece I got.

EDIT: I looked online, and my stomach sank. The ‘lens’ I got was $50 at any other store. Man, that guy is good. Foor me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!!

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