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hugh 2008-10-09 08:26 AM

Review: B&H Photo Video
The purpose of this thread is for Digital Home members to review and relay their experience buying consumers electronics at the online retailer B&H Photo Video.

This thread is strictly for reviews and is not for discussion. If you have any questions about what belongs in this thread, then please this thread prior to posting.

When you post, please try to include the following information:

  • What product or service you purchased.
  • Approximate timeframe you ordered the product
  • What location you dealt with if it’s a company with many stores or service locations
  • Your overall level of satisfaction
  • If you had a positive experience, please explain what made it such a positive experience.
  • If you had a negative experience, please read our guidelines below.

hugh 2008-10-09 08:27 AM

Guidelines for Posting Negative Reviews

The truth is no retailer or service provider is perfect and occasionally even the best companies can disappoint. Our experience is that good companies have problems but they typically make every reasonable effort to resolve problems.

If you had a problem and are posting a negative review, then please note what efforts you made to resolve the problem and the feedback you received. If you think the efforts to resolve the problem were NOT reasonable then please explain why. Saying you phoned up and talked to some idiot, suggests the problem may lie with the consumer and NOT the company!

No posting URLS or Directs to Competitors will be deleted

Posts containing URL's to competitors or posts saying gee you should have shopped at this retailer will be considered spam and deleted.

We want opinions, NOT sales pitches or spam!

PhotoJim 2008-10-09 11:00 AM

I've ordered from B&H many times, so I'll just give an aggregate review as a starting point for this thread.

I'm an analog photographer. I don't do digital. Still, B&H is one of the best mail-order places for such stuff (as well as digital). It has one of the largest stocks of film photo bits (including film, chemistry, photographic paper, etc.) available on the planet.

Prices are exceptionally good and the firm is very honest.

Shipments to Canada are slightly complex. B&H will only ship to your credit card billing address if you are outside the US. This can be inconvenient since many of their shipping options (including all of their fast options, which I tend to prefer when ordering expensive equipment or when ordering film, which is slightly fragile) use couriers, and courier shipments to residences are inconvenient if you aren't home when the shipment comes.

Mail shipping tends to be reasonably-priced for larger orders (somewhat prohibitive for very small orders though) but is very slow. Still, if you aren't in a rush this is a good choice, although I don't recommend it for expensive equipment.

I live in Regina.

Overall, B&H gets a solid A. There are other mail order establishments with more flexible shipping policies (e.g. Adorama) but I still use B&H regularly, if not exclusively.

henryp 2008-10-10 10:47 AM

Thank You. B&H hopes we get exclusively positive reviews of course, but experience has proved this impossible. We do consider every review an opportunity to improve and in many cases an opportunity to repair some feature of our operations. We look forward to reading all of them.

One thing -- PhotoJim wrote:
B&H will only ship to your credit card billing address if you are outside the US.
In fact B&H will ship to your home (credit card billing) address or to your job provided the job in in the same country. This option is not available for web orders, for security reasons, but it is available.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

ianp 2008-10-10 02:56 PM

I've order one item from B&H and am very happy with their service. Had a camcorder (discontinued and $300 more in Canada) shipped to the US to be picked up by me on the way down during a driving vacation.
1. Verbally informed by CC company to temporarily add an US address on my CC.
2. Order on web the camcorder with US shipping address.
3. Verbally confirm with B&H my order details.
4. Camcorder shipped from NY to WA state in < 5 days. (No Tax on top AFAIK)
5. Used the purchase of the camcorder as part of my 1 week duty exemption.

james99 2008-10-12 12:35 AM

I ordered my 1080P projector from B&H last Fall. A few weeks later I noticed some dust blobs. They did a pretty good job with the return. Would order again.

admin 2008-10-12 08:32 AM

Some posts deleted. As noted in post #1,

This thread is strictly for reviews and is not for discussion.

dalmond 2009-05-06 05:58 PM

Have purchased several camera lenses and an HD set top box from them and have not had any problems.

BCScott 2009-05-06 06:29 PM

I bought a Canon G7 from them 2 years ago and had it delivered to Florida. When I was trying it out, I noticed it was picking up a lot of audio noise when in Video mode. I called them up and played a bit of video over the phone. They recognised a problem immediately and sent me a replacement. IIRC, they sent a prepaid packing slip with the new one to return the defective one and as the price had dropped by a few bucks, they refunded that also. Top notch to deal with.

dmoes 2009-05-06 07:20 PM

happy here
Ive ordered many items from B&H lenses, cables, memory, batteries, umrellas, stobes etc. I have never had a problem shipping is quick. and the best part is getting the catalogue in the mail. It entertains me for hours untill I am broke again!

I try to bundle orders to save on shipping.
also I have purchaced a few lenses labled "Imported" to save a buck or two hey what can go wrong with a lens.

ryoung 2009-05-08 01:23 PM

Very Satisfied.

I have bought from B&H online and in-store.

My online order was a Canon compact digicam that arrived DOA. The return and replacement of the defective product was straight forward and hassle free. (approx 4 years ago)

In-store is an experience unto itself! It is quite massive and it is a zoo with people everywhere! That said it is incredibly organized and efficient and would encourage people to stop in if the are in NY.
(items I purchase in-store was another Canon Digicam and a Nikon SLR lens). (year and a half ago).

nakedgord 2010-10-11 03:35 PM

I ordered a Magnavox H2160MW9 DVD recorder with harddrive and atsc tuner (refurbished).

As the website would not process the Memorial Day coupon code I was using I phoned in my order. Despite being a holiday in America I was promptly trasferred to a friendly and knowledgable sales rep. A pleasure compared to what I've come to expect.

Although he mentioned the extended warranty there was no hard sell and it wasn't mentioned again after I declined.

The only concern was that they only use UPS Worldwide for the item - a USPS option would be welcome.

Some products don't list how it'll be shipped which has deterred me since I don't know if it'll be UPS Standard (and the high brokerage fees) or via the more reasonable USPS or UPS Worldwide (which includes brokerage) so I was happy my product listed how it would be shipped once I inputted my postal code as it had detered purchases from myself in the past.

henryp 2010-10-12 11:22 AM

nakedgord - The contents of your post suggest this may not have been a purchase from B&H Photo. I cannot find a Magnavox H2160MW9 in our sales database, new or refurbished. We didn't have Memorial Day coupon codes to the best of my knowledge.

If I am mistaken, I apologize.

Our international shipping options include UPS, post office (USPS) and FedEx. For some items, depending on size or weight we may have been obliged to block one or more shipping options. We always offer as many as possible. We prefer UPS for a couple of reasons. It's less expensive than FedEx. Compared to USPS, it's faster, often competitively priced, and the UPS online package tracking is quite a bit better. if a parcel is mislaid in transit or arrives damaged, UPS is quite a bit faster and more cooperative about resolving the matter.

For every product on our site, we list almost every available shipping option. All you have to do is tell us your USA zip code or non-USA country. There's a "calculate shipping" link on every individual product page, or you can add multiple items to a shopping cart and get a calculation for an entire possible purchase.

BTW, our UPS options to Canada eliminate separate brokerage fees.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

The_Penguin 2010-10-12 12:59 PM

I have ordered several times from B&H and they're great to deal with, with one exception.
Shipping to Canada varies from expensive, to downright obscene.

I ordered a focussing screen for my 40D a while ago. The price was almost half that of my favorite local retailer, a no-brainer but shipping to Calgary was $30.00!! I had it shipped to my Brother in law in California for under $6.00

That's my only issue. I see Henry has commented, hi Henry!.
I have seen other people in other forums post about issues, and Henry has always been very responsive and helpful.
Definitely recommended, just watch shipping costs.

henryp 2010-10-13 01:03 PM


I have ordered several times from B&H and they're great to deal with, with one exception. Shipping to Canada varies from expensive, to downright obscene.
We have a International Business Initiatives team working to improve the shopping and purchase experience for our non-USA customers. Addressing this is among their first mandates. Until now our choice for shipping to Canada has been inexpensive or reliable and for reasons we hope are obvious, we've opted for reliable. The head of our IBI team says he's hoping for good news on this front in the foreseeable future.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

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