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How to Get One of the First Canon 5Diii's without Pre-Ordering….
If you really, really want a 5Diii, this is an article you wont want to share. :)
I've been asked a few times today and yesterday: "Michael how do you seem to get Canon gear so quickly" and/or "How can I get one of the first shipments of the 5Diii?" Being that I most likely won't be on the mainland when they start shipping, I will give you some of my very best tips now.
Note about "Pre-Ordering", I don't recommend it unless time of arrival is less important to you. Pre-ordering is great if you can make sure your order is on the very, very top of the list. The are several problems with pre-ordering however when it is a very in demand product:
1. You are surrendering a HUGE chunk of money today for a product you have no idea when it will be stocked.
2. Most Camera dealers are given limited quantities of the first shipments.
3. You do not know how many people in front of you have pre-ordered, which means, there is a very real chance that even by pre-ordering, you will not get one of the first off the assembly line. When the 5Dii came out a few years ago, I had several friends who pre-ordered it, but got it several weeks after the first ones started popping up.
4. There is a good chance that even if you are on the top of a list, there will be other buyers getting in front of you, be it testers, pro photogs with connections, store employees, etc.
5. If there isn't enough supply to go around on that first list, your "pre-order" now becomes a "back-order".
But again, there are some benefits to pre-ordering, I just personally don't like having my money tied up without knowing is on the way in the mail to me right now.
If you really, really want one of the 1st shipments of the 5Diii (or other in demand Canon Products), here are my top tips on how to do it:
1. Best Buy - (This is exactly how I got my 5Dii, one of the very first, even before friends who pre-ordered go theirs.) You have to keep a really sharp eye out for when the 5Diii's start showing up. They will begin to trickle right before the first shipments arrive (don't ask me how or why), but you will see several pro photographers getting their hands on them. You can see posts on blogs, Facebook, etc and it means they are right about to start arriving. Once this happens, go to Best Buy and ask them to check their inventory for any Canon 5Diii's as you would like to purchase it right this second.
Best Buy will check all of their local store inventories, as well as their warehouse inventory meaning they will find the ones that haven't even arrived to stores yet. If they have one, you can buy on the spot and they will ship it to your home in the next couple days.
I would imagine any major electronics store that sells high end Canon Cameras will have similar policies.
2. Ebay- Another good place to see this pre-arrival "trickle" Phenomena. Ebay is solid for the very first few models but the negative they are usually asking for a premium and it's typically several hundred dollars more. Always check feedback before purchasing.
3. Smaller Local Camera dealers - Call around and find if your smaller camera store is an authorized Canon dealer and if they are, if they have a "waiting list" for new products. I have several of these mom and pop stores I use and I put my name on several of their lists- no obligation, no money exchanged.
Almost without fail they get a few of these products in and call me right away. As much as I would love to tell you which ones I use, I would be crazy to because this is how I am planning on doing it this time around. (I usually call them the day before the product is announced to make sure Im on the top of the list. I usually buy it from the first on to call, and when the others start calling, I just tell them the truth in that I've already purchased it.
Bonus Tip 1- - If you are really hot for a new camera and insist on pre-ordering, you can almost guarantee you will get one of the very first by ordering the most expensive kit possible , say with a 24-105 f4 lens. The demand for these is much, much smaller, but every camera store is going to get them when the bodies only arrive.
Bonus Tip 2- Take that primo lens you just bought and may not want and sell it on Ebay. The 24-105 f4 lens in particular can go for as high as $1100, so there is even an outside chance that by going this route, you may actually save a couple hundred on the body only.
Id be interested to hear how many of you try this and have it work out! :)