Who’s Worse Yahoo Shopping or Broadway Photo?

Broadway PhotoBroadway Photo Hosted on Zooomr

Photo by Vincent Ferrari

[I am CEO of Zooomr Inc.]

Broadway Photo’s Sheisty-Looking Business Addresses – Consumerist The Consumerist is out with a post today on Broadway Photo and their related businesses.

Here’s a snippet from why they have an unsatisfactory report with the BBB.

“Please understand that complaints may concern more than one issue
Complaint Issue Last 12 Months Last 12..36 Months Total
Advertising Issues 21 64 85
Contract Disputes 4 2 6
Credit or Billing Disputes 39 54 93
Delivery Issues 19 29 48
Guarantee or Warranty Issues 11 11 22
Product Quality 11 14 25
Refund Practices 23 41 64
Repair Issues 3 3 6
Selling Practices 90 223 313
Service Issues 5 11 16
TOTAL 226 452 678″

Vincent Ferrari
, a blogger and friend, decided to go out and actually take photos of the various locations on record with the BBB for Broadway photo and in addition to the shot above, click through to the Consumerist to see more.

I, of course, had my own infamous run in with another one of these sleazy retailers, PriceRitePhoto (now operating as Barclay’s Photo) a little over a year ago.

Sleazy camera retailers, unfortunately, are nothing new and seem to persist despite the attempts on our part to shed light on the cockroaches.

But one of the things that really bothers me is that somehow these sleazy companies seem to make it back on the shopping search engines over and over and over again.

After I wrote my post on PriceRitePhoto, perhaps the most trafficked post of all time on sleazy camera retailers resulting in stories in the NY Post, NY Times, the top Dugg story of 2005, boing boing, Slashdot, and hundreds of blogs, PriceRitePhoto was able to change their name and get right back on Yahoo! Shoppping within three months.

Subsequently when I pointed this out in another blog post they were dropped from Yahoo! Shopping again.

But today when I go and look up Broadway Photo, the photo store with an unsatisfactory BBB rating and the complaints listed above, guess what? Yep, not only are they on Yahoo! Shopping but they are listed as a three star merchant. How does a company with an unsatisfactory BBB rating, hundreds of complaints with the BBB able to get a three star rating? And with product reviews on Yahoo like this:

“Buyer beware!!!!!! False advertising on product inquired. What was shown on web site was not the real total product expected. Upon calling for confirmation, product advertised wasn’t available but was for an inferior version of the same product that you have to buy extra accessories that normally are included in the advertised product. Sales person would insist of purchasing extras that would jack up the price of the order. Very dissapointed!”

Flickr, by the way, recently instituted this “cool” new “camera finder” feature where they will send you directly to Yahoo Shopping to buy your camera. That sucks.

I’m sure this will be taken down by the time I get this post up (I did take screen shots though and can always share those later) but try this. Go to Flickr’s camera finder for the Fuji FinePix S9100. Now click through and sort by price. Who has the lowest price? Yep, you guessed it, Broadway Photo. Thanks Flickr, thanks Yahoo.

Take this advice if you want to buy a camera. AVOID YAHOO SHOPPING. AVOID Flickr’s camera finder. Instead go to B&H; Photo, Amazon.com, Costco, or a local retailer where you can walk into their store and trust them. I understand that Yahoo needs to monetize their social networks, but this is NOT the way to do it.

Although Yahoo Shopping may not bear a legal responsibility to prevent bad merchants from getting on their site, they bear a moral responsibility to do at least a modicum of due diligence before letting someone like Broadway on board.

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12 Comments

  1. Bryan Socha says:

    Dell has been having some excellent camera sales, especially when you catch them with a 10% off electronics coupon at the same time. watch the tech coupon sites for them and the links into dell.

  2. Wire says:

    I’m from Mexico and was looking for the best price in my first DSLR.

    I used Yahoo shooping and found Broadway Photo. I ordered a Canon XT. I had luck, because my credit card was not aproved and then I find out the bad reputation they have.

    Later, I found Adorama (www.adorama.com). They have good prices and deliver on time and to my country.

    I just purchased with them a Samsung GX-1L. I´m happy with the camera, it´s not the best, but it was inside my budget, and Adorama gave a good service!

  3. Doug says:

    I think everyone would do well to shop through Adorama or even B&H; Photo- you may not save an extra couple bucks, but they always more than make up for it in service.

    The other method I find myself doing lately is always checking a company out through Bizrate before dealing with them. If the reviews are bad there, or if the company isn’t listed, odds are I can find a better option elsewhere.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Holy crap. If you look at the Yahoo profiles of every user that rated Broadway photo 4 or 5 stars in the past few days, the accounts were created the day the post was made, and none of them have any info in them.

    That is just too convenient to be a coincidence. Yahoo should really do something about scumbag companies like this.

  5. Raoul says:

    Really glad you’ve pointed this out again, Tom. I’d seen Google Adwords ads from Broadway Photo, and had wondered how trustworthy they really were. I guess I’ve been lucky, because I don’t use Yahoo Shopping. I use either Froogle or mySimon (done so for years) and have gotten good deals from reputable companies with both price engines.

  6. Dave! says:

    I’ve had very good experiences with BHPhoto. They tend to have good prices, ship fast, and they have never once tried to upsell me on anything.

  7. JeffH says:

    Another vote for B&H.; I’ve ordered thousands of dollars of camera, electronic equipment and photo supplies from B&H; over the past 5+ years and not once have I had any problems with the orders. I have placed all of my orders via their web site. Everything has always been shipped as ordered, on time, new in factory sealed boxes. They are great at sending e-mails notifying you when your order has been processed & shipped. They also provide tracking numbers for all shipments via e-mail. All of the order info and status can be found in your account on their web site at any time, along with info on all of your past orders.

    The only gripe I have with them is that they are closed and do not take orders on Friday Afternoons and all day Saturday. They also close for all Jewish holidays, some lasting weeks at a time. It seems silly to me that they do not at least take orders on their web site when they are closed. This is the only online merchant I’ve ever seen that actually closes the order taking portion of their web site. In all fairness, they do post their business hours and closures clearly on their web site. On a couple of occasions, when I wanted to order something that I wanted quickly, and B&H; was closed for a week, I have ordered from Amazon or Adorama and have had good luck with both of these merchants.

    I had a bad experience with RoyalCamera.com a few years ago. I would definitely avoid them at all costs. They fall into the same operating category as PriceRight Photo.

    Jeff H

  8. TranceMist says:

    Have you ever been inside any of these fly-by-night camera shops in NYC? That alone is an experience. Simply the appearance of being located in the NYC/NJ area is enough to deter me from wanting to deal with them for the most part. There are a few well established exceptions.

  9. William Beem says:

    I wish I’d known about Broadway photo before I placed an order with them last December. It didn’t take long to realize I was dealing with a shady outfit once they called back to “confirm” my web order. That was just an excuse to try to upsell me, get me to buy an unnecessary extended warranty, telling me lies that Nikon’s warranty was only 30 days on a lens. After I declined all of this, the guy just hung up on me.

    I eventually received my product – grey market, it turns out.

    This place is a scam. I’ve learned my lesson and now I’m a happy B&H; customer.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yahoo shopping is the worst!! I often by online and this last purchase is my first with yahoo, ordered the product, got a copy of it right quick and thats the last I’ve heard been 2 wks and nothin. Checked reviews of this merchant didnt find any thing, yahoo’s merchant review never came up. Thats real suspicious, since 10 billion others did. Finally found the merchant review and found dozens of others that never got there product and were charged for it. Then looked at merchant info and all the lines were blank. The customers reviews went back 3 yrs same problem and Yahoo still runs there site and collects the money.
    Cant complain to yahoo cause I’d have to JOIN to do that, ya right. Go Amazon NEVER had problem(5 yrs)
    Watch your back on Yahoo shopping is the politest thing I can say.

  11. Scott says:

    Don Wiss has ben doing this for quite some time now.

    http://donwiss.com/pictures/BrooklynStores/

  12. DONT BUY BROADWAY CAMERA says:

    This is my first time lodging a complaint on any company be it online, verbally, or in a document. I have NEVER felt so strongly against a company as I do Prestige Photo and Broadway Photo. They bring NEW meaning to unethical business if they are a business at all. They are a bunch of crooks. I ordered a camera on Oct 9th and they held up my order on the basis to UPSELL ME FOR A $100 BATTERY on the premise that the Panasonic battery only last 10 minutes before dying. I told them that I found it hard to believe that Panasonic would make a battery only capable of lasting 10 minutes. They told me that I was wrong. WHAT LIARS. Furthermore when I ordered the camera on the 9th it stated that on their web site it was in-stock and ready to ship, when they forced me to call them on the 10th, the guy told me that the camera was in stock and would arrive in three business days. On the 13th miraculously NO PRODUCT TO SHIP AND NO DATE TO SHIP…but guess what they had other cameras they could sell me! The guy that screwed me was Mike Sicheri. This guy Mike Sicheri stated that it wasn’t his fault; he works on salary, and only fulfills orders. Mike Sicheri further blamed the problem on how the company was set up and refused to transfer me to a Supervisor rather send me to customer service that would NEVER pick up. I called numerous times and got hung up on or transferred to NO ONE. PLEASE… I BEG OF YOU, don’t waste your time going through what I went through DO NOT ORDER FROM THESE COMPANIES regardless of their price.

    PS:
    After all was lost and I went to cancel the order via their website it stated:

    “The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.”

    Looks like I’ll be taking this up with my credit card company! Freaking CROOKS!