Why I Shop B&H
When it comes to purchasing gear, there’s no one I trust more than B&H. They’ve been in business for a long time and pride themselves on their knowledge of the products and customer service. Here are a few things that I absolutely love about B&H Photo/Video.
Online Customer Service
One of the things I love about B&H is their online customer service. I always dread going through phone menus and maybe, eventually getting to an actual person after being put on hold for 20 minutes. Online customer service… not so. With my dual monitors I simply continue working on whatever project and have the chat window open on the other screen. With B&H I’ve asked questions like, “what pelican case can hold this light kit with these stands?” They managed to scour the specs of the kit and the pelican cases (which there are quite a few of) and came up with a viable solution, all while I’m sitting their working on an edit.
On one occasion I purchased an LED light kit from B&H. The light kit arrived and everything worked perfectly except for one of the power adapters. Less than a week later I was scheduled to fly to a location for an interview which I purchased the lights for. I contacted B&H using their online customer service and told them my predicament. Within 15 minutes, they determined that the best course of action was to contact the manufacturer to get a new power adapter since it was a part that B&H did not sell separately. I sent my B&H invoice number to the manufacturer and they replaced it right away. In fact, it arrived the day before I flew out. It’s important to note that manufactures, at least Genaray, which I was dealing with in this instance, respects purchases made through B&H.
B&H has, from what I’ve seen, the best selection of video equipment from any online dealer (and no, Amazon doesn’t count). If there is a new Panasonic or Canon camera on it’s way to market, you know it’s going to be on B&H. If it isn’t available for pre-order, you know it’s going to have a fairly accurate arrival date.
B&H’s used department is wonderful for 2 reasons. One is that they even have a used department and two, they buy your used equipment. Okay, so those are a bit obvious, but unlike ebay and craiglist, they accurately rate the items in terms of condition so that you know what you’re getting into. When selling your gear are you getting the best price? Yes, if not pretty close. Keep in mind that you’re almost always going to get more money out of your used equipment if you sell it yourself. On the other hand, these guys are one of the biggest camera retailers in the US if not the world, so a LOT of people are going to see your used equipment and likely snatch it up soon after it’s posted.
Categories and Filters
This is probably my favorite feature of B&H. They have the best category and search filters of any online dealer I’ve ever seen. Other online camera dealers, which shall here remain nameless, seem to just vomit out brands/digital/analog categories all over the place, making it very difficult to browse unless you know exactly and I mean exactly what you’re looking for. With B&H, I can easily start with a category, for example, “Photography” -> “Lenses” -> “SLR Lenses” ->Focal length, speed, free shipping, brand and the list goes on. It’s so insanely easy to find what I’m looking for I wish every online dealer would invest in such a filtering system. And if you type in something generic into their search box like “microphones”, it will return a page with categories of microphones. Not a jumbled list of unrelated mic products.
Ask anyone who has been to the NYC superstore and they’ll tell you just how gigantic and amazing it is. If you’re ever in NYC, I wouldn’t hesitate to squeeze it into your trip. It’s truly epic with knowledgable staff at every corner to answer your every question.
Well, that’s the long and short of it. I love B&H. They have a fantastic website and fantastic service. I plan on making many more purchases from them in the future. I hope they are around for a long, long time.