How You Can Save Money on a Nikon D800
I just bought a Nikon D800 yesterday. A refurbished Nikon D800 that I found at Adorama. You know what's even cooler than that price of $2,549.99 in the screenshot I posted up there? I got it for $50 less than the posted price. Not sure why, but who am I to argue with the price quoted by a professional sales representative? If he says it's $2,499.99, then that's what I'm going to pay.
Although I was in the market for a new camera, I thought I was just calling to get some information that I'd have to mull over before making a decision. Here's what I was juggling in my head.
There's a rumor that the price of the Nikon D800 will drop $200 on December 15th
This one is floating around on sites by Nikon Rumors, Fred Miranda and Thom Hogan warning folks to wait until at least December 15th. Although the articles I've read don't mention a specific price drop, the guestimate from average folks is about $200. You never know, though. Could be more. Could be less. It's a rumor, not a press release.
There are current bundles with the D800 and Nikon Lenses
This one isn't a rumor, though. Nikon has discounts on various lenses bundled with the Nikon D800 (and other camera models) that can save you some money. I've been craving the 28-300 lens for a while now, which would save me $150 in this bundle. On the other hand, I'd like to swap my Nikon 70-200mm VR lens for the newer VR II model. That lens is $200 less in the bundle, and I'd try to offset the rest of the cost by selling my current 70-200.
As luck would have it, these bundles expire the day before December 15th? Coincidence or conspiracy?
There's the refurbished D800, but with only a 90 day warranty
Price drops and bundles are nice, but this one seemed to offer more savings. The thing that gave me pause was the 90 day warranty. The standard warranty for a new Nikon D800 is one year. So, 90 days would be less. That bugged me, and I mentioned it to the sales rep.
That's when he mentioned that I could get a 3rd party warranty for $64 that last three years. It's not Nikon's warranty, but the service techs are trained the same way, etc. Now that sounded pretty interesting to me. On top of that, I also have my American Express Extended Warranty to add a year on to the manufacturer's warranty at no extra charge. I bought the Mack Warranty from Adorama feeling quite confident that I ought to have sufficient warranty protection at least as long as a new camera. On top of that, there's my photo insurance to handle other issues (though the deductible is more than I like).
Even paying for an extended warranty, the savings seemed to be much larger with the refurbished model. There's no way to know if it's greater than the price drop, but here's the kicker. I could return it within 30 days, then turn around and buy a new one. Adorama actually does this automatically for matching products, but you have to make sure you know what matches. If I bought the bundle with a lens and the camera body price went down, it wouldn't match because that's a different product unit. Knowing that this bundle deal ends before the price drop, I figured that wasn't the safe plan if I wanted to hedge my bets.
About Refurbished Cameras
I'll admit that I don't know much of anything about how Nikon selects cameras to sell as refurbished. Are they used cameras returned from customers? Nikon doesn't really say. My sales rep said that he understands they come from demo units at trade shows and things like that, or they could simply be due to a firmware change. I tend to believe him. That's because he knew I was going to buy a Nikon D800 one way or the other, so I doubt that he had any incentive to steer me toward the refurbished camera over a new camera.
Having bought other refurbished products in the past, I can't recall any problems with them at all. They still have to pass the same quality control standards as new products. I also tend to believe that any problems are probably going to show up relatively soon rather than after 90 days, providing there are any problems at all.
If you're in the market for a Nikon D800, you have some options to consider. I don't get a kickback from Adorama to tell you about this stuff. Oddly enough, I have an affiliate relationship with B&H (affiliate link), where they also sell used and refurbished equipment. It's just that B&H didn't have a refurbished Nikon D800 at the moment. They do have some other very nice stuff on that list, though.
Accessories for the Nikon D800
No camera is an island unto itself. I'm still contemplating additional lenses, but I have a nice set of professional glass already. What I don't have is a battery grip and L-Plate to mount this new camera on my tripod. I ordered the Nikon MB-d12 battery grip at the outrageous price of $389. There are cheaper knockoffs, but I've read reviews from folks like Moose Peterson about these things. I trust his opinion is much like mine in this regard – the Nikon grip is a better quality product and you have to pay if that's what you want.
Add on the L-Plate from Really Right Stuff to work with the D800 and MB-d12, well that's another $200 by the time it ships here.
It's easy to complain about prices for some of these items. but the truth is that I find value in them. My gear from Really Right Stuff is just outstanding and built to last. The MB-D10 grip that goes with my Nikon D700 has never let me down. I trust these brands because of past quality. However, I like a discount as much as the next guy. I figure the money I saved on the Nikon D800 allowed me to throw in the MB-D12 for free.
‘Tis the season to be shopping. I hope this helps you take advantage of some savings.