Are Top Search Engine Results Really Your Best Bet?

Photographers – Here’s an important shopping tip that you can use yourself + pass onto friends & family:

In today’s retail marketplace, search engine placement is a big deal.  Google & other search engines are today’s equivalent of The Yellow Pages – matching consumer requests with sources who have their items available for sale.   Many consumers think that the top search engine results to their queries are simply the most relevant, and therefore the best place to purchase their wanted items.    And while that can sometimes be true, sometimes nothing can be further from the truth.  Here’s why you need to be cautious – especially around the holidays:

Retailers pay big bucks to get the best search engine placement possible – in their local area, for the entire USA, and even throughout the world.  Search engine placement is offered by a complicated bidding system with different keywords, that generate retailer ads that link to their websites.  The best placement is given to those who are willing to pay the most $ – plain & simple.  At this time of year, many retailers will pay more for better placement, while also extending their reach to areas all over the USA.  The results are interesting.

During the holidays, consumer shopping is huge – with many people buying gift items that they know very little or nothing about.  Unfortunately, some retailers are paying top dollar for search engine placement – only to take advantage of unknowing consumers.    I recently came across a deal for a Nikon system from a “top of page” Google search result, which claimed to be offering a huge discount.  However, they were actually selling the kit for about 30% more than most authorized Nikon dealers.  They were also selling a $10 memory card for $89 and were offering an extra high capacity Nikon  battery for $110 (or $169 with a 5 year guarantee) – the same battery that you can find at Service Photo or elsewhere for just $45.

It’s unfortunate that some retailers seem to exist only to take advantage of consumers, but it is certainly true.  Just another reason to buy from a trusted source, which may or may not have the absolute lowest price found in the universe – but who can be trusted to provide a high quality product, at a competitive & fair price, and who will support the product & provide a high level of customer service long after the purchase is made.

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