Hi there! Let‘s Take a Close Look at Camera Retailers B&H Photo and Adorama
Looking to make your next camera or electronics purchase, but not sure whether to go with retailer B&H Photo or Adorama? As a fellow photo enthusiast, I‘ve ordered from both stores and want to share my in-depth knowledge to help you decide!
In this detailed guide, we‘ll explore the key differences between these two major New York retailers in terms of history, product selection, prices, and policies.
Getting to Know B&H and Adorama
B&H Photo Video first opened its doors in 1973, starting as a small film shop in Manhattan. Since then, it has grown into one of the most well-known camera and electronics retailers worldwide.
Fun fact – B&H gets its name from the last initials of its founders, Blimie and Herman Schreiber! Today the company is still family-owned and run.
Adorama was founded in 1979, also in New York City, by a family passionate about photography. In 1982 it moved into its current headquarters. The CEO remains founder Eddie Tepper.
Specialties and Product Selection
B&H and Adorama both offer an absolutely enormous range of gear across categories like:
- Digital and film cameras
- Lenses, flashes, and accessories
- Studio lighting and audio
- Tripods, bags, and camera rigs
- Computers, drones, binoculars
- Home theater, TVs, projectors
- Smart home devices, wearables
- Professional video equipment
You name it, they likely have it!
B&H has a particularly vast collection of pro cinema cameras and video gear. Adorama offers curated bundles catering nicely to beginners.
Prices and Discounts
When it comes to pricing, B&H and Adorama closely match each other on most products. Mid-range DSLR kits, lenses, camcorders, and accessories are typically identical.
I‘ve found Adorama runs more frequent site-wide sales, especially around major holidays. They offer discount codes more often than B&H.
Over 75% of shoppers in a RetailMeNot survey said Adorama‘s coupons save them over $50 on average!
Ordering, Shipping, and Returns
For orders over $49, you‘ll get free shipping from both retailers. Under $49, B&H charges around $7, while Adorama shipping starts at $5.95.
International delivery is available to over 100 countries. B&H offers slightly faster shipping times to certain regions like Canada and the UK.
One advantage of Adorama is local customers can select in-store pickup at their NYC location! B&H doesn‘t currently provide pickup.
B&H and Adorama have similar return windows. Most unopened items can be sent back within 30 days of receiving your order.
However, B&H has a shorter 7 day window for returning some products like recording media, ink, or film. Adorama provides 30 days for all categories.
Here‘s a quick comparison:
|30 days (7 days for some items)
|Yes, for some opened items
|Paid by customer
|Paid by customer
Open Box and Used Gear
Both stores let you buy discounted open box items. This can be a great way to save on gently used cameras and accessories!
B&H‘s used department has one of the largest inventories around. You can find some amazing deals on used gear, clearly labeled "Used."
Adorama also marks down open box and used items. Shopping refurbished is a smart move for your wallet.
Reliability and Reputation
Good news – both B&H and Adorama have exceptional reputations after decades in business.
B&H has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with most customers praising their competitive pricing, smooth delivery, and amazing customer service.
Adorama also maintains an excellent A+ BBB rating, with shoppers raving about their expertise and support.
I‘ve only had fantastic experiences with the customer service teams at both companies. You‘re in very good hands ordering from either retailer!
Handling Your Purchase
Payment and Financing
B&H accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and offers Payboo credit accounts through Bread Finance.
Adorama also takes credit cards and PayPal. You can apply for Adorama credit financing if you need flexible payment options.
What Happens to Returned Items?
Responsible recycling and reuse is so important! Here is how each retailer handles returns:
B&H resells open box items in clearance. Defective products are recycled through an EPA-certified program.
Adorama inspects returns and resells suitable open box gear at a discount. Unsellable items are donated or sustainably recycled.
Neither company resells customer returns as brand new.
Sourcing of Products
B&H sells only products purchased directly from authorized manufacturers and distributors. You won‘t find any third party or unofficial inventory.
Same with Adorama – all gear comes straight from the brand or licensed supplier to ensure authenticity.
Returns of Used Products
A quick warning – avoid returning used stuff when the policy prohibits it! B&H and Adorama specifically state no used returns allowed.
Attempting to return an opened or used item could result in fees or penalties from either store. Be sure to read the fine print first!
Adorama‘s Longstanding Apple Partnership
Fun fact: Adorama has been an authorized Apple reseller for over 25 years!
When you order Apple gear through Adorama, you still get full Apple warranty coverage, plus easy access to service and support.
The Bottom Line
In summary, B&H Photo and Adorama both offer excellent shopping experiences for photographers and tech enthusiasts.
While not the same company, they provide comparable selections, competitive pricing, convenient shipping, and outstanding customer service.
Hope this detailed overview helps you decide where to purchase your next camera, lens, lighting kit, or other creative gear! Let me know if you have any other questions.