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Digital camera deals: Seven top sites for all your budget travels

Your tickets: purchased. Hotels: booked. Rental car: reserved. Plus, your boss gave the green light for all the time off you need to make this the perfect vacation. AHhhhh.  But wait, how will you record your glorious adventures to remember for years to come?  And your parents, your friends, and your great aunt Ethel will definitely not be happy without slideshows of photos from your trip.

Unsure where to look for a digital camera that fits into your razor-thin budget? Here are seven top sites for your best digital camera deals.

Ebay: This site is just one big ol' auction. Bid here for really low prices on digital cameras of all makes, models, colors, and prices. Proceed with an ounce of caution and do your research, though – check seller’s track record (steer clear of sites with less than 100 percent positive feedback), and make sure your purchase comes with a U.S. warranty (some cameras are priced ridiculously low because they come with Canadian, Mexican, or European warranties which are not accepted in the US.)

B&H Photo: With their flagship store in New York City, this company is world-famous for dependability, creativity, rock-solid professionalism, and having access to pretty much any camera and piece of camera equipment you could ever possibly imagine. Check out their Open Box Specials for items in perfect working condition with possible slight cosmetic imperfections. In most instances, each open box special includes a manufacturer’s warranty, unless specifically stated otherwise in the purchase info – in which case B&H will warrant your item for the same length of time as the manufacturer. If you want to purchase from the professionals, B&H is the place to look.

Craigslist: Worldwide resale royalty is this site’s claim to fame. If you’ve done your homework and know exactly what you’re looking for, this place could be perfect for your next digital camera purchase. Make sure the seller sends you detailed photos of the actual item – not stock photos. Craigslist is great, as well, because you can most likely find what you’re looking for from someone in or near your hometown, which allows you to see the item in-person before deciding to purchase. When arranging to see the item, try to meet the seller at a public location such as a coffee shop or library, just to keep things on the up-and-up.

Overstock: A cornucopia of killer deals, this virtual outlet mall offers brand name products at deeply discounted prices (sometimes up to 80 percent!). With a wide inventory to choose from and a solid return policy , this site a sure-fire hit for all your basic point-and-shoot digital needs.

Discount Camera:  From the well-known, San Francisco-based camera store (voted “best camera shop in the Bay Area of  2008” by a well-known San Francisco publication), Discount Camera’s site offers extremely low prices on both high and lower-end digital cameras. Click a brand name link on the right side of the main page and you’ll find an entire list of all the cameras they offer for that brand. The site also has a clearly organized, extensive list of clearance items and a used section for both lower and high-end cameras (everything from Sony point-and-shoots to Hasselblad large formats). One caveat, however – the site clearly states in a pop-up box that the website is operated independently from the retail store, and prices are strictly for mail order items only (ie., you northern Californians can’t drop into the shop and expect the exact same pricing as their website). All-in-all, a good bet for a great deal.

Zipzoomfly: This site rules when it comes to deals on all sorts of cameras and accessories – from Canon’s Elph to its EOS 50D.  The site breaks down deals by subcategory, price, and manufacturer. Each price is listed in red to the right of the camera displayed. Click on each camera for more details on your camera, including an active product tour. The site is easy to navigate and the deals are wicked. Since its inception in 1999, the multi-award-winning site has won countless accolades and high ratings from Intel, Alexa, Bizrate, and more. As well, the site is secured by CNET, so you can feel confident knowing your purchase info is protected.

Dealnews: Okay – so if none of the other sites have yet to pique your fancy, try this one. Loaded with deals (hence the site’s name, of course!), this site offers heaps of happiness for discount digital camera seekers. The site scours the Web from more than 2,000 online retailers, then highlights the best 100+ deals daily. Additionally (as seen in their about section) they ban online retailers who have a history of poor customer service, and promise to not list higher prices from sites just because they’re advertisers on Dealnews. Start at the heart of your deal search, and click on Editor’s Choice – while the inventory changes daily, name-brand digital cameras and accessories often appear – sometimes for just $50 with free shipping! Type “digital cameras” into the search bar, and start scanning for your new camera (often with free shipping). Want to see more, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “digital cameras” under Find More Deals, and compare lowest prices and features of the most popular cameras right now. To save even more moolah – and not just on cameras - click on Dealcoupon for additional savings from certain retailers (note: even if you don’t find a camera deal on the coupon site, it’s still a gem to bookmark for future shopping or discount dining needs).

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