Warning: Avoid Abe’s of Maine and Other Bait & Switch Retailers


We often get asked why we never list Abe’s of Maine, or post some of their “great deals”, notably the EOS 6D for $1289. The short answer is, we classify the new Abe’s of Maine as a Bait & Switch store, alongside other notable ones including Ryther Camera, 42nd Street Photo, Fumfie, and DigitalOutlets.

We say “new” Abe’s of Maine because the “old” Abe’s of Maine (“Abe’s Electronics Center, Inc.”) used to be a reliable Canon authorized retailer who would regularly beat B&H or Adorama by $20-$30; you’d just have to endure a short up-sell call (and if you were firm they would still ship your order at the advertised price). Unfortunately this Abe’s of Maine filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2012.

The new Abe’s of Maine (corporate name now “Westpark Electronics, LLC.”) has been nothing but bad news: first, they are no longer a Canon authorized dealer; worse, readers report a bait & switch style up-sell upon placing orders. UPDATE: At the time we wrote the post in May 2014, we had not heard a positive story since July 2013. Recently we’ve heard of a few successfully completed transactions (after the upsell call described below.)

The common bait & switch is you are asked to upgrade your “import body” as it is made out of plastic and at an inferior foreign factory (blatant lie: US and import items are made side-by-side in the same factory and are the same quality), or that your purchase comes with an inferior battery or memory card and an upgrade to a much better version is needed (another lie: the over-priced “upgrade” will be to some generic or no-name brand). If you don’t agree to any of these “upgrades” your order will be delayed indefinitely, claiming a lack of stock; a lengthy process would be needed to get your cancellation processed and your money back.

We strongly recommend staying away from Abe’s of Maine and other stores that are, in our opinion, bait & switch (some of the worst are named above).

You can keep on reading for some tips on how to protect yourself.

  • Where possible, stay with a Canon USA authorized dealer. You can check the list of authorized dealers on Canon’s site.
  • Sites like ResellerRatings can’t be trusted fully anymore. For example, Abe’s has a rating of 8.50 where as B&H has a rating of 8.30. Non-verified reviews are too easily gamed and a company’s reputation can quickly change.
  • Use eBay or Amazon for Extra Buyer Protection. We whole-heartedly recommend a platform like eBay or Amazon when purchasing from unauthorized dealers. You get extra layers of buyer protection (triple for eBay, if you use eBay + PayPal + Credit Card), and the feedback mechanism results in only verified real feedback.
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. We spend a lot of time to find and list the best reputable deals out there. If it’s much lower than the price we’re showing from other unauthorized dealers, there’s probably a very good reason why we’re not listing it. If you’re unsure you can always contact us and we’ll help clarify.

We’re more than surprised that these bait & switch stores have managed to stay in business, for over a decade now. You would think that with all the attention and investigations they’d either have no new customers to scam or the Department of Justice would have shut them down for good. Until this happens, please be careful and please don’t be their next victim — if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.



115 comments on “Warning: Avoid Abe’s of Maine and Other Bait & Switch Retailers

  1. May 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Good to know. I purchased from Abe’s of Maine a few years ago with no issue and hadn’t heard that they were no longer the same company.

    1. Mc
      January 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      I purchased several years ago with no problem I order a tv on Monday night ; tue am I recieved the bait and switch call about inferior lottery panels. I ship my order as is, then the extra freight insurance kicked in. I told them to cancel my order .

    2. David Reilly
      March 13, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Last night I ordered a new OLED TV from them that had a very good price. This morning they called me to tell me the one I ordered would not work in the USA. They then told me for another $400. they could get me fixed up with one that would work fine and if I wanted to pay another $1400. they would sell me the new model that just came out.
      Of course I told them to cancel which it appears they have.
      I would not buy anything from them at any price.

      1. Randy
        August 20, 2018 at 3:32 pm

        They did the exact same thing to me this morning…
        Absolute crooks…

        Please let as many people as possible know!!

        1. Peter
          August 30, 2018 at 1:38 am

          I ordered d750 last night. they emailed me twice this mornig asking me to call them to confirm order. I ignored them, wait and see what happens next.

  2. tcw
    May 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    BBB is another good resource. The new Abe’s has an F rating.

    1. Bernard D
      March 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      That is a lie they actually have a B+ ratings

  3. May 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Oh wow….I used to order from them years ago

  4. LS
    May 25, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you. I was considering making a purchase at 42nd Street (not a canon, but still a good $1K). Not anymore.

    1. Mike
      May 25, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Same kind of deal with those guys!

  5. tcw
    May 25, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Oops, A+ rating with a “warning” about the bankruptcy. Their rating is based on their “old” history. Yelp reviews tell a pretty sad tale.

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      May 25, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Yes. Their recent Yelp reviews are horrible. There are 16 very negative reviews, 1 positive review from a first-time reviewer (hmm…), and 1 semi-positive review from someone who admitted he got bait & switched but got them to ship him a US model for slightly less than Amazon MAP price.

      Not a glowing set of reviews.

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/abes-of-maine-linden

  6. May 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Good to know since I was just looking at Abes a few hours ago.

  7. ER
    May 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    This reminds me of Royal Camera (during 2004-2005 I guess).

  8. May 25, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Abe’s of Maine is not in Maine. Maine tossed them out many years ago.

  9. May 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I recently tried to buy a 24-105mm lens from Abe’s…..they call me and act like they are doing me a favor saying the one i ordered is an “import” and I should pay more…..yeah, i say so what, they are all “imported”. Then they say it’s a PAL lens rather than NTSC, i say that’s ok, these are camera lenses, not video cameras….EF lenses work on everything since 1987. Then they say it’s made in Malaysia, I say whatever, as long it its made by canon, why should i care….then they say they can’t get it for 2-3 more weeks….I say well you said you would ship in 2-3 days….Then I accuse them of bait and switch…they say we don’t do that….they offer me ” a white box for more money”….i tell them I can get it less (thru one of Canon Price Watch’s links)…and told him he’s a scumbag and hang up….then I called him again to waste his time…and harass him

    1. chad
      May 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Jeffrey, Ha! Just saw your old post and loved it! especially the part about calling him back, calling him a scumbag and wasting his time. I had a deal like it with a guy on ebay. Thankfully with ebay you can cancel and get money back. But it cost me a great deal of time and effort and in the end did cost me money. We chatted through email and I did the same as you, called him a scumbag (and many other things) and emailed hiim constantly night and day for a week! Call these people what they are, thieves!! AND they prey on people like us who are trying to get a good deal because we don’t have the money to spend with the bigger named companies. It just BURNS me up when I think about it and read some of the abes of maine reviews of what they do to people. My hats off to you J. Lin. I wished we could all join hands and call these ‘good folk’ SCUMBAGS to their faces!! PS-did you deal with a guy named JEFF??!! His name came up about four times in the reviews? Just wondering if anyone out there knew him or knew his email address? HEHeHe.

      1. chad
        May 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        Oh, sorry, but one of the reasons I was so harsh is because I also recently had much the same experience with another company called valuebasket. I didn’t do my homework and got ‘schooled’ on a camera lens I thought was too good to be true. Yes, and of course, it was too good to be true. Looking jdkdhkdh at valuebasket and abes of maine reviews side by side and they could be the same company. Bad reviews 10 to one to good reviews. And I suspect the good reviews are from employees. BUT!! MY FAULT! I should have done the research like I did with Abe’s of Maine. Would have saved me much in long run. So, if you are looking at purchase with company called valuebasket–do your homework!!

        1. Tim
          May 12, 2016 at 5:47 pm

          I was schooled today as I have been a long time customer purchasing through the federal government. I never had issues. However today I got the bait and switch. I am purchasing a new camera and lens personally. The listing was for an IS USM lens and the invoice only shows it as an IS lens. So during my call-back to verify my purchase Ted informed me that the lens included was the IS STM version. I was challenged to prove that is what I ordered. I should have done a screen shot of my purchase prior to pushing the purchase button because later in the day their website was changed to not indicate a USM lens. Lesson learned!

      2. Kevin Weaver
        March 9, 2017 at 10:33 am

        Chad:
        Couldn’t agree more… if everyone spoke up immediately, and honestly about the service (or lack really) then at least customers collectively would have the satisfaction the someone had “stuck it to them”! But their policies are set at a much higher level than the so-called-people scumbags, that a customer deals with. So unfortunately things will remain as they are until they go out of business, which is inevitable.

  10. May 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    yep, Rythers….I fell for them once…..same story that Jeff gave…telling me it’s so cheap because it’s a grey market camera and wanted me to pay an extra 150 for the american one…I didn’t and still got a Canon USA body.

  11. May 25, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Wow! I purchased a few things (a $3000 Panasonic plasma, canon eos 7d, and a few other things) from either 42nd street photo or Abe’s of Maine around 2-3 years ago and didn’t have any problems. Everything works just fine. But I thought that they still sold cheaper items than their competitors, and that they were reputable. I’m so very thankful that I have now read this information! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. May 25, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Two to three years ago, Abe’s was much more reputable. We even listed them on our site at one point. Recently the reviews have been horrible.

    2. May 26, 2014 at 12:05 am

      That’s just crazy! Once again…thanks for letting us know about these events!!

  12. May 26, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Thank you. – Henry Posner

  13. James Ray
    May 26, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I did business with Abe’s of Maine years ago and found them to be a reputable company and a reliable source for my Canon gear. When I was ready to move to digital, I didn’t hesitate to shop them first. My how they have changed! I ordered my new camera and two lenses from them on-line, and was expecting the same type service as before. About 3 days after placing my first order I received a phone call from “Ted” who convinced me that the lens I had ordered was an inferior “Import white box” model. Reluctantly, I allowed him to switch me to the superior “U.S.” lens for an extra $160.00. The following day, I decided to purchase the 55-300mm lens. This time I received a call from “Roy”, after a couple of days, who proceeded to give me the same “scripted” spill Ted had given me. I accused them of doing “bait & switch” and told him to cancel both my orders. Roy backed off then and “allowed’ me to purchase the lens I had ordered on-line. Frankly, I would have still canceled my order, but I was told my 1st order had already shipped. I will not do business with Abe’s of Maine (now located in New Jersey) ever again.

  14. May 26, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for the current Department of Justice to do anything …

  15. Steven G
    May 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Is 47th Street Photo an authorized Canon dealer? Are they sorta reputable?

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      May 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      47th Street Photo is an authorized Canon dealer. They are reputable.

      (Not to be confused with 42nd Street Photo!)

      1. gmc
        November 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

        Thanks for clarifying that! I used to patronize 47th Street Photo some years back and was saddened to hear negative things … until your note here straightened that out. Bummer for 47th to suffer from the reputation of 42nd ….

  16. May 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for keeping us aware of these possible issues. I will continue coming here for news and updates about Canon gear.

  17. Rex
    May 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I sure appreciate your consumer protection information.

    Thanks

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      May 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      You’re welcome — we will always do what we can to protect the Canon community.

  18. May 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for the heads up. I too purchased from the Old Abe’s a couple
    of times, but that was years ago. Sad to see it go bad!

  19. May 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    This is so sad to hear. I use to use Abes of Maine as a 3rd option for when Adorama’s and B & H’s prices were too high. I’m purchased a lot of gear from them over the years but will now stay away. Makes sense too. The last time I visit their website, it was completely different. (and not in a good way at all).

    Beach Camera Circa early 2000’s use to pull off the same bait and switch tactics but they’ve seem to clean up their act as well. Thank goodness. Good info. I hope everyone who buys gear from Abes is aware of all of this.

    1. April 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Ordered a lens today hope I do not have a problem.

      1. Dt
        May 8, 2015 at 10:21 am

        Omg, I did too. I hope I get it with no problem. I called them a day after I read these reviews, damn I should’ve checked first. But the guy that answered did try to pull the import model question, I just told him I’m ok if it’s imported. Then he just said ok and it will be shipped out in 2 days. That was the end of the call and never heard back…….I’m worried now.

  20. Redeye Dog
    June 25, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Beach Camera/Buydig has recently gone back to their old ways.

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      June 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Please clarify?

  21. September 23, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    This article is very true, just experienced a bait and switch with both Abe’s and 42nd St Photo. Both did follow-up calls to my orders, claiming I had ordered inferior import lenses, and needed to up my paying price to get the “real” versions. Relentless upsell attempts as well, do not deal with these places.

  22. Robert Krell
    September 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Abe’s of Maine, going on years now, has a terrible reputation. I referred someone (from NJ) to them 2-3 years ago and the experience was horrendous. I remembered them from a long time ago when they had a decent reputation and good prices.

    I quickly got them to cancel the order (and their credit card).
    I then had her come into the city and over to B&H (Adorama is my backup). Never again will I allow any friend to buy from Abe’s.

  23. nancy antik
    November 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    i just ordered the canon mark iii from Abes, and after reading your comments I was holding my breath that the camera would be shipped at all. it has been shipped, and I am hoping it is a new camera, not refurbished. how do I tell?

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      November 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      Refurbished bodies have a pin-prick in the serial plate. Refurbished lenses have a red dot on the lens mount flange.

    2. CanonPriceWatch
      November 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      You can also check the shutter count with EOScount or some other tool like that.

      1. nancy antik
        November 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

        how can I check the eos count for shutter count?

        1. CanonPriceWatch
          November 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm
  24. john
    December 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    They told me the import 24-70mm II L f/2.8 has plastic mount. I just fart and lough.

  25. CanonPriceWatch
    December 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    One of my readers mentioned they just told him that the import 5D Mark III he tried to order was made of plastic! Yet another blatant lie.

    🙁

  26. SP
    December 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Last year, when I tried to purchase an EF 24-105mm f/4L for my 7D from Abe’s of Maine (before doing any research on this retailer), they called to inform me that since this was an import lens, it would not be able to properly mount onto my camera, and that I should upgrade (and pay more) for the US version. I literally laughed out loud, gave them a sarcastic, “REALLY?”, and promptly cancelled my order. I am staggered that they would brazenly lie to their customers’ faces like this and pity those who have been duped.

    1. Rob of NY
      December 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      If someone is really uniformed, they may not know any better. Scum (IMHO) like this THRIVE on ignorance. I have “rescued” one friend from their clutches, plus I have passed this blog onto about 20+ friends and asked them to pass it on.

  27. RC
    January 25, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you for the heads up!!! I almost order a Canon 6D from them, since it’s 300 dollars lower than other online retails. You just saved me a bunch of dramas.

  28. Bo
    February 16, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Yes, I bought a TV long time ago 2010. It was very good experience. I bought 6D camera last year, I was hit by the bait and switch as the Canon’s letter said. I was hit by a poor quality battary. That was it. The lose was not too bad. I wish I read this before. Thanks.

  29. Charles Smith
    February 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Chuck
    February 23, 2015

    Years ago I purchased camera equipment for Abes of Main, at that time they were a Canon Dealer….but not now! Yesterday, I ordered a Canon Lens and lens filter….there sales department contacted me by phone and talked me into changing my order from an import lens to The USA lens and from a high end UV filter to a filter kit….well I bit and then after a few hours, I realized that the $129 filter kit may not be a deal. Checking with B&H, the same model number, this Kit was $23. I contacted there customer service department…3 calls to get through…they said my order had shipped, I requested a copy of the shipping carrier’s form showing that my order had shipped, 2 hours later…nothing. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY.

    1. Rob
      February 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      They have become the poster child of bait & switch sleazy business practices. Once Abe of Maine actually had a good reputation, but not in a LONG LONG TIME.

  30. March 4, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I can confirm this is the truth they tried it to me today
    on a Nikon d5300 import that during their march madness sale was 44% off
    I got an email to contact sales 800#
    I called got some strange answering maching, then was called back by another number was told it was “Rob” and he was worried about the details of my order, he explained I had purchased a cheap knockoff import with no warranty
    I was told it had cheap parts, cheap accessories despite their website listing the exact same items as Nikons models including model numbers Sales man told for a paltry 275 dollars more(he was saving me money really!, and he would apply some coupons!) I could purchase a almost non-knockoff camera without a Nikon warranty but it would be honored by abe’s 3rd party reseller,
    in the fine print it says he is not a NikonUSA reseller, and his warranty is not recognized by NikonUSA
    I reported them to consumer affairs
    DO NOT DEAL WITH THESE CROOKS

  31. doug
    March 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    ok – so, all the bate and switch calls and possible delay “threats”…if you take the call, answer no to all their up-sell attempts, and can wait a few extra days/weeks, do they actually deliver? I’m in no rush for my camera, was just looking around and found one of their “good deals” and have zero problem saying no to salesmen….
    thanks!!!

    1. matt
      March 6, 2015 at 11:56 am

      yes a Gray Market Non-refundable, Non-warrantied camera, with a shitty battery and nonnikon charger, whose serial numbers and product codes do not match up with NikonUsa’s or Nikon Globals,

      They do not recognize him as a reseller and does not give NikonUSA warranties, read his fine print regarding the cameras
      Nikon does not honor his warranty, and his warranty is not from Nikon

      Nikon USA will not accept this camera for repairs or resale

      I recommend paying the extra few bucks and getting from Authorized reseller or doing what I am getting a refurbished from Nikon

    2. CanonPriceWatch
      March 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

      In many cases, if you refuse all the up-sells, they will tell you that the item is out-of-stock and never ship you one. Or they’ll just cancel your order. They don’t intend to sell at the advertised price (it’s just bait and way below even their grey market cost.)

  32. Amy
    March 11, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Is get it digital safe for the most part? I just bought a 5d mark iii from them. I wouldn’t know if they were to trying to upsell anything cause the number I use on all stores is basically dummy number(a extra line I don’t currently use)

    1. Phillip
      March 24, 2015 at 9:42 am

      I’d like to hear more about Get it Digital also. I was about to buy from Abes until I read some article then found the same product on ebay from Get it Digital.

  33. March 13, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Unfortunately, I ran across your site after dealing with them. This is a sleazy outfit who sold my wife a camera for one price, then called back several hours later to tell her that if she wanted one that WORKED IN AMERICA, she’d have to pay $100 more. I cancelled. I will never deal with them again.

  34. Bernard D
    March 15, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I’m sorry but I actually had an experience very different from some of the above, I ordered a canon 6d with 24-105, I was offered the USA for more but respectfully declined ( the difference explained to me was the lack of warranty nothing mentioned about plastic cameras??). I was told the camera would take 7-10 days to ship out. After waiting for about 8 days I called my salesperson for an update and received a tracking e-mail. I was pretty nervous as to what I would receive after reading this scary blog post. Sure enough I got the camera in perfect condition. Very happy with Aom and I have to say I will be back and recommend to others, I mean it beats paying Full price at amazon or B&H photo/Adorama for pretty much the same camera. I would have to sum up by saying if your looking to save a few hundred dollars on a new canon camera, Aom would be your best shot at doing so if your willing to endure the short up sell. Oh and to whoever wrote this article ( for some reason anonymous) you need to update a few things, First B&H photo’s ratings on Reselleratings is actually 5.3 not 8.3 I also noticed a post from B&h reputation executive Henry Posner thanking you for the article, I cant help but suspect this article is some sort of promotional ad for authorized retailers such as B&h and Adorama. I understand its safer and in most cases better to buy from authorized resellers, but to demonize those who or not is just wrong especially your comment “We have never heard a positive story since July 2013” there are literally hundreds of positive experiences plastered all over the net. somebody had to stick up for the little guys

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      March 15, 2015 at 6:00 pm
    2. CanonPriceWatch
      March 16, 2015 at 8:13 am

      What exactly did you end up ordering, and what was the final price you paid?

  35. Bernard D
    March 15, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Abe_s_of_Maine
    rating 9 stars
    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.abesofmaine.com
    rating 8.7 stars
    http://www.shopperapproved.com/reviews/abesofmaine.com/
    4.7 out 5 with over 5k positive reviews !!! B&H also uses them

    your just picking on the negative! be fair canon price watch

    Yelp is not the only review site on the web which I’m sure your aware of, Also B&h photo has literally hundreds of negative reviews on their yelp page see link below http://www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/b-and-h-photo-video-pro-audio-new-york-4
    miraculously all of B&H’s negative reviews get sent to spam. They are obviously paying yelp. I know this because I had a similar situation with my yelp business account as well. see below the trouble yelp has gotten in over the extortion accusations against them.
    http://www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/b-and-h-photo-video-pro-audio-new-york-4
    http://gawker.com/5479568/yelp-class-action-complaint

    As a matter of fact I asked Abe’s of Maine about their yelp page and they informed me that they do not monitor them because yelp is asking for over 5k a month by refusing so most of their negative reviews stick to the top leaving all the positive experiences to go to the spam section.

    Be informed people !

  36. Peter ball
    March 22, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Thing is “Bernard”, bait and switch stores employ people at minimum wage to post hundreds of fake reviews on sites like trustedreseller, and they employ people like you (funny how you switched from being an Abe’s customer to an expert in on-line review sites). It’s even part of the shopperapproved business model not to check review authenticity. The fake review pattern is easy to spot: all about 3 lines long from “Mary K” or whoever, including classics such as, “they even rang me to check I hadn’t made a common error – which I had”! Be informed indeed.

  37. Rob K
    March 22, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    The response by Bernard seemed as if it were written by a shill. Reseller ratings is among the least reliable of the rating services. They are too easily “managed”.
    I checked the deleted responses at Yelp and one of them was mine. I gave Abe 1 star (only because zero stars was unavailable). Why Yelp rejected my comment is unknown to me. Most of the rejected ones were 1-2 stars (the so called spam section). So, once again, Bernard at best is exaggerating and at worst lying.

  38. Jimmie
    April 8, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I placed an order on Monday and got the bait and switch call Tuesday morning. I immediately suspected I was about to be taken so I cancelled my order.

    After receiving no confirmation email (their website says your order isn’t cancelled until you do) and getting caught in their phone transfer hell, I contacted the attorney general of NJ and sent a copy of my message to Abe’s. Lo and behold I received a prompt call, confirmation email, and could see the transaction cancelled on PayPal almost immediately.

  39. Andrew
    April 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I had this experience of them trying to do the same thing with a Pentax lens just this past couple weeks. When ordering the site promises 5 to 6 business day delivery and it is 7 business days later and the item just left their warehouse. Hopefully my item is what I ordered but it is almost 2 weeks from my original order placement and I have not yet received my lens.

  40. Sam
    April 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I ordered a “new” import model Canon G7x, and true to form, I was contacted by a salesman with the upsell sales pitch saying the battery and the charger were not as good with the import model compared to the USA model. I declined to get the USA model and they did in fact send me a G7x with a normal canon battery and a normal charger (and they shipped it right away). It looked to me like an open box item, not brand new, but it seems to work fine. They were about $170 cheaper than anybody else in the US. So far I can’t complain.

  41. Jacob Amos
    April 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I just ordered the Canon 24-105 L lens last Friday. Got the call on Monday but denied the upgrade and said I need the cheaper one and told him it’s for family photos and that I’m not looking for professional equipment. Got the shipping confirmation this morning . I’ll post an update when it arrives

  42. andrew
    April 10, 2015 at 10:29 am

    You scared me off Abes of Maine even though I have ordered from them in the past and been satisfied…so I ordered my Nikon D810 from 42nd Street Photo whom I have also had good experience with in the past…they called and had some bullshit story about a non english language camera and i told them just refund me its not a problem after the guy wasted 10 minutes of my time trying to “upgrade” me I was informed the order cancellation department decided to upgrade my order at no charge and the camera was shipped .. End of the story I’m getting the camera for 750.00$ less than Amazon or B and H but you probably cost me another hundred by saying it wasn’t the same old Abes Of Maine

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      April 10, 2015 at 10:36 am

      They are not the same as before (in that before, they were an authorized Canon dealer, and now they are in the same class of store as 42nd Street Photo.)

      I’m not sure how your story constitutes a “good experience”, but, to each their own…

  43. andrew
    April 10, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Dealing with a ten minute attempt to upsell me was worth the 750.00$ savings on the item…If I get the Item at the price they promised.. I consider it a good experience. Of course I take the risks inherent to purchasing a grey market item.

    1. Peter
      April 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Andrew has your item arrived? Is it new and undamaged?

    2. CanonPriceWatch
      April 11, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Many dealers will sell you a grey market D810 for roughly the same discount as what you got, but without the “upsell” shtick.

      For someone like yourself who is careful and can navigate the upsell, yes, you might be able to save a bit by buying from a bait & switch store. But we cannot generally recommend it, the stories of people tricked into paying near-full USA price for an import model with no warranty are unfortunately too common.

  44. April 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I purchased a Canon 5D Mark III (US model) 3 months ago from Abes of Maine and had no issues at all. The camera arrived as promised 2 days after I placed the order and I spoke to a nice sales person who was kind, knowledgeable and he did not try to convince me of anything. I actually negotiated a price for my body only and am super happy with my purchase and the price. If you ask me, I would go back again~

    1. CanonPriceWatch
      April 11, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Thanks for the story, Heidi. How much did you pay, and did it come with a Canon USA warranty card?

  45. Lesley
    April 12, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I am trying to share my experience in every possible website, since I don’t want anyone else having such a bad experience. This is what happened to me:

    I used their website and bought a Cannon camera at, what I thought, was a great price.

    Next day a received a call asking me if I want to upgrade to the US model paying extra $100, since I had selected the Imported model during my purchase.

    First, there was not an option to select US model or Imported model in their website (I even have a screenshot to prove it). I asked what the difference was and the seller said that imported model had a different charger, and the camera didn’t have warranty. I didn’t like what I heard, and asked him to cancel my purchase, to what he said, “it is okay we will send you the US model at no extra charge and you’ll receive warranty too”. I agreed and it was the big mistake ever!!!

    Three days later I received a fake Cannon camera. I have bought several Cannon cameras before and this is completely fake. It starts with the packing, nothing is sealed, it has an awful paper sheet that is supposed to be the manual, the battery is wrapped in a kind of tape that has all “Cannon information” on it. It is a cheap imitation of what a real Cannon Camera is.

    Now, I am trying to contact them and there is no response in their customer service. Please be careful do not take the risk of buying from them. You’ll lose your precious time and money!

  46. Lesley
    April 12, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I finally spoke to a rep. He said they will charge me 15% re-stocking fee. This is just un-acceptable, they sent me a fake product and I have to pay them for that. Stay away from them!

  47. Michel Baumgardt
    April 17, 2015 at 6:51 am

    So if I strictly keep to my decision not to pay for anything extra, they will not ship mu purchase? I’ll talk to them on Abe’s of Maine Twitter profile and ask for confirmation.

    1. Jacob Amos
      April 17, 2015 at 8:06 am

      I got my L lens in the mail….and it’s awesome. Yeah it took two weeks but it’s a legit L lens. Came in a kit box. So they took it out of one of the full frame camera kits. I just refused to upgrade then emailed then after a couple days off not greeting shopping info and they eventually speed my order. I’m happy with saving a couple hundred bucks over an actually Canon dealer.

      1. CanonPriceWatch
        April 17, 2015 at 8:09 am

        How much did you end up paying for it? I assume it is the 24-105L you are talking about?

        1. Jacob Amos
          April 17, 2015 at 9:01 am

          Yeah it was the 24-105 and it was $520. Compared to b&h that wanted like $999 I feel that I got a killer deal. He tried to tell me that this one had a plastic mount and inferior glass, but I told him I’m fine with that and I’m only taking family pics so he gave up on up selling me a us version. But it’s the real deal metal mount and its sharper than my other two lenses(Canon 50mm 1.8 and sigma 70-300’m)

        2. CanonPriceWatch
          April 17, 2015 at 9:02 am

          Okay, thanks. Yes, that lens (when white-box) typically goes for between $560-600 from authorized dealers. So you did save an extra $40 or so vs the usual street price.

    2. CanonPriceWatch
      April 17, 2015 at 8:11 am

      I think it depends on the item, and how aggressively priced it is.

  48. peter ball
    April 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I think the fact that Abe’s of Maine is based in New Jersey says it all! And have you read their return policy? For example: “Within 7 days of confirmed receipt of delivery you may return any unopened or unused product in its original packaging for a refund less 15% less shipping fee incurred when the item was shipped out to you.” 15%? Seriously??

  49. Sam Arnold
    April 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for the heads up. I guess my old transactions were with the old Abe’s of Maine and were all positive. Today, ordering a new lens, I ran into exactly the import vs domestic bait and switch you described. After threatening to cancel the order, I ended up negotiating a price for the US lens that was only marginally above the original discount and still a lot lower than what it’s selling for elsewhere. We’ll see when it arrives. But I won’t do business with them again. B&H, Adorama, etc are all more reputable and reliable…never had any problems with them purchasing, returning, exchanging…

    1. DT
      May 8, 2015 at 10:23 am

      did you ever get your order? please let me know and how long did it take?

  50. llrdmd
    May 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Bait and switch – placed order for camera (import/grey market with great price) – half our later got the Abe’s classic phone call: Abe: “Did you know it’s the Japanese version?” Me: Yes – just ship it at the quoted price. Abe: No can do – you can wait 3 to 4 WEEKS minimum because it will ship from Japan. Me: Ok – cancel the order. Abe: No problem. Summary: Total waste of time.

  51. Tam Tran
    June 24, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Shame on you, Abe’s of Maine ! I ordered (June 11, 2015 ) a Canon Powershot S120. (as advertised on their website for $275.00) After verified my credibility they tried to hook me on different version of S120 (USA) and raised the price. I insisted I do not want ịt, they charged my credit card for more than a week and did not provide tracking number until I called and told them I will cancel order if I do not have tracking # within the next two days. After two days, (June 20) they call me and told me the camera is discontinued. Today (Jun 23, 2015) I saw the same advertisement of their website ($275.00 ). “Brand New Factory Fresh Import Model”
    Bad business practice and now bad reputation. A good name becomes a scam …
    Definitely, watch out when order merchandises with this store.
    Tam Tran

  52. Phil
    January 26, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Have bought from Abe’s of Maine in the past never a problem and now I hear that they do bait and switch this is not good.

  53. Chris
    May 15, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Don’t put yourself through the aggravation of dealing with Abe’s of Maine (especially the liar, Jeff Stevens). They are not who they used to be anymore…total crooks. I’ll never order anything from them again.

  54. bergie
    June 16, 2016 at 4:02 am

    FYI — Abe’s 2.0 isn’t the lone offender, as the initial post noted. Add Factory Official to the list. Fast-talking, bait-n-switch hucksters whose MO is to wait until half an hour before the close of biz, then pepper you with calls and emails about the need to provide verification for your order. Then begins the bullying, diversionary upsell. Total scam. Especially because what they’re really after is to get you to help them bypass your bank’s fraud alert, which will auto-decline charges from repeat-offender sketchy companies upon those operations’ initial request-for-payment submission. If Factory Official or similar evildoers can talk you into adding even the smallest of charges such that you can be directed to call your credit card issuer to OK those charges, that’s a win for the bad guys. Bottom line, if they’re pressing you to buy without giving you time to do further research or check the facts? Putting pressure on at 4:45 p.m. on a work day? Asking you to call your credit card company to OK charges? All good signs that it’s past time to put the brakes on — and say, “No.”

  55. Tom G
    June 20, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    NEVER Purchase from Abe’s of Maine, there is no savings worthy of the hassle you’ll experience…

    FYI – Bait and Switch is alive and well at Abe’s of Maine and avoid at all cost. I went to their site due to a referral from a friend who used them to purchase $7K worth of camera equipment, key words here is “years ago”…I could not verify on line that the lens that came with the camera was a USM lens to I called them and purchased via telephone the Canon EOS 80D w/ the 18-135mm IS USM lens and a 70-300 IS USM lens.

    RULE ONE when purchasing “if the price is to good the deal is no good”…

    The box that the Canon EOS 80D with the 18-135mm lens came in was opened previously. Seemed strange at the time and my subsequent conversation with Ted was they do that to verify that Canon did not leave anything out at the factory. What was pulled out was the “official’ Canon warranty cards, the original 18-135mm lens was substituted for the same lens with a different S/N, and the charger was a Gray Market product not the original one that came in the box..

    Rule Two, if the price is to good “Investigate” to verify they are authorized dealers…Ted told me not to worry Canon knows Abe’s very well, we are not a fly by night outfit…Canon sure does know Abe’s very well and they are not impressed with them at all… and neither am I.

    Bottom line after 7 emails to Canon and a telephone call no one can tell me if the 80D and 18-135mm lens are Gray Market or official products meant to be sold in the USA. Even though all three are registered on line with Canon it doesn’t mean they will be covered by their 1 year warranty. If I have a warranty issue and send it in then and only then will they find out, IF it is Gray Market and if it is it won’t be covered by the Canon USA & Canada warranty.

    NEVER DEAL WITH Abe’s of Maine…I could go on and on about the unethical conversation I just had with Ted but they are not worth the time it would take to keep typing.

  56. June 21, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Same bait and switch for me. Ordered a 70-200 f2.8 canon
    Lens at great price and when I would not buy lens package or warrantee item still has not shipped days after order. Now what. They hold my money but not lens.

    1. Rob
      June 21, 2016 at 7:41 am

      I assume you used a credit card — do a chargeback to your credit card and send them a copy.

  57. July 20, 2016 at 3:03 am

    I just purchased a lens from them a few weeks ago, and had no problem at all with them. I called to verify all the info on their site was accurate and not over sea product,and it came with US warranty. I purchased it over the phone with them instead of on their site because i wanted tomake sure regarding all the concerns i had. And it came with all the accessories in that canon states comes in the box, It was Canon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. They charged for delivery and insurance on shipping, but was still much better price than all the other sites i was looking at.
    So I am glad i didn’t encounter all the issues i’m reading here. He was trying to push extended warranty on it which i wouldn’t take but stated i had 30 days after the purchase to add it on later.

  58. Charles Bailey
    January 24, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Warning: Stay away from SLR Direct! They are a bait and switch scam! Do not give them your credit card information.

  59. Everett Davis
    February 23, 2017 at 10:32 am

    They are still at it. Ordered a canon 5D Mark IV from them. Received a phone call after placing the order online. Steve wanted to upgrade me from body only to the kit that included the charger, spare battery, and SD card. He would upgrade my shipping from free ground to rush. I agreed and gave him my card number. I finally received the box one week later. The invoice clearly showed RUSH SHIPPING. The included packaging information did not show any cost numbers, and my confirmation email did not either. Here is where it gets bad. The extra battery was not the Canon e-6 as sold to me, the SD card was some knock-off brand I had never heard of, and the camera box did not have a warranty card. I immediately called Canon CPS to ask about the unit. It is a gray market international camera. However Canon did say they would honor the warranty if I had a sales receipt with the price on it. Obviously that didn’t happen. I tried to call the customer service department several times and got put on terminal hold each time. I don’t think that phone is staffed. I contacted the customer service department via email so I would have a paper trail requested a return authorization number. No response to date. I had always thought of Abe’s as a reputable dealer with good prices since my college days, but that is obviously no l,longer the case. One friend on FB offered a link explaining what has happened. Abe’s sold some years back and the new owners are obviously not upholding the integrity of the former owners. Too late for me. So for you Buyer Beware!

    1. February 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      If you can view your purchase on Abe’s website and print an invoice from there that show’s the price it will work as a receipt.

  60. ERL
    March 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Here’s my story, albeit it is to be determined. Would love for CPW or others to weigh in on what I should do.

    I was offered a 1DX Mark II USA model (in fact receipt reflects USA model) plus a 5 year no fault accidental insurance from Leaf coverage, which apparently the contract will come in 2 weeks – this for $5,800.00.

    Unfortunately did not do any due diligence, and made the purchase. Because I live in NY, I met one of the sale’s persons colleague’s in Brooklyn and paid cash.

    Immediately noticed the warranty slip was not in the box, and the instruction manuals are different from other boxed 1DX Mark II model boxes I’ve seen…… so I’m fairly certain this is a gray market international model.

    Thank goodness for all the info in this thread as it does not appear to be refurbished or have any issues and my next phone call is to Canon Professional Services to see if they can honor the 1 year warranty. That said, has anyone had experience with using their Leaf services? The main reason why I decided to buy through them was because they offered me the insurance.

    Appreciate anyone’s input.

    Thank you.

  61. March 26, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    I too had a similar situation with AOM. On Saturday I ordered a Canon 7D bundle. On Sunday I got a call asking what kind of battery I wanted, 2 or 5 hour. He kept talking fast and offering other upgrades and suddenly my purchase was increased by about $500. An hour later I got a call from the company I had ordered my lens from.(SLR Direct) Suspiciously similar asking which model I wanted. I stayed firm with original order this time but noted the call came from same area code and the person sounded very similar. I started investigating online and found this. Called AOM and tried to cancel and he said it had already drop shipped and couldn’t be cancelled. I asked for a tracking number and he said it didn’t generate one because it is Sunday!!

    From here I called my credit card and asked them to stop payment. They couldn’t do that until the charge went through.

    Asked my husband to call AOM to tell them we stopped payment and to cancel the order. The guy(Jeff Stevens) was belligerent and threatening and refused to cancel without a 15% restocking fee.
    My husband called SLR and managed to get that order cancelled.

    Just got an email from AOM saying the order had been cancelled. We’ll see if that “dropped shipment with no tracking number because it’s Sunday” arrives at my door.

    What scum bags. But shame on me for not researching before buying!!!

  62. ERL
    March 26, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Just found a way to confirm your camera is imported or US despite them removing the warranty card. On the battery mine came with it says “EUROPE ONLY”.

    1. Kevin Weaver
      March 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Erl:

      I don’t think that a battery alone tells enough of a story to positively ID a grey market camera because if I were a seller I could put any battery I have laying around into the kit.

  63. Donald Barker
    July 13, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Not a canon purchase, but this reflects 42 Streets Customer Service- Bait and Switch BS!

    If you are in the market for a Nikon D500 Camera, DO NOT Purchase it from 42nd Street Photo in New York. They have been advertising an industry low price of $1599.00 for the body only since at least the 12th of June. I thought I actually ordered the camera while speaking with the sales rep “Adam” on the 15th of June. The conversation began pleasantly enough, but Adam grew more and more surly and rude as I continued to persist on only needing the camera body and not all of the additional warranties, memory cards, and batteries, etc. that he was PUSHING over the phone. He advised me at the advertised price that no battery or warranty would be included with the purchase. I then asked if it was a refurbished camera, he adamantly reinforced that his store sold no refurbs and that it was brand new. We finally ended the conversation with the agreement to purchase the camera, the body only, at the price advertised, much to “Adams” frustration. I asked when it would ship, he said all purchases usually ship within 24 hours. I allowed a week for delivery and no camera or email communication confirming the order, ever arrived. On Friday the 23rd, I attempted at 6:00PM eastern, a follow up phone call on the stores 877 number from their website. I called to inquire on the camera, but was advised the department closes early on Friday, contrary to the posted hours on the store website. I then posted an inquiry on the store website and sent an email to “Adam”. End of story, it is now 6:53PM Monday, the 26th. I had no contact or return email today at work, for whom the camera is being purchased. I called the number I originally spoke with “Adam” from the 15th at 6:30PM. I was transferred to “Adam” and he informed me that he had seen the Friday email and that the “camera without a warranty” was on order and would arrive in 3-5 weeks, since we refused to purchase the USA Nikon model for $229.00 more. This was the FIRST time “Adam” used the term “USA” Model. Without extending this warning in print any longer, I have purchased cameras and camera equipment for Police Agency use since 1993 and am fully aware of the terminology grey market vs USA, etc. 24 Years! I have trained thousands of students in that time span on photography and recommended businesses to individuals and government agencies making camera equipment purchases. This place needs to close its doors. The rude dishonesty and poor communication required the cancellation of my purchase. Very, Very, Sad! Their name WILL be brought up as often as a “sham” business to stay away from, as often as I bring up the other companies I have received courteous, professional, and honest service from.

  64. August 2, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I just cancelled my 2800.00 order with Abes. Same problem the rest of you had. They sent an email asking me to call to confirm.
    I called and the rep goes straight to the import vs US model hustle and that I had clicked on the import model. There is no choices for import vs USA version during the ordering process.

    He then said the 5 hour battery will cost more than the 2 hour battery. Never heard of a 2 hour battery till today.

    I told him to cancel my order and he said there will be a cancellation fee but they hadn’t charged my card yet so the cancellation fee isn’t going to fly with my credit card company. I went to B&H to make my purchase. No hustle at B&H

    1. Dave Hogan
      January 8, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Same type of deal. I ordered an EOS 6D Mark II Camera Body on-line, which was being offered at a very good price. Ted called and said he would sell me a 5 Hour Battery, a Quick Charger, and a basic one year warranty for an additional $230. When he called, I wasn’t on-line so I couldn’t check the prices. But, I didn’t think too much about it since I was probably paying the typically high Canon accessory prices for what I thought was a premium battery and charger.

      Four days later, the package arrived. The camera was exactly as advertised but the battery and the charger were the standard LP-E6N and LC-E6; nothing premium or special. I checked the prices at the Canon Store and found out that the LP-E6N was $80 and the LC-E6 was $64, totaling $144.

      I called Ted and told him that I was charged $230 for $144 worth of merchandise. He was quite rude. He said that he told me that I was ordering the USA Retail Kit Model and that I should be happy that I had free shipping and didn’t have to pay New Jersey Sales Tax. He was basically telling me that I got a pretty good deal and that I should just shut up.

      It could have been worse. I was only screwed out of $86 and I did get a decent camera at a good price. But, since they do business in such an underhanded and unethical manner, are rude, and treat their customers like shit, I’ll never go back.

  65. SK
    November 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I just had the most horrible experience with these guys. Please DO NOT buy any product from Abes’ of Maine. I’d purchased several products from them up until a few years ago snd had a good experience. However, I see that they are not the same anymore. They sold me a product (an Epson projector) for a certain price and wanted me to call back to confirm the purchase. After several attempts, I was able to reach them. The rep was rude, told me that the product I bought was non-US warranty. The website does not say anything about warranty being different – it’s the same product. The guy went ahead and cancelled my order. I called back because their website still didn’t display any difference in the product. The guy was even more rude and started asking if I understood English. He said the product was oversold and the website would say US warranty for US version. I let him know that it is deceptive advertising but he got more belligerent and threatened to recall a TV that I also bought from them, which was just shipped. Clearly these guys don’t deserve to exist. Avoid them at any cost.

    1. Richard Lee
      December 21, 2017 at 4:16 am

      This place used to be good 10 years ago but now it seems the are just SCAMMERS. I compared prices and did research for a month before buying a 4k tv and went to their site multiple times because I bought there before. After 30 days or so I decided to go all in and buy a top of the line 4k. I ordered it Friday night and waited for a shipping confirmation. 2 days later I got an email stating call Jeff to confirm order so I called immediately. Well Jeff the SCAMMER told me my TV was an oversized box and I needed to pay $288 extra for insurance???? There goes their FREE SHIPPING claim that they use to draw you to their site. I told him absolutely not paying it. That didn’t even seem to phase him??? He just moved on to tell me the model I bought was discontinued and he could sell me the latest model for the same price. What this FOOL didn’t know was I did my research and the model he was going to try and give me was GARBAGE and I could get it $500 cheaper elsewhere!!! THANKS BUT NO THANKS CLOWN. So I cancelled my order and called my credit card company immediately and warned them of these FRAUDS. My recommendation is STAY AWAY FROM THESE SCAMMERS!!!!!

  66. Smarter Than Abe
    October 25, 2018 at 10:51 am

    On 10/22/2018, I ordered a Canon 6D body which was the best price for a new body at $869. Received email to call to confirm order. Jeff asks me if I want a 2-hour or 5-hour battery, tell him I want the one that comes with the camera. States no battery included. They quoted me over $1,200 for US version and trying to upsell me a battery. Told him I wanted a new camera for the advertised price of $869. Tells me that is the International model with no warranty. Not stated anywhere on the website. Went back and reviewed item, battery is stated as included and no mention of this being an international model with zero Canon warranty. Complete SCAM and Ripoff! I will never do business with Abe’s of Maine! Should be called, Abe’s of New Jersey as this is where they are located. Jeff ** was a real used car salesman. No empathy when I started to question their advertising.

    Reported to NJ AG’s office. Recieved several calls days later. Told them multiple times to stop. Next time contacting NJ state Police.

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