A Rebate Tale



The Box (Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm f1.8)


I’m sitting in my photography office.  I’m staring at a box which contains some brand spanking new photo gear. But I can’t open it. It sits on my floor almost taunting me.

 “Open me” it seems to taunt me, lounging provocatively in front of my couch. “You know you want me”, it seems to say, its sleek, seductive, cardboard flanks emblazoned with phrases such as: “A new standard in vivid uniform glossy prints”, or “dramatically improved facial tones”.

 But, I can’t open, it no matter how tempting it seems. I have to wait. Wait until the big brown truck stops once again at my door with another package.  

It will be my brand new Nikon D7000.

 I’m in an unusual and slightly frustrating situation. I’ve been following the reviews of this new Nikon, a new mid level DSLR with excellent specs that even rival more pro level offerings from Nikon. The D7000 is smaller than other most other Nikons yet of metal construction and yet fully weather-sealed. It has 16 Mp of resolution, and surprisingly good low light capability for a high resolution DX (smaller) sized sensor. In other words, it is an ideal photographic tool for use while hiking or skiing. It so far well reviewed.

And, because of all of this, it’s very hard to obtain one.

I was going to hold out while demand died down (my usual strategy in these situations), until I became aware of a deal offered by Epson, maker of my favored line of photo printers. Turns out that who with the purchase of certain new printers along with new DSLR, Epson will rebate to the buyer, $450 dollars.

Now I have two photo printers in my studio, an Epson Stylus Photo 3800, an A2 sized (17”inch carriage)  pro level printer, and smaller, 13” carriage, Epson R 1800. The latter, is very versatile, and particularly adept at printing on gloss paper. Both printers use pigmented archival inks and suitable for printing gallery prints.

  The Epson R 1900, the replacement model for my smaller printer is one of the printers feature in the rebate. It is said to be even better, particularly suited to printing skin tones.  It sells for around $500

So buy a camera, get a excellent photo printer for fifty bucks?  I wasn’t really in desperate for a new printer, as the R1800 works well, but for the money, it’s a no brainer. I put my order in through B+H Photo in NYC a week ago. I did call them to confirm that the rebate would not be affected by the availability of the camera. They confirmed it.

In usual B+H style, a large a box arrives in my office the next day. It’s the printer of course. The Nikon is backordered, delivery date unclear.

So I print up the rebate coupon from the Epson website. The purchase deadline for the rebate is December 31, which I’ve already met. There are two other wrinkles:

One, the other deadline is thirty days from the date of the order. Not a big deal.

The other though is a problem. I need a serial number, and UPC code from the camera. The one that’s really hard to get.

Uh oh, B+H was wrong. I should have called Epson.

So now I sit with a large box in my studio. I can’t open it as it wouldn’t be as returnable (no reason to jerk the retailer around). If it gets to 28 days or so without receiving the camera, I’ll have to wrap it up and send it back (or pay $500 for a printer I don’t need).

I tell this tale not to elicit your sympathy (though I’ll take it if offered). I tell it to remind the dear reader, and fellow buyer of electronic and photo gear, to make sure you know the actual terms of rebates offered, especially when the money back offer is the difference between buy, and no buy decision.

So, for now, I wait.


 Today the UPS truck delivered the extra battery for the D 7000, but still no camera itself.

 They’re obviously teasing me.

About henrysmithscottage

Henry F.Smith Jr. has been involved in photography for 35 years. He has become well known as a chronicler of the Eastern US landscapes , though his portfolio includes, portrait, event, and "street photography". His work has been displayed in multiple galleries throughout the northeastern US, and is available for sale for use in public and commercial spaces. His book "Pennsylvania Seasons" is available through major booksellers. He is also a writer and editorialist whose work has appeared in a variety of "daily's" in Pennsylvania. "Dr. Smith" is also a Pulmonary and Sleep physician who practices in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He is happily married, with two wonderful children. Inquiries to purchase prints, and for photographic services can be made through: Smithcottage@msn.com
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13 Responses to A Rebate Tale

  1. Charles Tsiang says:

    I read the terms of the rebate and understood that the items have to appear on the SAME INVOICE. I decided to NOT buy the D300s from B&H because they were out of stock on the R1900 and didn’t want to get into a bind because one of the items would be back-ordered. Sort of a flip on the situation you are facing. Consequently I ordered the R1900 and D300s from Adorama … and both items shipped the next day …. but Adorama marked the R1900 on my D300s invoice as backordered and shipped the R1900 under a separate invoice ( but same order number) the same day. Hope your situation resolves in your favor.


  2. Helen Oster says:

    Try contacting Henry Posner at B&H (henryp@bhphoto.com). If anyone can help you, he can.

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador



  3. Henry Posner says:

    Dr Smith:
    Thank you for calling me. I will do everything I can to see to it this is resolved as quickly as possible and that you remain entirely eligible for the Epson rebate.

    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video


  4. Jason Norman says:

    How often do you see one great store recommending the abilities of one of the other great stores? Henry / Helen – good for you – the rest of the photography world would do well to emulate.


  5. Anon says:

    I ran into the very same situation, I received my r1900 printer and no d7000 (on backorder). I emailed the company I put the order through and they basically said they couldn’t help me and that the camera gets here when it gets here.

    I didn’t know what to do about the situation and only had purchased the printer because of the rebate. I really didn’t need it either, but thought for 50$ I might as well! This is where I decided I might as well go for it and try something maybe not completely legit. I found a local shop with the d7000, purchased it and then canceled the online order for the camera. As for the invoice I altered the original and added the d7000 that I bought locally and sent in all of my info.

    I’m not sure if this will work or not.. if not then I’m out $450, but I thought I might as well give it a try. I know what I did was wrong and probably should have just sent the printer back, but it seemed like a chance I was willing to take at the time.


  6. Pingback: A Rebate Tale(epilogue) | Henry Smith's Cottage

  7. Annie says:

    I’m going to buy from B&H a DSLR Sony A55 and Epson Stylus Photo R1900 Printer. The rebate from Epson is $400. Could you please tell me what did you send to Epson for the rebate? They require original UPC code from both camera and printer and serial numbers. I called Epson to ask specifically for the serial labels. They assured me I could send all copies, not necessary to be originals. Still, I’d like to hear from someone who’s done that already, did you ship copies of serial numbers, originals, or just wrote them on the rebate form? Did you ship original UPC codes or copies? Any help will be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance! 🙂


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