If you're anything like me, when it's time to buy something you want at the best possible price. Most start on the Internet and start googling the product name and model number and start drilling down into different sites that are offering the product to find out where the catches are especially on those sites offering the product you're looking for at a significantly lower price.

I am a semi-pro-photographer and was in the market to buy a Nikon D700 to complement my Nikon D300 that I have liked very much. The Nikon D700 is sold on a multitude of websites in the big hitters like B&H photo video, Adorama camera, and the like all offer this camera at its list price last an instant $300 rebate essentially selling the camera for $2700. So when you happen upon a website that offers a product at $2079 one wonders if it's legitimate and what the catch is. Many of the sites I researched and even tried to order from that offered a similar price were lowlife, bait and switch, foreign national merchants that exclude the included accessories where they then tried to sell you a $50 battery for $280. When I ordered a body from one site where it stated it was in stock at a great price it became out of stock when I refused to buy exorbitantly priced extended warranty or package of crap nobody wants.

I happened upon the legitimate online merchant who was selling my product at an unbelievable price quite legitimately. The first thing I do is pick up the phone and call the sales department to gauge their legitimacy. The site in question is softstream.biz. It's for real. When I spoke to one of the company representatives I asked him the obvious question: "how are you selling this product for so much less than others? What's the catch?" The response was simple: "I am simply making less of a profit margin."

While I had him on the phone I substantiated that the product I was seeking was in fact a genuine Nikon USA product with all of its components and accessories intact and came with a full warranty. He assured me that the product was not refurbished or gray goods. (Gray goods in the business are products intended and produced for other countries that are diverged from their intended delivery location in those countries and brought in illegally to the United States. These products, although manufactured by Nikon, have no warranty in this country.)

I took my research further and visited several sites were other online customers rate their experience with the various merchants that sell online. When I read that seven people had stated that this purchase was for real and in fact ship the product that they advertised at the price they advertised I felt confident to try to purchase my camera here.

If you're in a hurry to receive the product, move on to another site. I am happy to wait a little longer to receive the product I want for a substantial discount so this was not a problem for me. I placed my order, my credit card link through PayPal was debited, and in about a week the product was shipped. The merchant was extremely good at communicating with me in answering my questions any time I asked via e-mail. When I got the notification that my order was processed I e-mailed the individual who I spoke to on the phone and asked if I could upgrade my shipping from ground to overnight as I was quite anxious to get my hands on my new baby. The reply was fantastic in that he told me he upgraded my shipping at no additional cost to standard overnight. When I received the shipping e-mail he told me that he included an 8 GB CompactFlash card at no extra cost as a courtesy.

All this blew me away. He was a merchant that I found online who gave me a great price, great customer service, and kept his word. This merchant sold me my camera for $600 less than anywhere else I could find and threw in the extras to boot.

I have my new Nikon D700 in hand and am delighted. It's the best camera I have ever owned or worked with. It's FX CMOS image sensor in lowlight performance is a mind blowing. The idea of using a flash or tripod is now a distant memory. I highly recommend this camera to any serious photographer, like me, who was wishing for Nikon to drop the price of their flagship D3 or D3X Pro cameras. The 700 has the majority of what is offered in the D3 and 3X models for third the price. It's lighter as well.

In short, I am enthusiastically endorsing softstream.biz who offers other products besides cameras for those looking for a serious and legitimate discount online merchant for the products that they offer. In cameras they offer a good selection of both Canon and Nikon products, a short selection of flatscreen TVs from Sony, and the like. Their selection is not deep, but if they have which are looking for, rest assured they will beat the pants off any other merchants prices you'll find.