Posted by Glyn Wade

Now I’m sure you have a huge list of photography equipment on your wishlist for Christmas and you’re busy explaining to your other halves/relations etc just why you need to extend your tubes or be able to bump up your ISO but where do we steer these kindly souls to get these fantastic presents for us? I have to admit that, apart from Lehman’s on London Road, Stoke I have little knowledge of camera shops around Stoke-on-Trent. And Lehman’s is of course a repair shop rather than a ‘presents’ shop so let’s do a bit of Googling and see what we come up with.

resizedimage200298-1433357-2Now Jessops has gone from the Potteries Shopping Centre we have 1st Cameras in The Ironmarket in Newcasle-under-Lyme, PJ Cameras in Porthill who do repairs and the big shops Currys, Tesco, Argos, PC World and Maplin. But really there’s only one specialist seller there.

Secondhand bargains can be had at resellers such as CEX and Cash Converters.

But, let’s be honest, most people turn to the internet for the best prices with Jessops a good place to start even if you just use it for research. It might have had some bad press recently but it would be remiss to ignore Amazon where you can check reviews both on the products and the sellers. You can also put things into a wishlist so you can make sure people are buying you the right thing….imagine getting a Canon instead of a Nikon…unthinkable!

I’ve found the same items a lot cheaper on Ebay although you may have to wait a while for delivery from China for example. Check the seller’s feedback as items may be not from the stated manufacturer but I haven’t had any problems to be honest and have saved up to £100 on a lens for example. A lesser known auction site is Ebid where you may get even more of a bargain as there are less people bidding.

Another good place is 7dayshop which has a good range with good pricing. A great site for secondhand cameras and accessories is Wex. Yet another site I found is Park Cameras but I don’t know anything about them. There’s always Gumtree of course which you can narrow down to local offers or maybe even Craigslist although they don’t appear to have a Stoke-on-Trent section yet….honestly!

resizedimage300225-650642-99734444I think the key is to scour the sites available to find the best price. Comparison sites like Pricerunner and Kelkoo can be helpful up to a point but they won’t include all the sites I’ve mentioned. You’ll have to do some work yourselves (or whoever is buying the present of course!) but if you’re going to save yourself some cash it will be worth it.

As an additional tip, if you’re wanting a camera and can’t decide which to buy, try using this excellent site to compare models alongside each other: Snapsort.

If you have any other tips on where to buy camera and photography equipment either around Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire or the internet please do let me know. I realise I haven’t branched out to Stafford, Crewe, Alsager etc so if you have information on bargains there do please let me know and I’ll include them at a later date.

So good luck in getting what you want and if you get vouchers or money….the sales will start soon if they haven’t already! A very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year to all of you.

resizedimage300199-1435095-2Addendum: John A has bought from Park Cameras and recommends them. He also says that if you prefer to browse equipment before you buy he recommends some stores a bit further afield; firstly

Their nearest store is in Hagley Road, Birmingham. A bit further afield in Dursley, Gloucester is:

A day out for that one methinks! Both also sell online of course.