FAQs

Castle Cameras
Do you have accurate stock figures?

We try our best! Our in-store sales have been processed through the web-site since April 2013 so it should be an easy job to know what stock we have at any given time. Sadly, life is not that simple and we have lots of grey areas. Stock may be in transit between our shops, it may be put-by for a customer or have been taken to replace a missing or faulty item without being correctly recorded. Stock that has recently arrived and been checked in may not have found its way to its place in the shop. Items that have not sold for a long time can be missed at audit and taken off the stock list by mistake or shown incorrectly to make us believe that we have something that we don't. As we operate from two shops with open doors from 9 to 5, a few things probably walk out on their own.

We have no wish at all to invite orders which we cannot fulfill and we go to great lengths to keep our listing as accurate and up-to-date as is possible. The straightforward transactions are updated weekly and we have a fairly comprehensive system to ensure that the collect stock indication is attached to every item. Many items show 'one only' or 'two only' These are also calculated weekly and amended individually as soon as we are aware of any change.

Recent months have seen a lot of work done in all these areas and we are now looking at ways to move forward so that we can provide ever more accurate information.

Are your in-store prices the same as the web-site?

Absolutely, yes.

Most of our customers have found us through the internet as part of their pre-purchase research and arrive well-informed and with a good idea of what they want. This enables us to offer very competitive prices while still enabling us to spend enough time with each transaction to ensure that you choose a suitable product and sometimes discover (as much to our surprise as to yours) that you really wanted to spend much more than you first thought!

We work hard to offer the same level of customer service whether you're in either store or shopping on-line. Our on-line orders are processed at our Bournemouth shop where it's the same expert staff picking up the phones, sorting out your queries and wrapping your parcels.

Where can I buy a camera?

At Castle Cameras of course - silly!

Where are your stores?

Bournemouth - in Winton - nestled between Waitrose, Halifax and LLoyds.

Salisbury - just off the Market Square - opposite the old bus station.

How do I find your clearance items

Since the start of June 2016, we have been selecting one sixth or our stock each week, picking out slow-moving items and offering them at a discount.

The collapse in the pound after the referendum has resulted in all imported products, effectively everything we sell, costing more. It has become very confusing some weeks to decide whether to put some items up or reduce them.

You can find all our offers and promotions here

Do you match prices?

No, not on demand.

We check almost two thousand items almost every day to ensure that we stay competitive.

We feel that our time is better spent checking our prices systematically and making sure that all of the suppliers' offers and cashbacks are shown against the relevant products on our web site.

We are proud of our competitive pricing and don't like either to be beaten or told that our prices are rubbish. Consequently, we work very hard to make sure that we offer the greatest value for money that we can.

Our prices are generally as cheap as we can afford to be and still open the door every morning, answer the phone when it rings and generally offer the level of service that our customers have come to expect over the last 40 years.

We are proud of the service we provide and our pricing reflects this. Please get in contact to check us out or take a look at some of the customer testimonials we have received.

All our stock is sourced from UK distributors and we have worked extremely hard over the years to build relationships with our suppliers on whom we depend to be able to pass on a high level of support for all our products. We do not respond well to demands either for a discount 'because we make loadsa money' or to match a Hong Kong supplier. We do not deal in 'Grey' imported stock from Europe or further afield and do not compare our prices against those who choose to avoid the back-up service of the official importer.

However, the odd one or two will always slip through so, if you spot a shift in the marketplace before we do (maybe on a Thursday or Friday before we do our weekly update), please point it out to us first before asking for a demonstration or getting into the nitty-gritty of product details. We will set the wheels in motion to adjust our price alongside other key dealers such as Park Cameras, London Camera Exchange, Wilkinsons and WEX who, like us, have been around the block a few times and are happy to share their expertise either in person or on the telephone.

How can I browse your used stock?

Our used stock goes into the window as soon as we have cleaned and checked it.

There is a full list on the web site which is updated weekly. To check it out, visit our Used Equipment Department.

Ex Demonstration
What is a Re-Box Camera?

Occasionally we receive an allocation of re-furbished cameras.

These are generally cameras that have been sold by, and subsequently returned to, mass retailers such as Sainsburys, Asda and Argos. Many appear to be mail order returns where it seems that people will order several and choose which one to keep from the comfort of their own home before returning the remainder.

All of these are returned to the manufacturer who check them and then re-box them with new accessories. They come with a twelve month manufacturer's guarantee. When we take them into stock, they are all double checked by us and clearly labelled as re-boxed before we put them on sale.

Stocks are limited to what we can obtain from the supplier and the web site is updated almost daily to ensure that the stock information is accurate and we do not list any cameras that are sold out.

When we receive an on-line order, the camera is checked for a third time before we despatch it to ensure that, apart from the packaging, you will not be able to distinguish it from a brand new camera.

Finance
How does Finance work?

Some but not all products are eligible for Finance. These products display a green finance box at the top of the product discription page. 10% is the minimum deposit for finance but it is possible to pay more upfront to make the monthly payments less. You can either apply for finance yourself at the checkout or we can do it with you in-store.

On-line orders paid via Finance will only be delivered to the address authorised on the Finance agreement.  Where courier is selected as a delivery option please be aware you will not receive any delivery notification from the courier company and there will be no alternative delivery options.

Grey Imports
What is a Grey Import?

A Grey Import is an item that has by-passed the official importer.

It will not have a UK warranty card, and the purchase will not entitle you to any of the importers added value benefits such as extended warranties or cashbacks. Conversely, it will introduce you to a world of very short answers in response to any problems that you might experience.

Manufacturers, or their distributors in another part of the world - bless them, frequently find themselves at a price advantage to this country - or just short of cash - and decide to send a container load of stock this way. Although this is not criminal, in the same way as buying duty-free cigarettes on the black market, it does normally infringe trademarks and other civil legalities. Somewhere between black and white it is labelled grey.

The official importer will have gone to a lot of time and trouble (perhaps sponsoring your favourite football team along the way) to create a demand for the product and then further time and trouble carrying out warranty repairs and generally offering a good back-up service. Some of them go so far as to occasionally buy us pint to thank us for all the hard work that we do to inspire you to buy a new lens rather than a pair of shoes. Naturally, to cut to the chase, they do get a little upset when they find someone queering their pitch.

It is crucial to our business that we are able to offer you the highest possible level of support and we rely very heavily on our suppliers to back us up. It keeps us very busy and, consequently, we turn down any offers - however tempting - to get involved in the complications that are bound to result in buying stock elsewhere.

This may not be the case if you buy outside the EEC, at a street-market or car-boot, through Ebay, or any other 'internet only' supplier. Or, in fact, from anybody else unless they are reputable and offer you the same promise as ourselves.

We have experienced sending a customer's camera in for repair and having it impounded as the serial number was one that was reported as stolen. This is a letter distributed by Canon that they originally sent in response to a warranty claim.

 

Dear Mr. xxxxxx,

I refer to your email regarding your EOS 7D with a purported serial number of 0330312968.

The Intellectual Property team have now inspected the images of your camera and I am very sorry to inform you that the external serial number displayed on your camera is not a genuine Canon serial number but is a fake/counterfeit serial number. Please note this does NOT mean that the camera itself is counterfeit, just that the serial number is counterfeit.

Fake serial numbers conceal the source of the product. This is usually done in an attempt to conceal the fact that the product is a “parallel” or “grey market” product. Grey market products are products which were put on the market outside of Europe and not intended for the European market. The sale of grey market goods in the UK infringes Canon's trade mark rights and risks a number of other legal implications including Customs and tax offences, improper localisation for the UK market (including for example, low grade or unsafe third party UK power cords, no valid UK/European manufacturer’s one year warranty, and ineligibility for European promotions) and breach of European Environmental and Safety requirements.

Our Anti-Counterfeit Team will investigate the matter and consider all necessary legal action against the seller. We suggest that you seek a refund from your seller and enlist the help of Trading Standards in doing so as necessary.

Yours sincerely,

 

This quote from the internet highlights the frustration that can result from buying a 'bargain'.

"Totally unimpressed receiving Spanish/Portuguese instructions, and onscreen instructions in the same language. Couldn't work out how to change the language, therefore couldn't use the camera. Contacted Amazon to be told because it was fulfilled by them they couldn't do anything they suggested I return item or print the extensive instructions off myself. neither of these solutions were acceptable."

International Customers
Do you accept international orders?

International orders will be assessed individually. Postage amounts are subject to change.  We cannot guarantee all orders will be supplied. If the order is not fulfilled we will refund at the earliest opportunity. Our transactions are made in Sterling, so you may incur a commission or transaction charge from your card issuer and there could also be a currency fluctuation on any refund you are given. All of which is out of our control and cannot be recovered from ourselves. Approved overseas orders will only be dispatched to the invoice address, no alternative delivery destination will be considered. If you are worried or have concerns re international orders, please contact orders@castlecameras.co.uk before placing your order.

Our Services
Do you do Sensor Cleans?

We do offer a sensor cleaning service on DSLR and compact system cameras. It would be £30 for a dry clean and £50 for a wet clean. We will do the dry clean first and if that isn't succesful we will move onto the wet clean.  We ask for a fully charged battery when you bring it in and we normally estimate a weeks turnaround time. 

Part Exchange and Sell
Will you buy my old kit?

If you want to sell or part-exchange your old kit either give us a call or e-mail a list of the items you want to sell here. Alternatively, you can pop in and show us what you've got. We can't guarantee we'll always buy what you have so if it's old, big or heavy, do phone first.

We don't have a set trade in value for any camera, we provide a quote based on condition, age and current equivalent. Trade-in's provide a hassle free way of getting rid of ex kit and ease the hit to the wallet. If you are looking to trade up then please get in contact.

Passport Photos
Do you do digital passport pictures?

We supply a printed version only. We do not supply a digital image on any media or e-mail.

More information here.

Do I need to make an appointment to have a passport photo taken?

It's not necessary to make an appointment to have a passport photo taken.  However...

If you are elderly, infirm or it is a bit of a task for you to come into the shop, please do contact us first to make sure we haven’t had a machine break-down or power cut. We’d hate for you to have a wasted journey.

We can also take baby passport photographs but recommend you contact us first to make sure we have a patient member of staff on hand when you come in! It’s usually best to avoid between 12 and 2pm.

Postage restrictions
Why don't you use the Royal Mail to post Lithium-ion batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries: Due to transport limitations we can only dispatch one of these by courier. We can deliver to most of the UK mainland, excludes Islands, the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland.

 

Information from the Royal Mail website

Batteries not connected to or posted with the device it is intended to power

Batteries that are classified as dangerous goods and certain used batteries  (including wet spillable lead acid/lead alkaline batteries (such as car batteries), used alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air batteries, solo lithium batteries, power banks and damaged batteries of any type)

  • International  - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Batteries, specifically new and used lithium batteries when not sent with or connected to an electronic device (including power banks)

Batteries, specifically new alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air and zinc chloride Including D, C, 9V, AA, AAA and AAAA alkaline batteries.

  • UK & International  - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
    • Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging.
    • Surround with cushioning material e.g. bubble wrap.
    • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Batteries - new wet, non-spillable (e.g. sealed lead acid batteries, absorbed glass mat and gel cell batteries)

Recycling
Disposal of Waste Portable Batteries

As a retailer which provides batteries on a regular basis to end users we are obliged under The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations Act to provide all of our customers with a safe and accessible way in which to dispose of their portable batteries.

Castle Cameras offer a convenient in-store service for customers to return their waste portable batteries for further disposal by a professional organisation. Simply visit our Showroom in Bournemouth or Salisbury and a member of the Castle Cameras team will be only too happy to assist in your requirements.

Repairs and Returns
I have a faulty camera, can you repair it for me?

Although we don't do any repairs on site, we can arrange to send your faulty item to the manufacturer or one of their recommended service agents. We charge a minimum non-refundable deposit of £25.00 - considerably more for some brands. This contributes towards the cost of shipping and any estimate that may be required and comes off the final bill when your repair is completed. The average repair turnaround is 3 to 4 weeks.

It is very rare for any digital compact camera to be repaired for under £125.
Lenses tend to start around £120 and DSLRs  around £150.

Repairs can be taken in at our Bournemouth or Salisbury shops.