Paying for Your Digital Camera

The best way to pay for a digital camera—or any other item, for that matter—is with a credit card. The transaction is completed immediately, you don't have to pay anything for at least 25 days, and if anything goes wrong, you have some recourse. Credit card companies often intercede on your behalf when you have a problem with the vendor, either withholding or retrieving payment until the issue is settled.

The worst way to pay is with cash. Once it's been handed over, you may have difficulty proving that you paid what you said for the item, and the seller has no incentive to make any allowances or adjustments in case of any problems. The same applies to a check, though it's a little easier tracing where the money went. And if you're fast enough, you can stop payment if the transaction goes sour. If you don't want or can't use a credit card and you're dealing with someone over the phone or the Internet, you can use a service like PayPal, or if a fair amount of money is involved, an escrow service to hold your payment until you receive the item you ordered.

One last piece of advice: always get a receipt. Make certain that it has the seller's name, address, telephone number, and details about the item purchased. File it away with your receipts and important papers, just in case you need to prove your purchase to the IRS.

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