Oh, Joe of Little Faith

This evening, I stopped into Penn Camera to pick up that spare Nikon D200 battery ordered about a week earlier. I waited behind a guy spending big on a digital camera, although it was uncertain if he understood what he was buying.

Thomas Hawk might appreciate this: A Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, Canon Speedlite 430EX flash, memory card, and some other stuff I couldn’t quite make out. The buyer seemed somewhat perplexed by the $5,500 total. I thought, “It’s what you pay for a full-frame sensor”. Turns out, Canon rebates would put more than 500 bucks back in his pocket—$300 off the 5D. The camera is practically a steal at $2,699 after rebate. 

What happened next simply stunned me. The guy pulled a check, a single check to pay for the stuff. No checkbook, just a single check. And Penn Camera processed it! I thought, “There goes fifty-five hundred dollars in great camera equipment to eBay or (beat me with a stick) the local pawn shop“.

I mean, c`mon, the guy barely understood what he was buying, other than he gravitated to the most expensive stuff. He paid by a single, personal check rather than credit card. His demeanor and choice of payment waved one big red flag, “Hey, I’m gonna steal from you!” Maybe I’m making too much of nothing, but I regularly shop at Penn Camera. People simply don’t pay with personal checks, and certainly not in sums topping five grand.

Photo Credit: Daniel Oines