The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Have you heard of Argos Clearance Bargains?

Photo: My old friend and workhorse camera

Photo: My old friend and workhorse camera

We bought a state of the art digital camera about six years ago – a Nikon Coolpix 4300. A nice chunky model that has worked very hard, taking photographs for this blog and a few websites that we’ve designed. It was expensive at just under £500 including the memory card.

It suddenly started to play up recently when I tried to take photographs in the garden. It was flooding the photos with too much light. The garden looked like a desert lit by flares and burnt by napalm. Possibly introducing us to a  future global warming nightmare.

I tried everything to fix the camera but nothing worked.
“The camera is dead. It’s overexposing every shot. Even when I use it in manual mode and restrict the light.”
Danny peered at the garden photographs. With the burnt out reddish brown lawns and areas of white light that had eaten into the edges of each shot. There was a very long pause.
“What are we going to do? We just can’t afford to buy another camera.”

But we had to find a new camera. It’s even more essential than a mobile phone. We need it for the blog and it’s used every day. My mobile has a camera on board but it’s not a patch on the Nikon.

I‘d twigged that digital cameras have dropped significantly in price. I reckoned that I could probably buy something similar for about a hundred quid. I was happy with the spec of our old camera, I might even find one just like it on Ebay. And then I’d be looking at about £25.00 but this would be an old camera that probably was wearing out fast.

There was nothing on Ebay that caught my eye apart from a brand new Nikon Coolpix L17 7MP Digital Camera for just £39.99 plus £5.99 postage. A smoother, sleeker more powerful camera than our old carthorse. I rushed upstairs to the Rat Room and Danny flourished his card.

The camera was sold by a company called Argos Clearance Bargains. This is the final resting place of Argos back stock after running the gauntlet of the Argos Ex Catalogue Clearance. There are three outlets in Corby, Stanley and Walsall (90,000 square feet of space). These outlets also have a presence on Ebay They are selling ex-Argos stock but are an independent outlet. The stock is guaranteed for 12 months, but any complaints have to be taken up with the Argos Clearance Bargains rather than Argos itself. They have a list of just under 800 products from toys to vacuum cleaners.

If we hadn’t been short of extra cash, I wouldn’t have bothered to look on Ebay and find this outlet. We probably would have Googled the ‘ordinary shops’ on the internet. And would have been delighted with a good cut price camera with a specification that we didn’t really need. I don’t care if this is last year’s model. It’s a Herculean leap from our old camera, up in spec and way down in price.

Six years ago I’d always buy the latest model. Now I just want a good camera that works.

So as my fingers fly across the keyboard a new camera is hopefully winging its way towards the cottage. Fingers crossed that we’ll like it and it won’t be from a consignment that bounced on the airport tarmac a couple of years ago.


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14 Comments

  1. Helen Catterall

    It is good to hear about alternatives for buying cheaper goods, like Argos Clearance Bargains (I assume that they are directly linked with the Argos catalogue?). I would expect that Argos accumulates quite a lot of surplus stock, and so this way everyone benefits – they get rid of their stock, and we get cheaper deals!

  2. mooncatsmum

    I agree! Parcel force have trouble finding us sometimes as we’re kind of out of the way but the local postie knows where we are!
    I don’t know what couriers charge but the last one to deliver here arrived after ten o’clock at night-you can guess how I felt about that!

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