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. mooncatsmum

    Hi
    re:exchange rate- some firms seem to think we’re on the Euro!

    • Fiona Nevile

      This is crazy!

      The company delivered by courier within 48 hours. Perhaps the cost of couriers to Northern Ireland are prohibitive. I know that parcel force delivers to NI I’m amazed that they don’t try that route.

  2. Cara @ Turvys

    Be thrifty with money always reaps rewards! I tend to check Moneysavingexpert.com for most things before buying, and I can recommend using ‘Quidco’ too – it’s a cashback site. You still need to ‘shop’ around to ensure you are getting the best deal, but I’ve had over £500 in cash back from them over the last 2 years just for usual things like car and home insurance and other online purchases.

  3. mooncatsmum

    I read about Argos and thought great! BUT they don’t deliver outside mainland Britain. A lot of firms are like that, one tried to charge me £8 to post a paperback book to me here in N Ireland, they said it was because of the ‘exchange rate’!!!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Mooncatsmum

      That’s a shame as they have got amazing bargains. What exchange rate? 🙂

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Wendy,

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving some feedback. Much appreciated.

    Our camera arrived today! A much simpler version that the one before but we are delighted with it. Faster. bigger window on the back and just easier to use. We only wanted a basic camera so it’s perfect.

    Hi Veronica

    It arrived FAST. And we’re delighted with it. Very intuitive, easy to use but we don’t need a professional camera ATM.

    Hi Jan

    I was so pleased to find this site. I don’t care if the products are 2 year old stars. If they work, that’s what matters.

    Hi Pamela

    Absolutely spot on. If we had the funds we wouldn’t have bothered to search. Ten years ago I would have wanted the biggest and best new model. Now I don’t care if it’s five years old as long as it works. Perhaps I’m finally growing up or the goods available are getting better ?

    Hello Moonroot

    When you need to replace something urgently it’s never the best time. Perhaps this site might help.

    Hi S.O.L.

    I signed up for an offer of ‘Country Living’ – three issues for £3.00 (cancel any time within the 3 month time space. Then normal subs from then on). So I’ve got the copy that you refer to. Thank you so much for thinking of me. Much appreciated.

    Haven’t have time to open the plastic wrapper so far. Perhaps this weekend!

  5. On a completely different note, in the country living magazine, april 2009 issue. There is a 4/5 page spread on smoking bacon, ham and fish. Just thought you might be interested. I have the mag if you would like it sent on once I’ve read it.

    Drop me an email if you do! Have a good weekend

  6. moonroot

    Great tip – thank you!

  7. It is amazing what you can find when, forced by necessity, you have to dig deeper than the first place that you look. And thank goodness we have the internet now to aid the search!

  8. Great tip! I’ll have to go and look. Thanks!

  9. Veronica

    That’s good news — I would miss your photos! What an amazing price for an excellent camera. I hope it turns up safely and lives up to expectations.

  10. We bought a fax machine from this company through eBay in December. I found them to be very efficient and fast with our order. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long for your lovely new camera. x

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