Act Fast: Best Buy Liquidating Nikon SB-800s

If we were looking for a sign that the Best Li'l Speedlight ever made has been put out to pasture, this is probably it.

Sadly, it looks like Nikon is clearing SB-800s off of the shelves to make space for the newer, bigger, faster, more 'spensiver SB-900.

Hit the jump for just how cheap they are, and your best game plan to get one.

Normally, I am not a huge fan of Best Buy. But this is one instance where it may be worth it to put up with them. From the Strobist Flickr threads varying reports of deep discounted SB-800s available at Best Buys across the country.

Best Buy Online for $399.95 (puh-lease -- they are $319.95 everywhere else) is "sold out" but the bricks-and-mortar stores are cutting them loose (new and demos) for way less. I have see everything down to $159.95. That's a steal.

Call your local Best Buy and see if they have any in stock. They can also look up other local stores, check stock and quote prices. Different stores will have different prices. Example: Gatihersburg, MD had two for $279.95, but nearby Pentagon City (Washington, D.C.) had two in stock for $199.95.

Word to the wise: These will not last long. Better that we get them than those guys.

And if you hear of other national chains doing the same, please hit us in the comments. As soon as you finish skimming your local stores, of course.


:: Why the SB-800 Rocks ::


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Anonymous Madelien said...

Lucky Americans! If anyone sees them popping up at that price in Europe, please let all of us know. At my postorder store they are still at 330 euros, only 60 euro cheaper than the 900!

September 28, 2008 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Mario said...

No luck in Orange County, CA

September 28, 2008 2:51 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I just called Best Buy in Utah and there are all sold out, even the floor models. Bummer...

September 28, 2008 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Nothing in stock here in the central Connecticut area. Too bad.

September 28, 2008 3:36 PM  
Blogger diegonyc said...

i've called best buys in nyc, nj, south fl, and central & northern cali and no dice. sold out!

oh well, it was worth a try.

September 28, 2008 3:43 PM  
Blogger bizior said...

Holy cow! That's a steal! I'm gonna head to nearest bestbuy and check it out...

Thanks DH!

September 28, 2008 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Scott said...

Nothing within 3 hours of Philadelphia :(

September 28, 2008 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Pentagon City has one @ $199. Potomac Mills has one @ $155. The store nearest me sold theirs @ $204.
No time to go to either store now, as the 'Skins/Dallas game is up next!


September 28, 2008 4:12 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Well, I called my BB but they are out of em except for a floor model (always been behind glass). They're only willing to take 10% off the retail price of $389...stupid Best Buy.

September 28, 2008 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucky guys! I live in the UK and would be really grateful if you would be able to get hold of one of these for me! The lowest price here is $260!!
If anyone can help, please send an email to mikeywongatgmaildotcom.
Thanks in advance!

September 28, 2008 4:49 PM  
Blogger aZn137 said...

no luck in sacramento/roseville/elk gove area. when i called, the rep said roseville has 1 only (might be floor model) for $219.

September 28, 2008 5:32 PM  
Blogger Thiago Silva said...


You are evil! Imagine all those poor sales reps in Best Buys around the US having to answer 200 calls about SB-800 per day, LOL!

September 28, 2008 5:40 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Called every BB in RI and MA - got ONE floor model for $145 (additional 10% discount bc it was the FM). Just flash, no foot, diffusion dome, nothin'. Still way cool. Thanks David.

September 28, 2008 5:42 PM  
Blogger Ekimc said...

San Diego, CA don't have them either... oh well, it was worth a try, haha.

September 28, 2008 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

None to be found in Georgia that I could find.

September 28, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous BigRed said...

I called Best Buy in Phoenix 20 minutes after this post went live and had them check all the locations in the valley and there was one about an hour from my house at $155!!!!!!!!!! but it was on hold for someone already. I can only assume that person is a jerk and doesn't deserve that amazing flash...haha

thanks for the tip but it was too late, I figure they have been unloading floor models for the last month and we all reacted too late.

September 28, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Al said...

I just checked my local Best Buy here in Ontario, California, no luck, but the lady did tell me the closest in stock BB was in Las Vegas. Not close enough for me but maybe for some other lucky person . . .

September 28, 2008 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

I never liked "Best" Buy before, and I still don't! $300 in Canada; and the usual muppet in the store gave me the standard blank stare when I asked why - ho hum - maybe I'll head south on Saturday!

September 28, 2008 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

BB in Maryland has none except Gaithersburg for $273 as of 6:30 PM Sunday. Good luck all.

September 28, 2008 6:35 PM  
Blogger John said...

The Best Buys in the Louisville, Kentucky area are already sold out. Glad I have at least one!

September 28, 2008 6:40 PM  
Blogger Don said...

There is not one SB-800 to be had in any Bet Buy in all of Oklahoma. They are sold out. Of course, they'd be happy to sell you an SB-900 . . .

September 28, 2008 6:56 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

I got one!! My local Best Buy (Dayton) had 0 in stock, and there were none to be found in the southwest Ohio region. But there was one in Lexington, less than 2 hours away, for $155. I figured this is the only chance I'll ever have to get an SB-800, so I bought it over the phone and my wife is going to pick it up for me (She's awesome!!)

Thanks SO much for the tip, I've been dying for a second wireless flash to accompany my SB-600 and now I'm blessed to get an 800 for less than a 600!!

September 28, 2008 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Austin said...

I got what looked to be the last one in Texas. Floor model for $249 at Frisco BB.

September 28, 2008 7:22 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

First of all, really love your site. Blah, blah, you have heard it a million times. But for good reason. You provide awesome information and inpiration. Anyway, my situation is, I have a cannon digital rebel I bought several years ago and I am interested in bringing the quality of my photos up a notch. I am limited in funds unfortunately which leads me to the next question. It may be completely stupid, but if I were to purchase a Nikon SB800 at a great price, would it work on my Canon? I could scour the web lookin for an answer so I don't look like an idiot, but I thought I would just ask you. Why waste time. Any input you provide will be helpful.

September 28, 2008 7:27 PM  
Blogger Nikhil said...

Humph... I went to the BB in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, and was told that they were all sold out. She then checked the nearest 10 BBs and they were all out too. Curse you people. May all your SB800s fail when you need them most! Yeah Yeah Yeah... Sigh!

September 28, 2008 7:38 PM  
Blogger Bryan B said...

None in Indianapolis, or any of the BB stores within a reasonable driving distance. Good catch, for those who snagged one!

September 28, 2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger Mingo said...

I bought 9, count them 9 1gb 133x Lexar cards from Best Buy for 8 dollars each. I sold a couple of them for profit.

September 28, 2008 8:02 PM  
Anonymous G. Chai said...

None in/around Silicon Valley. I guess that must be the case in all of CA and many other states. I can't imagine my excitement level had I scored one at that price. Well. :-(

September 28, 2008 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picked up the last one in Phoenix @ Happy Valley best Buy for $152.04 tax included (after 10% coupon). Find coupon here:

September 28, 2008 8:22 PM  
Blogger D™ said...

If you're super keen, trying buying them from Australia. We still seem to have them floating around. No one here seems willing to shell out $650+ for the SB-900 so you should have plenty of luck.

September 28, 2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blacks Photography in most of Canada matches any brick and mortar place's price. they don't grab you by the balls as you're paying either.

September 28, 2008 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All sold out throughout ohio after an exhaustive zip code search through the BB web site. would have been nice to get another sb for a fat discount. I even checked pittsburgh.

September 28, 2008 8:57 PM  
Blogger -Adam Lichty- said...

dumb question? I shoot a canon, but with the pocket wizards it makes no difference what the flash is right. I just wont be able to use them on the hot shoe, right?

September 28, 2008 9:11 PM  
Blogger giantdave said...

i am in so indiana, and i didnt see this until they were closed.. I'm calling first thing in the morning though!!

and to your reason why you dont like best dad had trouble with upgrading my brothers phone there. he yelled at the employee then had to go get the manager to even get the employee to fix things. but i will deal with that if i can get an sb-800 that cheap!

September 28, 2008 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Tony S. said...


You rock!!!!

Minutes after reading your post online I was on the phone calling Best Buy. Verified only one store in all of California had one. It was 1.5 hours away round trip. I called the store and verified it was available so I put it on hold.

At the store I received an additional discount as the unit was the floor display and walked out the door having spent $239.

Ran home to test the SU-4 remote mode with my Canon EX-580. I was totally blown away after firing the EX-580 in another room with the SB-800 in the hallway facing away from the 580. The light spill back from the 580 still managed to fire off the SB-800 sensor. Such an excellent way to work with the 800 without having to tie up an extra PW.

If only Canon would do the same with the EX-580 line the photographic world would be so much better.

Tony S.

September 28, 2008 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got the last one at a best buy in Carbondale Illinois. Clearance item, $190.99. Wasn't planning on getting another flash, but couldn't pass that deal up!

September 28, 2008 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought the last one at a best buy in Carbondale Illinois. Clearance item $190.99. I wasn't planning on buying another flash but I couldn't pass that deal up!

September 28, 2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Nathanael Gassett said...

Natchez Mississippi has no Best Buy. Retirement towns suck.

September 28, 2008 11:13 PM  
Blogger Paps said...

Cleaning out the shelves? When the prices comes down from 499 to 299 euros it looks that way, but it's nowhere close to $155.

September 28, 2008 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased a reconditioned SB800 from B&H for 279.00. They also had some instock for 314.00.

September 29, 2008 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Fabiano said...

Well, here where i live (Brazil) they are costing as much as US$ 500, if you can believe it... Of course, i have only one. But the SB 26 and 28 are VERY CHEAP at about US$ 220,00 :(

September 29, 2008 7:44 AM  
Anonymous MikeC said...

Strangely enough all Amazon's stock is gone too... hmmm..

September 29, 2008 8:25 AM  
Blogger Marshall said...

Boston area - all gone. (Well, not the "Boston area", per se, but there aren't any SB800s at our BestBuy™ stores...)

September 29, 2008 9:17 AM  
Blogger Barnacle said...

happy hunting you lucky stiffs!
i don't even have a photo store in my COUNTRY!

September 29, 2008 9:32 AM  
Blogger mainfr4me said...

Snagged one for $190 at Janesville, WI store. I got it a week ago, and thought it was a store fluke since the other Best Buys I saw didn't have the same deal. Good to know the love is being spread round the Strobist group!

September 29, 2008 11:06 AM  
Blogger fish_ink said...

Don't just call GO TO THE STORE!!! My wife tried to just call the stores and they all said that they where out. However I found myself with some time to kill before a movie showing last night and there was a bestbuy next door. To my somewhat suprise they did have one left! There system does not include the floor model. Walked out with a minty sb800 for $183.00!

September 29, 2008 11:11 AM  
Blogger fish_ink said...

Don't just call GO TO THE STORE!!! My wife tried to just call the stores and they all said that they where out. However I found myself with some time to kill before a movie showing last night and there was a bestbuy next door. To my somewhat suprise they did have one left! There system does not include the floor model. Walked out with a minty sb800 for $183.00!

September 29, 2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it means anything but both Adorama and B&H still indicate having stock on their web sites.

But they are also not selling at blow out prices either.

I bought two, just in case.

September 29, 2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

I have called all over the state. There are no units available in South Carolina. One store has one but it is reserved!

Oh well, better luck next time. BB could have made a bunch of money on this by stocking up ahead of time.


September 29, 2008 11:46 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

As of 10 or so minutes ago, the Best Buy at Broadway and 62nd in Manhattan has one display model left which the fellow there said he'd discount $40. Perhaps you can get a better discount than that.

September 29, 2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger perelaar said...

SB-800 here in Belgium now around 235 EUR new (about $340).

Less than it used to be, but not low enough to buy one yet :)

September 29, 2008 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Tony S. said...

Marc and Adam,

Regarding Nikon or Canon flashes if your intent is to use the speedlite on the respective camera body hotshoe then it should only be placed on the associated brand (ie Canon on Canon and Nikon on Nikon). However if you use the speedlite off camera with or without a pocket wizard or other remote trigger and in manual mode then all if fine.

The modes such as E-TTL and CLS modes each brand offers are reserved for the specific speedlites made specifically for the camera brand and model.

I currently am using my Canon EX-580's with pocket wizards in combination with the SB-800 set to SU-4 remote mode. The 800 triggers when it "sees" the 580 fire. Such a wonder way to not have to tie up another PW to fire the 800.

It was one of the best secret's David Hobby has revealed and the number one reason I had to pick up a SB-800 yesterday.

Tony S.

September 29, 2008 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found the last one on Long Island, N.Y. for 209.99

September 29, 2008 1:21 PM  
Anonymous CanonOperator said...

Just called the Gresham Oregon store,,and she also checked the other stores & on line....I think we may have missed the boat...... :-(

All sold out..dern it! :-(

Thanks so much for the note tho!

September 29, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Rousey said...

Wow! Thanks for the heads up!! I had ordered an SB-800 online for $315 that still hasn't arrived, but was interested in getting one more. After reading this yesterday afternoon, I ended up getting the last two (one new and one display) for $400 at the BB in Mankato, MN!!
p.s. Sweet site; I appreciate all the great info!

September 29, 2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got told by best buy that SB 800 is a deleted item.

September 29, 2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger said...

WOW! I think I got the only Best Buy that wants to keep theirs! Wouldn't budge told me it must be cheaper in other stores because the cost of living is lower. And the minimum wage is 5 dollars. WTF that's funny. I'm sure in a month or two they will figure it out.


September 29, 2008 2:16 PM  
Blogger Two-Wheel said...

None in North Texas either! Dangit!

September 29, 2008 2:16 PM  
Blogger Thomas Stromberg said...

In Alpharetta, GA, they had priced their remaining floor demo model at $240, but raised it to $299 when it came time for me to ask them to hold it. I'll pass.

September 29, 2008 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roberts Distributors in Indy are not discounting them because they are selling out. Must be a panic to get a new on at any price.

September 29, 2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

St. Louis area is all out! Distribution Center and Regional Distribution Center are gone as well. Back to B&H

September 29, 2008 3:28 PM  
Blogger psilver said...

I called at least 5 Best Buys in Long Island. Not a single one. Sigh. Oh, I just bought 2 SB-800s in the last few weeks full price in B&H.

September 29, 2008 4:10 PM  
Blogger Damion Dunlap said...

No luck at BB of Tallahassee, FL. I did feel a little better after I picked up 3 8GB Sandisk Extreme III cards from Adorama for only $3.62 each after rebate.

September 29, 2008 4:15 PM  
Blogger Dane Doerflinger said...

It was like buying a lottery ticket, I got to dream for about the 2 minutes it took to call the local BB. After that I ripped up my vapor ticket. Can you believe that the Seattle area is sold out as of 2:45pm on Monday. Am I the only one who checked Strobist a day late? I think not. :-)

September 29, 2008 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ mike from the uk cheepest £289 WTF

Dude google sb800 Seriously!!

But thier still twice the price you lucky yanks pay for them! and everything else!

Rip Off Britain!!

September 29, 2008 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bummer. None left anywhere around LA. Not that I needed another flash, but this could have replaced my aging SB-26 nicely!
Ah well.


September 29, 2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous m porta said...

I got the last one in Central Arkansas, a display model for $165.99.

September 29, 2008 7:17 PM  
Blogger sackytar said...

I can't believe it. So I just called 8 Best Buys and one the stores actually sold a floor model today for 137 bucks, NO Joke. Ahh could have been mine. No one else in Mi has em

September 29, 2008 7:35 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

When I called around the Omaha area (none available), I took the chance to ask the sales rep that was checking for me how long they'd been clearanced; he said they'd been clearanced about a month and a half ago. Ah well. (:

September 29, 2008 8:19 PM  
Anonymous sensualeye said...

Calumet has at least 400 SB-800s in their warehouse priced at $314.00 US.

Modesto and Stockton California Best Buys had stock Monday morning.

September 29, 2008 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Missed this completely, unfortunately. Really wanted to replace my remaining 600 with another 800, but nothing to be found in the Austin area! :(

September 29, 2008 10:30 PM  
Blogger Steve Hebert said...

None in the greater Houston area. And, BTW, you can get a SB-800 at B&H for $309

September 29, 2008 11:08 PM  
Blogger ContrastFilms said...

Thanks for the heads up.. got the last 2 at a Baton Rouge, LA for 190.99 each!!

September 30, 2008 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Best Buy in NYC on 5th and 45th (or is it 44th?) has one demo SB-800 left. Clerk says it's $389, but the manager, if asked, will sell it for $190. No box, stand, etc. and it's a little dusty, but it's there if you need one.


September 30, 2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger bizior said...

I'm going for that one in NYC. Will let you know guys if I got it or not :)

September 30, 2008 1:10 PM  
Blogger bizior said...

If you still want this SB800 from NYC, 44th and 5th - is no longer available. My wife checked and it's not there...

September 30, 2008 1:54 PM  
Blogger Pexton said...

I just asked my mate who does the advertising for bestbuy to have a look for me and she found one. Unfortunatley, I wasn't answering my phone so she bought it anyway. It has just cost though, 389.00 inc tax and a 40% discount. That good or should I take it back and try and find another? I tohught they would do it for a LOT cheaper.

September 30, 2008 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Jim Felder said...

Found a sale at this link.

September 30, 2008 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Norby said...

Yeah, I imagine Best Buy has stopped stocking these for some time and finally got tired of waiting for them to sell themselves and gave marching orders for most of them (with some sales folks probably not keeping up with their corp. communications). Checking in Santa Fe, I found that they sold their last one over a month and a half ago ... so congrats to those lucky few of you who actually found one to buy :)


September 30, 2008 3:48 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

I'm one of the "muppets" who works at Best Buy in Orange County. I sell cameras there because all the photo shops around here close early and I have to have a second job. I had two guys call about them on Sun. One guy just flat out didn't believe me when I told him every store in OC was out of them. Every store has them priced differently and that is set by the company not the individual store.

Another thing...ya Best Buy usually has crap prices compared to retailers like B&H/Adorama. Hell, I don't even buy gear there with my discount. And yes, most employees are completey ignorant to their jobs there, but not all. I've been there for 4 years and know more than most of you customers think you know.

Also, there are deals to had all the time, so go in the stores. I just bought a $90 Lowepro bag for $18 and bought a 35mm Canon K2 for $40 before. GO in and ask what they have that's end of life/closeout.

September 30, 2008 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Rob Oresten said...

Ah - a feel good story...I get one from the Best Buy in Anchorage, Alaska for $178.00 shipped!!!

Thanks, David

October 01, 2008 8:40 AM  
Blogger banbro said...

BB in Newport News only had floor model left. Sticker price was $389... said they would come down to $350 since it was a floor model. No Thanks. They didn't even have anything in their computer that mentioned a clearance price put she did say it was a deleted item.

October 01, 2008 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well. Interesting.I havn't any Nikon anymore. My canon 430ex is realy poor for strobist.

I have a Metz 36 witch include a slave mode... but sophisticate M mode.
And a Metz 54MZ-4 without slave mode.

The Leica 20SF and 24SF has smart manual mode too.

Perhaps it's inresting to list other flash (than Nikons one) wich have "smart manual mode".

SB-26 may be found at low price on second hand market because it is not possible ti use it in TTL with new digital camera.

October 02, 2008 11:21 AM  
Anonymous CJW said...

I see the benefits of the SB-900, but the SB-800 was a really good fit for me in terms of features, size and price. I'm bummed that it's been axed. I'm even more bummed that I couldn't score any buck-and-a-half clearance specials. I'd likely have bought all they had at that price.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to the article until today and all the Las Vegas BestBuys were cleared out, and the SKU was a 'Deleted Item'.

October 02, 2008 7:37 PM  
Blogger jeffportaro said...

I got one in Charlotte NC for $160 after tax. It was the floor model and was marked at $195.99, but was able to talk down since it didn't come with all the extras like the diffuser.

October 03, 2008 11:28 PM  
Anonymous LMonroe said...

Picked up one at Wolf Camera Saturday, 10/04. They still had them marked $389.00 but matched Best Buy price of $272.00.

October 05, 2008 5:21 PM  
Blogger JOE BURNS said...

Got mine in Vegas (sorry cjw) It was at rainbow and lake mead. First the sales manager said the best was $314.00. I asked him once more on the way out. I said $314 for a discontinued floor model with no box or accessories? He said ok $155.99. Out the door I went super happy. Now I'm just waiting for the change to practice some flash ambient balancing.

October 06, 2008 4:02 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I scored one in Saint Louis by ordering it in (NIB, all the extras), so the price was $155 and had to wait a few days. I wish I could have gotten more, but am happy nonetheless! Its pretty exciting for the student budget...

October 07, 2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger iamunique127 said...

The moment I received DH's email newsletter I began calling BBs. Apparently BB in Canada doesn't carry them.
The closest American BB to me is in North Dakota. They had none in stock or floor model. The guy checked and said there were none in the whole northwest.

October 08, 2008 6:55 PM  
Blogger stefanogiovannini said...

dropped off my SB600 at Nikon in Melville NY - went to the Best Buy nearby they had nothing bit they told me there might have been one at the Best Buy in Levittown 13 miles away!
well they had a SB800 display model - it was 155 but the manager sold it for 125.99 $ - no manual no dome [anyway pretty useless bounce IMO] but came with the foot.

now i will have 2 strobes and the SB800 can be commander. lucky at last!
thanks fro the tip - and I am glad I drove a 70 mile roundtrip from brooklyn instead of sending my SB600 to Nikon via fedex. wouldnt have scored this great deal!

October 09, 2008 10:14 PM  
Blogger Gruf said...

The piggish Best Buy General Manager here on Staten Island wouldn't sell me the Open Box one originally listed for $389 for less than $349. BOOOOO!

October 10, 2008 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Nikon D700 said...

Thanks for the heads up!! my site nikon d700
I had ordered an SB-800 online for $315 that still hasn't arrived, but was interested in getting one more. After reading this yesterday afternoon, I ended up getting the last two (one new and one display) for $400 at the BB in Russia!

November 19, 2008 8:55 AM  

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