no wonder localshops are dying

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hugo drax, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. I'd be glad to pay an extra 10% or so for the privilege of having a
    real person to sort out problems, though for a 30-40% difference I'm
    willing to take my chances.

    I'd pay even more for a knowledgable salesperson who's genuinely
    helpful instead of trying to push whatever pays the highest

    But too often the local store simply charges higher prices for no
    discernible benefit (untrained teenage salesclerks in particular get
    me riled). I'm not willing to pay more just to "buy local."
    Charles Hawtrey, Dec 23, 2003
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  2. That would assume the small shop gets the same price as a big box store.
    Simple fact is they don't, the big chains, or large volume stores get the
    product for a sizable discount. I have seen a chain store's sales price come
    in below cost. Some how can a small shop sell a product at less than they
    paid, seems like a bad business model pay $500 sell for $450....
    Darrell Larose, Dec 23, 2003
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  3. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    30-40% is nuts.

    At the prices equiptment gets sold for in the US?
    I agree with you 100%.

    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
  4. hugo drax

    zeitgeist Guest

    I've understood the advantage of local support, but I've also have had to
    deal with local shops that just don't want to be bothered making a sale.

    I was new to the Seattle area, had some problems with my old flash and
    decided to get a 'real' flash. Glaziers guy looked at me like the stuck up
    saleslady looked at Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I had some questions
    about the Qflash and/or Metz, the guy sneers at me, and I swear, he says,
    "the Qflash is complicated for you."

    I'm a hands on kinda guy, I can't just read some specks on a website, or
    even a product comparison site like dprewiews. So I would have paid local
    prices over NY, and went to glazers again, its the only camera store i knew,
    I was planning on spending several thousand bucks, every now and then I just
    get 'in that mood." Again, I was treated like a browser, like they figured
    I was just a guy going to waste their time browsing cameras to later buy on
    line, I suppose folks do that, but they forced me to fullfil that proficy,
    though it was almost 2 years later that I finally bought a digicam, and only
    when sitting around with some other pros who let me look at their gear.

    Years ago, in the mid 80's. I had studied the new PC computers, talked with
    some sales guys at a computer store, finally got that bug, went downtown
    with my checkbook in hand and the quote papers the salesguy wrote up, I was
    going to plunk down almost $5,000 on a PC and some "software"
    but...I...couldn' seriously. My
    guy was talking to another salesguy, gabbing, and I was ignored. So as I
    walked back to my bus, I saw a computer rag, called one of the dealers who
    in a couple minutes sold me a better machine (an AT instead of a PC) for
    almost half, delivered in a week.
    zeitgeist, Dec 23, 2003
  5. hugo drax

    zeitgeist Guest

    back in the days of double digit prime rate interest there was quite an
    advantage to a hi volume cash business like consumer products in boxes.
    Major manufacturers had a 3 month billing cycle, so if you got a million
    bucks worth of stuff moved in that time, and kept the cash in a money market
    (which at one time was like 12 percent, that's money.)

    zeitgeist, Dec 23, 2003
  6. hugo drax

    Tom Guest

    I guess to answer Hugo's original question you would need to look at how you
    derive your income, how you fit into your community and the economic
    benifits of shopping locally.
    Like Darrell highlighted there is no even playing field in business,
    business advantage can be won or lost on lots of fronts.
    I * try * and buy local, and sometimes for no other reason than to support
    local business that indirectly supports my employer and or injects money

    Hey but thats just me.

    Tom, Dec 23, 2003
  7. hugo drax wrote:

    The local shop honcho I was trading at has become more and more hostile
    to digital imaging. He has a few aging Nikon Coolpix models on display
    for Christmas, but comes across as willfully uninformed on digital
    topics and seems satisfied with his dwindling base of similar-minded

    Unclaimed Mysteries, Dec 23, 2003
  8. No, I don't like working for free, but I am forced to do that when
    supporting many of my software customers, especially in pre-sales.

    In fact, I made great efforts to buy my first Nikon 900 locally, but the
    local Edinburgh stores couldn't match the price of the Jessops (a UK
    multiple). So I did buy in town, but at a multiple store. How does that
    count? My first Nikon 990 was bought in London almost as an impulse
    purchase, at a true camera store, but one with good prices. The second
    Nikon 990 was bought online, but required no demonstration time. Should I
    send the London store another $20? Recently, I did visit Jessops again
    when deciding whether to upgrade to a Nikon 4500, and I also visited my
    local Dixons (another UK multiple) who had the Nikon 5700. In fact, when
    passing through Edinburgh Airport, I saw that I could get the Nikon 5700
    tax free (17.5% in the UK), and that clinched the deal. Same company,
    different branch. So I reckon I owe no-one $20! The last store I visited
    was in Malmo, Sweden, where a Minolta demonstration day was being held. I
    could play with the A1. Are you suggesting I must now go back to Sweden
    if I purchase an A1? Obviously not!

    Where I have bought online is accessories - batteries, compact flash,
    case, lenses, where the items were simpler and the local store or
    multiple-store prices are very much higher than online.

    David J Taylor, Dec 23, 2003
  9. hugo drax

    Ron Hunter Guest

    You might consider the value of being able to walk back into that shop
    with a complex question and getting it answered, with direct button by
    button help vs posting a question to a newsgroup.. Some find this well
    worth the extra money.
    Personally, I much prefer dealing with a real, live, person over doing
    business online.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 23, 2003
  10. hugo drax

    Charlie Self Guest

    Sometimes. Some stores. I just got back from a quick pick-up of 3-4 items at
    Walmart. The morning grump was on the register. She had all the personality of
    a lump of cow dung as she rung up the sale--one item had a munged UPC so she
    had to type it in (god, the effort!). I loaded it into the cart and started to
    turn away and she walked immediately in front of the cart so I had to yank it
    back to keep from bumping her in the butt.

    She snarled at me.

    Love it. Christmas season.

    Charlie Self

    "Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal."
    Alexander Hamilton
    Charlie Self, Dec 23, 2003
  11. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Chances are the "salesman" knew nothing about either the Quantum flash or
    the Metz.

    Specifically the Qflash was too complicated for HIM!

    (it offers lots of features and options, but that's what makes it so

    PLUS it has interchangeable LARGE ROUND reflectors... meaning very even

    Quantum has a very good website and a tech dept that responds to phone calls
    or emails.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
  12. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Hey David,

    All I'm saying is if the local store is within 10% of the online store
    and the salesman can help with quality advice and recommendations then
    wouldn't you consider buying the product from them?

    I'm not talking about 20-35%... that's nuts.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
  13. hugo drax

    fruitbat Guest

    I suppose the salesperson would rather be standing idly behind a
    register? If there's a line of people waiting, yes, you're wasting his
    time. If he's not doing anything else, he's not *losing* any money by
    showing you something you won't buy... I checked out my Elan7 at a
    Ritz before buying it at B&H, but the fact that I had a courteous
    salesperson enticed me to buy several accessories there that I may not
    have otherwise. If I had been told "Sorry, I can't show you that
    unless you buy it", I may never have gone to that store again.

    fruitbat, Dec 23, 2003
  14. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Ya don't know till you ask.

    I was in a friend's camera store and he had just recd an estimate on
    the repair of a lens he took in on trade.

    The estimate was $140 or so and he didn't think it was worth fixing.

    It was a two part repair.

    One, the diaphragm was sticky.

    And two, the focussing was very loose.

    I called the Cam Co and they told me the cost of taking the lens apart
    and repairing the diaphragm was $70.

    And the cost of taking the lense apart and tightening the focussing
    was $70.

    I pointed out that they only had to disassemble the lens once for both

    They dropped the price to $110.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
  15. Hey David,
    Hi, Dan.

    Yes, I thought I had already made that clear. I did buy from local stores
    most of the time, but which local stores depended on price level. What I
    would not buy from local stores were the accessories such as batteries and
    CF cards where the markup was the higher level you mentioned. The saving
    on buying the Nikon 5700 tax free was about $200, so too much to ignore.

    The level of knowledge I have seen is sometimes better than mine on brands
    I don't know (Fuji, Kodak), but less than what I can find in, say, DP
    Review on a brand and camera type I do know (e.g. Nikon) or have
    researched (e.g. Minolta A1, Sony 828). I find that only if the
    salesperson has actually used the camera can they offer useful advice.
    Example: you ask what's in the box (memory, case etc.). They take the box
    apart to find out!

    David J Taylor, Dec 23, 2003
  16. hugo drax

    Skee Guest

    The salesman at Glazer's should have said "The Qflash is too
    sophisticated for you," since the word "sophisticated" is a perfect
    synonym for "I don't know what I'm talking about," at least according
    to my 5th grade English teacher.

    And while we're talking about Glazer's, that reminds me of a story
    that an ex-salesman told about the originator of the store, a Mr.
    "Enfield." It seems that his real name was Silverstein or something
    similar, and he wanted to have a more "presentable" name. Yes, in
    those days, the same arrogance was encouraged by the example set by
    Mr. "Enfield" toward his walk-in customers, and he seemed frustrated
    at having to compete with Noby's & Warshall's, both catering
    successfully to newspaper & portrait pros. It was a store that one
    cringed a bit before entering. Fortunately for them, the "Enfield
    Attitude" probably remains only in a couple of the old-timers there,
    and most of the crew now probably doesn't even know who "Enfield" is,
    and that's a good thing... the less New York attitude we have in
    Seattle, the happier we are.
    Skee, Dec 23, 2003
  17. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Or cleaning the counters... or sweeping the floor... you know... doing
    something productive.
    What if all those people are like you, fruit?

    Just checkin out a camera they've already decided to purchase somewhere
    Where does the money come from to pay the salesmen who take care of people
    who "won't buy" from them?
    How much of the salesman's time did ya take?

    Did ya have him explain everything about the camera?

    What was the difference in price from Ritz to B&H?

    How much more would you have been willing to pay Ritz than B&H because of
    the time and courtesy shown to you by the Ritz salesman?
    Which "several acccessories" did ya buy?
    Sure ya would have.

    How many times have ya been in that store picking the salesman's brains on a
    product when you already decided you were NOT gonna buy whatever it was from

    And the salesman's not gonna tell you " "Sorry, I can't show you that unless
    you buy it," because he IS gonna show it to you because he respects you as a
    person and as a customer.

    That IS what happened.

    It's unfortunate that you didn't extend to him the same respect by telling
    him ahead of time that there's NO WAY he's gonna sell you the camera because
    you ALREADY had decided to buy it elsewhere, OR AT LEAST have given him a
    chance to come close to B&H's price.

    Dan Sullivan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
  18. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Well being that I'm from NY... a salesman who's going to be successful...
    whether he's from Seattle or Manhattan HAS to be honest, knowledgeable AND a
    friend to everyone he meets.

    That "NY attitude" so many people refer to is counterproductive in any

    And is far from exclusive to NY.

    Happy Holidays, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
  19. hugo drax

    John Horner Guest

    WalMart certainly is a whole different thing from a well run small store :).

    John Horner, Dec 23, 2003
  20. hugo drax

    Charlie Self Guest

    Oh, yes. And the thing that cracks me up is that if you shop carefully, you can
    beat their prices on most things.

    Charlie Self

    "Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal."
    Alexander Hamilton
    Charlie Self, Dec 23, 2003
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