no wonder localshops are dying

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

  1. That one I have to be pretty stiff with myself about. If I actually
    need to go fondle the merchandise to make up my mind, I need to pay
    for the privilege. Mostly I've been pretty good about that; I buy a
    lot of mailorder, but only if I know exactly what I want.

    Once I ended up buying a lens locally as a result of stopping by a
    camera store to check the local price before mail-ordering (this was
    pre-internet). Prices in the good old days -- I bought a brand-new
    Leitz Summicron 35mm f2 for $240 at the local store (about 1975).
    Turned out to be just as good a price as mailorder, and more
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 23, 2003
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  2. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Back then Leica equipt was sold at list price by everyone.
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 23, 2003
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  3. hugo drax

    eawckyegcy Guest

    Soooo ... when the local store hoses a customer that _doesn't_ haggle
    with them, this is "respect"? Or what? Frankly, I can't recall the
    last time _I_ was treated with respect at a "local" camera store. As
    far as I can tell, all of them are just the optics/electronics version
    of a car dealership. (The Truth hurts, eh?)

    If I can walk into a "local store" and take a look at the merchandise
    I will purchase online, I consider it a win, given the above. What
    better way to teach these local jokers a lesson?

    As far as I am concerned, the only reason to buy "local" is that you
    have a need that must be satisfied _immediately_, or where you can
    wait, but shipping costs will eat signifigantly into any savings if
    you buy from NYC, or, of course the local store is actually offering a
    better deal. (A case which is rather rare.)

    By the way, I can only assume you have never haggled with a "local".
    If you bring up the B&H/Adorama/etc subject with a salesdroid at a
    "local" store, the response is a glum look (they know they are about
    to lose) and the flat declaration that "we can't approach their
    prices." (Finally, the Truth!) You may also be seranaded with a
    "warranty" story, and how they support what they sell. (All more or
    less bullpoop.) If you ask them to simply close the gap anyways, the
    typical response is classic car salesmanship: "I'll have to check
    with the manager about that." (Oh no, not The Manager! ANYTHING, but
    The Manager!!!)

    Conclusion: in most cases mail order NYC is economic sanity. If this
    drives "locals" into bankruptcy, well, that's just a fact of economic
    life. Is anyone going to cry if I lose my job? Will you write
    strident apologetics for me? Of course not. "Invest in the future
    you want": mine has more money in my bank account _and_ nice
    equipment to play with. Let the "local" stores decide what their
    future is and make their own investments.
    eawckyegcy, Dec 23, 2003
  4. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Many regular (loyal) customers pay what the store owner believes is a fair
    and competitive price.

    And they're not getting "hosed."

    They want their storeowner friend to be in business whenever they need him.

    And they'll get a n/c loaner camera when theirs is in for repair.

    And they'll get other personal services that a MO dealer couldn't possibly
    offer them.

    Most of these customers are self-employed or business owners themselves.
    I'll bet you're about to tell me why.
    Car salesmen are the worst.
    Which lesson is that?

    I used to work for a guy who'd tell a local joker like you "I wish I had ten
    customers like you."

    And they'd say "Really?"

    And he'd say, "Yeah, too bad I've got a hundred!"
    I hondle with everybody.
    Actually chances are they can approach B&H's prices.

    Maybe not a match, but close.
    The salesman tries to get a better price for you approved by his boss AND
    YOU COMPLAIN????????

    What a monumental horse's ass you are!

    You think a salesman can make up any price he wants?
    No one that knows you.
    It appears they've decided not to invest any more time in you.

    And who could blame them?

    Dan Sullivan, Dec 24, 2003
  5. hugo drax

    Don Coon Guest

    I think the size and nature of your population area also determines whether
    you support your local camera shop or buy on line. I live in a marketing
    area of about 200,000. There are two camera shops within 40 miles. One
    shop is poorly stocked and overpriced. The other has decided he can't
    compete in the digital market with big B&M stores and has decided to focus
    strongly on higher-end film needs. I've purchased accessories from him like
    bags and filters but there's no way he can compete with B&H, Adorama when it
    comes to lenses and cameras.

    My point is, we need to know the nature of a poster's market before we
    understand where he's coming from.

    I'd love to have a camera shop big enough to supply my needs and I'd be
    willing to pay a little more to have a local source but, alas, it's just a
    pipe dream : (
    Don Coon, Dec 24, 2003
  6. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    All I'm saying is... support yer local camera store if he offers you
    knowledgeable advice and service and he's reasonably competitive with what
    you'd pay on-line.

    If ya ain't got a store like that locally...

    Happy Holidays, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 24, 2003
  7. hugo drax

    Don Coon Guest

    You too, Dan.

    You know, Norman Camera in Kalamazoo is 83 miles from here but on the way to
    some places I travel. I'll have to stop there someday and see what they
    have and know. Too far to go to shop but at least they'd be close enough if
    I needed to haul something back. But to buy from them on-line costs me
    both shipping AND sales tax --- ouch!
    Don Coon, Dec 24, 2003
  8. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Ask to speak to the resident genius (computer geek).

    He's the guy you wanna meet.
    I collect folding cameras so every cam shop can produce gold if I'm lucky.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 24, 2003
  9. hugo drax

    Don Coon Guest

    And you never know when you might find a "10" quality used lens at a great
    Don Coon, Dec 24, 2003
  10. hugo drax

    hugo drax Guest

    Most salesperson in local cameras are just that, salespeople with no actual
    experience with the productline or teenagers.

    I do buy locally even though it costs more when it comes to my saltwater
    aquarium since the guys at the shop really are helpful, always know you by
    your first name and they know what I have bought and what I can put in etc..
    lots of advice and help,unfortunately this is a rare thing in the consumer
    hugo drax, Dec 24, 2003
  11. hugo drax

    dperez Guest

    All I'm saying is... support yer local camera store if he offers you
    This whole argument would be funny if it weren't so sad...

    I live in a metro area with a couple REAL camera shops. The big one (a chain of
    camera places, not a 1-hour photo masquerading as a camera store) is where I
    usually shop.

    I've purchased thousands of dollars worth of equipment there over the years.
    Primarily before the internet became mature enough to enable me to do meaningful
    research there...

    I'd MUCH rather buy from the local shop.

    So, recently, I went out and did my research. And decided I wanted a Fuji S2
    body. And checked SEVERAL of the more reliable places on the web - Adorama,
    B&H, Tri-State, etc. I skipped the places that were allegedly selling it for

    Then I went into the local shop. And told the manager what I wanted. Their
    price was 25% HIGHER than the highest of the decent internet places. 25%!

    So, I took Dan's advice and attempted to negotiate... Told the manager what I
    could buy it for on the web. He knows the prices. He admitted it. And his
    statement was "We don't discount our prices. We can't compete with the

    I told him I was willing to pay a REASONABLE premium for the privilege of
    waiting several weeks while they got the body in. His statement REMAINED "We
    don't discount."

    So, Dan, HOW MUCH IS "REASONABLE"? When the difference starts being $500+ is it

    Thanked him for his time. Bought from B&H. Had it in 2 days.

    Shortly afterward I was looking for a 1GB microdrive. Best price on the web I
    could find was $156 INCLUDING SHIPPING. Went back into the shop and asked one
    of the clerks for a 1 GB Microdrive... $303 PLUS Minnesota tax - which is
    significant. Basically they were OVER TWICE AS HIGH AS THE INTERNET. The
    manager's statement was "manufacturers need to do something for us local shops.
    We can't compete on price."


    And just out of curiosity, when did these "mail order" places STOP needing
    buildings, and staff, and phones and all the things any other "local" place
    needs? Seems like I recall folks in here talking about the square BLOCK size of
    B & H, and the huge staff, and the massive inventory, and so on... Same for
    Adorama... So, if they can pay NY rates for all this stuff, and still provide
    items at the prices they provide I find it a little difficult to believe the
    mfrs are screwing the other dealers so hugely on price that they can't be
    "reasonably" competitive.

    What does B & H pay for a Canon D300? Best Buy? Mom and Pop shop? Is it
    REALLY enough different that B&H can be 25% cheaper?
    dperez, Dec 24, 2003
  12. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    I walked into a cam store years ago and the owner said. "You know a lot
    about cameras. Do you know what this is?"

    And he held up a Fuji 690.

    What's it worth he wanted to know.

    I asked what he paid for it.


    I offered him a quick $20 profit and he went for it!

    $45 bucks for a medium format rangefinder.

    Keep lookin.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 24, 2003
  13. hugo drax

    Ron Zeis Guest

    If I worked for Wallmart, I would be grumpy too. Employyes are cannon
    Ron Zeis, Dec 24, 2003
  14. hugo drax

    A Little Bit Guest

    You, sir, are an arsehole for supporting online businesses..

    Of course local business can't compete with the dickheads selling online who
    avoid paying tax, rent and wages.

    I reckon it is time to hit the big red button on Internet and return to the more
    civilized areas like Fidonet.
    A Little Bit, Dec 24, 2003
  15. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    Good for you.
    B&H has it for $2000.

    They're making their usual markup.
    Of course not.
    Certain MFRs will sell to stores at distributor prices if they order large
    enough quantities.
    Don't make it appear you have no idea what "reasonable" means.
    Not so much.
    How many HUNDREDS of MILLIONS do ya think B&H does in a year?

    I believe they used to admit to 400 million.

    So at 10% they'd make 40 million a year.

    That could cover some pretty big expenses.
    B&H and Best Buys sell the Digital Rebel Kit for $1000.

    The MAP stores probably want to get as much as they can because there's a
    limited supply of cameras and an abundance of customers.

    Dan Sullivan, Dec 24, 2003
  16. hugo drax

    Don Coon Guest

    Ahd you, potty mouth, are an idiot if you think Adorama or B&H for example
    don't pay taxes, rent and wages. I bet their taxes, rent and wages are
    higher than most local "home town" retailers. NY has one of the highest
    cost of living indexes in the US.
    Don Coon, Dec 24, 2003
  17. I recently went through this too, probably at the same shop you went to (NCE
    in Minneapolis?) in an attempt to "locally" buy a Nikon 70-200VR (except
    "local" for me is 120 miles away). No negotiation possible there. Total
    package was 17% more than the $1619 B&H wanted for that lens
    take-it-or-leave-it. I might have considered it, except that it was clear
    that the salesman's knowledge of digital photography in general and this
    lens in particular was substantially less than mine. No help there to
    accomodate the price premium.

    After passing on the lens in favor of B&H's price, I did end up having a
    productive conversation with their portrait/wedding manager in the little
    back room, and as a result of that I did drop about $200 on some lighting
    doodads and accessories. When I got home 2 hours later, I did look up the
    cost of that stuff out of curiousity and found that (as I expected) I
    overpaid relative to B&H, but that's OK. The conversation was helpful and
    worth the price, bearing in mind that, although the percentage by which I
    overpaid was the same as I would have overpaid for the lens, the dollar
    amount was quite a bit less.

    Howard McCollister, Dec 24, 2003
  18. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    You're a gentleman, HMc.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 24, 2003
  19. hugo drax

    CriticalMass Guest

    Dan Sullivan wrote:

    Don't waste your (and our) time, Dan.

    You're not defending your position.
    CriticalMass, Dec 25, 2003
  20. hugo drax

    Dan Sullivan Guest

    What postition is that?

    If ya snip it yer wasting my time.
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 25, 2003
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