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04-20-2012, 05:30 AM   #316
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Sorry, your first comment is laughable to say the least. BH operates just like any retailer only that they are bigger than most others. If they can make money selling grey market (aka parallel import) goods, they will do so, and what's to stop them. In most countries, parallel importing is not against the law but obviously it is up to the local distributor to monitor and control as there are obvious issues with parallel importing at the dealer level. Being a big name in the biz, they better come clean if they sell grey goods as they have a reputation to protect.

Most customers will never know if the online item they bought is a grey product or not if they are not told about it or there are giveaway signs like instruction manuals or packaging in different languages. Nothing implicitly wrong with grey goods per se but if you need peace of mind with a warranty, then pay more for it.
Actually the only reason for them to carry the gray product is to offer a lower price than the domestic product supply chain allows. Product will be the same (aside from manuals etc) but it will have zero support from the manufacturer (rightly so, the local distribution funds the cost of support/service locally)

my point was most grey market issues are the sleazy guys who don't tell you up front and misrepresent the product. the grey market is problematic for the supplier because they end up dealing with service issues and potentially alienating a client by refusing to service or charging for service

Simply put if you are nikon or any other brand grey goods are not good for your brand image (a lot of grey dealers BTW are the dealers that the brand chooses not to sell to)

04-20-2012, 05:41 AM   #317
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Actually the only reason for them to carry the gray product is to offer a lower price than the domestic product supply chain allows. Product will be the same (aside from manuals etc) but it will have zero support from the manufacturer (rightly so, the local distribution funds the cost of support/service locally)

my point was most grey market issues are the sleazy guys who don't tell you up front and misrepresent the product. the grey market is problematic for the supplier because they end up dealing with service issues and potentially alienating a client by refusing to service or charging for service

Simply put if you are nikon or any other brand grey goods are not good for your brand image (a lot of grey dealers BTW are the dealers that the brand chooses not to sell to)
I agree with most of that, except the last. We know that Pentax raised the minimum stock requirements and had in place a cash-and-carry requirement. This resulted in many honest and descent Pentax dealers being unable to sustain their commitment to Pentax because of the onerous level of stock required. Some have turned to selling Pentax that they obtained from other than the national distributor officially, thus becoming gray market dealers. At least in the US Ned and the folks at Pentax Imaging have gotten it wrong so many times in the past its amazing people now believe that they are somehow marketing gurus.
04-20-2012, 05:52 AM   #318
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I agree with most of that, except the last. We know that Pentax raised the minimum stock requirements and had in place a cash-and-carry requirement. This resulted in many honest and descent Pentax dealers being unable to sustain their commitment to Pentax because of the onerous level of stock required. Some have turned to selling Pentax that they obtained from other than the national distributor officially, thus becoming gray market dealers. At least in the US Ned and the folks at Pentax Imaging have gotten it wrong so many times in the past its amazing people now believe that they are somehow marketing gurus.
Oh I don't think anyone at Pentax anywhere is a marketing guru I agree the Pentax Grey issue was created by the policy put in place under Hoya. It was an asinine move for a company with a small share. I'm not sure the choise was entirely Pentax US though, I think the Policy was forced by Hoya (possibly as an experiment in how a fully web based market would do versus a market with good B&M and distribution - The US sales tax system really does reward that model - even though the consumer is still expected to pay the tax on an honour basis - that never works lol)
04-20-2012, 06:02 AM   #319
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Oh I don't think anyone at Pentax anywhere is a marketing guru I agree the Pentax Grey issue was created by the policy put in place under Hoya. It was an asinine move for a company with a small share. I'm not sure the choise was entirely Pentax US though, I think the Policy was forced by Hoya (possibly as an experiment in how a fully web based market would do versus a market with good B&M and distribution - The US sales tax system really does reward that model - even though the consumer is still expected to pay the tax on an honour basis - that never works lol)
Well, it seems that it is constantly Pentax USA that is either making the incredibly poor decisions or are the victim of the decision makers in Japan. However, it amazes me that so many are so quick to believe that each and every one of these decisions are masterstrokes of genius at the time the are announced but later are willing to admit that it might not have been the right decision.

04-20-2012, 06:19 AM   #320
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Well, it seems that it is constantly Pentax USA that is either making the incredibly poor decisions or are the victim of the decision makers in Japan. However, it amazes me that so many are so quick to believe that each and every one of these decisions are masterstrokes of genius at the time the are announced but later are willing to admit that it might not have been the right decision.
I don't think they are geniuses and there may well have been smarter ways to implement this. Coming from a retail background though I do think this needed to be done (along with a range of other things). I've always thought Hoya really ran down the company. I will allow they managed to release a couple of nice cameras (the K7/5 I think are excellent) though they botch it by having mediocre QC to some degree (K7 has the shutter shake issue and the k5 well......)
I do think how the US is run has very likely been restrained by what Hoya was willing to invest (remember Pentax US is an arm of Pentax not an independent distributor like say Australia)
Hoya's whole thing was strip cost and do the minimum to add value so they could get rid of the imaging business they had no interest in. If pre Hoya imaging had kept up and made some of the adjustments Hoya did (like raising some prices to more realistic levels like the FA50) the imaging arm would have been more profitable and it would have been far harder to pull off the hostile takeover that hoya pulled off

At this point I'm of the view that the next 18 months or so will see some pretty big changes and some of them won't be well implemented at first. But I can see at the end of it a very different looking Pentax (no longer the Pentax can't afford 3 bodies blah blah type of attitude caused by Hoyas management of the brand.) Ricoh seems to be putting their stamp on things - the recent UPP may not be directly them but a result of a set of standards they expect going forward with the overall plan) They also seem to be willing to invest in the brand to grow it. I think it will take another 18 months to see how well they do that, you can't turn things around overnight.
04-20-2012, 06:33 AM   #321
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I don't think they are geniuses and there may well have been smarter ways to implement this. Coming from a retail background though I do think this needed to be done (along with a range of other things). I've always thought Hoya really ran down the company. I will allow they managed to release a couple of nice cameras (the K7/5 I think are excellent) though they botch it by having mediocre QC to some degree (K7 has the shutter shake issue and the k5 well......)
I do think how the US is run has very likely been restrained by what Hoya was willing to invest (remember Pentax US is an arm of Pentax not an independent distributor like say Australia)
Hoya's whole thing was strip cost and do the minimum to add value so they could get rid of the imaging business they had no interest in. If pre Hoya imaging had kept up and made some of the adjustments Hoya did (like raising some prices to more realistic levels like the FA50) the imaging arm would have been more profitable and it would have been far harder to pull off the hostile takeover that hoya pulled off

At this point I'm of the view that the next 18 months or so will see some pretty big changes and some of them won't be well implemented at first. But I can see at the end of it a very different looking Pentax (no longer the Pentax can't afford 3 bodies blah blah type of attitude caused by Hoyas management of the brand.) Ricoh seems to be putting their stamp on things - the recent UPP may not be directly them but a result of a set of standards they expect going forward with the overall plan) They also seem to be willing to invest in the brand to grow it. I think it will take another 18 months to see how well they do that, you can't turn things around overnight.
No, and in the beginning I was one of the people here saying that Ricoh had taken on Canon in copiers and beaten them so this looked like a good move for those of us using Pentax cameras. My problem with this whole thing is that it seems clear that Pentax USA has been run incredibly poorly and yet the same folks are still at the helm. If Japan set guidelines and did not dictate precise policy then the implementation fiasco is the fault of the people in the Pentax USA offices in Colorado. One way to restore the image would be to place someone in charge with a good reputation who does not have the baggage of folks that have presided over so many incredibly bad policies and decisions. That person could refrain from blogging about other cameras, not insult the real customers by telling them they are not the customers, etc. and take credit for changing the implementation policies that are causing problems. Nonetheless I do enjoy my K-5, but for the time being will not be buying anything new from Pentax at MSRP.
04-20-2012, 06:44 AM - 1 Like   #322
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Nonetheless I do enjoy my K-5, but for the time being will not be buying anything new from Pentax at MSRP.
Same here - I have my K-5 and a minimum number of nice lenses and I won't be getting any more stuff until I see where the brand and pricing go. In a few years I may decide to sell my Pentax stuff and move to another brand - only time will tell. But that will be more likely if prices stay where they currently are, as the value is not as strong as it was when I started buying into Pentax 8 months ago.
04-20-2012, 06:46 AM   #323
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If share and sales don't meet Ricoh's targets then I'm sure there will be changes.

04-20-2012, 06:48 AM   #324
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
If share and sales don't meet Ricoh's targets then I'm sure there will be changes.
We can but hope, and not support their current pricing policy.
04-20-2012, 06:52 AM   #325
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimDickinson Quote
Same here - I have my K-5 and a minimum number of nice lenses and I won't be getting any more stuff until I see where the brand and pricing go. In a few years I may decide to sell my Pentax stuff and move to another brand - only time will tell. But that will be more likely if prices stay where they currently are, as the value is not as strong as it was when I started buying into Pentax 8 months ago.
Value is a relative thing, and you can't asses the value in staying with the band 2 years out as many things change, and you have to compare it to the cost/value proposition the competition presents.
while the pentax prices are not as good now, they are still cheaper than nikon inmany cases

this is one of those times where it's better to take the wait see attitude and let things settle. If you have needs you can't meet currently (ie better flash or longer lenses or FF) then looking at a brand move makes sense, If however your current kit allows you to get shots you are happy with than waiting to see what happens is the wise course
04-20-2012, 06:57 AM   #326
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Value is a relative thing, and you can't asses the value in staying with the band 2 years out as many things change, and you have to compare it to the cost/value proposition the competition presents.
while the pentax prices are not as good now, they are still cheaper than nikon inmany cases

this is one of those times where it's better to take the wait see attitude and let things settle. If you have needs you can't meet currently (ie better flash or longer lenses or FF) then looking at a brand move makes sense, If however your current kit allows you to get shots you are happy with than waiting to see what happens is the wise course
All true, but I would add that lobbying for change is another course open to us. My perception is that the "concessions" that Ned has said on his blog are being considered are due to the backlash and would not have even been floated without that influence on them in Denver.
04-20-2012, 07:19 AM   #327
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
All true, but I would add that lobbying for change is another course open to us. My perception is that the "concessions" that Ned has said on his blog are being considered are due to the backlash and would not have even been floated without that influence on them in Denver.
I tend to agree, specifically in relation to Warranty as a component of value

EDIT - Given what they sell the extended warranty for (including i'm sure good margin for the seller) making it a component of the product is a cheap way of providing perceived value increases
04-20-2012, 08:16 AM   #328
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I tend to agree, specifically in relation to Warranty as a component of value

EDIT - Given what they sell the extended warranty for (including i'm sure good margin for the seller) making it a component of the product is a cheap way of providing perceived value increases
Ah, but as I understand it - subject to actual facts to change my understanding - they do not sell their wonderful (and one I have advocated people buy because its a real deal) 2 year extended warranty on anything but camera bodies. If you want to extend your lens warranty in the US beyond what Pentax provides (1 year) then you have to purchase one from SquareTrade or equivalent 3rd party.
04-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #329
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Ah, but as I understand it - subject to actual facts to change my understanding - they do not sell their wonderful (and one I have advocated people buy because its a real deal) 2 year extended warranty on anything but camera bodies. If you want to extend your lens warranty in the US beyond what Pentax provides (1 year) then you have to purchase one from SquareTrade or equivalent 3rd party.
I know but given camera bodies will have a much higher failure rate than lenses due to their complexity it shows that a 5 year on the lens is not a huge cost. Warranties like Square Trade etc are in the 85-90% gross margin range. it's where electronics stores make up their margin, and why you get a hard sell on them in many places
04-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #330
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I know but given camera bodies will have a much higher failure rate than lenses due to their complexity it shows that a 5 year on the lens is not a huge cost. Warranties like Square Trade etc are in the 85-90% gross margin range. it's where electronics stores make up their margin, and why you get a hard sell on them in many places
True, which begs the question of why Pentax does 1 year in the US and more elsewhere when there just isn't that high a failure rate (other than SDM) in lenses.

In checking Amazon prices I see that they have broken ranks again with MSRP on the 50-135 by $300, along with another seller, but on everything else that I checked (4-5 other lenses) they are precisely at MSRP as I understand it along with Adorama, B&H, and most others. However, on Nikon lenses there is genuine fluctuation and price competition on lenses. Their 50/1.8 D model (taken because I bought one for my sister back a while ago) varies from $134 to $159 new from known camera sellers. Not a lot in $ value but that is a descent % variance.
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