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12-03-2012, 05:39 PM - 9 Likes   #1
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*PETITION* Lets put an end to the crazy online Pentax lens prices in the US!

It's time to put the online MSRP thing to an end. Back in April, through a "Unilateral Pricing Policy" (UPP), Pentax USA forced online retailers to start selling Pentax lenses at full MSRP rather than the then-lower MAP prices. Refer to the article below for an overview of the price jumps. Some lenses nearly doubled in price!

Brutal Pentax Lens Price Increase: 15-90% - Pentax Camera News & Rumors -

Since this change, online sales of Pentax lenses have virtually come to a standstill because of the high, artificially-inflated prices. I'm sure you guys can testify to that, especially if you opted to use the Marketplace or get Sigma lenses rather than new Pentax ones. Just because the DA* 16-50mm has an MSRP of $1500 doesn't mean that anyone in the right mind will buy a used copy at the new high price: in fact, used Pentax lens prices are generally lower than the old MAP prices.

All of a sudden, this Black Friday weekend, the UPP restriction was temporarily lifted, and Pentax lens prices fell sharply for a few days (but some were still higher than the old prices). Here's a little insight into what gear really started moving:

In just one day, well over 100 new Pentax lenses were sold to PF members alone. That's more that the total number sold to PF members after the introduction of the UPP but before Black Friday.

So what good is this UPP thing doing? None at all. When it originally came about, Ned Bunnell, former President of Pentax USA, blogged about the UPP, saying that the main goal of the policy was to protect smaller brick-and-mortar stores so that they don't have to compete with really low online prices. Well, that's great and all, but you can count on your fingers how many such stores there are. And the funny thing is that if you walk into any one of these stores, you'll see the old prices. The same applies if you call B&H or Adorama: you'll generally get the old prices as long as you mention it (and if you walk in to the store, there's no question about it) On top of all this, rumors have it the Pentax USA distributor requires retailers to place large orders, which causes smaller stores to lose interest in carrying the brand, given the tiny demand that there is for Pentax to begin with.

The UPP isn't going to change the fact that the largest audience for Pentax lenses is found online, because of the fact that Pentax users are few and far between. This means that the new policy has done nothing but prevented users otherwise interested in Pentax lenses from buying them.

Above: the Pentax DA* 50-135mm is the star of the UPP, jumping from $749 to $1599

I was on the phone with B&H again today, and after I mentioned the recent Adorama deals, their buyer agreed to drop the price of the 15mm limited to $539 when in cart. B&H said that if this deal ends up getting more copies of the lens sold, they will do their best to post similar deals in the future, even if Pentax doesn't get rid of the UPP. Lowering prices after adding to cart, without advertising them, is a gray area: Pentax can't really say that it's a violation of the UPP, but they certainly won't be happy about it. B&H admitted that it was nice to see some stock get cleared out during Black Friday, so hopefully they'll be giving Pentax stuff a little bit more attention from now on.

While I'm sure B&H will be the first to offer the best online Pentax lens prices, they alone won't be able to change the way things work, because Pentax lenses and cameras are dwarfed by all other DSLR brands.

Almost all other camera brands have unilateral pricing policies. The difference, however, is that in-store prices are the same as online prices, and that no lenses doubled in price from one day to the next. This keeps prices constant across the board and successfully protects the market, unlike the Pentax policy, which one might say was late to the game. So, Pentax, consider this a petition on behalf of our entire community asking you to rethink your online marketing strategy.

If the UPP has prevented or discouraged you from buying a Pentax lens, or even forced you to switch brands, and if you want prices to go back to normal, sign the petition by replying to this thread. Let's make this the biggest thread in the whole lens forum: hopefully it'll send a strong message!

And if you want, I can go on with more reasons for why the UPP is bad:
  • Competitors have similarly-priced full-frame glass
  • Sigma has cheaper lenses and also offers premium lenses
  • People will avoid new lenses in favor of cheap manual lenses
As much as I hate to do it, I'd like to ask that the replies be limited to members based in the US, or who regularly import Pentax lenses from US online retailers.

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12-03-2012, 05:42 PM - 1 Like   #2
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pentax we want lower prices!!
12-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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count me in.
12-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #4

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I bought my first new prime pentax lens recently.

ALL of my other lenses are manual or third party with a couple of exceptions.

I have spent probably $2000 on lenses before this recent purchase that I would have GLADLY spent on Pentax lenses but the prices were obscene. They could have gotten every nickle of that money from me, but they didn't.

Make the lenses reasonable and people like me will fork out an extra 100 bucks to get better performance vs going 3rd party... but I won't go $500 more.

Those zooms for example.... $1500 bucks? For one? Really? Then black friday rolls around and they are $750. If they had standard reasonable pricing I would eventually probably buy a bunch of the lenses.

They need to work a little more off volume and a lot less off of trying to screw over those of us who are trying our best to be loyal to the brand.

If they did it (and I still might negotiate with some sellers) I will buy a 4 or 5 lens set all from the same place IF they give me a decent price. One sale 4 or 5 lenses.

The stuff needs to be more reasonable. There is no excuse for it other than bad business practices.

12-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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+1 for this Adam.

I bought a lot of my gear from B&H. At least until the price hikes. Second hand gear is currently where my dollar votes due to prices...
12-03-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Yes, I am on board. Want the 16-50mm but certainly not at $1400. Will buy Sigma or Tamron.
12-03-2012, 05:54 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Definitely has discouraged me from buying Pentax lenses. I currently only own two Pentax lenses, and both are M series that I bought used. Otherwise, my Sigma 17-70, Sigma 50 1.4, and Tamron 70-200 are much better alternatives.
12-03-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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I'm in on this one. I haven't purchased a new Pentax lens since the UPP went into effect. Just waiting for a little sanity with the pricing policy.

12-03-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Almost all of my Pentax gear was bought from B&H. Old prices of course. I have no intention of buying new gear at MSRP prices. Any gear that gets faulty will be replaced with used and/or 3rd party equipment, until normal MAP prices are restored.
To add to that, I bought a new 40mm LTD prime about a week ago, but that was on black Friday prices.
12-03-2012, 06:00 PM   #10

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I went Tamron all around the house for all zooms. 10mm all the way to 200mm.

Now I am going on this new LBA kick that to me is more than a kick. As I progress and learn more about photography I want to build a set of primes. 15mm is on the way... but I have some others I want to get too, but its simply not reasonable to do it. Pentax needs to get its act together.

I have money to spend but in this economy especially they need to be even more mindful.
12-03-2012, 06:00 PM   #11
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I don't mind it coming down to at least 1,000 as long as they up their warranty, a pitty 1 year warranty with a lens full of problems is not a good combination. Nikon's 17-55 f2.8 is priced at 1400 but to think about it they back up their pricing with their 5 year warranty and has no issues with their autofocusing like Pentax does. So 750 is the right price for it if you're going to repair it once over the span of 3 years which costs 300 for SDM. Hell Sony's 16-50 f2.8 is only 800 compared to the Canon 17-55 f2.8 for 1100. But the Canon has the best sharpness and less CA out of the bunch. The Nikon 24-70 f2.8 with their instant saving holiday deal right now is only 1600, that's 200 more than the 24-70 f4 from Canon, that's a full frame lens for 200 more than the optically worse with sdm issue DA* 16-50 f2.8. Makes the Nikon D7000's black friday deal look really good pairing up with the new Nikon instant savings with the 24-70.

I bought the DA* 50-135 for 850 before the price hike, and now I was SUPER lucky to pair it up with a DA* 16-50 f2.8 for 750 on Black Friday. I am still signing for others so they can get a hand on these beauties and able to see what I see in these lenses. I won't be buying another DA* as both of these lenses are the only zoom lenses I'll ever need.

Last edited by LeDave; 12-03-2012 at 06:32 PM.
12-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #12
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I'm from Brazil, but i buy items when i travel to USA, so i'm in.
12-03-2012, 06:09 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Add me in. I started a Boycott of MAP that got me in trouble here months ago. Funny, but all the things in Adam's post about MAP were things I said when it came out. Pentax DOES make mistakes and this one is a BIG one. I have only purchased Pentax gear at or below the Pre-MAP prices and will NEVER pay MAP. Stop the madness now. Just look at my signature block - I'm not a casual Pentax buyer, but I will NOT be extorted by some crazy dream of being Nikon without the network, sales support, warranty, or range of gear.
12-03-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Totally in on this one, thanks for trying to bring this to their attention.
12-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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I'm in. I recently bought a few old Tokina lenses because I got the same IQ and build quality but avoided the new prices. I've been buying used lenses since I can't afford the new ones. Hate to buy 3rd party because of the lack of WR, but the new prices are just too much

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