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12-18-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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Pentax Merchandising at B&H Store

For weeks my wife and I were looking forward to visiting the B&H superstore in NYC. We were really excited to get there and try out a variety of Pentax lenses and get ourselves an early xmas present. I assumed (first three letters got me again) B&H had a nice supply of Pentax demo gear to try out. Visiting the store seemed like the perfect opportunity to sample several lenses.

Upon arriving my wife told my two year old that she was going to have to bear with us while we had a little fun. After all, B&H is easily the ultimate gadget toy store. It really is an amazing place if you're into this stuff. Put it on your visit list the next time you're in NYC if you haven't been there.

Like kids at Christmas we hopped on the escalator and arrived in the photography section upstairs. After a short wait we spoke to an associate who was directly in front of Pentax demo gear. Much to my dismay, this guy had very little knowledge of Pentax products. He said that maybe 2 out of 100 people are interested in Pentax stuff. Perhaps this was his way of justifying his lack of knowledge. We asked to see the DA 35mm Macro and DA 40mm Limited lenses. He looked through his spartan collection of demo gear to find one. No dice. In fact, they had no DA Limited primes. I then asked to see the new DA 35mm. They didn't have that either. The only other lens on my demo wish list was the new DA 18-135mm. You guessed it, no dice again.

If you're wondering why B&H couldn't pull one or more lenses out of stock to demo, we're on the same page. Apparently they rely on each manufacterer to supply demo gear and, according to the associate, Pentax has been MIA for a very long time. I could only shake my head at that point. Assuming what this guy told me was true, how can Pentax miss the boat on servicing the largest photography retailer IN THE WORLD? It just adds to my disappointment with this brand.

In any event, we bought both the DA 40mm and DA 35mm Macro with the hope that we would like them. We also got the Black Rapid camera strap (totally awesome, BTW).

So far we love the Limited lenses that we got. Having said that, our Pentax experience at B&H yesterday was a total waste. I paid 9% NYC sales tax for nothing. And the sales associates added NO VALUE to the transaction. Next time, I'll just order over the Internet like I always do.


Last edited by krebsy75; 12-20-2010 at 08:51 AM.
12-18-2010, 03:47 PM   #2
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I'm surprised as your were. I've always felt that if I get to NYC, some of the first places I would go would Be B+H and Adorama.
12-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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What a sad tale. I'm heading to NY city this spring and B&H is on my list of things to see. I too have to buy my Pentax gear via the internet because absolutely no one carries it in my area. Pentax has great products and I enjoy them. I only wish they had a more physical presence.
12-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #4
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I'm also probably visiting NYC this spring, and was kinda hoping to get some new equipment from B&H since the prices are way cheaper than here in Finland/Europe in general. Would've been cool to try them out first as my budget is very tight, but meh.. We'll see about that!

12-19-2010, 04:49 PM   #5
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Uh, it's December, B&H is the equivalent of an adult toy store and it's located in one of the biggest cities in the world. You think maybe they might just be running a bit low on Pentax gear? I'd try that trip again in say Feb 2011. Might be you'll find a bit more on the shelves.

12-19-2010, 05:49 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The B&H store doesn't have any merchandise on shelves to purchase. When you want to buy something you speak to an associate who creates an order. Once your order is in the system it gets picked in their basement warehouse and dumped inside a tote. The tote then takes a ride throughout the facility on lifts and overhead conveyers to its ultimate destination at the pick-up area.

It's hard to put in words how cool this place is. Check out these clips:


B&H actually had every lens I inquired about in stock. The issue at hand is their lack of Pentax demo units. I can understand why they put the onus on the manufacterer. My company does the same thing. My disappointment lies in Pentax dealer support and the B&H associate's lack of knowledge.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Uh, it's December, B&H is the equivalent of an adult toy store and it's located in one of the biggest cities in the world. You think maybe they might just be running a bit low on Pentax gear? I'd try that trip again in say Feb 2011. Might be you'll find a bit more on the shelves.

12-20-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
B&H actually had every lens I inquired about in stock. The issue at hand is their lack of Pentax demo units. I can understand why they put the onus on the manufacterer. My company does the same thing. My disappointment lies in Pentax dealer support and the B&H associate's lack of knowledge.
Thank you for your recent visit and your purchases. We certainly hope you enjoy the camera and lenses you purchased.

We are disappointed too that we do not have more display merchandise from Pentax USA and regret any aspect of your recent visit was less than ideal. I am sharing your comments with the store sales manager who handles our slr department and with our store manager. They are as concerned as I that each visitor's experience be excellent and I know they will take your comments to heart.
12-20-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for your response.

We actually spoke with two associates. After the first one wasn't very helpful, my wife and I looked for a camera bag to store our new K-r (also bought from B&H). When we finally placed our order we worked with the next available associate who was different from the first guy.

QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
Thank you for your recent visit and your purchases. We certainly hope you enjoy the camera and lenses you purchased.

We are disappointed too that we do not have more display merchandise from Pentax USA and regret any aspect of your recent visit was less than ideal. I am sharing your comments with the store sales manager who handles our slr department and with our store manager. They are as concerned as I that each visitor's experience be excellent and I know they will take your comments to heart.


12-20-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
We actually spoke with two associates. After the first one wasn't very helpful, my wife and I looked for a camera bag to store our new K-r (also bought from B&H). When we finally placed our order we worked with the next available associate who was different from the first guy.
Thank you. I know. Once I ID'd your order I could see everyone who touched it from the first sales associate to the chap who handed the bag to you on your way out.
12-20-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
Thank you. I know. Once I ID'd your order I could see everyone who touched it from the first sales associate to the chap who handed the bag to you on your way out.
Oh oh, does that mean an ass-whopping is coming???
12-20-2010, 10:20 AM   #11
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Someone from B&H just called my wife to get the scoop. I really appreciate that you guys went out of your way to make things right.

B&H is a first class operation. I look forward to patronizing your business again in the future.

QuoteOriginally posted by henryp Quote
Thank you. I know. Once I ID'd your order I could see everyone who touched it from the first sales associate to the chap who handed the bag to you on your way out.
12-20-2010, 10:31 AM   #12
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Hello,

Thank you for posting.


Chuck
12-20-2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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Wow, wish they were in Canada.
12-20-2010, 05:44 PM   #14
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Wow, what an operation ! I can appreciate the lack of manufacturer sponsored demo's. Excited again to be visiting this spring. Plus, sounds like there very sensitive to customer service. DISCLAIMER : I don't work there.
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