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11-20-2011, 06:29 AM   #1
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Best Buy selling Pentax

Best Buy online and in the retail stores in larger metro areas are now selling Pentax cameras and lenses.

Is this something new that I missed before or did it just happen. Our local stores are not stocking but the Louisville store is stocking.

11-20-2011, 07:33 AM   #2
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They have been selling them online for years but not in the stores. I think the camera dept.'s in in the stores vary in their offerings. The nearest one to me sells only Nikon and Canon entry level DSLR's and consumer grade lenses.
11-20-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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No Pentax items in my nearest store (Arlington, VA) a week or so ago. Just the lower priced Sony, Canon and Nikon DSLRs, and the point and shoots.
11-20-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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I knew about online, but in store would be a big deal. Ricoh maybe had something to do with it ?

11-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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Seen them online for a long time. Sometimes they have decent deals on refurbished cameras, but other than that their prices are not good. There is a local shop that sells Pentax, so I don't really care if "Best" Buy offers them.
11-20-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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I did not realize they were doing it online for some time. Looking for some upbeat news, I was.

The site indicates that Louisville, KY stores are stocking some items. The two stores here are not.
11-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Seen them online for a long time. Sometimes they have decent deals on refurbished cameras, but other than that their prices are not good. There is a local shop that sells Pentax, so I don't really care if "Best" Buy offers them.
The point is not the prices, but rather the exposure this brings to Pentax.


Personally, this really excites me. I hope it is a sign of good things to come.
11-20-2011, 03:51 PM   #8
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I hope this is true. The last time I was at my local Best Buy Canon, Nikon, and Sony all had huge displays and there was nary a Pentax body or lens to be found.

Sony really, really seems to be pushing hard to get the NEX in front of people if one can judge by the scale and elaborate nature of their display.

11-20-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Not here unfortunately thought it says I can order from the store if I want to buy anything there. Have to buy it first, can't even check it out first, whatever...
11-21-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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30 years ago, the Base Exchange(Air Force)in Japan sold Pentax. I bought my first LX body for $430 and had ALL accessories available to me at military rate...tax free. There was a time the Best Buy didn't sell iPhones or Droids(popularity=$$$).
11-23-2011, 08:38 AM   #11
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BestBuy Canada isn't selling any Pentax. Not on-line and not in store.
11-24-2011, 03:27 AM - 12 Likes   #12
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Sheesh, you guys need to do better with your threads. I work at Best Buy as a part time sales floor member. Being a photography major, they swiftly took me off the register and put me in with the cameras where I've been for the last 9 months or so. For as long as I have worked there, we did carry Pentax cameras on our website, as far as I recall.

I occasionally bring in my white Pentax K-r and put it in the display case to show off to people who are looking for a new camera. It looks quite fierce with the DA* 50-135mm and the 540FGZ flash on it compared to even the 7D or D7000. I don't do this under any special request from management- I just like having a camera I am familiar with should I need to demonstrate depth of field or something.

I also bring in my camera to help newbies broaden their camera catalogs. I mean, the K-r on BestBuy.com can come with the 55-300mm lens for $799. That's still $50 less than the Canon T3i! We also sell the camera on the website- and yet our strongest advantage- in store demos and floor models- is forfeit since we don't have a camera to represent Pentax. As a bonus, it also sparks conversation like nothing else. When people see it and I tell them its mine, their opinion frankly turns from "Ugh, annoying salesman" to "Hotdog! I got a camera guru!" ^_^

Without getting into specifics I think I can give some very general feedback.

The first being Pentax/Ricoh needs to get cameras in stores. I've seen even end caps for mediocre cameras draw plenty and continued attention but even just having a lonely camera on a post will occasionally draw someone by and ask "What about this one?" Without presence though, how do people know what models to consider?

The WG1 merits attention. There is a fuji and two olympus cameras that compete in the waterproof arena but have lukewarm reviews. The WG1 has pretty stellar reviews, and not just on BestBuy.com.

The Pentax Optios are carried from time to time on the website but totally fly under everyone's radar since nobody knows about them.

Hardly anyone comes into my Best Buy for binoculars. I think I had one person casually inquire about carrying some, but we just don't. It could very well be a regional thing, though.

We occasionally get refurbished Pentax cameras on our website for very cheap. We had a K100 not too long ago IIRC. It was going for $250. Seems like now we have a refurbished K2000 for the same price. In white none the less! This is one of my favorite parts of periodically checking our website. You can find gems like that!

We have a pretty good collection of Pentax lenses on our site including some DA Limited lenses as well as most of the DA*'s. Funnily enough, we don't seem to carry the Pentax flashes.

Best Buy also has free photography handouts. One of them is a magazine called "First Glimpse" and has some basic info on what to look for in electronics. The camera section has nice break downs in chart form of different cameras by class. The charts are not comprehensive though since they can only fit so many models on the page in any given issue so some models rotate, but I have seen the Pentax K-r and K-5 both get featured and be put side by side with the T3i, D5100, D7000 etc.

Why do I do this though? Why bring in several thousands of dollars worth of gear at a part time job. Simple. I'm dedicated. I want to help people find the right camera so it doesn't become another dust collecting trinket in their closet. I want people to come back to the store and show me a memory card full of vacation photos and dramatic sunsets. I want people to thank me for not just being another salesman.

In this regard, I think Pentax makes DSLRs with the right stuff. Stabilized sensor so no more choosing between a $200 telephoto and $600 stabilized telephoto for a beginner. Neat and clean interface that isn't confusing to the novice. Heck, even the choice of colors for added personality. Mind you, these aren't features I cram down people's throats. I show them the D5100 interface and how to navigate. Then show them something like how to get shallow depth of field on my camera (mostly because we aren't tethered by the security things) and they start pawing at the screen, "Whoah, its so simple to use!" Simply put, given the chance, these things sell themselves.

That being said, despite choosing Pentax for my own shooting and being a fan, I cannot and do not default to the K-r or K-5. I hear the customer's needs and find solutions. Every single time. The biggest concerns I see and have myself regarding the Pentax cameras are that finding lenses and equipment for rental can be a hassle since there is less market penetration. Another thing is that video capabilities are lacking. These things are nothing new. I also don't trample over familiarity if they had a previous camera from another manufacturer.

This all being said. I love my job. I really do. I get to meet interesting people, excite them on what excites me, and help them appreciate photography just a little bit more than they used to.
11-26-2011, 12:33 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Wow, I take it nobody likes reading large, well thought out posts.
11-26-2011, 02:17 AM   #14
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Optios fly under the radar for good reason... they're junk.

One thing I have noticed in Ontario in the past year is that the Pentax DSLR's have disappeared from Best Buy store shelves but I still see some lenses in the displays at some stores. Mostly the 18-55, 55-300, 18-135, and 16-45.
11-26-2011, 07:10 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kryscendo Quote
Wow, I take it nobody likes reading large, well thought out posts.
I just read it and enjoyed it. I don't have anything to contribute back though. Good job on putting Pentax on people's radar screens.
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