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06-10-2012, 04:05 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
It essentially says the UPP was implemented by and enforced by Pentax/Ricoh.

I am guessing they went back and looked at the question about how many DA LTD vs. FA ltd they sold after the UPP hike. However, they didn't answer the question in the blog.
No kidding.

They tried to enforce the UPP with fantasy pricing and saw a massive decline in sales.

There was nothing to enforce.

That's the problem with UPP: it forces Head Office to know what local markets will pay. If HO gets it wrong, nothing sells making a mockery of UPP. That's what happened here.

What's so blatantly stupid about this is that Pentax was out pricing Canikon and Sony while at the same time riding on prior statements about market share and being #3 and stuff like that. You want marketshare? You have to offer competitive pricing and value, value, value.

Ricoh acted like a poor Leica relative (M9 = lousy sensor).

06-10-2012, 04:07 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
No, it doesn't.

Ned Bunnell writes himself:
"I would also like to dispel any rumors or misinformed comments that our relationship with Ricoh is in any way responsible for our changes in retail channel pricing policies."
The above quote could hardly be any clearer. [/LIST]
Ricoh owns Ned's underwear.

That's the relationship.

Is that clear?
06-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Ricoh owns Ned's underwear.

That's the relationship.

Is that clear?
And it's pulled very tight these days, me thinks. The drastic implementation of UPP, the non-responsive blog post, the Target non-announcement and now the price drop* are all acts of desperation. One doesn't make these kinds of moves unless one feels there are no other options.

* The B&H price drop could be B&H just giving up on Pentax and clearing stock, but I doubt they would do that with at least one promising body near release.

I like Ned, his blog, the way he responds in interviews. I'd love to be in his camera club. Maybe Japan headquarters is demanding performance that just cannot be realized from a 3rd/4th place player in the USA DSLR market. Whatever the case, things cannot continue as they have been.
06-10-2012, 06:14 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Ricoh owns Ned's underwear.
So you are calling Ned Bunnell a liar?

06-10-2012, 09:16 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
So you are calling Ned Bunnell a liar?
We don't and really can't know what is going on in Denver (or Ned's home office). Pentax USA's actions since roughly January are inexplicable. They defy common sense and business logic.

I believe Ricoh has a product plan. I believe PRIAC is expected to implement distribution actions pursuant to that plan. I believe PRIAC simply cannot implement as expected since virtually every function of the company seems to have been outsourced to contractors.

They should have moved to Keystone instead of Denver, the better to police their distribution channel.
06-11-2012, 12:06 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
We don't and really can't know what is going on in Denver (or Ned's home office). Pentax USA's actions since roughly January are inexplicable. They defy common sense and business logic.
I agree.

But since we cannot know what is going on at Pentax USA, it seems safer to assume incompetence rather than malice. The former isn't good, but the latter is worse. That's a serious allegation Aristophanes is making (implicitly).

BTW, I'm also agreeing with you on the "Ricoh has a plan and you will be happy". People shouldn't be hoping for an FF camera this year but I believe the K-30 was just the beginning of a string of nice cameras.

It is sad that Pentax USA is currently the fly in the ointment, but hopefully after a while they will find their way. Anyhow, it is more important what happens in Pentax' Japanese laboratories and I believe we'll have reasons to be happy Pentaxians soon.
06-11-2012, 12:55 AM - 1 Like   #67
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Why should we assume either incompetence or malice, when we don't know what's going on?
06-11-2012, 02:23 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
So you are calling Ned Bunnell a liar?
A relationship between head office and Ned Bunnell is a master/servant one.

Ricoh 100% owns Pentax USA.

I doubt Ned's better instinct was to out price Canikon in the very price-driven US market. Few US manages would counsel that.

06-11-2012, 03:37 AM   #69
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I just happened to put up my DA15MM for sale during the hike period and it sold for more than i paid for it. (new) so... yay?

At the same time i bought a sigma lens without hesitation after seeing how expensive the pentax equiv was. I knew nothing about this price bullshit at the time.

Maybe they had to do it this way to ensure compliance. Any one who didn't increase their price is now cut off from selling Pentax gear? If they had implemented the price policy but the result was no change in price how could they know anyone was complying?

Last edited by WerTicus; 06-11-2012 at 03:55 AM.
06-11-2012, 04:35 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I doubt Ned's better instinct was to out price Canikon in the very price-driven US market. Few US manages would counsel that.
So you are saying that
  1. Ricoh had the "clever" idea to out price Canikon (as for some reason Ricoh managers would counsel that whereas US managers wouldn't), and
  2. Ned lied to us when he said that Ricoh had nothing to do with the UPP.
Are you sure that's what you want to say?

If I had to place a bet, I'd say Ricoh may have commented on the US situation and/or set new goals but that the implementation is due to Pentax USA.

I don't think that Ned Bunnell has hit home runs with his recent interviews and blog posts, but I do not believe that he is a liar.
06-11-2012, 05:39 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
So you are saying that
  1. Ricoh had the "clever" idea to out price Canikon (as for some reason Ricoh managers would counsel that whereas US managers wouldn't), and
  2. Ned lied to us when he said that Ricoh had nothing to do with the UPP.
Are you sure that's what you want to say?

If I had to place a bet, I'd say Ricoh may have commented on the US situation and/or set new goals but that the implementation is due to Pentax USA.

I don't think that Ned Bunnell has hit home runs with his recent interviews and blog posts, but I do not believe that he is a liar.
I am saying that Ricoh did what happens in takeovers: they had some buyer's remorse and then tried to make up for it on the bottom line by ignoring overseas market facts and dictating price levels and strategies to Pentax USA.

Ned calls that a "relationship" because he's being diplomatic. He had marching orders, may have protested, executed on them, and they backfired. My bet is he had per unit product margins to meet and was not allowed to waver. So some prices went up 2x and were well ahead of Canikon's pairings.

I have no problem with UPP, but the way it was handled was atrocious. You have to realize that the whole point of a US UPP program is to stop US website resellers from undercutting less competitive, closed markets through mail order. This applies to B&H, Amazon, Adorama, ProDigital 2000, and a slew of others.

This completely smacks of Japanese upper management ignorance as to how the uber-competitive US market works. The North American market is a "consumer discount philosophy" driven marketplace, especially for electronics of which cameras are know a handmaiden. Exporting surplus inventory is not only permitted, but encouraged through tax laws. It is unlawful in the US (UCC and franchise rights laws) to forbid re-export, so a manufacturer or distributor must buy back excess inventory (perfume makers do it all the time).

While not UPP strictly speaking, this happened before with the Toyota "no dicker sticker" where head office dictated worldwide prices over the screams of local franchises. Within 3 months Toyota saw erratic sales and dips and other issues (lawsuits and the interest of State AG's), before the whole scheme was quietly dropped.

I think Ned is only saying what he needs to say while saying as little as possible. He's a middleman.
06-11-2012, 05:57 AM   #72
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You mean, Ned lied when he said Pentax would not get more $$$ with the UPP?
06-11-2012, 06:14 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I am saying that Ricoh did what happens in takeovers: they had some buyer's remorse and then tried to make up for it on the bottom line by ignoring overseas market facts and dictating price levels and strategies to Pentax USA.
Possible, but pure speculation and in my book less likely than simple incompetence on behalf of Pentax USA. It isn't the first time Pentax USA makes you wonder what they are smoking.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Ned calls that a "relationship" because he's being diplomatic.
If you stick to your story then you have to admit that you are calling Ned a liar. If what you say has merit than he is not diplomatic, but simply dishes up fairy tales. Claiming that Ricoh did not push for the UPP while in reality they did (according to you) is not being "diplomatic" it is lying.

No one forced Ned to say that Ricoh isn't behind the UPP. No one forced Ned to claim that the purpose of the UPP is to bring back Pentax into brick & mortar stores. The list goes on.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
This completely smacks of Japanese upper management ignorance as to how the uber-competitive US market works.
Maybe, but it remains your speculation.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I think Ned is only saying what he needs to say while saying as little as possible. He's a middleman.
We agree that he is a middleman. But I do not agree that he says as little as possible. See this list of things he said. I do not see how that is "saying as little as possible".

I believe, for better or for worse, Ned Bunnell believes the things he says. Surely he has to be diplomatic at times, but I do not believe that he is a liar.

Last edited by Class A; 06-11-2012 at 06:33 AM.
06-11-2012, 06:35 AM   #74
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So the only choice is between calling Ned a liar, or an incompetent?
Get real.
06-11-2012, 06:46 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
..
Yeah, sadly my DA*16-50 lens jammed the day before an out of town shoot. No choice but to buy one new. (needed a backup lens anyway). But what horror to find I had to pay $1500 for the thing!!! And it was soon in repair for the same issue my old lens had. Really not happy having been forced into being their pricing guinea pig.

Feeling I had to over-pay for something is bad enough...but in this case I would be much more concerned that my brand new lens needed repair in less then 2 months!

This tells me it really doesn't matter what Pentax charges - unless they are giving them away for free, this lens ain't worth it.
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