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09-08-2012, 02:57 PM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Either wake up to the reality that things aren't cheap anymore and you have to set aside a more realistic expectation and amount of money to shoot Pentax or suck it up and live with the situation. Penny pinchers are the worst demographic for Pentax. After all why should Pentax pander to the cheapskates? Frankly try using other camera brands and you'll likely cough up even more dough...
Pentax has to be at least competitive with their prices. You can shoot other brands and spend about the same or less as Pentax by either buying their older models, buying used, or going with their cheaper offerings. Right now I could get a Nikon D700, a 35mm f/2, a 50mm f/1.4, and an 85mm f/1.8 for the same price as what I got my K-5 and either my two DA* zooms or three Limited lenses for. Sure, it would be a larger and heavier set up, and wouldn't be WR, but with that I would have a FF DSLR and a very nice fast three lens kit that could handle just about any job I do. That current reality has really got me rethinking my options.
There are customers of all DSLR brands trying to spend the least amount possible, and there are also customers who will invest serious dough. What Pentax is doing wrong with these price increases is not offering anything additional than they did when the prices were lower: no longer warranty, no increased quality, no updates or added features, and next to no advantage over the competition. So what exactly are we paying for? You can either get third party glass for cheaper, and still of good quality, or you can switch brands and go FF for not much more. Hell, you could get a D5100 (same sensor as K-5) and a set of VR zooms and DX primes for less than getting the equivalent from Pentax. All of this puts Pentax in an even more awkward position than they already were when you stack them up against the competition. It's just not a smart move for them. Maximum pricing doesn't make anyone happy. My take on this is that they're burning bridges with both their customers and retail partners.


Last edited by TomTextura; 09-08-2012 at 03:10 PM.
09-08-2012, 03:06 PM - 3 Likes   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
The upshot is most Pentax users want good and cheap but are unwilling or unable to pony up more money now. Either wake up to the reality that things aren't cheap anymore and you have to set aside a more realistic expectation and amount of money to shoot Pentax or suck it up and live with the situation. Penny pinchers are the worst demographic for Pentax. After all why should Pentax pander to the cheapskates? Frankly try using other camera brands and you'll likely cough up even more dough...
As I have said repeatedly - Pentax USA has said publicly that they are NOT charging their real customers (their term for the retail sales outlets) any more at the wholesale level, merely ordering the retailers to sell at a higher price. This means that Pentax does not get one cent more per lens at $1000 than the did at $500, even if they were to actually sell a lens at $1000. So, precisely how is this somehow an issue of penny pinching? This is an attempt by a marginal player in a price driven sector to dictate prices unrealistically to its retailers which results in a collapse of sales (see Adams various posts on what Maximum Assured Pricing has done to sales at Adorama and B&H).

Command economies do not work. Pentax is attempting, essentially, to artificially set the price on items that are not either essential or irreplaceable. Pentax wasn't "pandering" to anyone - the retailers were setting prices at a point that they felt they could a) sell product, b) make enough profit to stay in business, and c) be competitive. We've been told in various posts that markup to Maximum Assured Pricing levels is approximately 100% markup over wholesale. So, if under MAP a lens is $1000 it cost the retailer $500. If that retailer sells 0 lenses at $1000 their profit is 0. However if they sell 3 lenses at $600 they have cleared $300 (setting aside overhead for the moment). Under the $1000 cost Pentax got 0 and the retailer got 0. Under the $600 price the retailer cleared $300 and Pentax got $1500. So, which is better? Under the $1000 price the buyer is angry, the retailer is angry, and Pentax eventually goes out of business. Under the $600 price the buyer is happy, the retailer makes a profit, and Pentax stays in business. Precisely how does raising prices astronomically to the point of lowering sales to near 0 levels benefit ANYONE? I still haven't heard a coherent explanation of how that works.
09-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Precisely how does raising prices astronomically to the point of lowering sales to near 0 levels benefit ANYONE? I still haven't heard a coherent explanation of how that works.
It certainly doesn't help us as customers, but there are a few that it does potentially help. Now that the 5 or so big online players in the USA can't often sell at their competitive margin (they somehow are able to get around retail pricing occasionally), the small local players have more room to justify and make sales at retail pricing. I have two local camera shops that offer at least some Pentax. These shops pretty much sell at retail, so they have a high margin per item, but sell a lot less quantity. They have websites, but they don't actually sell product through them. My guess is that Pentax hopes that this pricing scheme helps them and also motivates more smaller quantity shops to pick Pentax back up. They probably also hope big quantity retailers like Target and Best Buy will eventually consider Pentax DSLRs because the online situation is "fixed" so they can actually move DSLRs/high-end cameras at their retail pricing requirement. I'm sure even the least educated customer might check online after seeing a camera in a store. If the price difference is large like Pentax has been, they would probably opt from online.

When the local shop was selling a K-7 for $1400 and Adorama/B&H/Amazon/Newegg were selling it for $1000, it really was no contest which route I went with. The K-5 on the other hand worked out a bit differently because the other local shop was willing to deal with me on a demo unit.

I personally don't like the pricing hikes and big fluctuations. Especially on items that can't even be bought locally. However, I think the new pricing scheme is targeting mostly items that have a larger retail presence. My local shops haven't sold the FA Limiteds for a few years and we haven't seen them change as much in price.
09-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #109
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomTextura Quote
Pentax has to be at least competitive with their prices. You can shoot other brands and spend about the same or less as Pentax by either buying their older models, buying used, or going with their cheaper offerings. Right now I could get a Nikon D700, a 35mm f/2, a 50mm f/1.4, and an 85mm f/1.8 for the same price as what I got my K-5 and either my two DA* zooms or three Limited lenses for. Sure, it would be a larger and heavier set up, and wouldn't be WR, but with that I would have a FF DSLR and a very nice fast three lens kit that could handle just about any job I do. That current reality has really got me rethinking my options.
There are customers of all DSLR brands trying to spend the least amount possible, and there are also customers who will invest serious dough. What Pentax is doing wrong with these price increases is not offering anything additional than they did when the prices were lower: no longer warranty, no increased quality, no updates or added features, and next to no advantage over the competition. So what exactly are we paying for? You can either get third party glass for cheaper, and still of good quality, or you can switch brands and go FF for not much more. Hell, you could get a D5100 (same sensor as K-5) and a set of VR lenses and DX primes for less than getting the equivalent from Pentax. All of this puts Pentax in an even more awkward position than they already were when you stack them up against the competition. It's just not a smart move for them. Maximum pricing doesn't make anyone happy. My take on this is that they're burning bridges with both their customers and retail partners.
Bingo. Based just on pricing, one can do better elsewhere. Including a move to FF.

I already have almost everything I want/ need with regards to Nikon - just need another couple of lenses and a few accessories and I'm set. What I want is to be able to return to Pentax for APS-C, as Nikon does not have what I desire - smaller capable DSLR that fits my hands, with smaller capable primes. Pentax has this with the K-5 and DA Limited lenses.

I've tried the D300 and D7000, and currently trying the Olympus OM-D. None of those options fit me as well as the K-5 and Limiteds did. Absolutely the worst decision I've ever made regarding feel and enjoyment of photo gear was to get rid of the K-5 out of a concern for maintaining and feeding two systems.

The pricing shenanigans since April have delayed/ derailed a move back to Pentax, and others have voiced this as well. May not bode well for Pentax's bottom line when multiple existing/ returning customers are not dropping money on the products. As mentioned in the previous post by Docrwm, raising MAP to the point of killing sales benefits no one.

09-08-2012, 03:55 PM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
It certainly doesn't help us as customers, but there are a few that it does potentially help. Now that the 5 or so big online players in the USA can't often sell at their competitive margin (they somehow are able to get around retail pricing occasionally), the small local players have more room to justify and make sales at retail pricing. I have two local camera shops that offer at least some Pentax. These shops pretty much sell at retail, so they have a high margin per item, but sell a lot less quantity. They have websites, but they don't actually sell product through them. My guess is that Pentax hopes that this pricing scheme helps them and also motivates more smaller quantity shops to pick Pentax back up. They probably also hope big quantity retailers like Target and Best Buy will eventually consider Pentax DSLRs because the online situation is "fixed" so they can actually move DSLRs/high-end cameras at their retail pricing requirement. I'm sure even the least educated customer might check online after seeing a camera in a store. If the price difference is large like Pentax has been, they would probably opt from online.

When the local shop was selling a K-7 for $1400 and Adorama/B&H/Amazon/Newegg were selling it for $1000, it really was no contest which route I went with. The K-5 on the other hand worked out a bit differently because the other local shop was willing to deal with me on a demo unit.

I personally don't like the pricing hikes and big fluctuations. Especially on items that can't even be bought locally. However, I think the new pricing scheme is targeting mostly items that have a larger retail presence. My local shops haven't sold the FA Limiteds for a few years and we haven't seen them change as much in price.
I get the whole B&M - we need to help them out- argument. It just doesn't make any sense. Once a price gets to a certain point people will, as can be seen here by the posts, jump ship to a stable company that doesn't pull these price disasters every few months.

The SDM zoom lenses, most expensive lenses in the inventory, have a large retail presence? Really?

MAP is absurd. So, they cannibalize sales from B&H, Adorama, Amazon, Abe's, Buy.Com, etc. where they have been selling - what? 80+% of their products - in order to boast sales in B&M shops that sell <20% of their products. I was told by someone that ought to know that 10 years ago Atlanta had 20+- camera shops that sold SLR/dSLR cameras and equipment. Now we have - 2. So, are other cities better stocked with local B&M shops - nope, not outside a very few places from what I have seen here in posts. The local retailer had 3 - total - K-30s in the building, off in a corner, dimly lit, and all in black. No other Pentax products, period. That was getting a retail presence back in Atlanta? We were told through hints that Target was going to carry Pentax - yup, they do now - Online only and at full MAP. Again, this helps how?
09-08-2012, 04:12 PM   #111
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Part of the problem with B&M strategy is that in many parts of the US there are no longer any B&M camera stores - you have to take a road trip (unless you live in a town that still has one/ two/ three). And the odds of that one store carrying full line of Pentax and having what you want in stock??? Otherwise a lot of us are lucky to have a big box store that carry some consumer camera stuff, and end up having to travel or order online.

Don't get me wrong, I love walking into a B&M store and will support them whenever possible. But their footprint across the US is a bit small. IMHO this strategy would have more merit if B&M stores were more plentiful.
09-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #112
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I don't see how this effort to boost B&M presence is going to help sales. If sales are already being pushed to all time lows with maximum assured pricing, it's not as if sales are going to pick up just because you can walk into a local store and pay the guaranteed highest, simultaneously the lowest, price and then pay tax on top of that. It's all just crazy and amounts to little more than being a maximum assured way of pricing customers out of buying product.

Last edited by TomTextura; 09-09-2012 at 08:27 AM.
09-08-2012, 04:32 PM   #113
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentikonian Quote
Part of the problem with B&M strategy is that in many parts of the US there are no longer any B&M camera stores - you have to take a road trip (unless you live in a town that still has one/ two/ three). And the odds of that one store carrying full line of Pentax and having what you want in stock??? Otherwise a lot of us are lucky to have a big box store that carry some consumer camera stuff, and end up having to travel or order online.

Don't get me wrong, I love walking into a B&M store and will support them whenever possible. But their footprint across the US is a bit small. IMHO this strategy would have more merit if B&M stores were more plentiful.

Yep.. I know of no local shops selling Pentax SLR products. When I got on board the Pentax ship it was solely from their online presence (and low prices).. now this..

I'm still waiting for Photokina to see what my next step is.. I was planning on a K-30 upgrade (from a K-x) but if I'm spending 750-850 dollars on a new camera (big money to me).. it might be time to weigh the options more (considering their pricing antics).

Then again.. Pentax could release some really exciting products for us in a week or so..

I did take my k-x out today to a small festival and had some fun with it. I think most of us blabbering on these forums are hobbyists and not full time, dedicated, professional photographers. Those folks are out making money, so it probably matters little to Pentax our whines. And as long as the k-x keeps working, I can continue having fun!


Last edited by mee; 09-08-2012 at 04:39 PM.
09-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I get the whole B&M - we need to help them out- argument. It just doesn't make any sense. Once a price gets to a certain point people will, as can be seen here by the posts, jump ship to a stable company that doesn't pull these price disasters every few months.

The SDM zoom lenses, most expensive lenses in the inventory, have a large retail presence? Really?

MAP is absurd. So, they cannibalize sales from B&H, Adorama, Amazon, Abe's, Buy.Com, etc. where they have been selling - what? 80+% of their products - in order to boast sales in B&M shops that sell <20% of their products. I was told by someone that ought to know that 10 years ago Atlanta had 20+- camera shops that sold SLR/dSLR cameras and equipment. Now we have - 2. So, are other cities better stocked with local B&M shops - nope, not outside a very few places from what I have seen here in posts. The local retailer had 3 - total - K-30s in the building, off in a corner, dimly lit, and all in black. No other Pentax products, period. That was getting a retail presence back in Atlanta? We were told through hints that Target was going to carry Pentax - yup, they do now - Online only and at full MAP. Again, this helps how?
You are preaching to the choir here. I don't like it either. The simplest thing we can do is only buy what we consider a good deal and only by where we choose. If Pentax never again hits the good deal threshold again, well...

The larger companies already have that pricing system in place. You can't really get a better price on a D800 at Adorama online as you would locally besides the lack of a requirement for out of state transactions to collect sales tax.

The entire scheme that all of the high-end camera companies seem to be doing these days is to prop up what retail presence is left. Places like Adorama and B&H are technically retail because they do have physical shops. You can't go to an Amazon or Newegg store. The store near me does sell some of the DA* lenses. I don't think they offer any of the DA* primes anymore, but I could be wrong.

How it truly helps us? I have no idea. I really don't think it helps us besides offering the (presumably) few that do have a retail store nearby. It helps me if I choose to use the camera store 10 miles from me with a full Pentax selection (technically it only helps me to see something in person, it doesn't help my wallet because I have to pay tax). It obviously doesn't help you if there is nothing at all in your area.

It is pretty comical about stores like Target selling Pentax online. I can't imagine them ever selling any of the cameras at full retail (Technically, I remember seeing the discounted WG-1 at my local Target a few weeks ago, so they have some type of temporary retail deal going).
09-08-2012, 05:01 PM   #115
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There is only the right price - and what may that be? The price the end customer is willing to pay. Ask anyone who has put something up for sale in the Marketplace here on the Forum. That is the experience of retailers large and small across the country. Brick and mortar, internet, etc. It all comes down to the final sale in the chain - the end customer forking over their hard earned dollars. Pentax can have their "Maximum Assured Pricing" which to me spells "Mutually Assured Destruction". MAP = MAD!

I am going to ask a simple question. How does Canon and Nikon price and sell their wares? Do we see Yo-Yo pricing from them? Sure, you are going to pay checkbook depleting prices for Canon's L glass, but you can also find a range of glass to suit your needs and bank account. Same thing with Nikon. Leica is an altogether different story - that does not apply here. Pentax does not have the wide breath of offerings in their product line-up. They can remedy that. However, it does not mean maximizing the pricing of what they do have to support a non-existent retail infrastructure.

If they want to support B&M retail, let's get creative. If the customer wants to order local, let them. Pentax can drop ship product directly to the retailer or customer directly. Pentax can put together a pricing scheme to the retailer that can be a bit different than their previous "you must buy $100K worth of product per year" approach. Ned is just not thinking out of the box sufficiently. Others have succeeded in this environment - he can too, with out killing off his customers. Rest assured, regardless of his point of view, we are his end customers, and if we are not buying, he is not going to be around for too much longer. Also, if he does not realize that we are his end customers, he and Pentax USA will not survive.

09-08-2012, 05:48 PM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I am going to ask a simple question. How does Canon and Nikon price and sell their wares? Do we see Yo-Yo pricing from them? Sure, you are going to pay checkbook depleting prices for Canon's L glass, but you can also find a range of glass to suit your needs and bank account. Same thing with Nikon. Leica is an altogether different story - that does not apply here. Pentax does not have the wide breath of offerings in their product line-up. They can remedy that. However, it does not mean maximizing the pricing of what they do have to support a non-existent retail infrastructure. If they want to support B&M retail, let's get creative. If the customer wants to order local, let them. Pentax can drop ship product directly to the retailer or customer directly. Pentax can put together a pricing scheme to the retailer that can be a bit different than their previous "you must buy $100K worth of product per year" approach.
All good points. Seriously, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Pentax could sweeten the pot for B&M stores instead of souring the pot for everyone. Fixing prices wouldn't be so horrible either, if the prices were reasonable, but to put them clear up at MSRP is never going to work if MSRP is going to be so high. I guess it's just a waiting game again to see the prices come back down but how many rounds of these hairbrained pricing schemes are we going to have to endure. This whole mess certainly doesn't instill confidence in Pentax. How are B&M stores going to be any more enticed into carrying Pentax, a lesser known brand to begin with, if what Pentax makes themselves the most known for is wacky yo-yo pricing?
09-08-2012, 06:51 PM   #117
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I can't say that I've scrutinized every word of every post in this thread, so I don't know if this has been suggested previously: is it possible that Ricoh's intention is to stop Pentax from being viewed as a budget brand?
09-08-2012, 08:26 PM   #118
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That was suggested awhile ago (maybe not in this thread)... and probably so..

but I, at least, feel it is a VERY BAD idea at this point. It appears they do not have the market share to attempt that just yet. Being the 'budget' brand is something they actually had going for them! Bang for buck is/was high with Pentax. If they are now attempting to sculpt their image back into 'professional tools for the professional shooter' well they need to have more professional tools out.. which they don't yet..

And.. actually.. if they really are attempting to remove a view of being the 'budget' brand.. well.. their issue is two fold.. one, in the aforementioned, and two in that now they are directly competing with Nikon and Canon (among others), If they want to be ranked equally on price well now they will be rated by companies with much bigger pockets and much more established product lines. With the rollercoaster pricings on branded lenses this year, we've already seen these exact effects crop up with people jumping to one or the other in lieu of sticking with Pentax.

Cart before horse.
09-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
There is only the right price - and what may that be? The price the end customer is willing to pay. Ask anyone who has put something up for sale in the Marketplace here on the Forum. That is the experience of retailers large and small across the country. Brick and mortar, internet, etc. It all comes down to the final sale in the chain - the end customer forking over their hard earned dollars. Pentax can have their "Maximum Assured Pricing" which to me spells "Mutually Assured Destruction". MAP = MAD!

I am going to ask a simple question. How does Canon and Nikon price and sell their wares? Do we see Yo-Yo pricing from them? Sure, you are going to pay checkbook depleting prices for Canon's L glass, but you can also find a range of glass to suit your needs and bank account. Same thing with Nikon. Leica is an altogether different story - that does not apply here. Pentax does not have the wide breath of offerings in their product line-up. They can remedy that. However, it does not mean maximizing the pricing of what they do have to support a non-existent retail infrastructure.

If they want to support B&M retail, let's get creative. If the customer wants to order local, let them. Pentax can drop ship product directly to the retailer or customer directly. Pentax can put together a pricing scheme to the retailer that can be a bit different than their previous "you must buy $100K worth of product per year" approach. Ned is just not thinking out of the box sufficiently. Others have succeeded in this environment - he can too, with out killing off his customers. Rest assured, regardless of his point of view, we are his end customers, and if we are not buying, he is not going to be around for too much longer. Also, if he does not realize that we are his end customers, he and Pentax USA will not survive.


The current MAD pricing scheme now has the DA*50-135/2.8 about $300 more expensive than the 70-200/2.8L from Canon (today's prices at B&H). That isn't the right approach if they want to sell any lenses.

Last edited by eastman; 09-08-2012 at 09:28 PM.
09-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #120
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Well, as you can see by the kit in my signature below, I have tried hard to support Pentax. But you'll also note that just recently a Sigma lens crept into the list for the first time: the 28mm f/1.8 prime. That's because the FA 31mm Limited is simply too expensive and became even more so during the last round of Pentax's MAP. That's when I made my purchase. I really want to support Pentax. But I'm at a point where I can't be buying any more $1000-plus lenses. I'm now in the process of preparing to present my niece with my K200D and the DA 18-55 and 50-200 WR zooms. It'll be her first DSLR kit and it would be great to create another Pentaxian. I had planned to replace the K200D with the K-30 or perhaps another Pentax body if what's unveiled at Photokina gets my attention and I can afford it. But I think I'm putting the brakes on any more Pentax purchases until the company can straighten out its pricing structure. If we don't get relief by the end of this year I may very well begin looking to Sony - or even retreat to my micro four-thirds kit.
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