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09-27-2009, 05:36 AM   #31
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My local camera shop...

is pathetic. I went there yesterday to see what they had on the shelf for a ball head - they had one Sunpak model. That's it. Wolf Camera, Newnan GA (south of Atlanta)

Walmart has a better selection of DSLRs that Wolf/Ritz in GA. The selection of Pentax models is nearly the same - none at Walmart (though you can order online & pickup locally), the K200 at Wolf. I called over 20 camera shops (about 15 Wolf/Ritz, the others non-franchise independents) within 100 miles of Atlanta in April of this year hoping to buy a K20D locally - not a single one available, not one.

I prefer to buy locally, but two issues often lead me to on-line purchases: 1) availability, and 2) price. If a B&M store tells me they can order it, I reply that I can order it too. If the price is within 10%, no issues - I walk out with the product in hand.

09-27-2009, 05:41 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I feel sorry for some of you guys... my local photo store has K-7's lining the shelves, and K2000's. K-x's soon I can only imagine. along with canon, nikon and olympus. above those shelves are shelves jam packed with vintage bodies and lenses. not one poster from any major manufacturer that I have seen.
I'm with you! I feel bad for everyone who doesn't work/shop at the store where I work, as I have had pretty consistent inventory of K-7, grips, lenses, flashes and much of the doo-dads that make Pentax products fun and practical to use. For those who employ the strategy of going to the local B&M before going to B&H, I do understand your thinking. And in the past year I have gained a greater respect for them (and Adorama) for carving their future out in the sort of economy we have had. Kudos to them for remaining strong when so many have fallen away. However you may soon expect to lose some of your incentive to shop in NY if you happen to live in GA or somewhere else. Please see the link at the end of the post.

Wherever you make your purchase though, please consider this; no decent retailer is out to get you. In fact, most retailers keep going because he wants to make money doing something he loves or is talented doing, and the work he does makes a contribution to his community proper and the community in a more general sense. The more you concentrate your purchasing from one or two retailers by gathering information from another source, the faster you push the presence of what you want away from you.

Now I don't suggest avoiding B&H or Adorama for any reason, but consider the effect of your purchase beyond how it serves just you. If you wish to support quality retailers with your purchase, make the retailer earn the business. If you need to explore a product, do so with the retailer from whom you plan to make the purchase. My experience with both B&H and Adorama is that they have pretty friendly and intelligent employees who can and will help you. You may ask, how does this suggestion/endorsement help your local retailer (more specifically how does it help my own little enterprise), and I will say that the fewer people I have to talk to who are set on exploiting my inventory and the vast amounts of product and market knowledge I have, the more efficiently I can do my job.

Online Sales Tax Survives Latest Legal Challenge - International Business Times
09-27-2009, 06:57 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by singlespeed Quote
is pathetic. I went there yesterday to see what they had on the shelf for a ball head - they had one Sunpak model. That's it. Wolf Camera, Newnan GA (south of Atlanta)
Well the one in Stockbridge isn't any better. Wolf, when it was owned by David Wolf (I think his name was David) was actually a good store and their downtown Atlanta "pro" store was great. Then Ritz (who I believe was his uncle) did a kind of hostile takeover and Wolf camera started downhill. Lot's of doo-dads and gee-gaws and the shelves slowly began emptying of actual cameras. Standard answer at the store was "I don't have it in stock but I can get it from the warehouse in two or three days." Plus the level of knowledge and customer service decreased. They were more interested in the people coming in to print pics at their kiosk than they were in the regular customer. That's not a rap at the individual stores, the fault lay with upper management. For some reason I believe that if your store name is Wolf Camera, you really shouldn't be in the cell phone and GPS business.

CW
09-27-2009, 07:46 AM   #34
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The point I was trying to make is that for the average consumer "if" Wolf/Ritz started carrying Pentax again it would give someone another(better) choice and possibly expand Pentax's user base.

Now, for all the "with that attitude" comments about me buying online...
If Wolf/Ritz had a competitive pricing structure where I could justify the price difference and convenience factor I would buy from them all the time.

As an example of this: When I was shopping for my K10D(awhile ago) I went to a local Wolf Camera. They had it for $899.99 USD, body only. Now add on 7% local sales tax and you have $962.99. B&H had the K10D for $749.99 w/ kit lens and no sales tax. The $213.00 difference was too much for me to justify "instant gratification" especially when I wouldn't even get a new lens. (I only had the manual kit lens off the K1000 SLR, and I wanted auto-focus capabilities)

Now if the difference was only $100.00 USD and included the kit lens then I would have bought it. The problem is that 'Everyone' else had the K10D cheaper (by a good margin) then Wolf and I was on a budget. In metro Atlanta it is very hard to find a camera store that isn't a Wolf/Ritz(of the ones that are left) or one that doesn't just carry Canikon gear.

I have no issue with supporting local business and I do when I need to buy accessories most of the time as the price difference and convenience factor is often equal or better locally on low dollar items. But, what I need is a local retailer that is competitive enough that I can walk into the store and buy a new Pentax DSLR or lens and walk out. Not what I have now which is reading about something online, or watching YouTube videos, and trying to take a measured guess at if the product is what I need/want or not then being force to buy online because no one carries Pentax locally anymore.

09-27-2009, 10:10 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I feel sorry for some of you guys... my local photo store has K-7's lining the shelves, and K2000's. K-x's soon I can only imagine. along with canon, nikon and olympus. above those shelves are shelves jam packed with vintage bodies and lenses. not one poster from any major manufacturer that I have seen.
Ugh...I'm stuck with one location clear across town stocking anything good in their used case. $325 *istDs bodies, anyone? :ugh:

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax_XTC Quote
The point I was trying to make is that for the average consumer "if" Wolf/Ritz started carrying Pentax again it would give someone another(better) choice and possibly expand Pentax's user base.

Now, for all the "with that attitude" comments about me buying online...
If Wolf/Ritz had a competitive pricing structure where I could justify the price difference and convenience factor I would buy from them all the time.

As an example of this: When I was shopping for my K10D(awhile ago) I went to a local Wolf Camera. They had it for $899.99 USD, body only. Now add on 7% local sales tax and you have $962.99. B&H had the K10D for $749.99 w/ kit lens and no sales tax. The $213.00 difference was too much for me to justify "instant gratification" especially when I wouldn't even get a new lens. (I only had the manual kit lens off the K1000 SLR, and I wanted auto-focus capabilities)

Now if the difference was only $100.00 USD and included the kit lens then I would have bought it. The problem is that 'Everyone' else had the K10D cheaper (by a good margin) then Wolf and I was on a budget. In metro Atlanta it is very hard to find a camera store that isn't a Wolf/Ritz(of the ones that are left) or one that doesn't just carry Canikon gear.

I have no issue with supporting local business and I do when I need to buy accessories most of the time as the price difference and convenience factor is often equal or better locally on low dollar items. But, what I need is a local retailer that is competitive enough that I can walk into the store and buy a new Pentax DSLR or lens and walk out. Not what I have now which is reading about something online, or watching YouTube videos, and trying to take a measured guess at if the product is what I need/want or not then being force to buy online because no one carries Pentax locally anymore.
I did the same thing with my K10D. Couple weeks before Christmas, 2007. I walked into my local store and asked to try it out.

Scott (sales dude) : Do you have any questions about this camera?
Me: Nah, just wanting to see if I want the grip or not. I'm going to get one, just deciding it the extra $100 is worth spending.
Scott: Ok cool...let me know if you have any other questions.

(5 minutes later)

Me: What's the price on this K10D?
Other sales dude: (Looks in the book)...ummm $999 body-only
Me: Woooooooo...wow. Amazon has it for $640 shipped!
Sales dude: Are you serious? I don't even know how they can do that...that's less than we pay!
Me: Any chance you could come down a little closer to the price I can get it for? (He also mentioned the rebate at the time I was planning on using...$100 off the body and $25 off the grip).
Him: Well...no...even if we came down on the price, we'd still have to cover our costs and everything.
Me: Ahhh...

(Pause)

Him: I really can't blame you for going online for that price...I still can't believe they're that low...

(Fin)

Although I don't feel good about buying online, I didn't really have a choice. THAT much difference in price is unjustifiable to buy locally. IF they had more than one copy of the DA* 16-50, I would pay a premium in case it takes a dump. Would I pay 50% more "just in case"? Probably not.

Ironic thing. I got a camera bag from them during a sale. Went home, hopped on Amazon, and paid like $3-4 less even with sales tax. THIS is what local businesses need to strive for...being "close enough" to the online places. Even holding sales...they would be selling more product even though it's for less money...
09-27-2009, 04:54 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jhaji Quote
That is precisely what the little guys like Wolf/Ritz need to tell Pentax - you give us better deals, otherwise nobody is gonna know what a Pentax feels like. Tax is also a big problem for the brick and mortar folks.

Personally, I would prefer to buy from my local Wolf as long as the price + tax differential is not more than 5-10%.
Wolf/Ritz are 'the Little Guys?'

Bwahahaha!

Ok, well, maybe they're a lot smaller *now.* Hopefully that'll make room for some other business models, too.

The reason photo retail got in such trouble is they *Starbucked all the little guys:* ....the traditional retail stores, then when they made the wrong marketing decisions, it got *everyone* out of the habit of going to retail for cameras. (At least it's not just the big boxes and Internet that did that)

One thing I hope they learn, which I don't think they have since the 80's: Even if you don't sell a particular model much, if you don't have the other brands on hand for most customers to compare to, they'll go uptown (or the Internet) and go make up their minds someplace they *can.* (Even if they end up buying what you did in fact have on hand.)

If you're running a store, even if some customers *do* end up going somewhere else to make a major purchase to save a few bucks, you're still better off being a positive part of that process than completely cut out of it. Local retail with stuff like this is all about relationships, not some idea people want to look at stores without, apparently, anything in em.

Have the little things. So what if 'film and developing stuff isn't big business' ... for those it matters to, that's a reason to come back, and every time someone in one of those cookie-cutter stores holds up their hands and shrugs, it's a reason not to. If they come in to gawk at and fondle a K-7, someone's in your store. You don't sell anything by frustrating people.

As for the Atlanta area, there's a local camera shop somewhere over there that I posted about a while back: unfortunately they made the news by almost totally getting cleaned out by burglars, but they'd just filmed one of those local-business-news stories, and they had all kinds of good old stuff. I haven't been over that way, but I'm kind of hoping they bounce back. I'll see if I can find the name again. (Checked: Wings Camera in Dekalb. I'm not sure if they're just used stuff, though. )

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 09-27-2009 at 05:36 PM.
09-28-2009, 04:30 AM   #37
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The thing about photography stores is that they need to offer something that on line camera companies don't. They could easily charge more, if they offer knowledge, service, etc that is better. For many people, buying a camera is a mystical experience, with lots of features they don't understand. If you can make it simple, they will be happier and if they can return down the road for explanations, so much the better. Who knows, they may even buy more gear?

Unfortunately, my experience with Ritz was not that at all. They were just pushing products -- mostly Canon and Nikon with minimal service and knowledge backing it up.
09-28-2009, 05:38 AM   #38
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I don't understand people wasting gas to drive to a store to pay more for a camera when you could have UPS/Fedex deliver it to your door for $100 or more less money.
Do you not understand what a DSLR is ?

09-28-2009, 06:14 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by jogiba Quote
I don't understand people wasting gas to drive to a store to pay more for a camera when you could have UPS/Fedex deliver it to your door for $100 or more less money.
Do you not understand what a DSLR is ?
Exactly. And if you get Amazon Prime, everything ships in 2 days free. They are extremely good about replacing anything defective. They will ship you a replacement usually the day you report a problem.

Plus Adorama frequently has free shipping.

I live in Texas (the "no government/I hate taxes state"............) and they charge something like 8 1/4% sales tax. On big ticket purchases that adds up to a lot of $.

I have never had a bad experience shopping for camera equipment on line.

The one time annual payment of Amazon Prime is less than the sales tax on a K7 here in "I hate taxes" Texas.

BTW- I have no problem with progressive taxes, like income taxes. But sales taxes are one of the most regressive forms of taxation. Of course this is Texas.
09-28-2009, 06:34 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanleyk Quote
Exactly. And if you get Amazon Prime, everything ships in 2 days free. They are extremely good about replacing anything defective. They will ship you a replacement usually the day you report a problem.

Plus Adorama frequently has free shipping.
Amazon prime is awesome, did the free trial but I don't see using it a whole lot - might actually pick it up come Christmas time though.

After my most recent 'free shipping' from adorama, I would steer clear of it, at least with them. For the longest time, and with most retailers, free shipping was generally still ground shipping, they just took their time (sometimes it would come just as fast though).

Adorama has chosen to begin using Fedex Smartpost, which is the most horrible, slowest shipping method imaginable. It is basically a fedex method where they throw it on the truck if there is room, otherwise it will wait until the next day. It is also poorly tracked, and if you deny receipt and return to sender, it goes back untracked. Top that off with a $12.95 charge from Adorama for the return minus their 'actual shipping cost' - which was just shy of their 2 day shipping option and more than the ground option. Thanks alot Adorama!
09-28-2009, 06:52 AM   #41
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I'm in Georgia and I'd been wondering if there were any other camera places aside from Wolf, if I ever wanted the camera professionally cleaned or repaired. Dekalb is a bit of a trek for me. It'd be nice if there were any along the northeast perimeter or Gwinnett, since I'm in the NW and my in-laws live in Gwinnett.

Happen to know of any more?
09-29-2009, 02:17 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
I'm in Georgia and I'd been wondering if there were any other camera places aside from Wolf, if I ever wanted the camera professionally cleaned or repaired. Dekalb is a bit of a trek for me. It'd be nice if there were any along the northeast perimeter or Gwinnett, since I'm in the NW and my in-laws live in Gwinnett.

Happen to know of any more?
I used a Google maps search - it was tedious and most of the hits were Wolf/Ritz, but there are a few independents. I seem to remember that there was something on the west side of Atlanta near Carrollton.
09-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote

Adorama has chosen to begin using Fedex Smartpost, which is the most horrible, slowest shipping method imaginable. It is basically a fedex method where they throw it on the truck if there is room, otherwise it will wait until the next day. It is also poorly tracked, and if you deny receipt and return to sender, it goes back untracked. Top that off with a $12.95 charge from Adorama for the return minus their 'actual shipping cost' - which was just shy of their 2 day shipping option and more than the ground option. Thanks alot Adorama!
Hrm. Well, I've always found them to be very good about returns. If something goes wrong, they want to make it right: they trade on their reputation, after all. I have to admit Fedex has rarely impressed me, though most of my recent experience of them was when I was way up in the middle of nowhere. (Their local driver was a regular Boy Scout, though, when things finally got there. )
09-30-2009, 10:43 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Hrm. Well, I've always found them to be very good about returns. If something goes wrong, they want to make it right: they trade on their reputation, after all. I have to admit Fedex has rarely impressed me, though most of my recent experience of them was when I was way up in the middle of nowhere. (Their local driver was a regular Boy Scout, though, when things finally got there. )
I loathe fedex, and I refuse to shop with anyone who exclusively uses them for shipping.
they are by far the worst shipping company.
09-30-2009, 11:06 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by singlespeed Quote
I used a Google maps search - it was tedious and most of the hits were Wolf/Ritz, but there are a few independents. I seem to remember that there was something on the west side of Atlanta near Carrollton.
I get the impression our Geauxpez knows some of the local stores out that way. I haven't visited any, myself. KEH's right there, but I forget if they have any storefront presence at all.
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