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01-31-2016, 07:36 AM   #1
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Pentax Dealers?

Hi All,
Yesterday I was in down town Toronto and stopped by Henry's Camera on Queen St. I tried to ask some questions about my Pentax K5iiS and have a look at the new K3. What a turn off I had from two sales people they didn't want to talk about Pentax just said should look Cannon or Nikon what gives? They do not have any sales literature stock or any thing relating to Pentax a couple of old lenses on a back shelf. Has the Pentax organization given up on the north American market? Getting a Pentax part lens flash etc. is almost impossible over the counter, I then went to Downtown Camera same reaction except they had a K50 Display with all their colored cameras, Also had a 645 in the display case so they weren't as bad as Henry's however the sales guys did not seem very interested in my Pentax questions.
My question is why doesn't Pentax do more promoting in North America?
I was in sales all my life and not having a dealer behind a brand is just bad for sales.
Having used a Pentax for years I can say the camera and accessories are of great value especially for an enthusiastic photographer.
I just bought a Tamron 70-200 for Christmas with for my Pentax K5iiS what a great lens Oh yes I did get it from Amazon in 3 days from order date the dealer said 5 weeks I spoke to Vistek, Henry's and Downtown Camera didn't want to order it.
As a group what can we tell Pentax in order for them to do some promoting of their cameras.
Disillusioned Shopper

01-31-2016, 08:14 AM   #2
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IN all fairness, if you look at the return rate as posted in the forum on that lens 3 returns for 33 posts, last time I checked, that's close to a 10% return rate on that lens. As a dealer, that's just un-acceptable. The good thing for you is once people get a good copy of the lens, they remain pretty much overjoyed for years. But from a dealer perspective...

Henry's has been that way for years, and the down side of that is, henry's used to have pretty good sales every now and then when they had Pentax stock they wanted to clear out. Now they don't have any Pentax stock, so they don't ever have decent sales. All the notices I get are like 50% off Nikon and Canon gear and Pentax sales that don't even cover the tax.

But honestly, I have talked to and known a lot of henry's reps over the years, and because of sales totals, they have taken a beating, and the older Pentax guys are retiring, the young guys are all about Canon and Nikon. I don't see this getting any better. You have to ask, if Henry's wanted to hire a few young hip sales staff literate in Pentax, where would they find them?
01-31-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GordZ Quote
Hi All,
Yesterday I was in down town Toronto and stopped by Henry's Camera on Queen St. I tried to ask some questions about my Pentax K5iiS and have a look at the new K3. What a turn off I had from two sales people they didn't want to talk about Pentax just said should look Cannon or Nikon what gives? They do not have any sales literature stock or any thing relating to Pentax a couple of old lenses on a back shelf. Has the Pentax organization given up on the north American market? Getting a Pentax part lens flash etc. is almost impossible over the counter, I then went to Downtown Camera same reaction except they had a K50 Display with all their colored cameras, Also had a 645 in the display case so they weren't as bad as Henry's however the sales guys did not seem very interested in my Pentax questions.
My question is why doesn't Pentax do more promoting in North America?
I was in sales all my life and not having a dealer behind a brand is just bad for sales.
Having used a Pentax for years I can say the camera and accessories are of great value especially for an enthusiastic photographer.
I just bought a Tamron 70-200 for Christmas with for my Pentax K5iiS what a great lens Oh yes I did get it from Amazon in 3 days from order date the dealer said 5 weeks I spoke to Vistek, Henry's and Downtown Camera didn't want to order it.
As a group what can we tell Pentax in order for them to do some promoting of their cameras.
Disillusioned Shopper
The sales staff at Henry's and the other Queen/Church/Yonge camera stores have been doing that from the time I moved to Toronto in 1984 continuously to the time I moved away in 2008. They obviously had a tradition of slagging Pentax long before that. The sales clerks push what the public wants. The public wants Nikon and Canon because their marketing has ensured a strangle-hold on the market.

Henry's and the others in the neighbourhood don't want your business. Take your business elsewhere, i.e., 123easyship on amazon.ca (they're in Stratford, ON), or the 2 biggies in the U.S.: B&H and Adorama.
01-31-2016, 08:36 AM   #4
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That does beg the question for us Ontarians, if i wanted to see an D FA 150-450 where would I go to see it? Is it possible to actually shop for Pentax gear anywhere but on line?

I am remembering visiting Henry's once a week when I was a student at Ryerson Politech in Photo Arts back in the 60s.. There were always 50 used lenses in the Pentax case, you had to give yourself a half hour just to look at them all and find out what they were., and the Pentax displays were very close in size to the Nikon and Canon displays.

My experience buying my DA 60-250 from the Henry's Barrie outlet, I don't even consider them to be a Pentax store anymore. I can order from the Henry's warehouse on line and it's faster than having the Henry's truck deliver to the store from the warehouse and me picking it up. They are just another on-line marketer as far as Pentax is concerned. However, when i want to look at a a Sony or lately a Panasonic FZ1000, it's still the place to go.

The simple fact is Canon and Nikon essentially rent shelf space, because it sells their cameras. It's not clear that without a total assault on the retail marketing sector, even renting shelf space would sell Pentaxes.


Last edited by normhead; 01-31-2016 at 08:45 AM.
01-31-2016, 08:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That does beg the question for us Ontarians, if i wanted to see an D FA 150-450 where would I go to see it? Is it possible to actually shop for Pentax gear anywhere but on line?
Nope.
01-31-2016, 08:39 AM   #6
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We all know the facts it is up to the Manufacturer "Pentax" to provide the incentive to the dealers we all know how good the camera is. Oh yes the Tamron Lens is great haven't had it long enough to say its really great but am liking it as a good hobby photographer. Great addition to my lens line up.
01-31-2016, 09:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GordZ Quote
Hi All,
Yesterday I was in down town Toronto and stopped by Henry's Camera on Queen St. I tried to ask some questions about my Pentax K5iiS and have a look at the new K3. What a turn off I had from two sales people they didn't want to talk about Pentax just said should look Cannon or Nikon what gives? They do not have any sales literature stock or any thing relating to Pentax a couple of old lenses on a back shelf. Has the Pentax organization given up on the north American market? Getting a Pentax part lens flash etc. is almost impossible over the counter, I then went to Downtown Camera same reaction except they had a K50 Display with all their colored cameras, Also had a 645 in the display case so they weren't as bad as Henry's however the sales guys did not seem very interested in my Pentax questions.
My question is why doesn't Pentax do more promoting in North America?
I was in sales all my life and not having a dealer behind a brand is just bad for sales.
Having used a Pentax for years I can say the camera and accessories are of great value especially for an enthusiastic photographer.
I just bought a Tamron 70-200 for Christmas with for my Pentax K5iiS what a great lens Oh yes I did get it from Amazon in 3 days from order date the dealer said 5 weeks I spoke to Vistek, Henry's and Downtown Camera didn't want to order it.
As a group what can we tell Pentax in order for them to do some promoting of their cameras.
Disillusioned Shopper
It is a shame but it is a fact of life. I bought my first film Pentax from a shop in Boston. Back then (1980) they has just as many Pentax gear as any other brand. Those days are long gone. Pentax is none existent on the shelves in the US. At the recent CES show, where I saw the full frame, they had a dealer demo room. I am dying to know which dealers they were entertaining. I am pretty sure it was not B&H or Adoramas of the world as because of their size, they must have had their own private showing. Looks like Ricoh/Pentax is making an effort to get back on the shelve. We have to wait and see if it is successful.
01-31-2016, 09:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GordZ Quote
My question is why doesn't Pentax do more promoting in North America?
It's easy to understand, camera dealers (and any other shop), sell what makes their revenue numbers big enough so that they can pay their bills and their own salary. 90% of their customers buy Canon, Nikon or Sony, so they don't bother getting inventory for selling to one customer in a while, especially if Pentax sell online at a cheaper price. It's all about economics. There could be one reason for a shop to introduce an unknown product from a unknown brand: the product in significantly different so that it appeals to a significant number of customer who are looking for something different from Nikon and Canon DSLR, typically Sony mirroless but it could be something else, such as a Ricoh Theta. Why should a dealer carry Pentax DSLRs that basically are about the same as what Nikon and Canon offer with all the marketing communication already done by Canikon for this dealer (primary demand is already there, the deal just wait the orders come in...).

01-31-2016, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The downside of that for Canon and Nikon customers is their cameras cost more to support that marketing effort. For myself, with the D FA 150-450, sure it's expensive, but Pentax build quality is so good, and the return rate is so low, of all the folks (perhaps 20) who bought one, as far as I know only one has been returned.) that if i ever raise the money, I'll order it. Contrast to the two defective Sigma 120-400's I returned to Henry's because they were DoA, and eventually giving up and buying my 60-250, the 60-250 cost me $250 more, but it worked off the shelf.

I had to drive over 100 mile twice to return those two Sigmas and pick up my 60-250. If that's what dealing with a brick and mortar store is going to cost, forget it. I still can't believe that given how far away I lived, someone couldn't have checked to see if the damn lens worked before they asked me to drive 100 miles to pick it up. Store service is vastly overrated. That's why they are going down hill. Pentax is just ahead of the curve on this one.

At this point, I'd like to play with a camera at a store, but I'd probably look for the cheapest price on line after I did. I've paid my bricks and mortar dues and they've cost me a lot of money. I've earned the right to look for the best price.
01-31-2016, 10:24 AM   #10
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If you're in Toronto, try Downtown Camera on Queen St around the corner from Henry's. Last I looked, they carried the entire Pentax line and at better prices than Henry's.
01-31-2016, 11:10 AM   #11
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Before the 1990s, there were wholesalers and dealers of all kinds of items. There were probably 20 or 30 different brick-and-mortar camera stores in my area alone. But now they have all closed. My dad owned a wholesale distributorship for Appliances, electronics and computers. When he retired, he sold the business. And apparently he did it at the right time. The wholesale distributor market has been replaced by direct sales to the dealers. Unfortunately this leaves the wholesalers in a bad situation. If they managed to survive for another 10 years, They either became dealers and sold over the Internet, or they went out of business. Even the wholesalers that were supplying the manufacturers have gone to being dealers selling over the Internet.

as far as the brick-and-mortar stores go, the following statement illustrates a good reason why many of them do not want to sell low-end items to the general public.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
At this point, I'd like to play with a camera at a store, but I'd probably look for the cheapest price on line after I did. I've paid my bricks and mortar dues and they've cost me a lot of money. I've earned the right to look for the best price.
apparently, that's what a lot of people are doing. They're looking at the product in the stores, then going online and finding the cheapest price. The brick-and-mortar stores either has to match the online price, along with selling online themselves. or has to have some level of service that supersedes the online price. Many of them want to stay in the commercial market. They're trying to survive on people who need the Item now, And can't wait for shipping overnight. And that's not a viable Business plan. everybody is now selling online, even pawnshops and goodwill. And if it can be shipped overnight, anywhere in the world, why go to a brick-and-mortar store that may or may not have what you need. It is getting to where the only place you will find an item in the store, is at one of the big box department stores. I remember when the stores could not match the online price, even from their own company. now they will not only match their own online price, they will match anyone else's online price' ( in-store ).

times are changing. And I don't know whether this is better or worse. I just know it's going to be different.
01-31-2016, 11:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The downside of that for Canon and Nikon customers is their cameras cost more to support that marketing effort. For myself, with the D FA 150-450, sure it's expensive, but Pentax build quality is so good, and the return rate is so low, of all the folks (perhaps 20) who bought one, as far as I know only one has been returned.) that if i ever raise the money, I'll order it. Contrast to the two defective Sigma 120-400's I returned to Henry's because they were DoA, and eventually giving up and buying my 60-250, the 60-250 cost me $250 more, but it worked off the shelf.

I had to drive over 100 mile twice to return those two Sigmas and pick up my 60-250. If that's what dealing with a brick and mortar store is going to cost, forget it. I still can't believe that given how far away I lived, someone couldn't have checked to see if the damn lens worked before they asked me to drive 100 miles to pick it up. Store service is vastly overrated. That's why they are going down hill. Pentax is just ahead of the curve on this one.

At this point, I'd like to play with a camera at a store, but I'd probably look for the cheapest price on line after I did. I've paid my bricks and mortar dues and they've cost me a lot of money. I've earned the right to look for the best price.
Norm, You are absolutely right. I have done my share of brick-n-mortar support too. I have been buying on-line for sometime now.

The few stores I have been in the last few years, have minimum-wage idiots working for them with little or no camera knowledge. A Lot of times I feel like an expert (Which I am not) next to these guys. All the basic questions are answered with this blank stare followed by I do not know answer... and I am going to pay a premium for that?! The days of having a die-hard camera guy behind the counter are long gone too.
01-31-2016, 12:41 PM   #13
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I don't know if the counter guys are idiots they seem pretty good at answering or discussing there promoted product. The one counter guy didn't know what a Variable ND filter was but the other counter guy did. However you are correct the on line shopping has become so much more prevalent it's astounding. Shop and pick it up at your door what a convenience and we don't have to talk to anyone just push buttons. Seems the brick and mortar camera stores are becoming some what of a dinosaur. Guess I'm a bit cynical and old school but I like to go into a store and touch and feel before I buy. However with my new Tamron lens I ordered a polarizer filter, a variable ND filter 1/2 nd grad filter, Conkin adapter ring & a UV filter all arrived in the mail 2 days later for $100.00 for the lot Henry's and Downtown wanted almost that much for the polarizer. They didn't have a 77mm in stock but would order it for me. The UV and CP are both Tiffin, the ND's are K&F's not used much but nice to have. Still think the manufacturers need to be more proactive in getting the message out to the consumer so we can purchase the product from wherever. I bought some triggers and a flash from Yognuo they work very well as well as there wireless remote. Would have bought from a brick -an- mortar store for a bit more but they don't carry that product they seem to want to carry products that are for professional not us armature shutter pushers. Enough ranting for a Sunday afternoon time for a Rum and coke oh deer I have to go to the liquor store to select and buy my rum.
Have a good day every one keep clicking your shutters,
01-31-2016, 01:32 PM   #14
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If the FF Pentax can manage to beat the competition with the price and the quality, more and more people will start coming to Pentax. The best promotion is a good product. I just hope Pentax can manage it.
01-31-2016, 05:43 PM   #15
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I'm not sure but I have been ag sales for 17 years selling Massey Ferguson so I know hoh hard it is to sell against to JD & CIH. I do believer today we have the best product for the producer. The same applies to selling Pentax cameras. Pentax is the best product for the $$ you spend, retailers need to inforum their sales staff about the product first, then they will sell more product, thus more sales more commission. Most retailers do not know the advantages of the product line against the other two( you know). Real sales people will get the message to consumers if they get the right training. First they need to believe in the Pentax line and the heritage that goes with selling Pentax. We Pentax People know we have the best for the $$ out there. I live in Canada and it is no better here than in another place. I will sometimes will go to Don's just to see what the sales people will try and sell me, only to be disappointed. No Pentax no sale. We need to stand up and make the Brnd great again just has it was. sorry for the rant but I get tried of all those I'll informed sales professionals as they say!!
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