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09-18-2018, 07:56 PM - 8 Likes   #1
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Updated US Ricoh Authorized Dealers

A new list of Authorized dealers was posted to the US Ricoh Imaging website.
https://us.ricoh-imaging.com/images/Ricoh Imaging_Authorized Dealer List.pdf

Unfortunately, the listing is just a PDF with the dealer's name - no other identifying information. You can use the web map interface at Authorized Ricoh Imaging Americas Dealers but this only lets you search by location, not dealer name.

I've gone through the entire list of names on the PDF of authorized dealers, dated Sept 4, 2018 and compiled the results into a Google spreadsheet:
Ricoh Imaging US Authorized Dealers

I wanted to see how Ricoh Imaging's authorized dealers represent Pentax products.

The results are not encouraging.

First off, I can't believe I had to do this - the official Ricoh list of authorized dealers JUST lists the name of the dealer with no other information. Several of the names are so generic as to be meaningless - "Camera Shop" and "Camera Center" for example. It also gives no clue as to the types of products these dealers carry.

Of the 130 names listed, a full 12 dealers (9%) are no longer in business.

Of the remaining, only 31 dealer websites give ANY indication that they even carry Pentax products.

Several of the listed dealers have websites, but do not have an online store or listing of products. Some are mainly digital printing and imaging businesses, and retail photographic equipment is not a major component of their business.

Of those that do list their products, only 27 listed ANY K-mount cameras or lenses. 17 listed the 645z as a product.

13 dealers listed only Pentax sport optics, such as binoculars, spotting scopes or telescope eyepieces. These are mostly birding or telescope-related dealers who do not carry products for general photography. A small number are outdoor sporting goods stores or travel clothing stores, and do not carry photography related products.

There are about 10 gun stores listed, perhaps because they carry sport optics or used to carry Pentax scopes.

There are many dealers that are listed as an "authorized dealer" who give NO indication of carrying ANY Pentax products at all. This should be a requirement of being an authorized dealer - there should be *some* indication on the dealer's website that they are selling your product.

There were a few dealers that indicated they carry Pentax products, but who return zero results when searching for Pentax products.

I gave each store a subjective score from 0 to 5. I gave points for:
1 having ANY mention of Pentax as a brand or showing a Pentax logo
1 for listing Pentax cameras
1 for listing Pentax lenses
1 for having current products (e.g. K-1 ii, KP, K70)
1 for NOT having obsolete products listed (e.g. if the site listed K-30 cameras)
(Of course, scores would change if a dealer added or removed products from their website.)

A zero essentially means there is NO indication of the dealer selling any Pentax products - if a customer went to the website, there is NOTHING to suggest they might be able to purchase Pentax cameras, lenses, or even binoculars there.

A score of 1 generally indicates the dealer either lists Pentax as a brand but has no products, or they carry just the Ricoh Theta, or maybe Pentax binoculars.

A score of 2 means the dealer has some oddball assortment of Pentax products, like a K-S1 and a D-BG6 grip. Dealers that list kit bundles of long discontinued products, or obsolete products at their full list price. If it looked like the dealer really wasn't interested in having Pentax products, they get a 2.

Dealers with 3 or 4 have a mix of Pentax products, but still list some discontinued products, or are missing current products such as the K-1 ii or KP cameras. If I felt the dealer was at least trying to represent Pentax products well, they might get nudged to a 4. Dealers with meagre selections of Pentax products, or who list discontinued products at full MSRP would get a 3.

There were only two dealers who rated a 5: Adorama and B & H Photo. Both carry the widest selection of Pentax products, and have prominently featured new Pentax releases such as the K-1 ii. They both make it easy to find Pentax products, and are constantly adjusting prices to be competitive.

Top dealers:
Adorama
B&H Photo
Arlington Camera
Berger Bros.
Cameta Camera
Kenmore Camera
LensRentals (carries good selection of Pentax products to rent, option to buy)
Optics Planet (surprising selection of Pentax photo products)
Samy's Camera
The Camera Box
Tri-State Camera

Almost there:
Focus Camera (lists K-1 ii and D-FA* 50mm, but small selection otherwise)
Hunts Photo and Video (lists current products, but almost all are 'backordered')
Ace Photo and Dominion Camera (need to remove obsolete products, most products "out of stock")


Notes on methods:
For each name listed on the official Ricoh Imaging US Authorized Dealers list, I visited the dealer's website (if any) and noted the presence of Pentax and Ricoh Imaging products.

Listed dealer name - This is the name as printed in the official Ricoh authorized dealer list.

Alternate name - Many of the names listed by Ricoh do not match the name used by the dealer.

For dealers with more than one location, I listed the location and phone number that seemed to be the primary location.

Online store means a way to browse and purchase products online.

Pentax branding means is there ANY indication that the dealer carries Pentax products, such as a Pentax logo or even "We carry brands such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony". Is Pentax listed on their "Shop by brand page"?

Online store listings are likely to vary over time, even day to day, so this is just meant as a snapshot of what Pentax products were listed on the dealer's website at the time.

K-mount Cameras - what Pentax K-mount cameras were listed?

Med Format - did the dealer list Pentax medium format cameras?

Other - Were there any other Ricoh Imaging products listed, such as Theta cameras or Pentax binoculars?

Lenses - What types of Pentax-branded lenses were listed on the website? This isn't a count of how many lenses were listed, just the type (at least one example). This is most likely to fluctuate over time.

Score - Subjective score based on criteria above. Mostly an estimate for 'how well does this dealer represent Pentax products online"?

This list of dealers is subject to change. Inventory (and therefore scores) will certainly change. However, past trends have shown some authorized dealers who used to have Pentax products listed on their website now no longer list any Pentax products.

Let me know if this is useful, or if there are corrections/additions to be made.

Thanks,
Mike

09-18-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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It's a listing of Ricoh Imaging Authorized US Dealers not Authorized PENTAX US Dealers so naturally many of them do not carry K-mount or PENTAX branded cameras.

At least the no longer have Bel-Air Camera listed. They went out of business more than a year before the last updated list was published. And some of the stores will special order equipment they don't normally carry if you ask them.
09-18-2018, 09:19 PM   #3
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Yes - I said Ricoh Imaging authorized dealers. Yes, it is clear that some are only dealers for Ricoh Imaging products such as Theta. And I noted if a dealer did list Theta (or in rare cases, Ricoh GR). But since the DSLR cameras (and binoculars) are branded as Pentax, and that's the name most people are familiar with, that's what I wanted to check.

I didn't even bother looking for "Ricoh" products on the websites, just 'Theta'.

Of course some stores will special order products if you ask, but if the customer sees no indication they even carry Pentax (or Ricoh Imaging), then they are less likely to come in to ask. Obviously, I did my survey online. You may visit a listed dealer to discover that the actual store is loaded with every Pentax camera and lens and they just haven't updated their website.

Ricoh Imaging did remove some dealers from the previous list, and added some (Hunt's Photo Video has long carried Pentax, but was not on the previous list).

However, several dealers listed used to list Pentax products, but now I could find no mention of Pentax anymore.
09-18-2018, 09:23 PM   #4
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Creve Couer Camera in St. Louis lists many discontinued products such as batteries for Optio compact cameras and K10D battery grip because they’re in the warehouse. In the stores they have flagship cameras and lenses not listed on the website. I bought my K-1 and 28~105 there, and a couple dozen manual lenses and film cameras in the used department. They’ll get me anything I want from the Pentax catalog at MSRP. I stick to products that are early in the product cycle so B&H and Adorama aren’t so price competitive. I buy a lot of peripheral gear there where I need help - RRS and Wimberley heads, legs, lighting etc. I don’t need help with Pentax products.

09-18-2018, 10:10 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Maybe you could send your list to Ricoh?
09-18-2018, 10:15 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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I bought a new Pentax K-1 from Roberts Camera in Indianapolis. I prefer them over most other dealers.

Kenmore Camera in the NW is excellent. Never purchased Pentax/Ricoh gear from them, but had very high satisfaction on some very expensive Nikkor lenses I bought from them.

B&H is terrific of course. And I've always had great buying experiences from Hunts too.

A couple of years ago I purchased 2 defective Nikon binoculars from Optics Planet. They have the worst returns policy and customer service I've ever experienced.

As of late, Adorama products, returns, and customer service has really slipped. They're shipping fragile products in these plastic bags. Just last week I received a supposed new adapter from them. The manufacturers box was damaged in shipping because it was shipped in one of these plastic bags. They gave me a hard time on my return, demanding many specific photos. Also, the adapter itself was clearly either a demo or a returned item as the box was dirty and scuffed, and the adapter itself was damaged. I won't buy from Adorama again.
Attached Images
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Last edited by Fenwoodian; 09-18-2018 at 10:22 PM.
09-19-2018, 12:02 AM - 1 Like   #7
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That is sad news about Adorama. They've been around a long time and have offered good service and good prices. I never would have thought they would decline like this. Perhaps their older generation has retired or has passed on? In recent years I have dealt almost exclusively with B&H, but also have had some good luck buying a few items through Amazon.

I can hardly count the number of brick and mortar camera shops I have seen close up for good. It seems they are going the way of the dinosaur. Even larger general retail stores for any merchandise are threatened with extinction. B&H seems to have a very good balance between a walk-in store and on-line sales.

Last edited by mikesbike; 09-19-2018 at 12:09 AM.
09-19-2018, 03:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
In the stores they have flagship cameras and lenses not listed on the website.
That's a problem for everyone - customers looking at the website might think the dealer isn't carrying the latest products. Ricoh Imaging suffers because it appears they're not updating products. And the dealer may lose sales because the website doesn't reflect what they actually have available.

Again, without physically visiting a store, I can only judge how well a dealer represents Ricoh Imaging products by what's on the website.

---------- Post added 09-19-18 at 07:01 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
the worst returns policy and customer service I've ever experienced
Sorry to hear that. You can't judge the quality of customer service and support by looking at a website, unfortunately. I was surprised to see so many Pentax photography products listed on a site I expected to have just have Pentax binoculars and eyepieces. Sharing experiences on Yelp/Google reviews, PForums, etc. might help others.

---------- Post added 09-19-18 at 07:10 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I can hardly count the number of brick and mortar camera shops I have seen close up for good
Sadly true. Which makes a good online presence and good customer service even more important for any remaining stores. If a website doesn't list ANY Pentax products, then I'm less likely to make the drive to the physical store. Sure the dealer can order it for me, but now the customer can order it online elsewhere too.

---------- Post added 09-19-18 at 07:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I bought a new Pentax K-1 from Roberts Camera in Indianapolis. I prefer them over most other dealers
Great! They have a good selection of Pentax products listed, but almost everything is "out of stock" and their prices need updating (e.g. they list the K-1 at $1949)

09-19-2018, 05:41 AM   #9
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Very nice work. Browsing this list was sad. My dad was a salesman for Pentax years ago. We travelled the south eastern USA and went to many dealers. Most have closed their doors. Looking in the states nearest me I see zero representation for Pentax in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana... Only in Virginia, near DC can I find anything.

Even sadder is the overall state of photography shops. There are two small shops in my metro area. I couldn't find a basic step ring the last time I tried. I ended up going to the"largest" dealer in the South East "Spartan Photo" and wow it was tiny compared to the past. They carry Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and some used gear as well as tons of accessories. They were friendly and seemed to know the industry.
09-19-2018, 06:00 AM - 1 Like   #10
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For Grins I looked at our local camera shop web site. They quit carrying Pentax after the K20D. Now days it's Canikony only. Oly's gone as well as Panny and Fuji. Rather sad
09-19-2018, 10:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
That is sad news about Adorama. They've been around a long time and have offered good service and good prices. I never would have thought they would decline like this. Perhaps their older generation has retired or has passed on? In recent years I have dealt almost exclusively with B&H, but also have had some good luck buying a few items through Amazon.

I can hardly count the number of brick and mortar camera shops I have seen close up for good. It seems they are going the way of the dinosaur. Even larger general retail stores for any merchandise are threatened with extinction. B&H seems to have a very good balance between a walk-in store and on-line sales.
We always had a representative from Adorama; Helen Oster monitoring this forum. She often stepped in when someone had a complaint issue of any sort and got things straightened out. About three years ago I had a problem issue with a HD DA 40 Limited that I bought from Adorama. The problem occurred after the original warranty expired but was within the extended warranty period I bought with the lens. I had a communication issue between the warranty provided and Precision holding up the repair. After Helen stepped in the lens got quickly repaired under warranty. So, even though it was not really an issue with Adorama, they helped me get the issue resolved. Hopefully, Helen is still on board or if she retired from our forum, some from Adorama stepped in.

---------- Post added 09-19-18 at 01:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
A couple of years ago I purchased 2 defective Nikon binoculars from Optics Planet. They have the worst returns policy and customer service I've ever experienced.
Since you mention binoculars I would highly recommend Eagle Optics. The customer service I received from them was about the best of anything I have ever called in for a support issue. I called them for a replacement rain caps on a 9 year old pair of Vortex Viper binoculars. All I requested was part number for which ones on the website were the correct replacement for my binoculars that I needed to order. They sent them immediately out to me at no charge. Its not often that that happens. When I decided to buy a second pair for my wife there was no shopping around. I knew exactly who to buy from.
09-19-2018, 11:07 AM   #12
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Great list - thanks for all the research!

One suggestion; If State names could get their own column - OR - if state names were listed before city names (NV, Reno) - then the location column could be sorted by state name to make finding nearby locations more convenient.

Edit needed: You have "The Camera Shop" listed as being in Lansing, MO - should be Lansing, MI
09-21-2018, 06:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Only in Virginia, near DC can I find anything.
What places in Northern Virginia have you done business with? I see Dominion Camera/Ace Photo seems to carry quite a lot of Pentax gear at mostly reasonable prices. Although I have to wonder why they have a K-7 listed at $1,099 and a K-200D at $569, while they have a K-3II listed at $849 and a KP at $896. Their lenses seem to be roughly 10-20% higher than B&H.

I'll be in that area this weekend and am in the market for a 55-300 PLM, but they don't have that listed at all.

Edit: The Ricoh/Pentax authorized dealer map only has Dominion/Ace listed within 100 miles of my place in Maryland. With the exception of a bunch of Best Buy stores that carry only the Theta.

Last edited by ThorSanchez; 09-21-2018 at 06:46 AM.
09-27-2018, 08:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Since you mention binoculars I would highly recommend Eagle Optics.
Eagle Optics, of Middleton, WI closed December 2017. Another one bites the dust after 30 years.
09-28-2018, 04:54 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrNPhoto Quote
Eagle Optics, of Middleton, WI closed December 2017. Another one bites the dust after 30 years.
Wow, I hate to see this retailer gone. Fortunately buying binoculars is a once and done purchase unlike photo gear. B&H also carries binoculars so if I am looking for something new I will check them.
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