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10-10-2020, 09:54 PM   #1
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Is there a Pentax camera shortage due to the pandemic?

I have been out of the Pentax loop for quite some time. Lately I have been checking the Pentax DSLR prices and availability here in my native Finland again. It seems that most of the stores that used to sell Pentax have zero or almost zero cameras on stock. I wonder if this pandemic has caused a shortage on some camera parts and therefore of cameras? Or is it just that in this economic uncertainty the stores keep their stock at the minimum?

10-10-2020, 10:06 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I think around the world many camera stores are not stocking Pentax any more, though they can still get in special orders. This was pre-COVID.
10-10-2020, 10:13 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Not sure about where you live but here in the USA few dealers carry anything Pentax - other than the big dealers like Adorama, B&H and Amazon. Those dealers do most of their Pentax business online I'd expect.
10-11-2020, 05:45 AM   #4
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Locally I special-ordered a few items - and they took nearly 3 months to arrive. So the global supply chain is running slowly.

10-11-2020, 06:51 AM   #5
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Perhaps the Ricoh production lines are busy with the new K-mount camera and the new silver camera and lenses? In my country the possibility of buying a new Ricoh/Pentax camera depends on what is still left in stock, and that differs from seller to seller, and the new silver editions that can be pre-ordered by the one seller, where the other seller is still awaiting stock (the silver limited K-1). However, there are enough KP's and K-70's on offer, but some of the kit options are sold out. But it are mostly the webshops that have Ricoh/Pentax's available.
10-11-2020, 08:08 AM   #6
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I prefer to think of Wantability. Pentax is what I want, because so many of us prefer Pentax, availability is limited for the best.........


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10-11-2020, 08:15 AM   #7
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I have checked some half dozen Finnish stores with an internet presence (webstore or stock listing on the web) and it seems that one store has just K-70 and 645Z on stock and another has K-1. That is more or less it!
10-11-2020, 08:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
I wonder if this pandemic has caused a shortage on some camera parts and therefore of cameras? Or is it just that in this economic uncertainty the stores keep their stock at the minimum?
The second possibility is far more likely. Another factor is that some manufacturers (but not Ricoh) have offered dealers long dating terms (essentially do not pay for a fixed period of time on stock orders) and liberal return policies and/or rebates for stock that hasn't sold in a long period of time. Demand for cameras is dropping sharply, for all makes and formats.

10-11-2020, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
The second possibility is far more likely. Another factor is that some manufacturers (but not Ricoh) have offered dealers long dating terms (essentially do not pay for a fixed period of time on stock orders) and liberal return policies and/or rebates for stock that hasn't sold in a long period of time. Demand for cameras is dropping sharply, for all makes and formats.
Yes, and my understanding is Ricoh/Pentax stopped this practice several years ago, instead demanding payment for stock up front and thus making their products less attractive—or even feasible—for dealers to carry. Honestly, it often seems like Ricoh's interest in the Pentax brand is at best minimal.
10-11-2020, 09:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by E-man Quote
my understanding is Ricoh/Pentax stopped this practice several years ago, instead demanding payment for stock up front
That practice was actually implemented by Hoya, the previous owner of the Pentax brand. It caused most small local camera stores to drop the brand. By the time Ricoh bought Pentax the damage had been done. And most local camera stores were either already out of business or struggling too much to want to bring on another brand that had screwed them.

How Ricoh handles inventory with 'stocking dealers' these days is mostly unknown. I have not found any small camera stores that 'stock' Pentax though many will order gear for your. Adorama and B&H are the only two I know that have stock. As well as Amazon of course.
10-11-2020, 01:07 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by E-man Quote
Honestly, it often seems like Ricoh's interest in the Pentax brand is at best minimal.
You only have to watch the recent videos and past interviews to see that's not the case. My impression is that Pentax has been, and still is, a "passion project" for Ricoh. That said, it seems to be very careful - and very good - at managing and limiting financial risk. Clearly, providing stock at no cost on a "sale or return" basis doesn't fit its commercial model...
10-11-2020, 01:53 PM   #12
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Interesting. In Rome, It. there are a couple of stores that carry Pentax. One a chain had the K1MII in stock and several lenses. Their pricing is basically whatever the retail price is as set by Ricoh.

They also have a used marketplace online and you will often find some Pentax lenses and bodies listed with grade and good pricing.

The other shop is an independent. They carry some bodies and several lenses. They will order anything offered and not in stock.

While both do not carry the numbers seen by B&H and others in the States they have been a good source here.
10-11-2020, 11:01 PM   #13
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I've been watching through the year here in Australia as I pick up various bits and pieces. The stock carried here by the importer and distributor, C R Kennedy, has been slowly running dry through the year. They are currently showing KPs and black K1s, and their lens offerings are growing thin. Many items are listed as due in 30/10 but that date has been put back several times. Most other online retailers here, including the relatively new Amazon Australia, source their Pentax offerings through them, and their stock levels are low also. I think supplies have just been delayed - you can order ahead.

Last edited by rjbrett; 10-11-2020 at 11:36 PM.
10-12-2020, 02:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
I have been checking the Pentax DSLR prices and availability here in my native Finland again. It seems that most of the stores that used to sell Pentax have zero or almost zero cameras on stock
You still have "camera stores" in the plural in Finland? That's good; I'm not sure there will be any left in the UK soon. I think there is now only one in my nearest big city (one of the biggest 10 in the UK), and with the combined effect of the virus, Amazon, and the collapsing camera market, we will probably end up with just one, and that would be in London, 200 miles from here.

When there were still a few remaining shops around here, I did not see Pentax in them for at least 10 years, other than collecting stuff that they order in specially for me. The staff look at the boxes with curiosity as if they have never seen the Pentax logo before. Either camera makers pay for shelf space (and Ricoh/Pentax don't) or the shops only stock what sells most, which has a self-perpetuating negative effect of course. If I were buying a camera for the first time I certainly would not buy one I could not see and handle first, so Pentax are now mainly selling to existing customers. OTOH, last time I went into my nearest Jessops (UK chain) there was a Canon rep out on the floor to help sell their stuff. I chatted to him briefly and the word "Pentax" did not seem to mean anything to him.

I don't want to buy new photo gear by mail order. I do have a large mail box, but half the time the postman leaves parcels behind the gate post, even in the rain, to save fiddling with the combination lock, or they rip the box apart trying to stuff it in, if it is a bit too big.
10-12-2020, 02:54 AM   #15
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In South Africa there are only a handful of camera stores left. There only two that stock Pentax and it's mostly special order. This is nothing new. It was like that last year and the year before.
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