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10-18-2007, 11:31 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by matiki Quote
In regards to specific incidents, if the salesperson doesn't know when to fold, well that's a big problem. But if they are politely pushy, well, again, that's Pentax more than anything else. You can't fault the salesperson for trying to keep his employer in business and his rent paid on time.
I would say the former - this guy was not prepared to concede for a second that there might be a reason for looking at any products not made by Canon. I certainly wouldn't describe it as polite; polite pushing (of the kind described by GaryML) is common and if he had done this I wouldn't be bothered... he was effectively saying "the customer is wrong", and doing so in an impatient and arrogant tone as if I was failing to grasp some undeniable truth about the inherent crapness of things-not-made-by-Canon.

I see your points, but this particular retailer is not in danger of going out of business if it sells a few Samsungs instead of Canons, and it seemed clear to me that the guy was trying to force his own opinion on the customer, rather than trying to persuade the customer to buy a particular product on which he would gain commission. He never actually asked me if I was interested in seeing a Canon, all he did was tell me how wrong I was to be looking at the alternatives. He wasn't just a pushy salesman, he was clearly a brand fanatic. I don't think it's Pentax's fault at all; the only way Pentax, Samsung or Sony could have got this guy on their side would be to change their name to Canon. There's really no excuse for this.

10-18-2007, 11:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZaphodB Quote
I would say the former - this guy was not prepared to concede for a second that there might be a reason for looking at any products not made by Canon. I certainly wouldn't describe it as polite; polite pushing (of the kind described by GaryML) is common and if he had done this I wouldn't be bothered... he was effectively saying "the customer is wrong", and doing so in an impatient and arrogant tone as if I was failing to grasp some undeniable truth about the inherent crapness of things-not-made-by-Canon.

I see your points, but this particular retailer is not in danger of going out of business if it sells a few Samsungs instead of Canons, and it seemed clear to me that the guy was trying to force his own opinion on the customer, rather than trying to persuade the customer to buy a particular product on which he would gain commission. He never actually asked me if I was interested in seeing a Canon, all he did was tell me how wrong I was to be looking at the alternatives. He wasn't just a pushy salesman, he was clearly a brand fanatic. I don't think it's Pentax's fault at all; the only way Pentax, Samsung or Sony could have got this guy on their side would be to change their name to Canon. There's really no excuse for this.
My input was more to address the common belief that salespeople should just do what you want without providing input and trying to convince you to spend more. Every circumstance is different and in the case you described, I suspect their base wage is probably higher than their commission. In other words, they are more customer service than sales. It's very common in large stores. If they're willing to argue with a customer, they have no business in sales or customer service. They've got to find a way to sway you to their side without you realizing it. Confrontation is no way to make that happen.

Also keep in mind that store management is often filled with the type of salesperson we stereotype. They sell their employees on a low wage job and poor benefits, they sell their customers the belief that they don't push particular products when they know damn well they do, then they sell themselves to their own managers who demand increases in sales, reductions in payroll and no customer service complaints. Ugh. It gives me a headache to even think about working in retail again.
10-18-2007, 03:26 PM   #18
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My favourite salesperson line?

"Er. I'll go get the manager..."

A sad case was at one of my favourite camera (very good - most of 'em know what they're talking about):

"Do you have any Tri-X?"

"Erm, I'm not sure. Hey," he says to another salesperson, "Do we have The Triax in?"

Other SP: "Triax?"

"This customer wants The Triax."

I put this down to me perhaps not speaking too clearly. So I clarify, "No, Kodak Tri-X - it's a black and white film."

He looks at me like I came in wearing nothing but a thin layer of bacon grease. "Film?"

"Yeah."

"I don't know much about...film." This final, four letter, single-syllable word was spoken in the manner of a man pronouncing a phrase in Tagalog for the first time.

"That's ok..."

I wonder if they've still got my resumé on file...

As far as brand fanaticism goes, sure, there's the Canyon and Nikon guys, but nothing, nothing comes close to the al-Qaida jihad-death-to-all-non-believing-infidels religious zeal of a Leicanuts.
10-18-2007, 07:22 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
(snip) But I partly blame the Pentax reps. They are not educating these guys and showing them that there are other brands out there. C/N make great gear but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for Sony, Oly, Pentax etc. Shame on Pentax for not checking to see who's selling their gear and how it's being presented.

I can't speak much about the current situation, but I have worked as a marketing rep for both Pentax and Canon in the past (years ago). Of course, a company rep has no control when it comes the hiring practices of a particular store. In fact, since stores often resent outside interference, it would be unwise to say anything about an employee unless the situation was especially egregious. Education is the preferred method of dealing with this type of problem. However, direct employee education is difficult considering the time factor (busy employees), low wages (often little interest), and high employee turnover. Instead, many reps find a single employee with an interest in the product and fuel that interest in the hopes that employee will influence his or her co-workers somewhat. If successful, the co-workers may then become more open to info about the product. All this is assuming the employees don't leave (employee turnover) before this process has time to work.

stewart

10-18-2007, 08:08 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
As far as brand fanaticism goes, sure, there's the Canyon and Nikon guys, but nothing, nothing comes close to the al-Qaida jihad-death-to-all-non-believing-infidels religious zeal of a Leicanuts.

LOL!! You're certainly right about that. I once had a neighbor who owned a Leica camera. He wouldn't even allow his wife to move the camera bag while the camera was inside. According to him, this camera was a masterpiece. It was nice, but I wasn't overly impressed. When I made the mistake of saying that ("it's nice, but not that much better than other cameras"), this guy when into a two week long effort of trying to convince me otherwise. He talked about the workmanship. He described the detail. He came home from work several times with a handful of slides, or pile of prints, to show me. Compliments of that were not enough to satisfy. Only gushing admiration finally got him to stop. I'll never again say anything like that about a Leica camera.

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10-18-2007, 10:13 PM   #21
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There're two kinda Leica users, I've found. Ones who like all-metal rangefinders - these guys like good RF, and would use any one they felt suited them, red dot or not. These guys are generally good photographers. Hell, they'd take photos with a pinhole camera made from a colander, just to see how it'd out. One of my idols, Tim Page, swears by 'em.

They others are the ones who justify their purchases with:

"Henri Cartier-Bresson had one!"

Run.

Interestingly enough, that guy seems like he has not the faith of a True Wetzlarian: you're meant to be able to chuck it at a concrete wall and have it survive. Heck, HCB buried his.

Perhaps this is a sign of the original message being misinterpreted. Some would say a true hallmark of any religion...

My favourite way of dealing with these guys is saying, oh, yes, I've used a Leica. Then show them a picture you've taken with that Soviet Zenit you bought from the pawnshop for the price of a stick of gum. Preferably using a dodgy lens, one where you can still faintly make out the embossing on the front element, "THIS BOTTLE REMAINS PROPERTY OF THE COCA-COLA COMPANY."

Tell them this is one of the photos, shot on, a say, an M3 with a 50mm Summicron. Nine for ten, they'll gush over it. See how sharp it is? And the contrast! The bokeh! Yeah, it's gotta be a Leica. Doesn't it seem...almost...3D?

Either snicker quietly. Or, for fun, show them the real camera it came off.

If you want to start a fight where blows will be exchanged, tell them it came off a Contax.
10-18-2007, 11:42 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZaphodB Quote
... once again he complained about how it didn't fit in the hand the way a Canon does... Samsung shouldn't try to compete with Canon.
Haha the irony. I get that sometimes although in weird looks. I use a samsung too (fitted with a split microprism screen). When canikon owners get a little brand happy, I pull it out with a Helios-44. Ok lets duel...not literally but yeah lol.

Camera shows aside, its rare to run into seasoned photographers that really know the camera market. Most are enthusiasts (including canikon aficionados) and some are beginners (usually canikon cuz the salesperson said so) that are more willing to figure out what the heck their teacher was trying to teach them than to battle with brands.

QuoteOriginally posted by Frogroast:
How many of you have had to stop yourselves from rescueing a customer who's being railroaded into buying some junk? Tough, isn't it?
its really hard cuz being a Pentaxian, you tend to know the quickest road to getting into the photographic experience and then you see these photography students/beginners/hobbyists walking into a store clueless and then getting deluged with Canikon marketing spiel that has really nothing to do with learning the basics then getting ripped off with junk they can barely afford.

Technology hurdles aside (LBA, GAS, etc), I think photography is relatively easy to learn. Just gotta know the basic functions like Program, Aperture Priority (shutter priority not as useful cuz its a dependant variable), Manual, lens anatomy, and then learn some basic photography theory like composition. (Maybe flash on the side.)

But you get constantly bombarded by all this expensive "Auto" preferred junk that clouds the whole learning experience. This ain't point n shoot. This is getting an SLR and into photography as a hobby. Some folks have a strong art background and Rebelling with that punchy sensor is just fine but I see so many trigger happy canikon shooters running around blazing having no clue what and how to shoot. A number of them don't even realize that 100% of their photos are in "landscape" orientation.

Just as the move to ultrasonic AF motor is losing steam with the last of the big slr brands gaining supersonic AF status, there's been this large shift in the dslr market for Live View and all I can do is sigh at monitor.
10-19-2007, 05:33 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Tell them this is one of the photos, shot on, a say, an M3 with a 50mm Summicron. Nine for ten, they'll gush over it. See how sharp it is? And the contrast! The bokeh! Yeah, it's gotta be a Leica. Doesn't it seem...almost...3D?

Either snicker quietly. Or, for fun, show them the real camera it came off.

If you want to start a fight where blows will be exchanged, tell them it came off a Contax.
Very little gives me more satisfaction than showing people an A4 print of this photo:



and informing them that it came from an early 1950s Aires Reflex YII TLR that I paid all of about three bucks for and which requires a shot of lighter fluid into the shutter mechanism to loosen up the gunk before I take it out to shoot with it.

Looks awful. Shoots great. All I care about.

10-19-2007, 11:32 AM   #24
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To contrast like Fuji Velvia, I owe my love of Pentax to a good salesman.

When I was about as green as the leaves in Mike Cash's above shot, I decided I'd by my first SLR. This was only in 2005.

I said I'd like something good, but inexpensive, and without hesitation he pulled down a Pentax *istDS.

Said it was solid, for my price range was the best there was, took photos as good as anything else. For the price - this is important. Maybe he was being pressured to sell Pentax at that time. I do remember him telling me he personally didn't shoot a Pentax, though.

And, as I grew with the system, I discovered the wonderful world of things secondhand lenses, lenses that were older than me. Especially primes. That outperformed a lot of new lenses, and cost about the same price as Shania Twain CD.

And as I learnt more about cameras, I was extremely puzzled to find that not changing your lens mount for three decades was the exception, not the rule. It didn't make sense. Surely, if the K-mount can make room for electrical contacts and AF drive coupling points, how hard would it be for everyone else?

Why simply tell your users, hey, that lens you inherited off your dad? Screw you, you're not using it with our new camera system.

Then my cynicism kicked in and I realised, the camera companies don't actually make money of secondhand lenses. They also don't make any money of lenses you already own, either. Oh, don't get me started on the Canon EF and EF-S mounts.

I was glad that back then it was Pentaxes unseen hand of good planning and technical skill guiding me to fun, easy, convenient photography. And they planned this all in the era of disco and flares.

Add to that the dozens of other companies Pentax let use the K-mount, and your potential lens lineup is in the thousands.

The K-mount's what has got me. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And the brilliant thing about it - there's still room on the mount for a few more electronic contacts yet.
10-19-2007, 08:29 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
..................Perhaps this is a sign of the original message being misinterpreted. Some would say a true hallmark of any religion.............
Not running for Federal Parliament this time then?
10-19-2007, 08:36 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Why simply tell your users, hey, that lens you inherited off your dad? Screw you, you're not using it with our new camera system.
10-19-2007, 08:44 PM   #27
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Nice one, FotoPete
10-19-2007, 09:39 PM   #28
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I just spent a whole week in Disney World (Orlando, FL) and talk about camera-land... Most had the P&S pocket cams and it was quite interesting to see them, LCDs a good foot in front of their face as they carefully framed their shot of the kid hugging Goofy.

The great majority of DSLR folks I saw had Canon, tons of XT and XTIs, a handful of the D line, followed closely by the Nikon folks and their D40/D50/D70/D80 models. Yeah, I looked. Call it my informal survey. So many zooms up to 200-300mm, F2.8 lenses, some with built-in IS. Oy...

So I decided to do some free Pentax promo and walk around with my K10D around my neck, with the grip on, making sure the Pentax logo on the strap were facing forward. The camera looked huge around my neck and caught people staring more than once. I'll expect my promo check in the mail
10-19-2007, 10:16 PM   #29
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LOL everytime I heard Disney World and Goofy, I can't help but to picture that online video of some kid irritating the mascot and then getting chased by the 6-7 foot character haha.

As long as the front lip of the flash is visible. I've rarely take out my zooms let alone having touched them in a long time. Mostly its just the GX-1L with 2-3 primes. Haha I walked into a army surplus store and saw what looked like familar lens caps in the display case (probably for scopes) but I decided to ask if they stocked russian camera lenses and the employee looks at my camera and this weird expression dawns on him as he sees "Samsung" camera and then a "Made in USSR" etched on the lens.
10-20-2007, 03:37 AM   #30
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I strolled into Henry's Camera (Used Dept.) a couple of years back; I was in the mood to buy a new (to me) lens. After a minute or so of gawking I approached a salesman in the back corner. He was surrounded by literally hundreds of used lenses of every make model and length.

"Can I help you?" He asked politely.

"Sure, I'm looking for a wide angle lens. Pentax mount." I replied

At this his expression suddenly changed. "You want junk? I have lots of junk!" He roared at me.

Spittle was flying from his mouth. I was like a deer in the headlights, I froze, uncertain where to go next. He went in for the kill.

"If you want garbage I can sell you garbage! I have nothing but garbage here!"

At this point he picked up a small lens off the shelf beside and flipped it high into the air over his head. It spun crazily until he snatched it out of the air like a juggling magician just before I was sure it was going to smash into the counter. He picked up another lens and started flipping it into the air too.

"The only good lenses are German lenses! Japanese lenses are crap!" His rant continued but I stopped listening.

With my mouth agape I was unconsciously shuffling backwards away for this idiot and out into the relative safety of Queen Street (in Toronto). The was last this time I entered the used dept. at Henry's. I'll do my used lens shopping at home on the net where I won't get ridiculed and screamed at for uttering the word 'Pentax'.
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