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08-01-2009, 11:12 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
I find it amazing that so many people are not able to go to a camera store and try the K-7. Especially so many people in large US cities. To not be able to find a K-7 in SF is just nuts.

In another thread Nostatic was lambasted for buying a K-7 online, trying it out, not liking the ergonomics, and sending it back.

I think this IS Pentax's new business model in the US. Buy the camera online, try it out, and return it if you don't like it. This might seem like an abuse of a flexible return policy, but really, what choice do people have anymore?

The part I really find strange, is that in my neck of the woods, I can walk to more than one store and check out the K-7. The first K-7 I picked up was in a city of 300,000 people. Why do stores carry Pentax where I live and not in large US cities?
Don't forget, in the US, the ability to walk to a store, apart from a few cities, is next to impossible. That's one thing I still haven't been able to come to terms with after nearly seven years.

08-01-2009, 11:17 PM   #17
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Here in Dallas I have not found any Penatx Dealer's.
Wolf, after reorganization no longer carries them, Competitive Camera will not either.
Both do carry Olympus, my other system, but it is hard to feed my Digital AF prime lens addiction w/o a Pentax dealer
08-01-2009, 11:30 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Pentax USA has made it pretty clear they don't want most brick & mortar dealers! They did this in numerous ways.

1. Dumping all dealers that didn't do $100,000 a year. That killed any dealers in small towns. They said it was too much for them to handle all the small dealers. Then they opened thir own website to sell one at a time to consumers. Hmmm.

2. Local store carries Pentax. They aren't listed on the Pentax dealer finder. Sam's club is. How many Pentax DSLR do they have in stock? Ixnay, nada, 0.

3. Newest Pentax DSLRs have a "warning" packed in the box that tells people in case of trouble don't return camera to store. Any real camera shop wants people to return with problems so they can be helped. Big box stores don't. Pentax knows most big box stores are clueless with cameras.

Pentax thinks the internet is the future of retailing. We will see. If the government passes taxes on internet sales (they will they need cash) Pentax could be in for a rough.

thanks
barondla

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Hoya also has killed off a lot of their retail sellers because of their desire to enforce a Minimum Advertized Pricing (MAP) scheme which, since the merger, seems to have gradually been applied to Pentax branded products as well. It is the reason online retailers (even places such as Amazon and B&H) are forced to use the "add to cart to see our price because it is too low to advertise" crap. This can only hurt sales as a lot of people will just pass it by because they don't want to deal with adding each and every Pentax item not priced at MSRP (or at the MAP price point) to a cart just to see the price.

Do you know if the $100,000 in annual sales is tied to better pricing for the retailers or just a kiss off to the smaller sellers period? I have experienced agreements where our price was tied to the volume of product we moved. I believe HP is still that way for printers, which is a big reason you see more lines like Okidata in smaller computer stores and no HP printers. It is even worse if the $100k is based on the wholesale purchase price! Heck some internet retailers will not be able to acheive that level.

I also wonder if it can be tied to Hoya branded product as well for an overall total? Still as ya say it is a hard thing for a small retailer to cover.

In case you don't know about it, here are some details of Hoya's dealings with a pretty large retailer of their filters for years...all of which would not be known if the company didn't feel slighted that even larger sellers were being allowed to ignore the MAP agreement and advertise at any price they wanted:

Hoya Filters Marketing Agreement in USA

Next there is this law in Maryland which is going to have US wide effects on such MAP policies:

State Law Targets 'Minimum Pricing' - WSJ.com

minimum advertised price maryland - Google Search

These sort of policy decisions are going to have an effect on the Pentax brand. It's weird to me too as for a company in Pentax's position in the market volume would see key and nothing will drag in the consumer more than prices. I know there is the whole perceived value based on the shelf price alone, but to get the name out there I would think the best place to compete and become "known" again as a company that makes more than P&N's it would really go a long way to take advantage of their previous pricing advantages. Of course had they sold a lot more K7's than they already have the strategy might have backfired so a higher opening price was probably a good decision...early adopters are usually more forgiving of issues that early builds of a device can have.

I don't buy Hoya filters anymore because I made the mistake of a PRO1 Digital filter and the danged thing NEVER wanted to come clean for me at first...until I used a LensPen for the first time (a bit of ROR also worked great as well but I worried about wear and tear on the coatings)...still I am sticking with the B+W Kaesemann slim CPL's.
08-02-2009, 01:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
I would think that it is because of your proximity to an import area. At the puget sound, many many shipments come in from japan. I think Seattle has a very high rate of getting stuff first from the other side of the pacific.
I don't think that it matters much. Here in southern California we have one of the busiest ports in the world, and a dealer that sells Pentax is nowhere to be found.

08-02-2009, 04:18 AM   #20
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There is not much choice for those who live in very rural areas. It is over an hour's drive away for me to go to the nearest shopping mall/ Best Buy. I do have a local WalMart, but all they carry is a Rebel XSi. It wouldn't matter what I shot, I would be using on line reviews and ordering on line to get my gear. So for me, Pentax really isn't that much different from the other cameras out there.
08-02-2009, 05:59 AM   #21
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Brecklunden, its a weird setup. Dealer is still connected to Pentax (repairs, tech info, emails) but has to order from distributor. This might work if there were any real distributors! None are specialized photo distributors. They don't carry the whole line. Get a Limited at this dist. Get a flash from different dist. They don't even carry the K-7 yet! The prices are any where from same as Pentax to more. Have seen same camera vary by as much as $70.

Don't think there was ever any linkage between Hoya products and Pentax. Bad thing is they never told dealers about the $100,000 deal before hand. They just decided it and boom it was done.

They also were no help setting dealers up with new dist. accounts. Basically sent termination letter to dealers and dealer list to dist. and left the building. Some of the poorest business practices I have seen. They didn't even make an effort to try keeping small dealers on.

thanks
barondla

If I owned a store Pentax would never set foot in it. Its a no win situation.
08-05-2009, 11:36 AM   #22
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Bumping this as a prospective K20D buyer to relate my experience in the Portland, Oregon area. I checked with every nearby camera store, and without exception they've dumped Pentax. Shutterbugs, Pro Photo, Ritz/Wolf, Citizen, none of them. I understand there's a store out in Gresham that may still carry them, but that's a bit of a hike.

The manager at Shutterbugs related that he loves Pentax and wishes he could carry them, but they're impossible to work with as a medium-sized dealer. I ended up having to order one from Wal-Mart.com just to be able see what the damn thing feels like in my hands.
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