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Do you support your local camera shop?

John_SD
Whiz

As a beginner, I have made my initial purchases both here on the Canon site and also from an online camera retailer. I have been pleased with both experiences. But, I also realize that unless people make some purchases at their local camera store, these entities may eventually go the way of brick-and-mortar bookstores. That would be a shame. So, I decided this weekend to go to a local, non-chain camera store here in San Diego, one that has been in business for more than 30 years. I purchased some camera cleaning supplies to get a feel for the place. While I likely paid a few dollars more for the supplies, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the shop was very competitive on prices, gearwise. And the guys were pleasant to talk to and seemed low key. I appreciated that. 

 

I will likely buy from them again as I want to do my part to support a local, independent business. I'm curious what you guys think of the "state of the camera store" as it stands today? Do you make purchases from them now and then?

11 REPLIES 11


John_SD wrote:

As a beginner, I have made my initial purchases both here on the Canon site and also from an online camera retailer. I have been pleased with both experiences. But, I also realize that unless people make some purchases at their local camera store, these entities may eventually go the way of brick-and-mortar bookstores. That would be a shame. So, I decided this weekend to go to a local, non-chain camera store here in San Diego, one that has been in business for more than 30 years. I purchased some camera cleaning supplies to get a feel for the place. While I likely paid a few dollars more for the supplies, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the shop was very competitive on prices, gearwise. And the guys were pleasant to talk to and seemed low key. I appreciated that. 

 

I will likely buy from them again as I want to do my part to support a local, independent business. I'm curious what you guys think of the "state of the camera store" as it stands today? Do you make purchases from them now and then?


This probably isn't what you want to hear, but no, I don't. The plain truth is that I don't even know where the nearest camera store is anymore. What I do know is that even if its prices were identical to those of the New York superstores, It would be slower and more expensive to patronize it, because of the time and cost of even relatively local travel. I can place an order with B&H in the afternoon and have the goods arrive at my house the next day. I hope that's still the case when they move their warehouse operation to the Philadelphia area; but even if it isn't, it will probably still be faster. And there's no way on Earth that the local store could maintain the huge inventory that the mail-order operations do. There's a nice ring to the idea of patronizing local merchants, but unfortunately that ship has sailed.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:

This probably isn't what you want to hear, but no, I don't. The plain truth is that I don't even know where the nearest camera store is anymore. What I do know is that even if its prices were identical to those of the New York superstores, It would be slower and more expensive to patronize it, because of the time and cost of even relatively local travel. I can place an order with B&H in the afternoon and have the goods arrive at my house the next day. I hope that's still the case when they move their warehouse operation to the Philadelphia area; but even if it isn't, it will probably still be faster. And there's no way on Earth that the local store could maintain the huge inventory that the mail-order operations do. There's a nice ring to the idea of patronizing local merchants, but unfortunately that ship has sailed.


Actually, I agree with everything you wrote,  Robert. There is no question that online is faster, more convenient, and offers a range of choices that most brick-and-mortar shops can't compete with.

 

Yet, personally, I can't help but feel that we lose something as a culture by watching these neighborhood shops close down, one by one.  I realize, of course, that their demise is inevitable. Photography itself seems to be a throwback to simpler, better times, and most people seem content with trival snapshots with the phone. Still, in a lot of ways, I am old school, and will make some of my purchases at the camera shop when I can. It gives me the sense that I am remaining a part of something that I remember fondly from my youth. YMMV.

I Live in Victoria, Britsh Columbia, and, like John, I wanted to try to give my local camera store a shot at winning my custom.  By buying locally I would face both Federal GST (7%) and Provincial tax (7%) added to my price.

 

I was looking for a Canon 7DMkII, a Canon 80D and a Canon 100-400L Mk II lens, the 1.4MIII and the 2.0Mk III expanders..  That's a fair amount of money to be investing in a purchase and I was expecting some kind of discount based on that fact.

 

When I went to talk to them about it I also had to renew my travel document photo, so I paid for that and got arguably the worst image I have ever had taken.The reaction to the rubbish image was to shrug and decline to re-shoot it.  As far as a discount went, they felt their (list) prices were "competitive" ... 

 

I went on-line to The Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta where no PST is charged - so I saved 7% immediately.  They gave me a further discount of over $250, plus a bunch of goodies, free delivery and constant upadates until my purchases arrived in immaculate condition.

 

Apparenlty some stores have yet to learn that people do shop around and they have to have some sense of competition.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

If I want to try something, I go to my local camera shop.  I don't mind paying a bit more for the service.  When Tamron had the rumors going around about poor AF (on the 150-600), I went to my local shop.  They let me try the lens on my camera.  It worked.  The rumors were simply that rumors so I bought it although it was $50 bucks more than NY.  Well worth it to me.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I just checked the price of a new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens at George's Photo in SD. which has been in business since 1965. It is listed at $1099.95. B&H lists it at $1099.00 -- a savings of 95 cents. 

 

Cameras are usually priced the same as B&H. 

 

I'll buy from George whenever I can. 

 

 

 


@John_SD wrote:

I just checked the price of a new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens at George's Photo in SD. which has been in business since 1965. It is listed at $1099.95. B&H lists it at $1099.00 -- a savings of 95 cents. 

 

Cameras are usually priced the same as B&H. 

 

I'll buy from George whenever I can.  

 


If you live in South Dakota, that decision may make perfect sense. But there are probably 100 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts with worse traffic problems than those of Rapid City. Here it's a no-brainer to shop online at B&H.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@John_SD wrote:

I just checked the price of a new Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens at George's Photo in SD. which has been in business since 1965. It is listed at $1099.95. B&H lists it at $1099.00 -- a savings of 95 cents. 

 

Cameras are usually priced the same as B&H. 

 

I'll buy from George whenever I can.  

 


If you live in South Dakota, that decision may make perfect sense. But there are probably 100 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts with worse traffic problems than those of Rapid City. Here it's a no-brainer to shop online at B&H.


I agree.  I'm in the NYC Tri-state area, and cannot always be at home for UPS.  So, I pickup at a UPS store a mile from my home.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

If you live in South Dakota, that decision may make perfect sense. But there are probably 100 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts with worse traffic problems than those of Rapid City. Here it's a no-brainer to shop online at B&H.


I agree.  I'm in the NYC Tri-state area, and cannot always be at home for UPS.  So, I pickup at a UPS store a mile from my home.


I live in San Diego.

It's worth something to have it in your hand first.  Smiley Happy

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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