A question of allegiances, ethics or money

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by kundalini, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I was curious on people's thought process about on-line pruchases. Does it merely come down to $$$$.

    I'm a huge fan of supporting local, Mom & Pops, specialized and independants rather than the soul sucking vampires of the big box stores. I have wish lists on both Amazon and B&H for pretty much the same items. IMO for this exercise, Amazon is the big box and B&H is the specialist.

    I'm not going to state which one has the less expensive items, but let's say there is less than $20 between the two. So when the time comes to actually put them into the cart and proceed to checkout, which will get the nod from the people on this forum and more importantly, why?
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well I definitely wouldn't consider B&H anything like a local Mom & Pop store. But yes I would definitely choose them over Amazon if the difference is under $20; they're not exactly a small struggling store, but they specialise in photographic equipment; that will most likely mean more knowledgeable staff and possibly better service.
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't say it is neccessarily price that drives me to B&H. Most of my leses are purchased locally if the price and tax difference is just a few bucks. B&H just carries a lot more than what the local store can. They carry the brand and model that I usually seek that local stores do not have or are out of stock on. I bought once from Amazon. It was an okay experience. You are actually buying from a store affiliated to Amazon in most cases.
     
  4. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    All of my major purchases have come from a local store. Even if it is more than $20. My father owns a local store and so I sometimes feel obligated to purchase local. However, I do like the fact that the money stays in the area instead of being sent to some other place.
     
  5. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    I would like to buy from a local store to help support my community and all that, but in reality they just don't have the selection. Almost every piece of photographic equipment I own came from B&H.

    I suppose I could have the local store special order stuff for me, but I always thought it would be too much of a hassle. Another reason I prefer B&H is that I don't have to deal with a pushy sales person trying to sell me stuff I don't want (I guess this is really my primary reason).

    If I found a local store that didn't try to sell me on whatever that weeks hot item was, I would start spending some of my money there.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry, but I think this one is actually pretty obvious, at least to me. Your in Raleigh NC. B&H is in New York. You have a simple question about part of your gear, or are a bit like me and don't like spending a bunch of cash sight unseen. B&H just isn't all that convienient to drive to now is it.

    Don't get me wrong. I have bought items from B&H in the past and will do so when there is a need. They are a great company, but If I can get it locally at a reasonable price then I do.

    But then I remember when you could pull into a gas station and the attendant would pump your gas, check your oil and tires and clean you windshield as part of the price of gas. There is something to be said for immediate service.
     
  7. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    I buy most everything from the Internet. Bicycle equipment, camera equipment - everything. Small accessories i'll buy locally, but for the big stuff? Net, only.

    It's a free market. The only reasons to buy locally are a better price, immediate availability for certain items, and to make yourself known in the place so that you get better service in the future. Of course, it's a gentle balance between the three, and i'm willing to pay a bit more for local service or availability.

    Between Amazon and B&H? B&H. The buying experience is more satisfying, more whole, in some odd way, for me.
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I'd have to disagree there. There is another very good reason. As Gryphon says, buying online is buying sight unseen. If anything I often do the opposite from you, and buy the smaller stuff online - after all a filter is a filter (and does not cost much to post back if necessary) - but buy the bigger stuff locally where I have a chance to see and handle it first and take it straight back if necessary. There is definitely something to be said for going into a local store and having the staff setting up a tripod, or taking camera, lens, flash, diffuser etc all out of their packing for you to try... of course I could just do all that and then go and buy it all online anyway, but I've worked in enough shops myself to consider that pretty unfair on the staff. Apart from that, I find that the independent shops are sometimes more accomodating - for example I can ask for something and if they don't have it then they will try to get it in; whereas a large chain-store will say "Sorry it's not ranged" and that will be the end of the discussion.

    Apart from that, I find that the better local stores can match internet prices, at least on camera bodies. When the price is good, the availability is immediate and I can go straight back to them for service, I guess the question becomes why not buy locally - unless you just really don't want to leave the house ;)
     
  9. FidelCastrovich

    FidelCastrovich TPF Noob!

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    Ah, thanks for reminding me, i forgot that one! :wink:
     
  10. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    I usually shop the local stores to evaluate and price items and find things that I like and then research and purchase online were the prices are usually much cheaper.

    Sounds harsh but I dont just have an unlimited budget ,and have to find good deals to aquire some of the things I desire.

    Besides if the mom and pop stores want to make more sales they can lower thier prices and start selling thier items on the web just like B&H or Adorama if they took the initiative.
     
  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, I buy virtually everything on-line. except for groceries and clothing and automotive on line. I live in the country and stores are a significant drive away.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Whew! You have a really naieve view about how business works.
     

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