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Why is my local camera store so much more expensive?

Brotage

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I really try to support the local core stores here.. especially the local skate shop.

When I shop online for skateboarding stuff its usually 5-10$ cheaper which is understandable since you have to pay for shipping and all that stuff. I can just as easily go to my local skate shop and get whatever I need for usually a couple bucks more.

I went to my local camera store to check out bags and memory cards and there prices were RIDICULOUS compared to b&h. I was looking at a Lowepro Nova 3 AW (I think) bag which was 70$ at the store and 37 at B&H... I can understand a few extra dollars but almost double the price seems like a complete rip off. I was also trying to find 4gb CF cards which were 125$ at the store and 70$ at B&H and the store had some brand that looked kind of generic.

Once again I can understand maybe 10-15$ more than online but this disappointed me.. even Best Buy had cheaper cards..

Is there some reason for this?
 
If you think thats bad then don't look at ebay. My local camera shop was selling a bag I wanted for 80$. I found it new on ebay for $15. I'm all for supporting local but that is crazy!
 
I think there are two things going on with online vs. store, and one additional with camera stuff:

First, a local store usually doesn't do anywhere near the volume of a large online retailer and so they have to make more of a profit per item.

Second, most stores have larger expenses than an online retailer because they have to maintain a store and sales staff, etc. This isn't completely applicable to B&H because they have a huge store in NYC, but I'm putting it here because I think it's a small part of this case, and a large part in most others (like Amazon).

Third, and this is for camera stuff, is that camera equipment is more of a niche market, I believe, especially for high-end items like good lenses, bodies, large bags, and good filters and tripods. Consequently, local stores are more likely to charge MSRP than a giant online store.
 
Probably because he buys his stuff from B&H and charges MSRP.

Also, memory cards are a tricky thing...generic cards are crap and not worth anything. You can get a cheap kingston 1gb card from B&H for 11 dollars...there's no reason to buy no-name...lol
 
Probably because he buys his stuff from B&H and charges MSRP.

Also, memory cards are a tricky thing...generic cards are crap and not worth anything. You can get a cheap kingston 1gb card from B&H for 11 dollars...there's no reason to buy no-name...lol

I was just throwing out some old receipts. I came across a 1gig card I bought 4 years ago. It cost 400$ !!!! I just sold it on craig's list for $25!
 
An online store can't let you hold, test or compare the products you're looking at. Having a shopfront and knowledgeable staff to allow this costs money, more money than having a warehouse and a couple of boxpackers does.

Also, as mentioned, many shopfronts will use MRSP by default. This price is rarely fixed in stone, my local was quite happy to come to within $70 of an online store when asked, which on $1600 worth of camera is well worth spending for local support and warranty point of contact (It's paid for itself already!). This was about $350 less than MRSP.
 
Mom and Pops can't compete with the volume a B&H, Adorama, Calumet, or even the regional chain we have Cord. They need to pay rent,light, and salary on the volume that comes through one door. The don't have the world as there sales floor.
 
A lot of thing seem out of line price wise, Even the cost of prints is higher at the local store that I go to. But I have found one nice exception; for printed, bound photo books, like school year book style but much thinner, online prices were around $40, at the store with a turn around time of 20 minutes, the price was $18!, I was surprised that 20 8.5 x11, sides in a photo book was that cheap when then they charge $5.00 for one 8x10 print. granted not the same paper, but still. I was expecting to pay more than Online; It's making christmas quite a bit cheaper for me.
 
some shops deserve to ask for higher prices, since they do a good job in helping you and letting you try out things in the shop.... other shops just do not deserve it at all since they try to sell you some rubbish they want to get rid of and they treat you like s**t.

I could start a long rant now but I won't ... :p
 
some shops deserve to ask for higher prices, since they do a good job in helping you and letting you try out things in the shop.... other shops just do not deserve it at all since they try to sell you some rubbish they want to get rid of and they treat you like s**t.

I could start a long rant now but I won't ... :p

I agree, I think that when I buy my next Camera; and I't will be a big purchase with a 40d and a few L-series lenses, I will use my local store. The prices are pretty much the same except I could save a few hundred bucks on sales tax from B&H. But I walked in to the store today and when the guy asked If I could use some help I told him I had no money but had some questions. It was very busy and he took the time to go get some samples for me and answer all on my questions. That is something that you cannot get from a computer.

But, there are some local businesses that are so terrible I will not even step foot into, plus they followed me out the door yelling "GET THE HELL OUT, AND DONT EVER COME BACK!" But that is a whole different story. :mrgreen:


Now that I think of it, There is shipping cost from B&H, plus the local place will give me 300 free prints!
 
some shops deserve to ask for higher prices, since they do a good job in helping you and letting you try out things in the shop....

Definitely agree.. unfortunately those deserving camera shops are few and far between...

Fortunately for me, I found one and they treat me like a king of sorts.. even remember my name coming through the door, staying open an hour after hours, cutting me deals whenever possible, throwing free stuff into deals.... Yeh.. they are priced higher but I don't mind spending the extra cash and they are considered a high end shop.

I love looking at their cases of used stuff....


Sadly.. another deserving camera shop I frequented closed a few months ago.... been in operation since the 1930's.
 
Oh yeh...

I think operating cost and mode of sales (as previously posted) is a factor.

But I think there is another...

All the equipment that is in BH and other stores are on consignment from the manufacturer. For high volume and highly known establishments, I believe there is some sort of kick backs for simply stocking and displaying the equipment. Essentially, they get paid a certain amount for just displaying and advertising the equipment. This allows for more flexibility in pricing on the part of the retailer.

Smaller stores don't have this luxury.... their profit margin is much smaller when they make a sale. Some don't do enough sales to qualify even for a line-of-credit with the manufacturer thus are forced to stock items fully paid for. Again further reducing their ability to be flexible with savings/pricing.
 
Also ,small shops need to keep the price of Cameras and lenses competitive, because they are THE Item that people are coming to buy. But that slims the profit margin, so they may have higher prices on accessories like a lens case or camera bag.

Now Big Companies will do the same thing. Home Depot will sell some Items at cost or maybe even a loss, just to get you in the store, and get add-on sales.

they have market research to figure out what Items people do not price shop for, and then they jack up the prices on those, and most people never notice.
 
A lot of valid points made. It comes down to personal taste and opinion. I personally have no problem using the local stores for my 'tire-kicking' while buying from B&H. Vice Versa - I have no problem calling B&H with a question and buying something (if I need it that day or the next) at a local shop. One thing that needs to be touched upon again though - the camera world is a very opinionated one - and most of the time I'd rather do the research in forums like this one, through independent magazines (free to read at most bookstores in the States), and internet searching instead of being copped attitude by the local beer-gut behind the counter charging a 'fair price' to meet his monthly sales needs. I am a huge fan of local businesses - like the corner deli.
 

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