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Photographer
Model Starr Photography
Posts: 526
Madison, Alabama, US


I live in mid-sized town and the only local owned store that sold Nikon gear no longer does. Employees and owner there, says Nikon stopped using them as a licensed retailer with no explanation. Mind you, this store has been a Nikon reseller for at least 30 years. Are you guys experiencing a similar trend in your small/mid sized cities? Just wondering.

Update:
This local store is now selling Canon exclusively. Before, you could get bodies, kits, lenses and accessories for Nikon or Canon.  Canon must have a significantly different business structure for their retailers. Too bad for Nikon. (I'm a Nikon shooter).
Jan 16 13 04:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Supermodel Photographer
Posts: 3,309
Oyster Bay, New York, US


Model Starr Photography wrote:
Are you guys experiencing a similar trend in your small/mid sized cities?

Not where I live on Long Island, NY.

Jan 16 13 05:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digitoxin
Posts: 13,343
Houston, Texas, US


Model Starr Photography wrote:
I live in mid-sized town and the only local owned store that sold Znikon gear no longer does. Employees and owner there, says Nikon stopped using them as a licensed retailer with no explanation. Mind you, this store has been a Nikon reseller for at least 30 years. Are you guys experiencing a similar trend in your small/mid sized cities? Just wondering.

The story could be true.

Or, it could be a good story by a store that is having increasing difficulty paying its bills or meeting minimum ordering quanties or, or, or..... And Nikon simply said "bye"......

Jan 16 13 05:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,711
Upland, California, US


Digitoxin wrote:
Or, it could be a good story by a store that is having increasing difficulty paying its bills or meeting minimum ordering quanties or, or, or..... And Nikon simply said "bye"......

That's probably the case... a store that couldn't compete with the internet or a local Best Buy... wink

Jan 16 13 05:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Colwell Photograph
Posts: 51
Longview, Texas, US


The local Mom & Pop here lost Nikon also. He could not meet the minimum annual sales requirement.
Jan 16 13 05:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sourcelight Photography
Posts: 245
BOISE, Idaho, US


The trend I'm noticing is the virtual disappearance of professional camera stores.  There's exactly one left here, and it's closed 2 of its 4 locations in the past two years.  They're still carrying low-end Nikon gear, but they haven't carried the pro cameras (D3/4) or even the semi-pro (D300/700/800) series for almost 5 years.  Their claim is that Nikon forces them to carry more of the high-end gear in inventory than they can sell, so it's no longer worth it for them to stock it.

Photography is one of those industries that has been severely affected by the on-line digital revolution.  Dedicated photography shops rightfully complain that buyers come into the store to handle the merchandise, ask a lot of questions, and then leave to buy their gear on-line or at a discount house, and they're not getting any of the protection from the OEMs that they used to count on.  I was shocked to see the D600 at the local Costco last week; this is a camera that Nikon would have restricted to photo-only retailers in the past.  Tough for a local camera store to compete with WalMart, Best Buy, or Costco on price, particularly when the customers aren't showing any loyalty or respect for the information they get from the camera store but don't expect from a discounter.  They've always dealt with this kind of competition from the mail-order box houses, but those of us who just like to buy local would take our business to our local camera dealer.  That's no longer necessary, and the dealers are feeling the pinch from every direction.


BTW, in answer to your question, Nikon will indeed cancel a license if the dealer can't meet inventory/sales minimums, and in this economy, it's tough for ANY business to meet reasonable sales expectations.  Several years back, when the D3 was released, I went to the local dealer for a presentation put on by the traveling Nikon rep.  She pulled me aside and told me that the local dealer was not going to be allowed to sell the D3, and then proceeded to give me the names of several other dealers in the region who WOULD still be carrying it.  The whole issue was the number of cameras that the dealers were willing to order up front.
Jan 16 13 06:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
George ephrem
Posts: 981
Jacksonville, Florida, US


hey,... here in Jax fla, we only have   the best buy store!!!!!!!

we used to have 2 great stores....no more....    sad
Jan 16 13 06:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Supermodel Photographer
Posts: 3,309
Oyster Bay, New York, US


Sourcelight Photography wrote:
The trend I'm noticing is the virtual disappearance of professional camera stores.  There's exactly one left here, and it's closed 2 of its 4 locations in the past two years.  They're still carrying low-end Nikon gear, but they haven't carried the pro cameras (D3/4) or even the semi-pro (D300/700/800) series for almost 5 years.  Their claim is that Nikon forces them to carry more of the high-end gear in inventory than they can sell, so it's no longer worth it for them to stock it.

Photography is one of those industries that has been severely affected by the on-line digital revolution.  Dedicated photography shops rightfully complain that buyers come into the store to handle the merchandise, ask a lot of questions, and then leave to buy their gear on-line or at a discount house, and they're not getting any of the protection from the OEMs that they used to count on.  I was shocked to see the D600 at the local Costco last week; this is a camera that Nikon would have restricted to photo-only retailers in the past.  Tough for a local camera store to compete with WalMart, Best Buy, or Costco on price, particularly when the customers aren't showing any loyalty or respect for the information they get from the camera store but don't expect from a discounter.  They've always dealt with this kind of competition from the mail-order box houses, but those of us who just like to buy local would take our business to our local camera dealer.  That's no longer necessary, and the dealers are feeling the pinch from every direction.


BTW, in answer to your question, Nikon will indeed cancel a license if the dealer can't meet inventory/sales minimums, and in this economy, it's tough for ANY business to meet reasonable sales expectations.  Several years back, when the D3 was released, I went to the local dealer for a presentation put on by the traveling Nikon rep.  She pulled me aside and told me that the local dealer was not going to be allowed to sell the D3, and then proceeded to give me the names of several other dealers in the region who WOULD still be carrying it.  The whole issue was the number of cameras that the dealers were willing to order up front.

Thanks for writing so well.

Jan 16 13 06:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Works Photography
Posts: 2,890
Orlando, Florida, US


There is one mom and pop store I know in town. Their prices just don't compete with the internet and yet along the stock at hand. Best Buy is the other retailer which is a couple of miles away. Its prices too cannot compete tho they have a price matching thing going. Also I did not see a D800 or even a D600. All were crop sensor cameras.The only thing I see they got going is that you can actually try these cameras before buying them.
Jan 16 13 06:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kev Lawson
Posts: 7,190
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


GreatMomentsPhotography wrote:
There is one mom and pop store I know in town. Their prices just don't compete with the internet and yet along the stock at hand. Best Buy is the other retailer which is a couple of miles away. Its prices too cannot compete tho they have a price matching thing going. Also I did not see a D800 or even a D600. All were crop sensor cameras.The only thing I see they got going is that you can actually try these cameras before buying them.

Best Buy here in little old Daytona did have the D600, not sure if they do now. But unfortunately, if you want any form of gear in Daytona, you have to travel to Orlando, Tampa or Jacksonville.

Jan 16 13 06:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
George ephrem
Posts: 981
Jacksonville, Florida, US


dont go to jax, where im at,... nothing here....even Ritz camera is gone now, not that they were anything great
Jan 16 13 07:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
IMAK Photo
Posts: 523
Eureka, California, US


I bought my D600 from a local independent camera store. Price was the same as Amazon and BH.
Jan 16 13 07:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,875
Beverly Hills, California, US


most of you don't own a business, at least not a business where inventory is carried. In Los Angeles county the have a tax called a personal property tax  thats based on the value of your FFE (furnishings, fixtures and equipement) in other words  all the stuff you have you use to conduct business, including your tables, computers, chairs  telephone. even the leasehold improvements are taxed. if you don't know what that means , it's the sinks, plumbing, AC. electrical lighting  all that  stuff you do to set up a  business   Yes  its taxed  every year. even after all that is finally paid off. they go after every single business  hounding them. Then add the gross receipts sales tax, they tax the gross sales  before you deduct your expenses    and then the state forces you to submit a quarterly sales tax return every QTR. All that inventory sitting there tying up cash if NIkon or canon requiring  miniimum buys is strangling the business owner. The rent cost will undoubtedly bankrupt  more businesses, higher  real estate taxes will be passed to the owners bottom line, the cost of utilities is going to the roof, insurance, the owners are now going to have pay for their employees health insurance  or face fines  thanks to obama care,  Workers comp. the the S corp taxes, FICA taxes, personal,income tax, business license  tax, state income tax. Even in Beverly Hills   they don't have a camera store anymore.  Businesses are closing up. In Los Angeles  they passed a living wage ordinance affecting hotels near LAX, they want living wages for  burger flippers as well, expect your McD's burger meal to hit the $ 15 level soon. The only ones making out  are the union goons working for the government  we end up paying for all theri benefits  while they do less and less Sorry if this sounds like soapbox material but  the story is related..
Jan 16 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,176
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


The figure I heard years ago was that half of all camera sales in the US was done by five retailers. Today I would guess the % is much higher.

Add in minimum annual buy ins and setting high number of pieces to get the best price I can see it getting harder and harder for a small dealer to compete.
Jan 16 13 08:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AG_Boston
Posts: 345
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Happened to some shops I go to.
Jan 16 13 09:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ELiffmann
Posts: 1,397
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US


I think local shops need to start renting gear.  I've tried to talk mine into it and they are only renting Tamron.  If I didn't have to pay the shipping I'd blow all sorts of money on rentals.
Jan 16 13 10:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,982
Costa Mesa, California, US


Robert Helm wrote:
The figure I heard years ago was that half of all camera sales in the US was done by five retailers. Today I would guess the % is much higher.

Add in minimum annual buy ins and setting high number of pieces to get the best price I can see it getting harder and harder for a small dealer to compete.

B&H, Adorama, Amazon and.... Calumet has been on the ropes for a while now so I doubt they are in the top 5. Best Buy COULD be with all the low end stuff the sell. Who am I missing? Locally in SoCal Samy's is big and is where I get most of my stuff. But I have no idea if their web sales are high volume. Down here in OC there is ProPhoto as well. They carry everything but their appeal is mostly rental and used equipment. Another called Cal's Camera went out of business recently but then I called them a list plus dealer. High prices combined with low inventory finally killed them I guess. But mostly it's just the internet. Nikon is one dealer that TRIES to control prices. A dealership can lose their authorization if they discount their Nikon ware. Canon doesn't seem to care much about that. Free trade and all I guess.

Jan 16 13 10:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,627
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Sourcelight Photography wrote:
The trend I'm noticing is the virtual disappearance of professional camera stores.

Not really. The problem is that the old time stores are unable to adapt to modern times.

Here in Vegas, we used to have three major stores. Sahara Camera, B&H, and Casey's Cameras. Sahara Camera had to move a few years ago because they just never found their niche. They move to a smaller storefront and they do mediocre business. Quite frankly, I'd be surprised if they were even open through the end of 2013.

Next is Casey's. Casey's has been in Vegas for years and years. They used to be the big guys in town. Many of the staff there are photography instructors and they have a pretty big selection. Not great, but good. Slowly but surely, the Internet has taken them down. Now, when you go in there, the inventory is half of what it was two years ago and all the old geezers do there is bitch and moan about how the Internet isn't fair and how they can't compete, blah blah blah. The store looks old and tired. They are nice guys, but they don't have a clue how to market a business, even one with a very captive audience like Las Vegas. Again, I'd be shocked if they were around this time next year. It's sad, but it's their own fault.

Lastly is B&C. This used to be a small camera store but was bought out by a commercial photographer a few years ago. They put a lot of money into the business and they have expanded twice in the last few years, most recently into a store over twice the size of where they used to be. The place is clean, looks professional, and they carry a ton of inventory. They rent all sorts of lenses now and if you need it, they've got it. The place is managed by working photographers who really know what they are talking about. They teach workshops there and the place is always packed. Most importantly though, they actually are willing to spend money to make money. They actually run big billboards around town, have fliers in the different hotels so they not only cater to locals but tourists as well. They're sharp, and they are making really good money, and deserve every penny.

The problem is, it's adapt or die, and many of the old-time camera guys never moved out of the "good ol' days".

Jan 16 13 10:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Z_Photo
Posts: 6,933
Huntsville, Alabama, US


it happened here.  the owner had to go back to nikon and complete the process to apply to be a dealer all over again after decades of selling their gear.  they have been readded as a retailer.  perhaps all your local stores could do the same and again be nikon dealers.
Jan 16 13 10:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Yingwah Productions
Posts: 1,341
New York, New York, US


Sourcelight Photography wrote:
Photography is one of those industries that has been severely affected by the on-line digital revolution.  Dedicated photography shops rightfully complain that buyers come into the store to handle the merchandise, ask a lot of questions, and then leave to buy their gear on-line or at a discount house, and they're not getting any of the protection from the OEMs that they used to count on.  I was shocked to see the D600 at the local Costco last week; this is a camera that Nikon would have restricted to photo-only retailers in the past.

You're mistaken, the D600 is purposely aimed at the consumer market. Its the entry level full-frame.

Jan 16 13 11:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Yingwah Productions
Posts: 1,341
New York, New York, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
Lastly is B&C. This used to be a small camera store but was bought out by a commercial photographer a few years ago. They put a lot of money into the business and they have expanded twice in the last few years, most recently into a store over twice the size of where they used to be. The place is clean, looks professional, and they carry a ton of inventory. They rent all sorts of lenses now and if you need it, they've got it. The place is managed by working photographers who really know what they are talking about. They teach workshops there and the place is always packed. Most importantly though, they actually are willing to spend money to make money. They actually run big billboards around town, have fliers in the different hotels so they not only cater to locals but tourists as well. They're sharp, and they are making really good money, and deserve every penny.

The problem is, it's adapt or die, and many of the old-time camera guys never moved out of the "good ol' days".

These guys know whats going on. You have to offer the social aspect like the Apple store to get people to come in. People see it as a value. Something like 60% of people buy a car based on how they liked the "dealer experience" rather than the actual performance of the car.

Jan 16 13 11:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sourcelight Photography
Posts: 245
BOISE, Idaho, US


Shot By Adam wrote:
Not really. The problem is that the old time stores are unable to adapt to modern times.

Here in Vegas, we used to have three major stores. Sahara Camera, B
Jan 16 13 11:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sourcelight Photography
Posts: 245
BOISE, Idaho, US


Yingwah Productions wrote:
You're mistaken, the D600 is purposely aimed at the consumer market. Its the entry level full-frame.

Apparently so.  That's not been true of previous 3-series cameras, like the D200 or D300 which, to my knowledge, never appeared in discount houses other than the mail-order/Internet box houses like B&H and Adorama.  My point is that Nikon didn't used to "aim (this level of camera) at the consumer market."

Jan 16 13 11:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,627
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Sourcelight Photography wrote:
Undoubtedly true in some cases; not even remotely applicable in others.  Such incredibly naive arrogance is actually kind of amusing.

It's not a matter of naivete, it's a matter of having business sense and not having business sense. Sorry, but Idaho is not exactly a mecca for high technology sales. It just isn't, so unless you can adapt your business llama to the local market, it's inevitable that  you are going to die.

Jan 17 13 01:05 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,254
Baltimore, Maryland, US


I doubt its a policy change against small independent businesses. Most likely its failure to pay bills, move inventory, or violation of minimum sales price.

We have two excellent indepent stores in the DC region, Ace Photo in Virginia, and Service Photo in Baltimore. Both had stocks of D800 when Amazon and B&H didnt.
Jan 17 13 01:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,109
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


The two largest camera stores in St. Louis are Creve Coeur Camera (ten stores) and Schiller's (probably does more pro sales out of one store). I've been in both recently, and both are well-stocked with new Nikon equipment.

My favorite salesman is the former Nikon rep for the lower Midwestern states. He always seems to know what's going on with Nikon.

My guess is that they're looking at sales volumes and eliminating stores that don't meet a certain minimum sales volume or have a minimum amount of Nikon equipment in stock. But that's just my guess.
Jan 17 13 01:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sourcelight Photography
Posts: 245
BOISE, Idaho, US


Shot By Adam wrote:

It's not a matter of naivete, it's a matter of having business sense and not having business sense. Sorry, but Idaho is not exactly a mecca for high technology sales. It just isn't, so unless you can adapt your business model to the local market, it's inevitable that  you are going to die.

And you're still missing the point that you usually miss in these discussions.  As you finally acknowledge, Idaho is not a "mecca of high technology sales," but neither are most places in the country.  There are a LOT of places in fact where the Internet has made it impossible to "adapt your business model to the local market," because the local market is too small to support upsizing the business or introducing superfluous marketing bells and whistles just to lure non-existent customers through the doors.  Those customers are gone forever, and since, unlike your locale, most places don't have a billion visitors every few months who stream through local businesses with the express intent of blowing lots of money on non-essential items without regard to price, it's insulting to suggest that smart business people who have faithfully served their local markets for generations in some cases are just too stupid, uncreative, or downright lazy to "adapt" to a local market you don't have a clue about.  Most of us have no particular interest in moving to Las Vegas, so implementing the marketing "adaptations" that you seem to think are universally applicable really isn't a useful option.  I suspect that in most small markets, legitimate camera dealers WILL die out, as I said in my first post, and it won't have anything to do with their lack of entrepreneurial competence or ingenuity.

Jan 17 13 01:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,176
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


R Michael Walker wrote:
B&H, Adorama, Amazon and.... Calumet has been on the ropes for a while now so I doubt they are in the top 5. Best Buy COULD be with all the low end stuff the sell. Who am I missing? Locally in SoCal Samy's is big and is where I get most of my stuff. But I have no idea if their web sales are high volume. Down here in OC there is ProPhoto as well. They carry everything but their appeal is mostly rental and used equipment. Another called Cal's Camera went out of business recently but then I called them a list plus dealer. High prices combined with low inventory finally killed them I guess. But mostly it's just the internet. Nikon is one dealer that TRIES to control prices. A dealership can lose their authorization if they discount their Nikon ware. Canon doesn't seem to care much about that. Free trade and all I guess.

The big NY stores may be "on the ropes" but that was always the case with some of them declaring bankrupcy every 7 years like clockwork. Canon and Nikon et al would take multimillion $$ right offs and be back taking orders the next day. They were too big to fail 30 years before the term existed.

Most mfgrs have Minimum Advetised Price programs where if you advertise below a MAP price you didnot get the ad allowance.

At one time Phila had a dozen independent camera shops, some with five or more locations. Now there are two or three mostly in the suburbs. Local stores live and die on photofinishing. That market does not exist anymore and that was where the profit was.

Jan 17 13 05:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Troy Tribble
Posts: 247
Greenville, South Carolina, US


Mike Colwell Photograph wrote:
The local Mom & Pop here lost Nikon also. He could not meet the minimum annual sales requirement.

That's what a local store owner here told me. He was a Nikon dealer for over 20 years.

Jan 17 13 10:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Downtown Pro Photo
Posts: 1,548
Crystal Lake, Illinois, US


we looked into becoming a dealership once.  What we wanted to do was carry the pro level gear only since no one in the area was.  In order to do that, we would have had to carry a line of point and shoots along with the lower end DSLR and lenses.
The problem was that our cost would have been what Best Buy was selling them for since we wouldn't buy them by the truckload.  And each order would have to have a certain percentage of the total be P&S and the stuff we didn't want to sell because we would never be able to compete on price.
But we would have been able to sell the pro stuff with no competition in the area.  Combine that with ridiculous profit margins (4-5% max) on sales and it's easy to see why smaller shops don't want to be bothered with it at all.
Jan 17 13 11:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Occidental
Posts: 10,546
Glendora, California, US


deleted
Jan 17 13 02:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Model Starr Photography
Posts: 526
Madison, Alabama, US


Mike Colwell Photograph wrote:
The local Mom & Pop here lost Nikon also. He could not meet the minimum annual sales requirement.

Nikon is short sighted if they have the same business requirements for the mom and pops as they do for the big electronic retailers. I wonder what the requirement is for Canon. Nikon, based on sales, is still number 2 to Canon. Cutting out mom and pop stores is not going to help their sales . Photography is about as niche' as you can get in business. I appreciate being able to go to my local store and picking up knowledge and accessories for my passion. Too bad.

Jan 18 13 08:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bob Helm Photography
Posts: 18,176
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US


I would assume Canon has similar policies, I know they used to.

Big or small dealers still have to be serviced by salesstaff and a salesperson calling on small dealers is not very cost effective.

There was a time when you could get goods transhipped from a licensed dealer to an unlicensed on but that stopped many years ago when they introduced MAP pricing and to identify Gray market sales.
Jan 18 13 11:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,080
Buena Park, California, US


Model Starr Photography wrote:
I live in mid-sized town and the only local owned store that sold Nikon gear no longer does. Employees and owner there, says Nikon stopped using them as a licensed retailer with no explanation. Mind you, this store has been a Nikon reseller for at least 30 years. Are you guys experiencing a similar trend in your small/mid sized cities? Just wondering.

Update:
This local store is now selling Canon exclusively. Before, you could get bodies, kits, lenses and accessories for Nikon or Canon.  Canon must have a significantly different business structure for their retailers. Too bad for Nikon. (I'm a Nikon shooter).

maybe they are on credit hold.  Stores are not going to admit to stuff like that.

Jan 18 13 12:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,080
Buena Park, California, US


Sourcelight Photography wrote:
Photography is one of those industries that has been severely affected by the on-line digital revolution.  Dedicated photography shops rightfully complain that buyers come into the store to handle the merchandise, ask a lot of questions, and then leave to buy their gear on-line or at a discount house, and they're not getting any of the protection from the OEMs that they used to count on.

I had a lot of respect for a boss I had years ago.  I worked for KAMAN Industrial Technologies.  Industrial supplier.  KAMAN also had a KAMAN Music branch that owned all kinds of various popular brands like Ovation and I think Ziljian.  I think my discount was 40%.  He would tell us to NOT GOING INTO A MUSIC STORE AND WASTE A SALESPERSON'S TIME just to come back and order from work with out discount.

I think it's crappy to KNOW you're NOT going to do business with someone and pick their brains etc.

That's why I don't test drive every Mustang that comes our.  Unless I'm ready to buy a car, I'm not going to waste their time.

Jan 18 13 12:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,153
Portland, Oregon, US


Model Starr Photography wrote:
I live in mid-sized town and the only local owned store that sold Nikon gear no longer does. Employees and owner there, says Nikon stopped using them as a licensed retailer with no explanation.

I suspect that this is not a nationwide or worldwide policy.  It can be something as simple as this particular store hasn't been selling enough Nikon products to make it worth Nikon's while.

So, maybe it's your fault.  smile

Camera retail is very difficult.  It's difficult local stores to complete with the Internet on price.  Lots of customers go into the store, put their hands on the product, say "I'll think about it", and then order it from the Internet.

Jan 18 13 12:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jon Winkleman Photo
Posts: 89
New York, New York, US


Even before digital photography and the internet, pro's don't buy new camera bodies and glass on a regular basis. Pro level equipment should have a sturdy build and last a long time. A lot of those local mom and pop stores probably depended on sales of film, developing and printing services as an important portion of their business. Now film and developing is a small niche rather than a large part of retail photography sales. Also darkroom equipment has been replaced by computers and software. With the exception of very large places like B&H and Adorama which have large computer, printer and software departments, small camera stores lost that segment of sales as well.

The one thing that has helped is that the electronics in digital cameras have "digital rot" that analogue bodies don't. So models of digital bodies become obsolete every 4 years. Also the circuitry and sensor literally rot (the solder in particular can start rotting and short circuit) and the camera dies quicker than film.

Aside from losing point and click consumer camera sales to big box stores and Amazon, iPhone and Android cameras have gotten so good they have knocked out low end point and click models and destroyed that market.

I try and patronize Mom and Pop stores, even here in NYC where we have several big photo-superstores, if the small stores can do a decent job of meeting my needs in 2013. If there are areas your local mom and pop aren't being competitive in tell them.

One great thing about the internet for people in small towns that don't have a large photography community is that you can easily find, competitively price and purchase high end very specialized pro-equipment that local mom and pop stores have never been able to carry in stock. B&H and Adorama have very generous return policies for online purchases so you have the option of handling the purchase before you commit to keeping it.
Jan 18 13 04:00 pm  Link  Quote 
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