Canadian OEM distribution remain pricing idiots

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Alan Browne, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Regardless of OEM (Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Sekonic, et al), the best deal
    is still to buy from the US in most cases.

    Just brought the Sekonic 558 back from a US trip, and even after duties,
    GST and PST I saved quite a bit (haven't calculated it to the dime yet,
    but on the order of CAD$160 / US$135, and this includes shipping from
    NYC to Florida). I admit I did get a $200 exemption in there which
    saved part of the duty, GST/PST, but even w/o that, I would still be
    well ahead. Had I stayed 7 days it would have been totally exempt.

    Nikon Canada sells the 9000ED at a price resulting in retail prices of
    CAD$3300 v. B&H US$2000 in NYC. Quite a difference, esp. with today's
    strong and strengthening CAD dollar. I can't wait to have an excuse to
    go to NYC.

    They (OEM's) wave the "Canadian warranty" at you to keep you at home,
    and I admit wrt the 9000, I am nervous; but I've had so few failures (1
    Minolta flash, repair gratis out of warranty) in over 10 years and a lot
    of equipment that it doesn't seem too risky too me.

    This pisses me off a great deal. I'd much rather give business to my
    local supliers for all the usual reasons. But I've told them and their
    reps bluntly that when I can save a significant amount, I will buy from
    B&H or Adorama or anywhere in the US with a better deal. It's my money,
    not the Canadia OEM distributors. They have not come to grips with the
    North American economy, nor with the advantages (if they would choose to
    see them) of NAFTA.

    I don't know to what degree this issie has influenced Minolta's decision
    to close Minolta Canada (probaly not at all). I am worried about
    service in Canada now as I'm not fond of contract support centers.

    PS: Minolta VF meter in condition 8+ for sale. (Condition 8+: perfectly
    functional; no damage, some "patina" from use).

    Cheers,
    Alan.
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 15, 2005
    #1
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  2. Alan Browne

    The Dave© Guest

    While I don't have the international aspect that you do, I understand
    fully your feelings about buying local vs mail order. I much prefer to
    give my business to the local guy, assuming he's worthy, of course.
    Hell, I'm even willing to pay a bit more, maybe up to 10% or more,
    depending on circumstances. But, I am not willing to screw myself
    finacially to support him. I have to look out for myself first.

    As a side note, I just got the Nikon Coolscan 9000ED about ten days
    ago, from B&H, and it's worked great so far. It really is a very nice
    piece of equipment, though I can see why it should be treated a little
    more carefully than other things.
     
    The Dave©, Sep 15, 2005
    #2
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  3. Alan Browne

    Doug Payne Guest

    One alternative, if you don't mind buying "mail-order", is to order
    out-of-province. That way you can usually avoid paying provincial sales
    tax, which in my case is a non-trivial 8%. Doesn't do any good for the
    local retailer, but it might save you some money even over the NY
    e-tailers. Isn't yours 7.5%, but you also calculate that after GST is
    added? On a $2K camera body that amounts to $160 for me, and $160.50 for
    you (even better :)
     
    Doug Payne, Sep 15, 2005
    #3
  4. Alan Browne

    Colin D Guest

    <snip>

    Likewise in new Zealand, and to some extent, Australia as well. Must be
    the british heritage {:)

    I bought a 250D close-up lens recently, a two-element 4-diopter device,
    genuine Canon, from a Hong Kong dealer for approx. $NZ120 including
    shipping and insurance. Price for same lens in New Zealand is up to
    $285. Bought my 17-85mm IS lens in Australia in November last year,
    over the counter for $AUD 899 less 10% GST refunded when leaving Oz,
    list price in NZ $1399, discounted to $1199. The Internet, or
    travelling, is my friend when buying gear like this.

    Colin D.
     
    Colin D, Sep 16, 2005
    #4
  5. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    The price to start with is already lower in the US for most items that
    the measely 7.5% QST I would save wouldn't cover it.

    I saved CAD$160+ even after paying the taxes on most of it (after the
    $200 exemption). I paid shipping (NYC-> FL, about US$16), Duties
    (6.5%), GST (7%) and PST (7.5%) on 65% of the price paid. If I had not
    declared, then I would have saved another $80.

    (I'm reluctant to be "discovered" and pay a fine and be on file as I do
    travel a lot, although I know thousands of people every day smuggle
    things in. Or I could have declared 7 days and been totally exempt ...
    still cheating).

    Canadian distributors (I'm not blaming the retailers) are simply not
    competitive on most photo items.

    (Exception: at the time I bought the DSE 5400, it was cheaper here than
    at B&H; a rare exception).

    Cheers,
    Alan.
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 16, 2005
    #5
  6. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    That's the gist of it. I'm not sure if my threshold is 10% or 15% or
    rather the numbers sound, but there's a point where I won't pay the
    difference and I do tell the local 3 stores that I deal with when
    buying. They don't like it, but they do have to understand it.
    Great! Can I send you some 6x6's to scan? A fellow NGer on the
    scanners group scanned 4 frames for me to see how one of the Epson's
    does. I'd love to compare against the same frames.
    (Do you have the glass film strip holder? FH-869G)

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 16, 2005
    #6
  7. Alan Browne

    The Dave© Guest

    The 10% is more of a random guideline for me, not a hard rule. It
    really depends on the circumstances and my attitude at the moment. I
    do have a personal example. When I was in the market for a tripod, I
    researched and shopped my local dealer. I settled on the Bogen
    3021BPRO. B&H had it for $132. The local guy was $192, almost 50%
    higher. I always feel bad doing this, but approached them about the
    price difference, and pointed out that I did not expect them to match
    B&H, but if they could do something significant I would buy from them.
    She said that normally they don't do that because most customers are
    rude about it, but she liked my approach, so she met it half way, $156.
    I bought from them. I appreciated their effort and attitude. It
    worked out well for both of us.

    She also said that some products don't have much mark-up so they can't
    work with price on everything. I assured her I would not abuse the
    priviledge, and that if they're close I would not even ask.
    Sure. Keep in mind that I'm still in my learning curve mode, but I'd
    be glad to work with you. If you have any specific parameters, feel
    free to say so. I would be interested in your opinions on the
    comparisons. I considered the new Epson, but decided to take the
    plunge for the Nikon.

    I do not have the glass holder, just the standard MF strip holder that
    comes with it, no glass. I've done mostly 35mm slides and b&w negs,
    but have done a few 6x6 from my Yashica-mat. I bought a Pentax 67II,
    which arrived just today, so my work in that area will be expanding.
     
    The Dave©, Sep 16, 2005
    #7
  8. Alan Browne

    Paul Bielec Guest

    In some cases, the price in Montreal ain't that bad e.g. Canon 17-40 f/4
    L 700USD at B&H and around 900-950 CDN in Montreal.
    In other cases, the price simply doesn't make any sense. The best
    example would be Canon flashes. I posted here recently regarding the new
    430EX vs the existing 420EX.
    The price for the 420EX at B&H 180USD, in Montreal 320CDN, huge
    difference. However, the 430EX will be 300USD at B&H and around 350CDN
    in Montreal. Where the hell these prices come from?
     
    Paul Bielec, Sep 16, 2005
    #8
  9. Alan Browne

    Doug Payne Guest

    Sometimes, but not always. I also buy from the least expensive reputable
    place I can find, for expensive items. I was able to get a D100 and 50mm
    lens from Simons for a lot less than B&H. Shipping was free. No 8% PST.
    And it arrived the next day, startling the hell out of me, instead of
    the 1-2 weeks that it takes from NY. Others have had similar
    experiences. Not always, but often enough that it's worth looking.
    (Forget about Henry's; they've priced themselves right out of my market,
    which is too bad because there's a store about 10 mins drive from my house).
     
    Doug Payne, Sep 16, 2005
    #9
  10. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    There are always exceptions. I've often ordered from the US for next
    day or two day delivery. Simons are fairly agressive at pricing (I
    bought my DSE5400 there), but I know a store (non mail order) that can
    always better them. For the Sekonic 558 (which kicked off this tirade
    of mine) there is no store in Canada that can come close to the B&H price.
    Concur re: Henry's. Don't know what happened to those idiots.
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 17, 2005
    #10
  11. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    That's a way to do it. I'm simply straight forward and will go one
    round of haggling with two or three stores to get the best price. OTOH,
    what often happens is that Store A has an item in stock and Store B does
    not, so I simply buy it from Store A.
    I almost always ask. These stores know me, they know I'm a regular
    customer, they know I steer business their way (I've "brokered" deals
    for a couple people who hang out here) and my "commission" is some
    degree of tolerance when I say "How well can you do on this..."
    Occasionally, they have no room to move, but gnerally they can give up
    anywhere from 10 to 20% to close. (Obviously more willing to close on
    inventory than on things they need to order).

    The other day I found a new ball head for my 500C/M at what appeared to
    be a delicious price, so I simply bought it w/o haggling. I think the
    owner/sales guy at that store is confused, he never knows when I'll open
    a "bargaining session".
    I'm mostly concerned with detail (resolution) and shaddow detail. It
    is my hope to scan for fairly large prints from full frame or crops. As
    long as you can get the color reasonably accurate and of course scan
    "focused" it should be more than adequate for the compare. At that
    point I'll crop out sections for printing and compare at that level.

    Please e-mail me (sans "freelunch") with the address and I'll mail you
    the chromes and a blank DVD this week. (Or blank CD ROMS if you can't
    burn DVD).

    (OTOH, I may go to a meeting in NYC on Wed that will be taking place a
    few blocks from B&H).

    Getting drumscans is very expensive (not to mention the inconvenience)
    at $25 / frame, here.
    Congrats on the 67II. It was in my "consider" list and many can be had
    for a very good price. A photographer that I know uses the 67II and
    produces stunning chrome work with it.

    I believe in time you'll buy the glass holder to get the MF flat.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 17, 2005
    #11
  12. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Irony! The 9000ED just fell to $1900 at B&H!
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 17, 2005
    #12
  13. Alan Browne

    The Dave© Guest

    That's what I paid for it.
     
    The Dave©, Sep 17, 2005
    #13
  14. Alan Browne

    The Dave© Guest

    I'll e-mail you later this weekend. Getting ready to head out the door
    in a few minutes.

    Here's a link to another person's test from the MF group that I found
    interesting. It's the Nikon 8000, not the 9000, but it gives something
    to look at compared to an Epson scan.

    http://www.pbase.com/davidjl/image/40078325/original
    I think I overpaid for the 67II body. Got it on eBay then looked at
    KEH for lenses. I think I could have gotten it for $100-150 less at
    KEH, but oh well. The one I did get, however, is in absolutely
    fantastic condition, though, so I really have no regrets.

    What's the main benefit from the glass holder for the Nikon? Easier to
    lay the film flat, or something like that?
     
    The Dave©, Sep 17, 2005
    #14
  15. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Great! thanks.

    Exactly, or rather it hold the film flat, period.
    The holder is said to have Anti Newton Ring glass.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 18, 2005
    #15
  16. Alan Browne

    Doug Payne Guest

    Same thing as happens to lots of 'idiots' when they expand from a single
    big store to a strip mall franchise kinda thing (don't know if they
    really "franchise" in the strict sense of the word, but you know what I
    mean). Years ago, a visit to the downtown Toronto store was worth the
    occasional 1.5 hour drive for me. Great selection, reasonable prices,
    lots of good 2nd-hand stuff, etc. Now it's not even worth the 10-minute
    drive to the local strip mall site. Even if I want to put my hands on
    something before buying, there's a local retailer that's closer and
    friendlier and oft-times cheaper. I'm *real* tired of the "distributor
    won't co-operate" song. But they continue to do amazingly well. Lots of
    P&S sales plus all the junk that goes with that like batteries, cases,
    ink-jet ink and paper, etc, even still a fair amount of film, and even
    the occasional pro who won't do mail-order.
     
    Doug Payne, Sep 18, 2005
    #16
  17. Alan Browne

    Paul Bielec Guest

    I know a store that always has better proce than Simons too. It was 825$
    instead of 900$ when I bought my last lens.
    The funny thing is that they are walking distance away...
     
    Paul Bielec, Sep 19, 2005
    #17
  18. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Really? E-mail me please!

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 20, 2005
    #18
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