8 X 10 film pricing

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by nsurit, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I've been using a bit of 8 X 10 Ilford Delta 100 film and recently ordered a box from a major NYC retailer. I checked the price with three retailers and the difference was $10 more with one and $35 with another. Any ideas about the wide swing in retail price?
     
  2. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    No different than any other retail commodity. Depends what they themselves bought it for, supply and
    demand, what kind of profit margin they need (if they are smart enough to understand a sensible
    balance between competiveness and acutually staying in business). Not many items have a mfg-dictated fixed price. For a retailer, it can be a bit like playing the stock market - buying when the cost
    is favorably low, then selling high. Film in general has been going up, and someone who sells more might actually have a higher price because they sold out sooner than someone who sells little, and
    had to rebuy at more recent, higher cost. Bascially, a dance with inflation.
     
  3. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I recently checked around to a half-dozen large film retailers before buying a 100-sheet box of 4x5 Ilford FP4+. Prices ranged from $128 to $101. I bought low and received film with a 2016 expiration date, so it's good, fresh stock. It certainly pays to shop around.
     
  4. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Since a smart retailer bases their price not on what they paid for the item but on what they'll have to pay to replace it once you buy it, perhaps the cheapest of your sources either doesn't intend to replace it with new film or has so much in stock that they aren't looking at replacement costs yet?

    Mike
     
  5. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Well, one of them was B&H, so I doubt that. The other was Glazer's in Seattle, so I doubt that, too. I buy my 6.5x8.5" Ilford film through Glazer's during the annual special order, so they seem to be in the film game for the foreseeable future. There are a lot of film shooters still around the Pacific Northwest. I like to patronize Glazer's over other retailers because they're relatively local.
     
  6. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I purchased from Adorama. The other two companies were B&H and Freestyle.
     
  7. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I have ordered from Freestyle many times in the past. Their prices always were very competitive. This time, their prices were the highest across the board for each of the several films I priced. I'm sure they have good reasons for this, maybe something like refusing to sell at a loss. I don't envy any film retailer these days and will continue to support those I can with my purchases.
     
  8. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Having been a business owner over 35 years I'm very committed to supporting those businesses that support things in which I have an interest. I also know that the cheapest price is not always the best buy, however a 35-40% difference in price for the same item seems a bit excessive.
     
  9. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Freestyle has been more expensive for film than B&H for some time now. Also B&H has better prices on paper.
    Freestyle does have the ultra edu which is cheap and seems good enough for me. It has reciprocity failure and pin holes but I can deal with that for the price.
    I am needing to buy more soon and I have always used the 100. I am wondering how much grainier and how problematic is the 400.
     
  10. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    The lady who owns Glazers is a die-hard film person. Even though the film section is now small and at the back of their secondary store across the street, they still have very knowledgable staff at the counter. I bought my Ilford Titan pinhole camera from them, and they get nearly all of my film business. Sure, there's some things they don't stock, but nobody covers the whole range.
     
  11. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I split my purchases. Most of my 8x10 film is ordered in from the usual suspects when the price is right
    and put in the freezer. But I try to support the local business too with smaller format film purchases
    and incidental darkroom supplies. They know me and often give me a better price on special orders of
    color paper than the big stores. Continuity is important in keeping film and darkroom supplies locally
    available. They need an incentive.
     
  12. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Yeah, I dropped $130 at my "local" store today. They have a good basic supply of film and silver paper, and really most anything you really need on short notice. Paper and ink seem to be the things I buy most there nowadays, along with the occasional small batch of film.
     
  13. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Sad. Just sad. So this is what it has come to--America's inventory concentrated to a handful of distributors within any given field. You name the item category. film... whatever. Pardon me if I take my loyalty elsewhere. I'm not going to trade with a country that has come to this, even the one I was born and lived in. The American dollar has inflated into worthlessness. In just 6 years since the occupation.
     
  14. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I try to buy locally and it is becoming more difficult to get what you need in places like Austin & San Antonio. The smaller towns that use to have "real" camera stores have almost disappeared. Guess it is also harder to find a store that carries a good buggy whip these days.
     
  15. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    What's getting harder and harder to find is a business model with common sense. I don't care if it's a
    corner market or an international conglomerate. The whole point of getting an MBA these days is to become a cocky young jerk who only knows how to do one thing well, namely, bankrupt a corporation
    within six months. A smart guy will sell only buggy whips, only the best of em, and a good selection,
    and will support himself from everyone with a buggy all over the planet. But he'll probably also locate
    himself to a crossroad corner in Amish country.
     
  16. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    Actually, it's quite easy to get a buggy whip these days. Any town of any size has a ranch/farm supply house that carries them, not to mention the "other" use they are often used for... :whistling:
     
  17. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I don't know about "smart" but "gouging" maybe.

    Gasoline is a prime example. Every time the price of oil falls quickly we're told that gasoline will follow slowly as existing stocks are sold - they want to base the selling price on their acquisition price. But when the price of oil goes up there's a competition worthy of an Olympic event to see who can change the prices on the poles the quickest, because they now want to base the price on replacement cost. If we have to wait for retail to go down until existing stocks bought at higher prices are sold, what happens to existing stocks bought at cheaper prices when their cost goes up? One or the other, you can't have it both ways without justified accusations of unfairness. The buyer gets hosed both coming and going.
     
  18. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Unless there's an ironclad pricing contract with a mfg or distr, retailers can play the game any way they decide, dumb or smart. I can honestly state that I know how to do it far better than most. Got a
    serious track record, and have outlasted all my competition which only understood a strategy of low pricing. Of course, I not interested in nickel and dime things like film anyway, or low margin things like
    cameras. I can sit here goofing off like at thsi moment, and then turn thousands of dollars in the few minutes before the next post. But I'm just the buyer - don't own the business per se! (If I did, I wouldn't have to sit here!) Because I understand the nature of local business relationships, I happily
    support the local "camera store". So what if I pay an extra buck for a roll of film. When I order in a
    thousand buck roll of color paper, they figure a profit and I get it completely fresh without shpg damage or charges, two hundred bucks less than the big houses. Sometimes they win, sometimes I do.
    But it's what's necessary if we want local convenience, as well as overall film distribution health.