"Explanation Fee" for tyre-kickers...

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Poisson Du Jour, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    This is just bizarre. Pity it has to happen here in Australia. A fee is charged by the salesperson to bring a camera out for perusal. Ha!
    But who in their right mind would shop for a camera at JB Hi-Fi?? :confused:
     
  2. wotalegend

    wotalegend Member

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    If I were asked to pay a $30 "explanation fee" I would want to be absolutely certain that the person giving advice is knowledgeable, experienced in photography, 100% correct, and not giving biased comment based on the amount of mark-up the store expects and/or commission the salesperson expects to receive on each brand. I am not at all confident that I could find such a person behind the counter of even the dedicated camera shops, e.g. Teds, so the chance of finding such a person in the likes of JB Hi-Fi is about as good as finding a snow flake in Hell.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Given the circumstances, who could blame them.
     
  4. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Again customers are treated like crooks. No wonder we don't want to buy retail.
     
  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    ^ The crux of the matter is best summed up in the post by wotalegend and I agree with it entirely.
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Ha? So if you get a knowledgable, unbiased review of the camera you're happy to pay them 2 hours' wages for it?

    This, IMO, will drive more people to the internet. And those disgruntled won't shop at JBHIFI's 'grey' webstore.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I sold cameras while I was in college, I would spend a half hour to an hour and a half selling a camera to have the customer drive across town and buy it elsewhere to save $2. Then they would come back for help because they did not understand the directions.
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That's right. Should we be expecting Harvey Norman to introduce a "pestilence fee", to make a quick buck on the sideline? What else could turn you away?

    I buy all of my gear from the web, as I know many on APUG do. That's why retail in Australia is carping, wanting the GST threshold raised to curb shoppers' relentless pursuit of goods online — now valued in the billions. For me, when and if I can help it, no money is spent locally on film, cameras, lenses, filters, etc. E6 and printing is the only stuff I actively organise, travel for, oversee production and pay for it. Retail stores lost their grip and focus years ago, but some good ones do exist: Melbourne APUGers will know who I mean. It is now consumer-driven, "the next best thing" and "must have" at any price. The mentioned Ted's in this thread was once a top-notch store with a serious professional outlet upstairs run by seriously professional photographers. Along came a digital and the game changed: it's now a bag place: bags, pouches, gimmicks and gizmos. The hard-sell approach by JB HiFi often results in being swamped with useless information, but they have, according to my niece, beaten the pants off a competitor when she haggled for a better price for a Nikon (can't recall the model). She was told to go there because my sister and her hubby are shareholders in JB HiFi (!). Thankfully, Michaels, a very long established cameras bolthole close by, still looks after film photographers and passionately endeavours to source film cameras, even if the young guns there need some steering back on course with conversations that sometimes drift: "...you might be very impressed by the results from digital compared to that..." (pointing dismissively to my Pentax 67!). I reckon here on APUG beginners would get much better, honest, truthful and grounded advice than walking into a retail outlet and expecting to invoke the power of Hades in a few precious minutes. :smile:
     
  9. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If this becomes a trend, can I start charging people who bug me a nuisance fee?
     
  10. RoNinHeart

    RoNinHeart Member

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    I used to advocate for a P.I.N. fee where I used to work. (Pain In Neck)
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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    It's just an escalation of the malice behind "restocking fees" where a flat % of the purchase total is deducted from the refund.
     
  12. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I wouldn't pay it, but then I also wouldn't go into a retail store, examine the goods, ask questions, see how the camera feels in my hands and then buy it from the online store where the price is cheaper. There are two sides to this and most other stories. My guess is this policy is a reaction to folks who go into the retail store and do exactly what I suggest they shouldn't do. It reminds me of a Steve McQueen line in The Sand Pebbles which went something like, "Everyone has to earn their bowl of rice." The shop here, buy elsewhere behavior of some, deprives the owner of the business of their opportunity to earn their bowl of rice. Another cut on it for those who have no intention of buying from the retailer is that the shopper in essense is stealing from the retailer, by using the resources of the store with no opportunity for the store owner earn part of his overhead from this use of his stores resources. I buy plenty from the local stores, however I don't use them to shop for stuff I will buy elsewhere. Bill Barber
     
  13. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Obviously, those from America don't get the Australian market and our buying habits from the past. (below are just my thoughts and observations)

    Australia does mail order bad. Real bad. So, in the past, before the internet explosion nearly all goods were bought from Bricks and Mortar stores. This involved looking at the products, getting the run through by the sales rep, maybe a little haggling on the price and then buying. From my observations of how my parents and parents of friends did thing, buying something unsighted was not heard of and was fraught with danger. Also, the only time you bought stuff from Overseas was when you did that holiday to Hong Kong or Singapore.

    But, since the internet boom, Australian consumers have become educated. We can look at other stores and find out what they charge in other countries, but most still want to have the safety net of looking at and handling the goods before making a purchasing decision. So, yes, it is very common in this country to window shop at the B&M's and then buy online.

    The only thing that hasn't changed in the mean time is the Big retailers, distributors and manufacturers. They whine and moan about us buying stuff cheaply overseas, so instead of reviewing their business models, they make it harder for us! What do they expect us to do? I find it really unjust that Corporations want to play the global market place when it comes to sourcing goods, but get upset when the consumers ALSO play the global market place when we come to purchasing.

    I always find it surprising that places like B&H have such a huge World Wide online business, but If I was in Down Town New York (correct me if I am wrong), I could just as easily walk into their showrooms. And yes, they do online/mail order properly (I have goods in my hands quicker from them, then when ordering from Melbourne!)

    The companies that will succeed in this country are going to be the ones that sit back and look at the big picture, adjust their business models and make themselves competitive on a global market. The big problem is that change will be needed from the Global headquarters down.

    As a side note, I do support my local retailers where I can, but only those that go out of their way to help - I will plug Total Photographics in Adelaide as one of those. Sure, their prices are not the same as what is payed O/S, but they always will help and are willing to talk when I need something NOW!
     
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  15. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Here, for the first offense you could make it double your moderator's per diem! :happy:
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Those are film cameras, right?
     
  17. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    It's a bit off-topic but actually similar in many respects. I've become sick to death of call centre operators who ring at evening meal time and try to run a spiel past you that you've been "specially selected" blah blah. They'll never give an address from which they're calling or a number you can phone them back on. They'll never send any hard copy to peruse because it's always a "special deal, only available over the phone tonight". Most of them have Indian accents.
    I'm retired now, but when I was doing international consulting for a major US corporation they charged the clients $2500 per day for my time.
    I have now taken to pointing this out to the unwanted callers, telling them that this equates to $5 per minute, and how much of my time are they wanting to buy in order to tell me about their offer. That usually results in an immediate hang-up but for those that persist I simply tell them that when they have deposited 20 minutes worth of time to my bank account they can ring back, I'll go online to check that the payment has been received and then I'll take their call. At the end of 20 minutes I'll hang up whether they're finished or not.
    You can hear the confusion and choking all the way to Bangalore.
     
  18. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    There is a government website you can go to (I forget the url) where you can get your number de-listed for telemarketers.

    Warning, expect to get pissed off because they won't pay you for the time you spend doing it.
     
  19. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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  20. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Thanks Gary.
     
  21. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    I've done that, but it doesn't seem to affect callers from overseas using the VOLP technology (phoning over computer systems similar to Skype). It does work for local (OZ-based) callers.
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    :getlost:
    Having myself worked in camera stores for more than twenty years Bill it amazes me that "customers" don't seem to actually realize that what they are doing, and even shamelessly tell you to your face that they aren't going to buy the product from you but off the internet where it's cheaper, and they just want to handle it and have you demonstrate it to them before they order it, and seem to think that you and shops only exist for their convenience and under these circumstances should be falling over themselves to help them , I wonder in a few years when all the bricks and mortar camera stores have disappeared what they are going to do?, I'm just glad I'm retired and out of it, but think that charging $30 for a demo will just hasten the process.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2011
  23. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I thought that's what Ken Rockwell was for.
     
  24. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    "I always find it surprising that places like B&H have such a huge World Wide online business, but If I was in Down Town New York (correct me if I am wrong), I could just as easily walk into their showrooms. And yes, they do online/mail order properly (I have goods in my hands quicker from them, then when ordering from Melbourne!)"

    I was in B&H's big bricks and mortar place in 2007, and it was a little mind blowing. The main floor is new gear; the second floor is used gear.

    Used is not all on the floor; a lot has to be asked for and brought to the counter from shelves elsewhere on the second floor. It is well catalogued. I was looking for a Mamiya TLR wide angle lens set; they had I think something like 9 to pick from. I picked one of the 65mm pairs of the computer screen at a price point I liked, and it was fished out for me to hand inspect. I liked it. It went into a basket, and I got a claim ticket.

    Then I went to the main floor to buy filters and a few other things. I lined up in a something like SLR's and accessories queue. The attandant at the head of the queue directed me to the first sales associate for the products I was intersted in when one of them came free.

    We looked at what I wanted in the print catalog, and clarified on the computer exactly what the options were. We did that for a number of things. He said something like 'that will be a moment'. Within less than 2 minutes all of the things I had ordered to look at- glass filters, gelatine filters, adapter rings, front and rear lens filter stack covers, a cable release, a roll of cinefoill, swatch book etc arrived on a conveyor of some sort from the basement to a location behind him. I looked the goods over, and agreed I wanted them all. I got a claim ticket, and the basket was placed on an overehad conveyor system that transferred them to an area behind where you queued for cashiers.

    I then went to the darkroom area. Here most of the stuff I wanted was sitting as open stock on the shelves or in commercial fridges. I even found a gallon of glacial acetic acid; I bought it on impulse! (It was far cheaper than having to fiddle with vinegar, and I also use it in home canning to avoid long boil down times as well now). These go shipped to the front.

    At the cashier, you present all of your claim tags, they ring you up, and you get another claim tag, showing paid. You then queue to pick up the stuf you paid for, and retreive the bag you came in with from the bag storage desk.

    The converyor has to be seen to be believed.
     
  25. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    That sounds like me!:laugh::laugh:

    Jeff
     
  26. martyryan

    martyryan Member

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    I had a "customer" come in once and ask me to order an item in so he could check it out to see if he wanted to order online!

    Marty