Freestyle Named Exclusive USA Distributor of EFKE Films and VARYCON Papers!

Discussion in '[Partner] FREESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHIC' started by freestyle, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. freestyle

    freestyle Advertiser Advertiser

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    Freestyle Photographic Supplies announced today that it has finalized an agreement with Fotokemika-Nova, of Samobor, Croatia, officially naming Freestyle the exclusive United States distributor of Efke-brand films and Varycon-brand photographic papers.

    Efke B&W films (a formulation previously branded as 'ADOX'), and Varycon B&W papers, have filled a custom niche position with the creative fine-art photographic community in the US market for many years.

    "There has been much confusion and misinformation regarding the current and future availability of our products in America", states Slaven Miskec, export manager for Fotokemika-Nova. "We are excited to have reached this agreement with Freestyle. Their well-established strategic marketing approach, as well as their very efficient distribution capabilities, makes Freestyle uniquely qualified to successfully maximize the recognition and availability of the Efke and Varycon brand."

    Freestyle is excited to have the opportunity to make the Fotokemika product-lines more widely available in the US. "Many in the industry have proclaimed the demise of film and the darkroom – propaganda with which Freestyle and our manufacturing partners - and our customers - strongly disagree. We are committed to continue taking a proactive position in ensuring the future availability of as many traditional photographic products as possible. We believe that this partnership further solidifies that commitment," comments Gerald H. Karmele, Freestyle's President and Chief Operating Officer.

    Established in 1946, Freestyle Photographic Supplies is a leading international retail, mail order and internet provider of photographic cameras, equipment and supplies nationwide, as well as the exclusive United States distributor of Kentmere black and white photographic papers, Foma black and white photographic papers and films, Fotospeed specialty chemicals, Holga cameras and accessories, Cachet archival storage boxes, Image Mechanics fluid mount trays and Rollei/Maco black and white films.
     
  2. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Too bad, as you only offer only FedEx for international shipping(twice as expensive as any other shipping option), buying from you is totally out of the question...
     
  3. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Out of curiousity will you all offer additional sheet film sizes? especially 7x17, and also other sizes such as 5x12, 12x20, 8x20?

    JandC seems to be the only seller of such "odder" sizes and would love if another seller were out there to provide sheet film in these sizes.
     
  4. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Amund,
    Freestyle is in the States, you're in Europe. Why not check European distributors of Efke, like (I just googled this) http://www.efke.nl/ ,for starters. There may also be others, probably in Germany. HTH, Norm
     
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I picked up the last of your efke 25 in 120 a couple weeks ago. I'm glad you've got their products since no one else in the states does.

    vinny
     
  6. Amund

    Amund Member

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    Norm, there even is a distributor of Efke here in Norway, so Efke film alone is no problem, but Freestyle has a lot of other nice goods too... I`m pretty sure internationals sales would go up a lot if they could ship with UPS and USPS. Leaving FedEx as the only option makes me think they aren`t really interested in shipping internationally...
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Is there less here than meets the eye? Is Freestyle just selling the film exclusively under the Efke brand and J&C selling the same film under the Adox brand? I'm a happy customer of both Freestyle and J&C, so I'm glad to see more than one US source for these films, as long as the market supports them.
     
  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    My concern runs along that of David's. I have been very happy with the price, service, and availability for JandC. They brought this to us initially. It would take a lot for me to abandon them.
     
  9. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I've found JandC more convenient, too. I have to deal with rain and shipping by USPS, as JandC does, keeps my stuff nice and dry. UPS (B&H) and FexEx (Freestyle) dump the box on the porch in the rain. Otherwise, I've been happy with Freestyle, too. So, I also hope this is just a branding situation.
    juan
     
  10. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I also wish Freestyle would offer another shipping choice than FedEx. Maybe UPS or USPS Priority Mail?
     
  11. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    I've e-mailed them mnany times and recieved polite return corispondence offering me a different product. I echo Donalds thoughts as far as customer loyalty.

    Mike

     
  12. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    When I buy on line from Freestyle I am offered several different shipping options which include ground UPS.
     
  13. SteveH

    SteveH Member

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    I have ordered from both J&C and Freestyle, and have found them both to be EXCELLENT places. However, I am hoping that Freestyle will be keeping their films in stock better than J&C can.
     
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  15. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Exclusive?! Why & Clarify

    J and C offers the hard to get sizes and the ulf sizes, the problem with stocking is probably not with J and C but with Efke production schedule of these size films... I must say that I do not agree with "exclusivity" of a product...what does this really mean...traditionally it would mean that a distributor was under contract to move an agreed amount of product and for that would be the only distributor allowed to sell in an area.....exclusivity for all of USA does not ring well with me! This is no reflection on the fine company that Freestyle is and that J and C is.....

    Exclusive = exclude---I will not be a happy child if this is the case...could Freestyle clarify their relationship with Efke....will Freestyle be the only retail outlet in the USA selling the EFKE product line?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  16. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Manufacturer/Distributor/Retailer/relationship?

    To continue the thought: and maybe best to start a new thread?

    Distributors are "usually" suppliers to retail outlets who provide the product to the end user, they purchase directly from the manufacturer and distribute to retail outlets-keeping the product in constant supply. This is the main upside to the Manufacturer -distributor -retail -end user relationship.....the distributor stocks and purchases in such an abundant supply that price points can be lowered and product is readily available, upon order to the retail network....

    Today, however, for many products, a brick and mortar store is not essential-product is sold over the internet and delivered via several agencies....therefore a "distributor" also becomes the retail seller, in the past this was not common in the manufacturer, distributor, retail relationship chain, today we are seeing it is more and more the case...

    So it would seem if Freestyle has arranged an exclusive contract for a certain product or number of products for a specfic area, USA, they are then also a "distributor to other retail outlets as well as their own retail sales division, competing with those outlets whose customer base uses the product? That is a question.
    I guess a a small upside might be, a person on the east coast could more readily get their Efke products via B and H, but only if B and H would have ordered thro FreeStyle and had arranged for the products to be dropped shipped? In these cases the agency with the exclusive agreement gets a percentage of all products sold in their exclusive area! I do not see how this arrangement is helpful in bottom line price to the end user? Am I all alone and out in the woods on this?
     
  17. gbenaim

    gbenaim Member

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    Int'l Shipping

    I second the call for cheaper int'l shipping. I'd buy all my supplies from them if they did.
     
  18. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I like Freestyle and JandC both.

    JandC have that "we are a small group working on our passion (analogue photography)" attitude. I really like that. They also have the difficulty of a small group--sometimes running out of stock, sometimes not responding really fast to an email. This is not to say that Freestyle doesn't have the same problems sometimes.

    However, Freestyle could learn from JandC's playbook--JandC doesn't typically make an announcement and then leave the forum. They tend to watch the thread and respond. It has only been a day, but I would have expected a response (or more ) by JandC if this were their thread.

    I.e. John is a part of the community. That means a lot to me.

    Matt
     
  19. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Don't like "Brown" but ditto on your second suggestion. Perhaps the folks at Freestyle do not realize that USPS Priority Mail is out-sourced to FedEx for carriage?

    Yep, you ship USPS Priority it goes via FedEx. :wink:
     
  20. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    You can open your own UPS account and have them pick up for you...I use this arrangement both in the US and in China...
     
  21. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    If you don't like brown you will not be happy to learn that UPS recently signed an agreement with the USPS to carry USPS volume between 90 major cities on UPS aircraft.
     
  22. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I just paid a visit to the JandC website a couple of minutes ago, all the Efke branded film is gone, replaced with adox which is the same stuff, am I worried, no. Its a branding exercise, Freestyle gets Efke, JandC gets adox and for the record I prefer JandC Photo for obvious reasons.

    Bill
     
  23. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I should point out--keeping items like this in stock is not an easy thing to do. My brother is an importer of items from a small country. It isn't like you just call them up and say, "ship 100 boxes of 4x5 Efke 100, 50 boxes of Efke 25, I'd like them here Tuesday." It takes patience to build up the relationship that John has obviously done.

    How many times have we benefited from overstock/short date sales? Yes, sometimes we benefit from the difficulties, but we tend to only remember the times when he is out of stock--which really hasn't happened to me, I will add.

    I will point out again that Freestyle has still not added any responses to this thread. I like them, but I really like JandC. I just wish I had more time to make photos so I could use more of his product!

    Matt
     
  24. david b

    david b Member

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    Knocking Freestyle (an APUG sponsor) for posting some news and then not coming back to comment about it is kind of silly.

    We don't know who at Freestyle actually made the post and I'd much rather them spend time on running their business rather than worrying this thread.

    Just my two cents.
     
  25. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Freestyle does not list Efke film in any sizes larger then 8x10 and list only 5x7 and 120 as "coming soon". In light of this I would say better to buy film branded Adox from J&C in all sizes to help insure continued supply of Efke emulsions (branded Adox) in ULF and other non-"standard" formats. It will be interesting to see if Freestyle actually takes the step of stocking formats other then 4x5,5x7,8x10 and 120 or if they simply are after the high volume, more profitable sales from traditional sizes.
     
  26. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Don't take it as a knock of freestyle (a company I like) but instead as a compliment of JandC.

    However, I for one really appreciate it when JandC take the time from their very busy schedule to monitor threads and give information and advice. If it wasn't for that, the market for Efke would probably not be very large right now.

    Matt