Is it "mail order time" where you live?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by f/16, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. f/16

    f/16 Member

    Messages:
    378
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I try to get some things at the local camera store to help them financially. But with film, it's mail order time in Houston. One store wants outrageous prices for slide film. And the other hasn't had 35mm Velvia or Provia for weeks. Every week I call, and one time I asked if they were not going to carry that film anymore. The answer I got was "I don't know." And last week I asked again, and the employee said when school starts they will get more film. Well, B&H, here I come. It's frustrating when you want to help the local stores, and get this.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Same here in Orlando, Florida. I can get a lot of film/darkroom stuff locally because there is one store that still carries that stuff. But film wise, prices are through the roof. I have no idea if it's retailer or the supplier that's jacking up prices. I understand small demand puts heavy burden on their cost but I also have needs. Except in cases I need it NOW, I am getting my supplies from mail order firms in California and New York.

    As much as I'd like to support local businesses, I can't justify paying 50% to 100% more for the same item.
     
  3. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Almonte, Ont
    Shooter:
    35mm
    We still have a couple of shops that are pretty good for darkroom stuff. Their biggest problem is not selling the good, but getting them from the distributors
     
  4. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

    Messages:
    670
    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Missouri, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was just in Colonial on Thursday. Their prices on 120 B&W were quite fair, so I stocked up.

    Around home, it is 90 miles to find that the "local" dealer is often sold out.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. gleaf

    gleaf Subscriber

    Messages:
    274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Local shop does not exist here. So a loyal B & H customer I am who's history includes years of B and H shipping to my FPO addresses while in strange isolated places. Indianan University runs a photography class so Cord Camera, Bloomington IN, makes sure they have stock to support that and the remaining local analog market. It's hard to support a local store if they are not forthcoming on what they can and can not do. On the store side, once burned they may stay shy.
     
  6. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

    Messages:
    699
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I try to support my local camera shop. I can't afford to spend much, period, but I always try to buy a couple of rolls of film at least when I stop in. The shop, however, is an exercise in frustration. Most of their display space on the sales floor is devoted to photography periodicals, frames, tripods and bags. What few cameras they have, digitals included, are stuck behind a glass wall case, and they don't even attempt to make an enticing display of even Nikons or Leicas, although they advertise they're an authorized dealer of those two companies. Chemicals, papers, straps, plastic sleeves, seamless paper, and mounting materials are stuck in a second side room that customers may not realize is accessible to them. Students from the local universities buy their products, yet they don't have a single Holga, Diana, or any such Lomography-minded product that might entice the younger or more casual demographic. I really don't see how they continue to stay in business, especially since they have a staff of four.
     
  7. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,605
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is not a phenomenon unique to film or darkroom supplies. Between "big box" stores with 40,000 square feet but no variety or selection, and the internet; local specialty stores are, for the most part, gone.

    My wife sews and makes all of her clothes. She buys 95% of her fabric and notions mail order because all the local stores have is stuff for quilting and "crafts". Mostly low quality and over-priced. She also paints and gets most of her art supplies online, too.

    Earlier this week, I needed new blades for my riding lawn mower. I called the dealer and was told that they don't stock those since they didn't sell that brand. I told them that I bought the mower FROM THEM and hung up. Ordered the blades online and they arrived the next day. Shipping was less than gas would have cost me to drive to this dealer!

    If I need a piece of hardware or a light bulb that is not one of the six that Home Depot sells (this month), it's off the the internet.

    I don't live in a small town. I am in a suburb of Dallas, and the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has 6 million people. It's the same all over. :confused:
     
  8. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    there hasn't been anywhere to buy supplies in my city in several years. I also won't buy film/paper which is covered in dust or not stored properly.
     
  9. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,776
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can get the consumer film at the drug store (even Kodak B&W). Our local pro-chain is mostly digital now, but has a variety of film and paper. However, they made an ex-customer out of me a few years ago - so it's mail-order for me.
     
  10. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,110
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    For me, the local store is a Calumet--it's just a couple of blocks away. They still have a reasonable selection of film in stock, but their darkroom supply section is just a couple of shelves. So mostly I do mail order from B&H and/or Freestyle, unless they happen to have something I need and don't want to wait for. Most of the space of the store seems to be accessories--studio lighting stuff, tripods, bags and cases, and so on.
     
  11. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

    Messages:
    2,015
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Location:
    rAdelaide
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Don't ask that question of an Aussie...

    It's ridiculous when, even if you wanted to support your local shops, that you need very deep pockets.
    I bought an inkjet printer earlier this year. B+H price $650. Adorama $700. Local australian RRP $1500, if you can even find it (consumer stores don't carry the Pro model I wanted). Even when B+H wanted $500 on top for shipping, I was about to pull the trigger when I saw it on sale at a local shop for $1100 and bought that one.

    I buy all my film in bulk via ebay (from a guy in Sydney who buys straight from Japan), he sells a 5-pack of Velvia for about $50, 1.5-3x the price of a single roll in a shop (in the 3 or so shops you can find it within 1000km of here). It sounds bad, but I but a 5-pack for less than twice the $32/roll at Vanbar.com.au.
    But when I do run out there's a local shop who aren't so bad, $14 a roll. He's selling it below what the local Fuji rep sells it to him, he said Fuji wanted $18 a roll wholesale. Needless to say, he also buys it direct from Japan now too.
     
  12. omaha

    omaha Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I am blessed to have a local shop (Rockbrook Camera) with a depth of selection/service that is far out of proportion to the size of the city I live in.
     
  13. Barry S

    Barry S Member

    Messages:
    1,347
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    DC Metro
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The idea of supporting the local stores is laughable when there's nothing to support. If any store made a small effort to support analog photography, I might feel differently, but with their minuscule stock, bad attitudes, and premium prices, B&H and other mail order stores get my business.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I haven't had a local option since the 1990's. B&H, Freestyle, Amazon, and sometimes Adorama or Canham (for film) have kept me stocked. You just don't wait till you run out of something to buy more.

    Even in the '90's I would order Freestyle since I bought things that weren't available locally like 100' spools of film, e6 chemistry, 100 sheet boxes of paper, etc..
     
  16. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,995
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
  17. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,258
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've been mail ordering since the 1990s: film, processing and cameras / lenses, I've never had a local option.
     
  18. Loulou

    Loulou Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm really lucky that in the small town where I work there is a wonderful little camera store that only does analogue items, they do not cater for digital at all. The owner is an avid photographer himself and is very willing to share all his knowledge whether it be to do with film, processing or darkroom. I buy all my film from him and as many other items as I can.
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I buy everything on line, I live in a city with a population of 500,000 and I can't even buy a packet of lens cleaning tissues in it.
     
  20. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

    Messages:
    1,332
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    .
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If I want good product it's online for me.
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,710
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not yet.
     
  22. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,196
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    North Coast,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It's a 16 hour drive to either Vancouver or Calgary from where I live in a little town on BC's north coast. I've been mail ordering stuff for over 30 years, starting with my Zone VI 4X5 outfit, darkroom gear, film, paper, etc......
     
  23. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

    Messages:
    755
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jonesboro, G
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Here in the Atlanta GA area film and silver process printing paper are virtually unavailable, except for occasional stocks for photo classes. Such film as is available is really expensive, so I buy from Freestyle etc and stock the freezer. A sad situation when a major metro area is such a desert for silver photography.:sad:
     
  24. analoguey

    analoguey Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Location:
    Bangalore, I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Been a while like that. Quite a while, sadly :sad:
     
  25. omaha

    omaha Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Had a nice experience yesterday. My new (old) Agfa arrived in the mail. I had had it sent to my office, but I didn't have any film on hand, and didn't want to drive all the way back home to fetch some. So I ran over to Rockbrook Camera, bought a roll of FP4 and even picked up a take up reel (the camera had arrived without one). Showed off the camera a bit, then spent the rest of my lunch hour shooting.

    Reading this thread makes me appreciate how fortunate I am.
     
  26. dotyj

    dotyj Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Location:
    Woodland, WA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's always mail order time around here. There are no camera stores where I live. I'd have to drive at least fifty round trip miles to get to a proper camera store and at $3.70 a gallon for gas it's cheaper to pay shipping.