Your thoughts and wishes - online film store

Discussion in 'Australia' started by andrewkirkby, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hello all,

    I have been selling quite a lot of film over the past 2 years and have decided to turn it into a bit more of a commercial venture.

    I started buying bulk fresh and expired films to satisfy my own needs and found a few friends wanting films. I have since sold on ebay and to quite a few people around the tracks, especially those who use toy cameras - buying at retail stores is notoriously expensive and often difficult.

    I want to make film and materials more accessible to people and hopefully get more people using film in Australia and NZ.

    So, i have registered a domain and work is underway on www.analogphoto.com.au

    What i need is your thoughts and ideas for this project. I am going to sell all kinds of film, paper and chemicals but what i don't know is what everyone is buying and/or trying to buy here.

    Your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tedkins

    tedkins Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Wembley Down
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I use every size from 8X10 to 35mm B/W. I've been using Foma 35mm, 120 and 4X5 100 and 400 ASA and like it a lot. I would also like to try (again, after many, many years), Adox in those sizes.

    Ted Edkins: tedkins@westnet.com.au
     
  3. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,320
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Bangkok, Tha
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey Andrew. Just what AU needs - get tired of *not* being able to purchase the film I want and wait for weeks, then finding that the price quoted has increased due to changes in exchange rate.

    Guess best thing would be to have a variety of film, chemicals, paper etc available and charge a fair postage price for anything we order. I hate websites that happily charge me $50 for one roll of film or 10 - sorry but that is outright gouging.

    I am extremely partial to Agfa chemicals and the new ADOX replacement paper to Agfa's MCC & MCP range. I also love using Fomapan in my 620 folder and would love access to ADOX' range of film also. At present I'm using 35mm and 120, and offering in larger sizes will make many APUGers that are into large format very, very happy, I'm sure.

    Guess you'll get a great deal of feedback very soon from all AU and NZ members soon (maybe even OS??) and you'll be able to gauge what stock you'll need to supply accordingly.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    1,430
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I buy different films all the time, so no point listing any products. However I would say that for online purchases price is the main factor. Before you commit too much to your venture I'd suggest you make sure you can be competitive with sellers such as 'cheap shots' on ebay Australia, and Freestyle.
     
  5. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Essentially the thing that kills is the postage, especially from the USA. US based companies can sell the products at fantastic prices and offer a great range but the USPS and other shipping companies seem to charge through the roof :sad:

    Prices will be competitive with those sellers. Keeping in mind that eBay/paypal takes a significant chunk of profit, i think the stand alone online store model is one that will be beneficial to my customers.

    I plan to stock a good range of LF film as i know there is a good market out there and it is the hardest stuff to get.

    I will also be offering services such as film processing and printing and having a gallery to showcase product results and customer images.
     
  6. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Blanconegro fills this niche to some extent, but it's restricted to foma products. If you could be an Australian version of ag-photographic in the UK, I'd be quite happy :D
    I'd be interested in being able to find kentmere papers more readily, my local doesn't stock much of a range, but they have plenty of Ilford. If you can get a roll of 36/ex HP5+ down below $8, I'll buy it from you.
     
  7. w9cae

    w9cae Member

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I second the ADOX film & any Agfa stuff you can get your hands on. There is like three sources of Agfa now Agfa Photo, Adox & Rollei Maco. Which is the truer Agfa product is up for discussion, but all I care about is availability at a reasonable cost.
     
  8. Krzys

    Krzys Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, QL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hey this is great. Cheapshots may be good for film but if you can stock a decent range of paper then I will be in love and turn to you for film as well.

    Les Porter is another fellow you have to compete with though. His prices are on par with shop retailers like Photo Continental so its not fantastic however he is a brilliant source for Rodinal.

    Either way if you get this up and running then I will support it!
     
  9. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll back up what Fleath has said about being an Aussie equivalent of ag-photographic. Obviously, I think you need to stock the staples at competitive prices - I.E., Ilford, Kodak, Fuji, but be flexible enough to stock the more specialty and niche films.

    It would also be cool if you could fill the gaps that was once RA-4 processing. The only chems available now are the tetenal kits. Yes, I know, papers are harder to get and find as well, so it would also be cool if you could actually offer a cut sheet service? (I know, a long shot, but I am just putting it out there. Heck, I haven't even yet started doing RA-4!!!)

    Just as a side note, it appears that Kodak may start disappearing off of general photo retailers shelves (for those that still sell film...). I went into one of the bigger retailers in Adelaide and was shocked/suprised that they had no Kodak Colour film in stock at all. Appears that Kodak want them to hold too much stock, which they cannot turn around. Simple answer for them is to no longer stock Kodak films.grrrrrrr
     
  10. mesh

    mesh Subscriber

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Adelois
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Sounds great and all the best with it. I am not a big user, but go through about 3-5 rolls of both 120 and 35mm a month. I mainly use TMAX and Portra (but love to try new films also) and up until now have made 'bulk' orders from the States every six months. Whilst price is a factor, it's availability that's my main priority. If you're prices were say halfway between the 'US' and local price then I'd be a regular customer. I use XTOL as a developer and Ilford stop, fixer. These have been purchased from a 'largish photo chain store' in Sydney but I get frustrated with the service and them never telling me when things are on back order! Aagghhh! Hoping to get into printing in the next few months also.
     
  11. trotkiller

    trotkiller Subscriber

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    København
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am definately interested ;-)

    Things i would be looking for:
    - Rodinal/R09/Adonal/whatever it is branded as
    - Tmax 400 (35mm and 120)
    - Portra 160nc (120)
    - 9 x12 or 8.5x11 RCVC paper for proofs (8x10 just doesn't cut it)
    - a nice range of fibre paper
     
  12. SteveR

    SteveR Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    Geelong, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds very interested, I'll be following your progress.
     
  13. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Chemicals and papers will be a big portion of this business. There is only a few places to buy these materials these days. None close to me.

    I appreciate all the comments so far.

    I'd be keen to become an Ilford/Kodak ULF supplier as well, provided i can convince the right people to sell it to me :smile: Maybe Fuji will do ULF too? Hrmm...

    Rodinal is definitely on the menu. Fear not!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,824
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Money talks, sellers listen. Usually a larger initial order is the norm.
    Good Luck.
     
  16. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It'd be a good time to evaluate your market, I doubt you'll be getting orders from America and the UK, because all of this stuff is readily available to them at good prices. By the time the northern hemisphere ships it to us and we ship it back to them, any price-competitiveness is probably gone. Japan has Japan Exposures, UK has...well, loads of options, and same with the US. You'll get orders from Australia and New Zealand though - which means you need to evaluate how big your market is there and how much they'll buy. How many ULF shooters are there here in Australia and New Zealand?
    If you sell Fuji/Ilford/Kodak on a reasonable enough scale, I'd say you're obliged to become an official licensed reseller for them through their distribution channels in Australia, but that would be further down the line. I imagine this is gonna require quite a large lump sum investment in one blow to get it off the ground though.
     
  17. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you do continue to do Ebay, you can market your store to the new customers you get via the ebay transactions. If they have a good business transaction with you on Ebay, they'd probably be glad to visit your ecommerce store for their next order or for more items.
     
  18. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    While I totally agree with you there, I think the biggest drama is the last statement. I believe that becoming an official supplier through their Australian channels is where most of the drama is in the first place.
     
  19. mdm

    mdm Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You could try selling on trademe.co.nz to get NZ orders. It is a lot nicer than ebay which does not have a prescence here. All photographic stuff is very expensive here and people would support you if the price was right. There is someone selling chinese 120 film to the Holga crowd on trademe. I would consider the auction sites nothing more than advertising and use them to drive traffic to a free standing site.

    I use FP4 and TMY in 4x5 mostly. The only chemical I buy is fixer, powdered would make shipping easy. C41 film and chemicals would be nice.

    Good Luck
    David
     
  20. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

    Messages:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Adelaide, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It really is, remember how long it took to convince C.R. Kennedy to import SFX200? And Kodak Australia still wont bring Ektar 100 into the country in any format...The official distribution channels are kinda screwing us over, but I'm not sure what your legal obligations might be as an operating business.
    Does ADOX have an Australian distributor?
     
  21. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am sure that Andrew will sort this out, but my impression is that if you can import it yourself, there is no legal responsibility to the official channel in Australia. How else would the grey import electronics good business work? The only come back would be that the official channel will probably offer no support in the case of warranties, ect....which in this case is a non issue.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, there is a somewhat similar issue in Canada. The problem isn't with respect to another importer's obligations to an official distributor, it is with respect to the manufacturer or major distributor's obligations to that official distributor - you may be asking a manufacturer or major distributor to breach an exclusivity clause in a contract they have with the official local distributor.
     
  23. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It is not my place to rubbish the manufacturer's distribution here in Australia, no matter how good or bad they are. It is my business to provide the freshest product at a competitive price and hopefully make film more accessible.

    Ektar is a big seller and I'm not sure why they don't bring it in. My dad says it's the best neg film he's ever used and i find the results particularly pleasing to the eye.

    Film will be sourced from authorised distributors or the manufacturer directly.


    AK
     
  24. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,386
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It all sounds very exciting. I'm interested in film from 35mm up to 4 x 5, also paper and chemistry.
     
  25. Krzys

    Krzys Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, QL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If you stock Kodak products, especially HC-110, I think that a lot of people will be very happy :smile:
     
  26. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ 'ɐıɹoʇɔıʌ
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi Andrew, I buy Ektar 100 in 4x5" & 120, TXP320 in 4x5", and Plus-X in 120 from Freestyle a couple of. times a year - I'd certainly support a local business if your price and service were as good as Freestyle's is!!

    Marc!