For Mirko (Fotoimpex)
Although I can find the most important stuff locally, there have been times when I thought about ordering some items from Fotoimpex. But then I start to imagine a customs officer checking the package and opening paper boxes etc.
Do you have any feedback regarding how your packages are treated at non-EU customs? Do you label packages that contain light-sensitive material as such? How about chemicals?
Mirko of Fotoimpex was exactly the kind of reason I started this thread, so analog photographers with problems getting their material would find a solution.
Now Iliks and Omar may find an answer.
Any more needing help?
Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
no digital additives and shit
sofar we had not a single severe problem and we ship to anywhere in the world using Deutsche Post (DHL).
We also give the customs officials our telephone number and web-address.
Usually when they see that there is a real company they don´t cause any problem.
We never had a box of film opened by customs in business to consumer sales.
All parcels are labeled: DO NOT XRAY, Light and heat sensitive materials inside.
Just this week we had one parcel returned which was intended for Canada where DHL rang us and excused themselves that a box was xrayed by mistake even though clearly labeled.
This is now in transfer back to us and we already sent a new shippment to the customer.
As far as chemicals are concerned we stick to the law and only include per carton the amount allowed. Normaly if you order a photographers mix of products there are no issues. In Air freight different laws apply than in passenger transfer. Sure, we cannot ship explosives like Protectan or canned air but there are ways around these products like camel hair brushes or glas marbels.
We also never had a lost parcel which was eventually not replaced.
Ofcourse every hundred shippments or so there are small problems if you sell worldwide but I would not say there are fundamental problems.
The girls do a great job on the phone and talk to DHL almost everyday trying to sort out any issues for our customers.
Last edited by ADOX Fotoimpex; 02-14-2007 at 03:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I herd Emulsion magazine is going to be featured in Have I Got News For You!
Thanks, Mirko! I'll add this to the list of my options.
Originally Posted by ADOX FOTOIMPEX
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Mirko, thank you very much indeed.
Not exactly needing help and not exactly suffering the same problems as you.
Originally Posted by arigram
My home town/city (aprox 55.000) have two photopushers selling the usual D and A consumers stuff. One of them had a while ago some/5 rolls OUTDATED by at least two years Pan F on the shelf but thats all. I can go to Copenhagen, I work in that area, and get a lot of but not all analog stuff. It is quite expensive though so I try to mailorder together with others who have the bug. We have ordered from Fotoimpex, Brenner, Fotomayr, Monochrom, Morco and Silverprint. There have been one or two (four) incidents with dificulties in delivery but mostly its all ok. The trouble is the amount you have to order to iliminate the postal costs and the very odd policy of some firms located in London who will not ship chemicals "overseas".
Is it possible for you to team up with someone and make an Import co-operative?
Local photo shop has out-of-date chemicals and paper and a lot of digital stuff. They do stock some film equipment but not much and the prices have always been more than New York photo stores. Five or six years ago, I inquired locally about some darkroom equipment and was told, "The home photo hobbyist market has dried up. We don't carry that anymore." I called them about three years ago to see if they had any Ilford MG filters since I had bought a set there before. No one knew what they were or how to order them. When my former photo editor died, his wife tried to sell his Hasselblad equipment on consignment and was told by the store manager there was no market for it locally and they refused it.
I haven't attempted to buy anything locally for well over a year. Thank God for the internet and credit cards.
I'm an island unto myself around here.
What ever happened to, hmm... what was it called? Acme Camera?
Originally Posted by Lopaka
Engaging the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaythehellbackmachine...
Originally Posted by Struan Gray
I could buy film direct from Kodak, and they shipped it via common carrier (i.e., UPS; truly mammoth orders, such as barrels of sodium sulfite, were shipped via trucking company). I could also tell my "third party" finisher that I needed such and such number of rolls of this film, yay many rolls of that film, etc., and they would drop it in the next day's pouch that brought my return finishing (they had overnight finishing).
Kodak, on the other hand, did not have overnight finishing, nor would they even think of including "merchandise" (film) with finishing! The bureaucratic mindset was well-established. (Negative film went in one pouch, to to to one lab, slide film went in another pouch to to to another lab. In fact, I had to even use different systems: negative film went into envelopes, slide film got a gummed label on the cassette. Bureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy...)
The 3rd-party lab's prices were significantly lower than Kodak's prices. (Gray label, no telling what country the film had come from, but it was always in perfect condition, never a single problem with any of it.)
IMO Kodak could have sold more film if they'd have instituted the same system, but it probably would have taken ten years studies, committee meetings, reports, projections, etc., etc., etc., instead of just doing it. So, the other labs, unemcumbered by the bureaucracy, just did it.
Guess where I ended up buying most of my film?
Sure, they didn't carry everything, but they did carry nearly everything I'd ever need (in terms of film) in common formats, and popular emulsions (which back then as I recall included a variety of B&W and slide films).
They didn't carry paper or chems -- probably because the demand wasn't there. If it was, I think they'd have sold it.
That's the difference between the cowboy and the bureaucrat. One just goes out and gets the job done. The other starts trying to coordinate schedules for the first round of meetings -- for the purpose of determining committee assignments (stuff like deciding on formats for goal projections would come long down the road).
This is why bureaucracy-oriented organizations end up with things like $800 dollar hammers and five thousand dollar toilet seats -- and spend most of their energy explaining why things can't be done. It's also the reason that entrepreneurial-oriented organizations (and "the rest of the world") eats their lunch.
I swear, we've gotten so damn top-heavy in this country that it's a wonder we haven't fallen over on our faces.
We have gradually morphed from a "can-do" culture to a "can't do -- and here's why" mentality.
The problem is, to a degree, inevitable as organizations and enterprises reach a critical mass. The main "perceived" purpose of any organization is to perpetuate (and protect) its own existence, and, to grow.
When it reaches that point at which it loses sight of the actual purpose, i.e., "selling stuff", it turns into a self-serving monstrosity. Make-work becomes a benefit to the operations, simply because it makes "the operations" necessary. More and more and more "operations", in fact. "Operations" totally divorced from the actual purpose of the enterprise.
It's at its worst in government agencies, which are for all practical purposes unaccountable to anyone, and able to tap into an endless supply of "free money", simply by expanding the "budget". Real-world ("private sector") enterprises are less unaccountable, but we've become so accustomed to accepting top-heavy bureaucracy as the standard, that even they're able to get away with stuff that ends up destroying the very thing they want to protect.
Bureaucratic organizations are like tomato vines that put all their energy into growing vines and leaves. The more vines they grow, the more leaves they can support. The more leaves they grow, the more vines they can feed. "Tomatoes"? They would take precious resources from the plant! Any actual fruit is a nuisance, incidental to "the plant", and only produced in the minimal amount necessary to avoid the mower.
In top-heavy corporations, there are so few "front-line" workers, who have anything to do with the actual product or service (that pays the bills), that the majorty of the workers end up totally insulated from that whole aspect of the company. Instead, they exist -- each cubical-neoplasm -- to perpetuate their own "functions". In short, an endless race, with a bunch of desk jockeys pushing the paper to the max.
Yes, I am bitching about it. It bugs me that our commercial infrastructure has become infested with a huge mass of vines and leaves, and very little fruit. And the "roots" -- the "frontline" employees, the ones who have any contact with the customers, are increasingly a bunch of slackjawed meatheads, the lowest position on the totempole, "entry-level" positions in which a bunch of schmucks, fresh out of self-esteem acadamy, majoring in grooming and clothes-shopping, are thrown in front of customers. You know, "customers" -- those pesky annoyances who keep bothering the "service" employees.
The laughter coming out of Beijing must be earsplitting.
Q: What is the most popular item on the menu in China?
A: American lunch. *burp*
PS: My customers loved me. Why? Because I sold them what they wanted, and I didn't rape them over the cash register. And if I didn't have it, I ordered it. And if it was a PITA to find it for them, well, that's part of the cost of doing business. And, if I didn't have it, and they needed it right away, and I knew that a competitor had it, I sent them to the competitor -- even though I knew that the competitor would never reciprocate.
I treated my customers the way I'd want a dealer to treat me. You know, that old (really old, I guess) stuff about "The customer comes first."
We've some a long way, baby. And man oh man, it sucks.