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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim appleyard View Post
    .........and the clerk (I'm sorry, sales associate) shoved the warranty down their throat.
    Yeah - don't you hate that? I refuse the warranties as a matter of course - electronics, appliances etc - and it almost feels like I've insulted the sales associate - and his mother!!

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    Just be careful with liquidation sales. Often the prices are marked UP before they're marked down. Best to compare with other sources as bob100684 has done.
    Good advice. Often "liquidations" are outsourced to third-party entities who specialize (hah!) in this. It's in their best interest to get as much as possible out of the sale and the entire liquidation process.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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  3. #153
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    I stopped into a Ritz under liquidation two days ago. They had 3 of the Gralab 300 timers. The 50% off price was $135. BH Photo lists them as new for $150. So Ritz was selling them for $270? They may be the last three items to leave the store at that price.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  4. #154

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    Ritz dug their own grave, but they had help. Their eventual downfall was caused by poor staff and average merchandise. They pushed crummy Quantaray lenses because the margin was better than Nikon and Canon. Even then, margin was so low they couldn't afford good help. It's a viscious cycle.

    The bigger picture is, if we all price shop for the lowest price, that's what we get. Poor service. Specialty stores can't afford to keep good help at a living wage because they're getting eaten alive by the internet. Everybody says "offer better service than your competitors, to make up for your higher prices." Sorry, but that doesn't work. The customers milk you for knowledge and help, and then when it comes time to get the wallet out, they ask if you'll meet B&H's price. We can't meet B&H's because they get volume discounts from the manufacturers. If everybody continues to shop at WalMart and on the internet, that's where everybody will have to work, too.
    In 1910 Henry Ford decided to pay his workers twice what his competitors were paying theirs, so that they could afford his cars. Yes, it probably raised the prices of Fords, but he had happier, better workers, and his company flourished because of it. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say "I like to shop local, as long as it doesn't cost me any more..." Sometimes doing the right thing does cost more. Shoping locally IS the RIGHT thing to do. It injects money into your local and State economy, and that helps everyone, including you.

  5. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeDexter View Post
    Ritz dug their own grave, but they had help. Their eventual downfall was caused by poor staff and average merchandise. They pushed crummy Quantaray lenses because the margin was better than Nikon and Canon. Even then, margin was so low they couldn't afford good help. It's a viscious cycle.

    The bigger picture is, if we all price shop for the lowest price, that's what we get. Poor service. Specialty stores can't afford to keep good help at a living wage because they're getting eaten alive by the internet. Everybody says "offer better service than your competitors, to make up for your higher prices." Sorry, but that doesn't work. The customers milk you for knowledge and help, and then when it comes time to get the wallet out, they ask if you'll meet B&H's price. We can't meet B&H's because they get volume discounts from the manufacturers. If everybody continues to shop at WalMart and on the internet, that's where everybody will have to work, too.
    In 1910 Henry Ford decided to pay his workers twice what his competitors were paying theirs, so that they could afford his cars. Yes, it probably raised the prices of Fords, but he had happier, better workers, and his company flourished because of it. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say "I like to shop local, as long as it doesn't cost me any more..." Sometimes doing the right thing does cost more. Shoping locally IS the RIGHT thing to do. It injects money into your local and State economy, and that helps everyone, including you.
    AMEN to that! It wasn't just Ritz who dug their own grave - we, as consumers did the same thing. In the end, you get what you pay for. Just look around you at what we got!

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  6. #156

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    George and Bob make good points. It must be particularly galling to have customers visit your store, learn from your trained and reasonably compensated staff, try out your demo equipment, then buy from the lowest cost provider on the internet (or, many years ago, from the advertisers in the back of Modern Photography).

    But I'm not sure that Ritz ever was in the dilemma of being a low cost, high service retailer. More like a high cost, low service. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but I don't think so.

  7. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    ... More like a high cost, low service. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but I don't think so.
    Yes and no. The ritz near me was mostly quite good at service. They had 4 guys who really knew photography and a lab tech who was good. On the other hand, they also had a lab tech who was a grouch and didn't care what she printed. She went on to become a teacher and mother; God help her students and children!

    Cameras were sold at low cost, but could not and did not want to compete with gray market. They made money on their extended warranties, film club and accessories. These were overpriced, but often sold because the customer had just bought a new camera and now needed the extras.

  8. #158

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    From my perspective, I have always put Ritz on the list along with the other big box stores. As far as I am concerned they are just one more company that got too big for their britches. While they may have started as a small independent store offering a good service in areas it was not previously offered, they grew to become another one of those stores that made it almost impossible for other independent stores and labs to compete in their own market. As another poster here said, customers come in and want to support their local small business, but in the end, they want to know why we can't give them 4x6 prints for .09 cents a piece like Ritz does. I know there is not another actual camera store located within a 100 miles of me now, but then I don't think you could call Ritz a camera store anymore. Probably part of their down fall was they tried to move into competition with other big Electronic stores like Best Buy, Circuit City (gone), and the Walleyworlds. Overall, I think it would be best if we got back to the "Mom and Pop" stores across the board. I'm sure there are many problems with that idea such as employment for an over populated world, but I just don't have a problem taking myself to a couple different stores to pick up what I need. I'm not so busy that I need to get fresh Bananas, a can of paint, new socks and a camera all in one place. I know I have moved a little off the Ritz subject with that comment, as then didn't offer all of that, but I'm not sure they were so far off.

  9. #159

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    Just to follow up, I walked into one over the weekend that is said to not be closing. If they don't close because of the bankruptcy, they will sure close due to not having any inventory. I'm sure they are unable to buy product right now, but I would have thought they had warehouse's to continue to stock the shelves of continuing locations. Apparently not, They had a told of 3 rolls of 135 Fuji Senia 200 36exp and 1 disposable underwater Fuji camera on the shelf. The store was very sparse to say the least.

  10. #160

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    I think it's hopeless, personally

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeDexter View Post
    If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say "I like to shop local, as long as it doesn't cost me any more..." Sometimes doing the right thing does cost more. Shoping locally IS the RIGHT thing to do. It injects money into your local and State economy, and that helps everyone, including you.
    Apples must be compared to apples. Many consumers get all the pre-purchase information they need from the internet. They decide, then try and find the best price. Shopping locally is then a wise option because you save time (if the product is on the shelf) but if time is not an issue, the higher prices are going to turn the consumer away, every time. No trace of "community" or "hometown" pride exists any more, but in the end, maybe the $100-300 (the average markup at local camera stores VS B&H and Adorama) you save buying at B&H goes to buy locally-grown produce from the farmer's market.

    I buy from my local guys when I can, but when you're talking that kind of money, I'll spend my "community pride" money on local foods instead. When my local store is gone, yes, I will miss it, but not because they were a font of knowledge that I relied on. Truth be told, I usually do more educating than get educated, especially with film gear.

    The ugly truth is that stores survive and flourish on the whims of the consumer. If you can't give them a real reason to shop in YOUR store, then you are doomed. And nowadays, the only thing that matters is price.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.



 

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