Yeah.. this is much exactly spot on!
Originally Posted by wotalegend
When you have a distributor that owns the distribution rights in Australia to a large range of products then you pretty much have to do play by their book.
Plus it is not really manageable when you are a small retailer trying to manage your own importation especially when you have hundreds of different products it becomes highly impractical.
I suspect you're right, though I don't know how well that fits with our otherwise-most-excellent competition laws.
Originally Posted by wotalegend
vcyoo: I agree that if a shop wants to manage the importation as well as retail that there is a lot more work so you trade the lower cost of goods for a much higher operating cost. However, I note that this approach has worked quite well in the computer market though they undoubtedly have much higher turnover and very short stock churn compared to an analogue store.
That's me! I Only check in periodically, and I must apologise as I haven't read the whole thread.
Originally Posted by Ross Chambers
The long and short of it is this :
The retailers aren't making huge margains on film / chem. We don't buy Velvia for $5 and sell it for $27.
The Australian distributors sell the goods to retailers at prices which they set, or have handed down by whomever.
If the cost to the local distributors was less then the retail price would come down.
Currently, as someone else put it, big photographic companies only like certain parts of what we call 'Free Market Economics'. This means that since Australia is a small market we effectively pay more.
Do I agree? No.
Do local retailers have the ability to change the situation? No.
The real shame of this whole situation is the 'vicious-cycle' aspect.
Customers stop buying as much film-stock via Australian channel.
Australian channel sees reduced demand, increases price / stops keeping that line.
The issue here is, the Australian distributor isn't seeing the whole picture. They aren't aware of the demand for their product as customers are purchasing via a different channel.
The other channel (US/HK) sees steady demand and prices remain in check.
This is all my personal opinion, and shouldn't be confused with an official 'statement' or other formal message.
Just another example: I need some Provia 100F (35mm) for the coming weekend. Local offer in Melbourne: 137 AUD for a pack of 5 films. B&H price: 33.35 USD (= 31.44 AUD). That's 4.4 times the US price. Absolutely insane! I did not buy. I will shoot roll film instead over the weekend and order 35mm film from the US as usual.
Last edited by Joachim_I; 06-02-2011 at 08:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
that is insanity.
Originally Posted by Joachim_I
I saw on the internet some people in sydney wanted to by some fuji neopan 100, in some shop in the CBD they bought it for $25 for a 36exp roll! bh sells for ~3.50.
pentax 6x7,canon eos 300, crown graphic 4x5
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Ten years ago I really tried to support Australian retailers and buy all my film stock here. Even then it was cheaper to buy from B&H. I went to one very well known film retailer to try and and discuss the situation and see if there was a solution. They were immediately rude to me and basically told me to p... o.. This retailer no longer sells any film.
In the 90's I bought all my Schneider large format lenses through the our agent - CR Kennedy - at higher prices than Robert White, Badger Graphics and B&H. An 80mm SS XL that I bought was faulty. I took it back to the local agent who refused to help me, charged me for repairs even though the lens was still under warrenty, and who never fixed the fault. I took the issue up with Schneider directly in Germany. They immediately apologised saying the fault was a manufacturing one. They replaced the lens free of charge, and gave me a free $400 loupe as a gift for my problems. CR Kennedy never refunded my money for the non-existent repairs they charged me for.
Since then I have bought 100% from overseas without a hitch, saving a fortune, and getting perfect service. I bought a Toho camera from Badger Graphics which had a minor manufacturing fault. Upon emailing them they organised for me to send the camera directly to Japan where the camera was fixed free of charge. I have had to send a couple of items back to B&H (ie, warped dark slides) who have accepted them back with hardly a question, with a full refund. I have to pay the return freight, but in the end I am well ahead.
I am also professional in this industry for decades. Until ten years ago I bought 100% in Australia. Now I spend nothing. If I go to an Australia retailer they more often than not will not have the item in stock and tell me to wait a couple of weeks. I go online to B&H and it is on my doorstep in as little as 3 days. Once I bought a lens from Hong Kong and the courier was knocking on my door the next morning!
I spend well over $10000 a year overseas on photographic items, and I am just one of thousands of professionals. Even little things, ie a set of inkjet cartridges for a common Epson R2400 printer. It is impossible to buy a set of these cartridges from any Aussie retailer. So for every order I put into B&H I add small items such as this, and I get them at almost HALF the price and freight free! ($14US / $23AUD per cartridge. This saves me almost a couple of thousand a year alone)
I notice local prices have not come down even though the Australian dollar is now high. I have no idea how Aussie photographic retailers now compete - but they lost the war ten years ago
I had a similar experience with CR Kennedy, the local Bowens distributor. I needed to pick up a couple of Pulsar transmitters for my lighting kit - and you needed to purchase 2.
Q: Do they come as a 2 pack?
A: Definitely not! They are only sold as single components!
So I buy two - $700. Lo and behold 2 weeks after purchasing, my local store has twin packs for sale from the very same distributor at $595!!!! (Note I couldn't get the original purchase from these guys, as CR didn't have stock in ADL. They had to come from MEL.)
P*****?? Yet bet! Since then I've *never* purchased any item that CR imports - I'd be happy for them to go under with their lackadaisical "couldn't give a **** about your business" attitude.
I order from OS or get my local ADL supplier to order in from OS for me when I'm in town - if the local distributors want to charge 4x more, good for them; they just won't be getting my business any time soon.
I suspect that B&H sells more film and paper than all the distributors Canada and Australia combined. I suppose this means the prices should be cheaper there. It is a vicious cycle as you say but in this modern age of global economies, easy access to information about mail order products and rapid courier shipping it really boggles the mind as to why the distributors continue like this. A business model has been lost in time somewhere and sorely needs to evolve as the exclusive distributor/retailer channel relationship is broken by international web site ordering.
Agree completely. It's a suicidal policy for old multi-line distributors(less so camera distributors)here in Canada. Then there's film pricing that burns me, Harry and the rest of the Canadian crew, especially when the Canadian $ is worth more than the US$.
Originally Posted by hpulley
A good chunk of the price differences in Canada is the result of the govt's insistence on bilingual packaging.