I split my purchases. Most of my 8x10 film is ordered in from the usual suspects when the price is right
and put in the freezer. But I try to support the local business too with smaller format film purchases
and incidental darkroom supplies. They know me and often give me a better price on special orders of
color paper than the big stores. Continuity is important in keeping film and darkroom supplies locally
available. They need an incentive.
Yeah, I dropped $130 at my "local" store today. They have a good basic supply of film and silver paper, and really most anything you really need on short notice. Paper and ink seem to be the things I buy most there nowadays, along with the occasional small batch of film.
I try to buy locally and it is becoming more difficult to get what you need in places like Austin & San Antonio. The smaller towns that use to have "real" camera stores have almost disappeared. Guess it is also harder to find a store that carries a good buggy whip these days.
What's getting harder and harder to find is a business model with common sense. I don't care if it's a
corner market or an international conglomerate. The whole point of getting an MBA these days is to become a cocky young jerk who only knows how to do one thing well, namely, bankrupt a corporation
within six months. A smart guy will sell only buggy whips, only the best of em, and a good selection,
and will support himself from everyone with a buggy all over the planet. But he'll probably also locate
himself to a crossroad corner in Amish country.
Actually, it's quite easy to get a buggy whip these days. Any town of any size has a ranch/farm supply house that carries them, not to mention the "other" use they are often used for...
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I don't know about "smart" but "gouging" maybe.
Originally Posted by mjs
Gasoline is a prime example. Every time the price of oil falls quickly we're told that gasoline will follow slowly as existing stocks are sold - they want to base the selling price on their acquisition price. But when the price of oil goes up there's a competition worthy of an Olympic event to see who can change the prices on the poles the quickest, because they now want to base the price on replacement cost. If we have to wait for retail to go down until existing stocks bought at higher prices are sold, what happens to existing stocks bought at cheaper prices when their cost goes up? One or the other, you can't have it both ways without justified accusations of unfairness. The buyer gets hosed both coming and going.
Unless there's an ironclad pricing contract with a mfg or distr, retailers can play the game any way they decide, dumb or smart. I can honestly state that I know how to do it far better than most. Got a
serious track record, and have outlasted all my competition which only understood a strategy of low pricing. Of course, I not interested in nickel and dime things like film anyway, or low margin things like
cameras. I can sit here goofing off like at thsi moment, and then turn thousands of dollars in the few minutes before the next post. But I'm just the buyer - don't own the business per se! (If I did, I wouldn't have to sit here!) Because I understand the nature of local business relationships, I happily
support the local "camera store". So what if I pay an extra buck for a roll of film. When I order in a
thousand buck roll of color paper, they figure a profit and I get it completely fresh without shpg damage or charges, two hundred bucks less than the big houses. Sometimes they win, sometimes I do.
But it's what's necessary if we want local convenience, as well as overall film distribution health.