When I moved to Charleston there was one really well stocked camera store with ok staff and an owner who really knew his stuff on gear and film, not the cheapest place but you knew you could get good answers if you had questions. I made a point giving him my film and developing trade and bought some gear from him just so I could ask the odd question and very rarely handle something I wasn't sure about buying. He sold it some years back and the new owner turned it into a digi tourist photo store and I haven't set foot in the place since. My point being is if I'm just tire kicking gear I'm going to buy something to make up for the time the person had to spend with me.
Originally Posted by LarryP
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
I agree with wotalegend. When I was getting into photography, I went and bought a Manfrotto tripod with a video head. It's huge and inconvenient. I only got it because the girl at the store said it would be better for an slr than the smaller one they had.
It isn't just photographic stores that are suffering from "tyre kickers" but many others, if people continue to use bricks and mortar shops as demonstration venues for internet retailers the specialist bricks and mortarshops will disappear in a few years.
I can understand why they have such a fee, because a lot of people use the stores as their little "review" site and then go on line to buy the product, time wasters really.
I usually buy stuff on line anyway,because it is cheaper.
If I am ever in a shop, then I know what I want and I know what it cost (and I usually know if they have it on stock as well). I ask for it, pay and leave.
It's frustrating having to stand there like an idiot for half an hour because some dimwit is holding up the sales person with stupid questions they could find the answer to trough 2 minutes on google anyway. Then they leave to buy the product from the Internet? It's the same thing going on in computer stores as well, I'm glad I don't work in a shop, because I would probably kick the customer out with a notice "Go search on the **** Intenet you time waster!" :P
I hope they burn in hell
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+1 (as they say). I don't bother "going shopping" anymore if I'm not ready to pay the money and buy the product. There is SO much info on the internet that I can often get better informed in 10 minutes on the internet than whatever it takes to drive to a shop and talk to their salesman. But I would kindly (or not so kindly) decline paying a "lookie-lou" fee and never return to a shop who tried charging that kind of fee even if they were the last brick-an-mortar shop on the face of the earth.
Originally Posted by Helinophoto
Just the other day I went to 2 local camera stores looking for a very specific product. At one shop they had related products but not the one that meets my needs. Since I was the only one in the store I did chat with the saleperson and in that discussion mentioned having bought something from a NYC mailorder shop. She rolled her eyes but when I asked if when they last had that product (film) she agreed that they haven't had it for a long time and proably will never have it again. At a second shop I found the item I needed and while paying asked the clerk several questions -- basically trying to determine what they stodked that I might need in the future. He was quite cooperative and at one point asked if I was just price shopping before going to the internet. He was quite happy to hear that his price was the same and I'd be buying from him in the future since sales tax balances the shipping costs... and even when shipping is free I'd rather help him stay in business if the product cost is approximately the same. He was very appreciative to hear that. I suppose he probably gets lots of folks looking for free product information and a free tutorial before going for a better price and lousy service at an internet "shop". This guy ahs a longstanding reputation as a grumpy curmudgeon... and I can't say I blame him if he sees too many people taking advantage of him like that.
BTW, when the grumpy curmudgeon helped me find the product I was looking for he specifically asked if I wanted to buy them. Trying to keep the spirit I grumpily responded "only if the price is right". So he was looking up the price and when he found it he asked if I still wanted to buy. Maybe I said "yes, ring it up" too quicklty because he asked what the internet retailers were charging... and maybe he would change the price. I think I saw a hint of a smile but can't be sure. So I told him (honestly) that his price was exactly $2 less than the internet retailer (manufacturer) on that item, but exactly $2 more on the second item I was buying. So we called it even and I completed the transaction. Total time in shop: 4.8 minutes. I'll be going back there!
Bricks and mortar stores have always had the whip hand in the past, but now the World has changed on- line retailing has given the consumer that power, and they will exercise it unmercifully by taking advantage of being able to have the product demonstrated in a store then buying it on-line at the cheapest price, until the stores all close down in the next few years, "capitalism is savagery" as Karl Marx wrote.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
Last edited by benjiboy; 01-27-2012 at 08:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Snick... slightly off topic, but I drove 60 miles to a Leica dealer last week, and they said they had no Leica that I could handle, ("they were in a vault in the basement"). I persisted but was told they were all new in box, and no lens (not even used) in stock.
I suppose the only way to examine one was to say I would purchase it on the spot.
This thread has me wondering about APUG's (and other photo forums') role in the demise of retail photo stores. Has APUG's excellence as a meeting place for film photographers eclipsed the historical value of the local photo shop as an access point to experienced photographers, printers and technology gurus? Few retail stores retain expertise behind the counter and probably even fewer still serve as a hub of the local photographic community.
I guess what I'm saying is that it's not just about money or business models. Part of the demise of retail photo outlets is a natural side effect (good or bad) of technological connectivity and the move to e-community. For the world of film photography, APUG has likely played a big role in that change.
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
I was at B&H like 2 months ago as I was in the area. Went to pick up some basic necessities (developers, rodinal and lpd) and on the whim decided I wanted to buy a soft release for a canon Demi half frame that had a terribly recessed shutter button.
After talking to and being misdirected by 3 sales associates around the store, I was told to look it up at their online site, which showed the product, but was told to order it online anyway as they didn't physically carry it. (still pay $5shipping for $2 product)
Oh btw their stock/product moving system lost my items and I had to stand at the help line and wait 35 minutes for them to find it. (it was misplaced on the wrong hook section, so it goes)
I would gladly go online and pay shipping the next time as their service is crap if you don't buy an expensive item and to avoid all of this hassle.