"I always find it surprising that places like B&H have such a huge World Wide online business, but If I was in Down Town New York (correct me if I am wrong), I could just as easily walk into their showrooms. And yes, they do online/mail order properly (I have goods in my hands quicker from them, then when ordering from Melbourne!)"
I was in B&H's big bricks and mortar place in 2007, and it was a little mind blowing. The main floor is new gear; the second floor is used gear.
Used is not all on the floor; a lot has to be asked for and brought to the counter from shelves elsewhere on the second floor. It is well catalogued. I was looking for a Mamiya TLR wide angle lens set; they had I think something like 9 to pick from. I picked one of the 65mm pairs of the computer screen at a price point I liked, and it was fished out for me to hand inspect. I liked it. It went into a basket, and I got a claim ticket.
Then I went to the main floor to buy filters and a few other things. I lined up in a something like SLR's and accessories queue. The attandant at the head of the queue directed me to the first sales associate for the products I was intersted in when one of them came free.
We looked at what I wanted in the print catalog, and clarified on the computer exactly what the options were. We did that for a number of things. He said something like 'that will be a moment'. Within less than 2 minutes all of the things I had ordered to look at- glass filters, gelatine filters, adapter rings, front and rear lens filter stack covers, a cable release, a roll of cinefoill, swatch book etc arrived on a conveyor of some sort from the basement to a location behind him. I looked the goods over, and agreed I wanted them all. I got a claim ticket, and the basket was placed on an overehad conveyor system that transferred them to an area behind where you queued for cashiers.
I then went to the darkroom area. Here most of the stuff I wanted was sitting as open stock on the shelves or in commercial fridges. I even found a gallon of glacial acetic acid; I bought it on impulse! (It was far cheaper than having to fiddle with vinegar, and I also use it in home canning to avoid long boil down times as well now). These go shipped to the front.
At the cashier, you present all of your claim tags, they ring you up, and you get another claim tag, showing paid. You then queue to pick up the stuf you paid for, and retreive the bag you came in with from the bag storage desk.
The converyor has to be seen to be believed.
I had a "customer" come in once and ask me to order an item in so he could check it out to see if he wanted to order online!
Yes, and it "Does Not Work" :-)Quote:
It is Do Not Call:
Or, more precisely, it works for legitimate businesses. The guys from India trying to sell you crap and the scammers after your credit card number don't care what list you're on.
Get an answering machine, and then dial a non-working number. Record the "beep-boop-beep" tones at the start of the intercept message. Put this tone at the start of your answering machine message. Their autodiallers may be programmed to detect this sequence of tones and automatically remove you (presumed to be non-working) number from their database.
I've tried the above, and it does seem to result in a reduction of junk calls. Don't know if you have the same system in Oz, but worth a try if you do...
We recently signed on for "Call Display" service. It is wonderful - if the number is an "Unknown Number", we let the answering machine take it - 99% don't bother to leave a message.
EDIT: And on the subject of the thread ...
I recently saw a box on display in a camera store that at least purportedly contained a new lens I might be interested in. I wanted to see it "in the flesh", but they declined to open the box for me unless I was willing to state that I was actually in the market to buy one.
I don't know if that store had a policy to automatically give a discount if a lens had previously been used for "display" purposes.
The lens in question wasn't a particularly rare one.
I fully sympathize with the owners of brick and mortar stores these days.
$30 is too steep (even from a good store dedicated to cameras).
But I won't be adversed if a new custom of tipping store clerks for good information (or demo) can somehow be presented without too much of a hassle.
After all, you tip your waiter for serving, don't you?
It certainly worked for us — after a 4 tedious month wait! That was about 3-4 years ago now.
We were being pestered just about every night from some guy on high in a little tin shed in Bangalore trying to flog HP computers, then another trying flog HP computer support services (no such thing of course)! I am a HP computer owner and it was registered online — BIG mistake! Along came a spider. Presto! And I was in terrible web of nefarious marketers in a far away land. They also spammed my fax, but they were not alone: Chinese tour companies, weight loss pills (as if!), car insurance, Viagra (I prefer oysters) and reams of illegible junk from an obscure coffee merchant in Brazil.
So, from experience it worked for us, and our immediate neighbours, and my Mum too. There are something like 3-4 million numbers on the Do Not Call Register in Australia, so obviously something is working and working well.
I remember a little while back reading that some of the outdoor store (Outsports/Paddy's etc) were doing that to for footwear. Exactly same reason people come try on the boots see if there OK then go buy online.