Quote Originally Posted by jamnut
In the interest of keeping analog photography alive, I have a routine that I use which I hope will make a difference.
My local camera store has a limited selection of 120 film and darkroom supplies; to obtain the stuff I like (APX, Rodinal, Neopan, HP5+, et al.) I must use web orders. To show suppliers that the interest is still there, I will rotate my web orders; one time I will order from Freestyle, the next time from Calumet, the third from B&H, etc. It's a little more trouble, but I hope to spread the wealth this way.
Does anyone else do this? Will it help?
I doubt it. Ultimately, it's all coming from the same sources (Agfa, Fuji, and Ilford for the products you mention). They're the ones who control the production (or lack thereof) of the products. What you're doing is just spreading the demand across different retailers. That might keep them all interested in stocking the stuff for a longer period -- or it might cause them all to dump sooner, compared to two retailers dumping it and one keeping on with it. (Of course, chances are your orders personally won't have that effect unless you buy a lot of supplies; I'm speaking about your strategy were it adopted by a significant number of photographers.) Personally, I wouldn't worry about where I buy stuff, aside from the usual concerns of convenience, selection, price, etc. If you like a retailer because they're more convenient, have greater selection, or whatever, take your business there.

Also, could someone explain a little economics to me? I thought that when a product or service is in high demand, prices for that product/service will rise.
When there is little demand, the supplier will lower prices to stimulate buying.
The demand for film and paper and chemistry is falling(?), so shouldn't the prices be going down also? They seem to be going up. Why?
I'm not an economist, but it's not as simple as that. You've also got to consider economies of scale. For instance, suppose there are fixed costs of $10,000/day at a film production facility (for rent/mortgage, real estate taxes, security, etc.). If that facility produces, say, 1 million rolls of film each day, those fixed costs add $0.01 to the cost of the film. If the facility's output drops to 10,000 rolls of film a day because of decreased demand, the fixed costs add $1.00 to each roll of film, so the price will have to go up by $0.99 if the manufacturer is to maintain the same profit level per roll of film -- and much more if the manufacturer is to maintain the same absolute profit level. (These numbers are all just made up, so don't get hung up on them.) Similarly, it's usually cheaper for manufacturers to buy raw materials and other supplies in larger quantities, so as demand drops, material costs go up. Of course, if demand drops as dramatically as I've just suggested, the manufacturer is likely to close production facilities and consolidate production into fewer factories, assuming that's possible. That further complicates the analysis, but in the end, the principle of economies of scale is pretty simple: It's (usually) cheaper to produce something in greater quantities than in lesser quantities.