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Is a Camera Shop a Viable Business

WelshKiwi 9 3.2k 2 Wales
1 Feb 2008 9:00PM
I fully understand why people do, do it.

But sometimes I think it is false economy, especially in terms of equipment etc.

Im about to go digital (hmmm) and I will go to my friend for kit, because I will get the help. Not just on the day, but any day.

And if I need help, I can phone him to, and not just because he is a friend, but because he believes in service.

This guy supports the NWPA, sponsors Camera Clubs and exhibitions and when I see club members buying off the internet it makes me so mad.

Not only because they benefit from good service but also because they help the community.

Ive known people go into the shop, talk with the staff for over an hour about camera and kit, then say, Ok, I will be back when I have thought some more.

But, they never come back they go get it on the net. You cant not talk to them about equipment incase they are going to buy thru the shop.

My friend has even helped people when they have had problems from buying on the net.

Thats what I call great service.

Instead of just thinking about the fact its 5.00 cheaper people dont think long term, or about the local community.

Bet you guys can tell this is another subject Im passionate about huh Wink

Lee Smile

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brian1208 Plus
14 11.2k 12 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2008 9:28PM

Quote:Amazing that in the centre of the city it has its own mini parking area

they are even closing our local Job-Centre to almagamate it into a larger one in Bournemouth!

I'm with those who prefer personal action to moaning. Apart from weekly bulk shopping I get as much as possible from our local farmers markets, farm shops and local stores.

If I buy on the web I try to go for a "Clicks and Mortar" supplier where possible (Like Mifsuds for most of my camera gear) - It may cost a bit more but if we don't support our "real" suppliers we will end up with nothing but" E-tailers" via large warehousing.
samfurlong 11 2.5k United Kingdom
1 Feb 2008 9:54PM
What everyone says makes sense and I do try and buy from shops where I can but it is often a case of practicalities.
I drive about 1500 miles a week for work, a typical day is at least 10 hours, yesterday I was out the house for 16 hours.
I generally get to take every other weekend off work but in the footy / rugby season I end up working at least the Saturday every weekend.

I don't want to drive to town, find somewhere to park to trapse round the shops (usually in the rain) waiting in queues etc..

F**k the shops I want to spend the incredibly little free time I have with the people who are important to me, I want to stay in bed (believe me, I actually can't remember the last lie in I had), walk the dogs, spend time with my other half and family!
Browsing the shops is great if you have time but I do not.
And the internet is cheaper to boot!!
Win / win!
lindin 9 451 United States
1 Feb 2008 10:53PM
I live in a small city in South Dakota, USA. We had a camera shop her for over 50 years. I bought my N90 from them and got to know the owner of the shop very well. In December, the owner closed the door. He said he can't compete with the big stores that buy in bulk. He could not buy camera's and equipment for resale for what the big stores were selling them for.

Technology has been great, except that the same technology that helped everyone, also killed the little guy.

I wish we could go back in time and find a way to keep the little shops, and I don't mean just camera, but the others that are falling by the wayside also.
tomcat 11 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
1 Feb 2008 11:12PM

Quote:and I don't mean just camera, but the others that are falling by the wayside also

Here here!!!!
ripleysalien 10 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2008 7:46AM
We have a jessops and now a pro shop called RGB in middlesbrough.
They are a camera shop and sell the related items from printer ink and paper to the fiddly things like focus screens and lens cloths, the staff know what they are talking about and if not busy ( not often ) they will chat, not try to sell but show you this or that and they call you sir, i find that annoying though.
But I think they will only go up in workload because they are good, J******S on the other hand are going down, they havent got what you want they can get it but cant say when, and some of the staff dont even know which bit you look through.
Comet and Tesco have "Photographic departments" and again mostly the staff sell tellys and hoovers or toasters and your expected to know what it is you want, anything over beginer stuff, you get the , we dont stock that sir have you tried the internet.
I will continue to support the lads in my local pro shop as long as the wife lets me...lol

Soulstar 9 59 United States
2 Feb 2008 8:32AM
i know jessops in penzance do weddings, we have two in st ives and 3 in penzance but alot of the trade will be tourism and me Smile surely there is still a market for them! sometimes theres an item you just need it now
2 Feb 2008 9:13AM

Quote:We have a jessops and now a pro shop called RGB in middlesbrough.

I bought my camera from them over the internet, but I found the managers "customer service" somewhat lacking!
FatHandedChap 11 1.3k England
2 Feb 2008 9:32AM
I've just bought my new camera from Jessops, but only because they were the cheapest around (including UK stockist on the net). They are also the only local camera shop since they bought out the independant guy several years back. (He mainly stocked Jessops stuff anyway).

Apart from that, my nearest camera shop is WE - about 20 miles away.
ripleysalien 10 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
2 Feb 2008 9:49AM
Seren, sorry to hear that, I deal in shop so cant speak for their net service.
Did you get what you wanted in the end?

passaro 9 9 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2008 9:07PM
Have a look at Jessops share price over the last 2 years. They appear to be in desperate trouble. How about teaching digital photgraphy - there's a shortage of good courses and indivdual tuition. Good luck!
GDobson 11 62
4 Feb 2008 11:33PM
There's a great shop in central London called West End Cameras - it's practically next door to a branch of Jessops, and has all the techno-competition of Tottenham Court Road to compete with, as well as the flagship Jessop World Camera Centre about a mile away. WEC is always busy, and thrives because of the blokes who run it - really knowledgable, always got time for the most basic or complicated advice, and sometimes it's hard to buy kit because the owners just want to chat about photography. Despite the shop's diminutive size they have a wide range of stock, including second hand and unusual cameras like the Horizon panorama. Prices for some items, like lenses, are about the same as the web. So it can be done. This sounds like an advert, but it's not. I'm just a satisifed customer.

Incidentally, I've always had good service in the downstairs part of the London World Camera Centre Jessops. Upstairs in the same branch is a different matter entirely... almost a case study in how to put off return customers. I wouldn't even take advice about a toaster from them
miptog 11 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2008 11:46PM

Quote:...thrives because of the blokes who run it - really knowledgeable, always got time for the most basic or complicated advice, and sometimes it's hard to buy kit because the owners just want to chat about photography....

Sounds like a very similar business model / culture to B&H in the states. There are lessons to be learnt here, if only certain well know high street photographic shops would look and learn.
Carabosse Plus
14 40.9k 269 England
5 Feb 2008 1:29AM
The one thing you will rarely get with web retailers is advice against buying certain equipment. If a camera shop can steer you clear of expensive and unsuitable equipment, they are likely to retain grateful customers - but only if their prices are as near as possible to web prices.
stolzy 11 3.8k 7
5 Feb 2008 8:19AM

Quote:London World Camera Centre Jessops

Or cross the street to Jacobs, helpful staff, good stock, decent prices and plenty of (admittedly mostly well-used) s/h gear.

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