With 2 weeks left before Christmas 2012, my guess is that several camera manufacturers have some end-of-year promotions which will be announced soon. And when that happens, photographers win!
Last holiday season, product availability wasn’t great, due to floods in Thailand and the lingering effects of an earthquake & Tsunami in Japan. Therefore, the deals were not plentiful. This year, there have been no huge issues that affect manufacturing – and from what we can tell, there are few product shortages in the marketplace.
So, what does that mean for photographers? It’s easy – as the large manufacturers fight it out for market share, they will pull out all of the stops and offer the absolute best prices of the year. Photographers win – with the best opportunities to save on compact digital, mirrorless camera systems, DSLR’s, lenses, & all types of accessories. As an authorized dealer for many brands of camera gear, I can tell you that year-end promotions can sometimes come fast & furious – without warning. So if you’re in the market for any camera gear, stay tuned.
In addition to great promotions from manufacturers, it seems that some retailers offer great deals – or what seem to be great deals – on selected camera items. There are many reasons why a retailer might want to sell an item at, or below, their actual cost of that item. Any retailer might choose to lose money on any product, on any day, for any reason. Perhaps they have too many in stock, or they might want to get a jump on their competition before the start of a promotion, or maybe that great deal isn’t really what it seems to be at all. This is a great time for dealers to unload excess inventory, but photographers need to look closely at every deal that might look “too good to be true.”
At Service Photo, we appreciate that many of our customers want to make their purchases from us. Our goal is to offer competitive prices all day, every day, along with a high level of customer service & guidance. But, nobody’s perfect – and we’re busy! We sometimes learn of happenings in the marketplace from our customers. And, when a customer shows us a lower price from a competitor, we view it as a learning experience. We appreciate the opportunity to learn what is going on in the marketplace, and we take that opportunity to educate our customers about how our business works. Most times, we are able to match, or even beat, the price offered by our competitors. But other times, we are able to point out something in the “fine print” that our customer didn’t notice. And, we also are able to explain the consequences of buying from a reseller that is not an authorized dealer for the cameras that they sell. Sometimes, it’s a big deal.
In any event, my point is this: We can only help photographers if they speak to us before they make a purchase elsewhere. Once a photographer purchases their item elsewhere, we simply cannot assist them to the same degree as if that purchase had been made from us. We’re a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone call away – and we invite you to contact us & tell us if you’ve seen a better deal than what is offered by Service Photo. Tell us about the product, the price, and the place – and believe me, you can’t hurt my feelings. We need to know! Once we have the information, we’ll do our best to guide you toward the smartest purchase at the best price – even if it means buying the item someplace else. We really do appreciate the opportunity to provide our customers with products. And by having these discussions with out customers, we all learn something.