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Let's endorse our Local Camera Store!
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Mar 12, 2018 10:24:12   #
Notorious T.O.D.
 
It is true that local stores need support but they also need to try to compete in a changing world. Just because you support them does not insure that they will continue to be in business. They may close for other reasons such as the owner retiring with no plan to keep the business going with a new owner. Many possible things that can happen to even a great local store. I think the biggest thing is the lack of a variety of products. For most things in local stores I see one or two lines carried. Certainly they can probably provide you a product but is it really the best for your need and your dollar? In the end you need to decide how you wish to spend your money. One of the fundamental basics of economics is that people act in their own best interest. That includes you and also those who own the local camera stores. Your best interest may not be the retailers best interest. I am reminded of the audio store near the university I attended. It didn't matter if you had $200 or $20,000 to spend they had a System to sell you that "Sounds Great"!

Best,
Todd Ferguson

barryg wrote:
Ai agree that supporting a local camera store is important. Without that support they will cease to exist. As a larger issue, small retailers are disappearing across America and with them the fabric of the communities that they were part of. The corner drug store is a thing of the past in most towns as is the hardware store,, the shoe maker and the book store. They have been subsumed by big box stores and mail order. The consumer has gained buying power but lost the essence of downtown USA. Having said that, I will put in a plug for Camera Land, serving the Plainview area of Long Island.
Ai agree that supporting a local camera store is i... (show quote)

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Mar 12, 2018 10:30:43   #
thegrover
 
My "local" camera store is Tuttle Cameras in Long Beach, CA. http://www.tuttlecameras.com/ Great store and the owner Eric provides lots of support to the Veteran Photographers at the Long Beach VA.

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Mar 12, 2018 10:35:40   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
jsmangis wrote:
I agree. I have purchased items from Central Camera in Chicago, and support Peoria Camera in my hometown. The ability to walk into a camera store and actually hold the item in your hands before you buy it, receive advice from those who understand the equipment, and help you decide what will best suit your needs is essential to an expensive purchase like a new or used camera. Big box stores like Walmart, Best Buy, or Fry's cannot offer this.


I go to Chicago once a year for the Marathon and always drop in to this place that can only be called one of the most interesting camera stores anywhere. Central Camera is really cool.

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Mar 12, 2018 10:40:01   #
gwilliams6 (a regular here)
 
In Philadelphia area a great family-run, pro=quality camera store that also does big nationwide online sales,along with walk-in small-camera-shop attention and customer service. Allens Camera in Levittown, Pa.

http://allenscamera.com/

My favorite, even over B&H and Adorama. Also the favorite camera store of Jared Polin (top camera reviewer/vlogger "Fro-Knows") Cheers

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Mar 12, 2018 10:42:00   #
Picture Taker
 
If we want alternatives to a local store look at Hunts

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Mar 12, 2018 10:48:29   #
Cookie223
 
I’m fortunate to have 2 camera stores within 10 minutes from home. Unique Photo in Fairfield NJ, and a much smaller store Livingston Camera in Livingston NJ.
Unique is a large store with excellent and very knowledgeable staff. They offer many classes and field trips which keeps their customers ingaged. The Livingston store is a small mom & pop operation but have very limited stock.

I’m also lucky to live about a 1/2 hour from NYC. I make a day of it and stop by B&H, or Adorama and at least to do some window shopping. Bear in mind I’ve been into photography for just a couple of years but these stores have impressed me.

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Mar 12, 2018 10:49:10   #
tjjm
 
Same store, same experience. I do most of my printing there also. In the past year picked up a new camera, a tripod, and a used 1.4 tele convertor.

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Mar 12, 2018 10:53:03   #
thephotoman
 
As to avoid,g sales tax, that can be a partial myth, at least in NYS. Here, if a company has a physical presence in the state sales tax must be collected. So we pay tax from B&H, Adorama and the big box stores. I would not buy a dslr from Target or WM (if they even sell them) because I doubt they have any serious expertise. Also, they tend to be whim driven in the photography area.

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Mar 12, 2018 10:53:12   #
NJphotodoc
 
I'm fortunate to live in an area where we have 3 excellent camera stores (Unique Photo, Bergen Camera and Wholesale Photo) as well as being close to B&H and Adorama. I find that for new equipment, cameras and lenses cost the same however I can get a better package price when I but locally. Same goes for used equipment (mostly lenses). Never go to BB, Walmart etc. as the sales folks know absolutely nothing and even make up things on the fly just to make the sale (found out they are all on commission).
The sad part is that while I still have options, we used to have many more stores to choose from but like we've all seen, photo stores are going the way of the telephone booth (nice to recall and were very useful but now very hard to find)

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Mar 12, 2018 10:59:08   #
thephotoman
 
Dan Downie wrote:
Rowe Photo in Rochester, NY. They use to have three locations, but are down to one now.


Are you forgetting about Scott's Photo which they own? I visited the Rowe that was on Ridge Road West and it felt more like a token camera store than a real one. The sales clerk seemed more interested in making a sale then in helping me. It is no wonder it closed. Rowe is good, but so much had to be ordered and they carry no paper or ink supplies and few accessories.

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Mar 12, 2018 11:00:22   #
jackm1943 (a regular here)
 
elliott937 wrote:
There are, without a doubt, excellent camera stores who have featured mail order services.

But it occurred to me that we still need to endorse our -local- camera stores, especially if they have an excellent reputation.

To begin, I'd like to endorse Schiller's Camera store here in St. Louis, here for more than 100 years, and outstanding staff. I've purchased my Canon 5DII from them, and along with that 3 L series lenses. They are always my "go to" store, not only for the equipment, but also for opinions and advice. I know all of you would agree with me in saying that we NEED to support our local camera stores. So I'm beginning that here with: www.schillers.com

I hope no one minds my beginning thread.
There are, without a doubt, excellent camera store... (show quote)

In the Omaha area we have only one "real" full service camera store - Rockbrook Camera - but it is a very good family-owned one that's been in business many years. We do have several large box stores that carry a decent photography selection but the Rockbrook selection is much wider and the people are much more knowledgeable.

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Mar 12, 2018 11:01:41   #
Bazbo (a regular here)
 
elliott937 wrote:
There are, without a doubt, excellent camera stores who have featured mail order services.

But it occurred to me that we still need to endorse our -local- camera stores, especially if they have an excellent reputation.

To begin, I'd like to endorse Schiller's Camera store here in St. Louis, here for more than 100 years, and outstanding staff. I've purchased my Canon 5DII from them, and along with that 3 L series lenses. They are always my "go to" store, not only for the equipment, but also for opinions and advice. I know all of you would agree with me in saying that we NEED to support our local camera stores. So I'm beginning that here with: www.schillers.com

I hope no one minds my beginning thread.
There are, without a doubt, excellent camera store... (show quote)


Looking Glass Photo in Berkeley. Knowledgable, and helpful staff and are generous with free advice on complicated problems.

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Mar 12, 2018 11:03:27   #
BobHartung (a regular here)
 
elliott937 wrote:
Having grown up in the Chicago suburbs, does your experience include the suburban area? (I hope not.)


Chicago is now devoid of any sizable camera store. There is still Central Camera on S. Wabash. Their egos are as big as their store is crammed with old "treasures". I've never had a pleasant conversation with their staff and they thumb their noses at many brands as they are a Leica dealer.

Altman Camera folded shop in 1974-5 after the employees voted to unionize, Helix is now just a small store in the suburbs, and Calumet folded suddenly a few years ago.

Kind of makes B&H in NYC and Roberts in Indianapolis the go too places. St. Louis is not on my travel list - much easier to drive to Indianapolis.

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Mar 12, 2018 11:04:08   #
rbmartiniv
 
I wish I had a local camera store to endorse! Disadvantage of a small town.

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Mar 12, 2018 11:05:40   #
Picture Taker
 
You mention ink purchasing. I have been ordering ink direct from the printer mfg. And when I had problems they saw I was using the manufactures ink and were supportive even to the point of replacing my bad printer and replaced the extra different ink I kept on hand.

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