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Thread started 06 Nov 2013 (Wednesday) 07:09
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Amazon taking over the world. B&H, Adorama, shipping cost & performance.

 
Dj ­ R
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Nov 06, 2013 07:09 |  #1

I ordered a Domke bag on Monday at lunch time, in Philly. Before I hit the order-now button on Amazon, I remembered that I had some B&H reward bucks, so I ordered the bag there instead. I was rushing and mistakenly chose super-saver shipping. I will receive the bag Friday. I could drive to B&H and be home before lunch.

On amazon, most items have free shipping. As an amazon-prime customer, I pay around $75-85 annually to enjoy free 2-day shipping on everything I buy that is prime-inclusive, which is most items. We also get free movie and book downloads via the prime-experience. It's worth it. My wife will order random household items at great pricing, and it arrives for free within a day or two. Bleach, detergent, rice. It's really strange, but it works.

Shipping time for B&H and Adorama. If you accidentally choose super-saver, and you were anxious to receive the item, get ready to pull your hair out. B&H got the order Monday by 1pm. Their warehouse must not stream the orders for super-saver deals for a full 24-hrs "just because". The Domke bag arrived at smart-post at 1am Wednesday, that was the location of the first scan. I will have it Friday.

I strongly dislike smart-post. I will never buy anything again from a distributor who is going to use that camel-like service. But actually, at this point, I will probably start using my amazon visa (rewards) and amazon for all of my photog purchases. The reward points on b&h were a nice surprise, and I continued to buy there BC of it. But they are a stones throw away from my house and will take all week to deliver a 10x10x9, 2-lb, in-stock item to my home, just to save a buck or two.

Their priorities are all wrong. They are up against a monster, their goal should be to over-perform. At least - get the box to the camel the same day.

Amazon's lightning fast shipping, free return shipping, text message tracking updates, ridiculous pricing.... heck, they can beat Tire-Rack now on four tires.... They are a monster.... they are taking over the world. Ugh. I'm guilty of feeding the monster.


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rick_reno
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Nov 06, 2013 11:40 |  #2

I order from B&H (a little), Adorama (quite a bit, mostly because of Helen) and Amazon (a lot, over $20k a year in stuff mostly not related to photography). We have prime and usually get free shipping. I've found the customer service from Adorama to be excellent, B&H hit and miss and Amazon very good. I like Amazon for used books, the other day I wanted a macro book by John Shaw - picked up a like new copy from a fantastic seller (Green Earth Books) for $.06. Book got here in a couple of days and it literally like new. I was poking around for a Olloclip lens for my Apple 5S phone, found a new one on Amazon for $30 shipped, couldn't beat that price anywhere. I sell on Amazon too, sold almost all my Canon L glass there (85L, 100L, 300L, 50L, 17-40L), easy to do and no hassles.
I didn't think to try them for tires, just got new ones on my sons car from Costco.




  
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Dj ­ R
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Nov 06, 2013 11:51 |  #3

rick_reno wrote in post #16429515 (external link)
I didn't think to try them for tires, just got new ones on my sons car from Costco.

next time anyone needs tires, use that as a good time to sign up for the amazon visa, you get around $150 off the order. plus their prices are really good. there is one specific vendor who I purchased from:
seller "buy wheels today"
http://www.amazon.com …KIKX0DER&me=A32​YFCGQVCYRX (external link)


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Phoenixkh
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Nov 06, 2013 12:03 |  #4

We use Amazon Prime for lots of things. In fact, just last night, I ordered my wife a chocolate tempering machine. It'll be here Friday.

It's easy and painless. The only thing that could change that is when Amazon is forced to collect sales tax here in Florida. I'm sure it's coming.


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uOpt
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Nov 06, 2013 12:07 |  #5

Amazon started charging MA sales tax Friday.

On the other hand, they have done a really good service item to me and I'll prefer to buy from them in the future.


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phantelope
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Nov 06, 2013 12:08 |  #6

I order most things from Amazon, even though they charge tax in CA now. Unless it's something very expensive, the quick 2 day shipping via Prime covers what ever crazy charge other retailers ask for expedited shipping. Customer service is outstanding, returns and exchanges super easy. I have yet to try selling things through them, might give that a go with my 60mm macro, which doesn't fit on my FF.


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HelenOster
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Nov 06, 2013 14:18 |  #7

rick_reno wrote in post #16429515 (external link)
I order from B&H (a little), Adorama (quite a bit, mostly because of Helen) and Amazon (a lot, over $20k a year in stuff mostly not related to photography). We have prime and usually get free shipping. I've found the customer service from Adorama to be excellent, B&H hit and miss and Amazon very good.

Awwwwww... thanks! :oops::D

Unfortunately, we can't even begin to think about competing with Amazon, which is the world's largest Internet retailer, with fulfilment centers in 12 US States, PLUS, 3 locations in Canada, 4 locations in Scotland, 5 in England, 3 in Wales, 5 in France, 4 in each of Germany and Japan, 3 in China, and 1 in each of Slovakia and Italy.

Adorama is a family business in NYC with a single distribution center in New Jersey.....


Amazon operations are subsidized by investors who care only about growth. Pay for things by selling stock and you can provide twice the service for half the price. I once read that if the market ever catches on Amazon would fold like a paper castle on a rainy day! As someone I admire professionally said recently: "Amazon can undersell and outmanoeuvre any local New York City electronic retailer"

I expect you saw these headlines over the past week?


http://www.nytimes.com …t-no-profit-in-sight.html (external link)

http://www.nytimes.com …-missing-is-a-profit.html (external link)


As a specialist photography business, many of our representatives are actually professional photographers as well as being experts in their field; we strive to offer far more than Amazon in terms of specialist customer support and product information, for example, Adorama TV and the Adorama Learning Center.

I have to wonder how it will be if Amazon gets to swallow up every other retailer - and then decides that it's time to start making a profit?



  
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Dj ­ R
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Nov 06, 2013 15:16 |  #8

Very well said Helen. And you're an awesome member of the community here.

But it's worth noting:

Amazon is just the "new monster".
There was a time when most consumers went to the Camera Shop around the corner.
Then the Al Gore went and created the internet ;)
The companies were already large, but the net brought Adorama and B&H to new heights.
When the companies started offering free shipping and folks realized they wouldn't have to pay tax, they became monsters.
Camera Shops closed everywhere. There are only a few left.

Now it's Amazon. It's amazing how things change. I sympathise for every retailer that has to fight vs. a Goliath. It's a terrible story.


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HelenOster
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Nov 06, 2013 16:02 |  #9

Dj R wrote in post #16430143 (external link)
Very well said Helen. And you're an awesome member of the community here.

Thanks!

Dj R wrote in post #16430143 (external link)
But it's worth noting:

Amazon is just the "new monster".
There was a time when most consumers went to the Camera Shop around the corner.
....the net brought Adorama and B&H to new heights.

Can't disagree - though the difference is that as a family business [which started like this: http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=1lDEqOFoIGQ] (external link) we don't have share holders who are in it for long term investment and are OK with waiting it out 'til the moment is right to start turning a profit...............

Dj R wrote in post #16430143 (external link)
When .....folks realized they wouldn't have to pay tax

Not sure how long that will last...

Dj R wrote in post #16430143 (external link)
Camera Shops closed everywhere. There are only a few left.

I know; I saw a friend's camera store, his life's passion, close 15 years ago. Not good.



  
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bps
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Nov 06, 2013 17:14 |  #10

I moved to California and thought I would stop using Amazon because they collect tax on all items sent to California, but that hasn't stopped me from using Amazon when the tax is not much or negligible. But for all camera-related purchases, I'm still 100% loyal to Adorama. They've earned my business!

Bryan


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jhartley
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Nov 07, 2013 08:10 |  #11

Helen hit the nail on the head with Amazon. I work for them and they are a giant machine, but I feel at some point in the future the government will step in and throw the Monopoly name around and make them the next AT&T. It has been said that Amazon's growth will surpass what UPS can handle to ship so Amazon has been looking into doing it's own shipping too. They started with Amazon Fresh which ships groceries to your door. I believe the Seattle area is the only place they are currently shipping to but that could be old news and they may of grown past that already. Even though I work for them and can get a small discount when it's "shipped and sold by Amazon" I will often support smaller companies like Adaroma if the price isn't too much more than what Amazon is selling it for since it's an overall better experience dealing with actual experts in what I am buying rather than a faceless nameless website.


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Nov 07, 2013 08:11 |  #12

bps wrote in post #16430443 (external link)
I moved to California and thought I would stop using Amazon because they collect tax on all items sent to California, but that hasn't stopped me from using Amazon when the tax is not much or negligible. But for all camera-related purchases, I'm still 100% loyal to Adorama. They've earned my business!

Bryan

That would be due to Amazon opening up a fulfillment center in California about a year ago.


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aquaforester
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Nov 07, 2013 08:28 |  #13

Bezos was very confident I guess when he named the business after the Amazon river. The largest river in the world by volume!


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Scatterbrained
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Nov 07, 2013 09:36 |  #14

HelenOster wrote in post #16429959 (external link)
Awwwwww... thanks! :oops::D

Unfortunately, we can't even begin to think about competing with Amazon, which is the world's largest Internet retailer, with fulfilment centers in 12 US States, PLUS, 3 locations in Canada, 4 locations in Scotland, 5 in England, 3 in Wales, 5 in France, 4 in each of Germany and Japan, 3 in China, and 1 in each of Slovakia and Italy.

Adorama is a family business in NYC with a single distribution center in New Jersey.....


Amazon operations are subsidized by investors who care only about growth. Pay for things by selling stock and you can provide twice the service for half the price. I once read that if the market ever catches on Amazon would fold like a paper castle on a rainy day! As someone I admire professionally said recently: "Amazon can undersell and outmanoeuvre any local New York City electronic retailer"

I expect you saw these headlines over the past week?


http://www.nytimes.com …t-no-profit-in-sight.html (external link)

http://www.nytimes.com …-missing-is-a-profit.html (external link)


As a specialist photography business, many of our representatives are actually professional photographers as well as being experts in their field; we strive to offer far more than Amazon in terms of specialist customer support and product information, for example, Adorama TV and the Adorama Learning Center.

I have to wonder how it will be if Amazon gets to swallow up every other retailer - and then decides that it's time to start making a profit?


I think there are things that the New York Times doesn't quite get, which wouldn't be a first. ;)

Right now everyone sees Amazon as strictly an online retailer. What they ignore is the amount of "third parties" (like Adorama) that sell via Amazon. Or the amount of companies who purchase online backup facilities and server space via Amazon. Or the amount of companies who host their websites via Amazon. Amazon is building infrastructure. They are trying to get as many people as possible to use their infrastructure to conduct business. Right now a business can host their website via Amazon; back up their systems via Amazon, sell their goods via Amazon, store their goods via Amazon, collect payments via Amazon, and have their shipping subsequently handled via Amazon.

Whether this is healthy or not remains to be seen, but right now one person can open a business and handle everything via Amazon without every leaving their home.


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HelenOster
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Nov 07, 2013 09:46 |  #15

Scatterbrained wrote in post #16431991 (external link)
Right now everyone sees Amazon as strictly an online retailer. What they ignore is the amount of "third parties" (like Adorama) that sell via Amazon.

And I get more emails than I can count from customers wanting to buy directly from Adorama, but at the prices Amazon posts our products at......

Plus countless complaints when the programmers at Amazon link to items on our website incorrectly; so the wrong items are shipped but we have to resolve the problems caused for our customers.



  
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