Cutting The Pie

on July 27, 2016

Who gets the largest slice of the retail photographic pie? The retail shop? The wholesale agency? The manufacturer? I've asked and no-one will tell I've had to make my own observations at the trade shows. And I have come to the conclusion that, oddly enough, it is the paying customer.

The reasoning behind this is simple - the percentages that come back to the retail shop are small these days. The burgeoning internet trade plus the sense of nervousness that pervades the consumer base mean that there are very slim profit margins. These in turn also mean reduced earnings for wholesale firms. There are various finagles tried at times to increase these profits but they all work out about the same in the end. The camera maker has the most investment of all, and it doesn't even need a tsunami to devastate a plant - it can happen with a change of fashion in sensors or lenses.

But at the end of it all, the consumer gets an actual product - a thing to hold in the hand rather than just sit on a balance sheet. They get a camera and lens and get to use it every day. Their money might deflate as time goes on but the actual hardware stands a chance of keeping a decent utility for half a decade, if they let it. If it is Leica equipment it also stands a chance of going UP in price.

Does anyone else get some pie? The publishers of photo magazines? Probably not all that much these days. Schools and universities? Yes, some...

Governments? Well, there is the GST and other taxes to be considered, and if they bring in a GST on internet imports, well that will readjust the scales.

And then there is the overseas internet sale...For years I have been hearing how easy and convenient it is to purchase goods from New York. How they arrive in the twinkling of an eye and at a fraction of the cost and how the sellers reach out over the net and massage your feet and sing " Kumbaya" as they do it...

Watch this space. I was forced to order a material from New York that no-one, even us, wants to carry in Australia. I have been charged the price and assured that it is on the way, but my eyes have long since ceased to twinkle and my feet have been hurting for weeks now. We shall see if it is all true... I don't begrudge pie, but not in the face.

Note for Thursday - it did arrive yesterday...six weeks after placing the order...Hmmmmm...

Uncle Dick