Well, THAT Was Interesting...The New Online Shell Game

on December 10, 2017
If you ever want to know whether something is legit in an overall sense, you should look at the things about it that you know personally - and judge the remainder accordingly. Not saying that this is strictly scientific, but you stand a better chance of getting to the bottom of something if you work with tools you know. Case in point - have you ever seen something happen that was considered news-worthy, watched the news-gathering people at work, and then read the final report? Was the report as you saw the event? Was it true? Did something get added or taken away? Was there room for genuine error? If there was, will it ever be corrected? Okay - You'll have noticed that a big US-based mail order firm has just opened a website here in Australia to sell you everything from cosmetics to books to electronic gear. There was a big brouhaha on the news. Part of the fuss was the fear that it would destroy smaller Australian retailers. You'll also have noticed in the last few years that a large New York-based photographic store offers world-wide delivery from a really big catalogue of goods - and that lots of people think of resorting to it instead of ordering things from Australian shops. In both of these cases there is the assumption that the online sellers have better prices. I decided to test this just now. It's a simple exercise you can do yourself with internet access. Compare the photo retail giant in New York and the international mail-order giant to the prices you get at Stirling Street or Murray Street. I chose a piece of equipment I already own...a lens that I use for street shooting and some tabletop photos - the lovely little Fujifim 27mm f:2.8 pancake lens. A sleeper of a lens that deserves to be in every Fujifilm shooter's bag. a. Okay, Big New York Firm can send you one via DHL in 7-10 days on a credit card transaction. You'll pay them $ 419 US - and that works out to $ 557 in Australian dollars. Good lens, let's hope it arrives safely - DHL are a good carrier but it is the holiday season... b. Big Mail Order Firm deals directly in Australian dollars and will charge you $ 528 AUD for that same lens. Are they an Authorised Fujifilm Dealer, though? Because that does make a difference this month. c. Camera Electronic will charge $ 305 AUD for the lens. Plus, as it is sold correctly through an Authorised Fujifilm Dealer, the lens is eligible for a cashback from Fujifilm Australia of $ 75 until the first week of January 2018. That's a lot of money saved in your pocket. You get a full 2-year manufacturer's warranty, you get the lens right now, and you get to talk to the staff here at Camera Electronic and test it out on your Fujifilm X camera body in-store. I know about this because I use one. I suspect that it will also be the same with cameras, lenses, lights, and devices from other makers. You can explore the possibilities yourself with an hour on the internet but do so with an open mind - you'll be pleasantly surprised at how competitive Camera Electronics can be with the prices. Note: I also tested out the theory with the purchase of a new Dodge model car for my collection by monitoring eBay.com and Bongo's Basement in New South Wales. Same delivery time, same model. eBay.com $ 108 AUD Bongo's Basement $ 69.80 AUD And don't be anxious - if you read this column regularly you will see that Dodge. The point of the whole exercise is to tell you that your local retailer of camera goods - us - is pretty good value for money. Combine our prices with the various manufacturer's incentives and you can be way ahead of the international on-line order game. Of course, we also have on-line ordering and that means that even if you never get to see us here in our two stores, you can still benefit.