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    What factors influence your decision on where to buy?
    #1
    Senior Member Jan_Crittenden's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    I was having a discussion with a colleague the other day about why people buy from one place over another place. Is it a decision that is always determined by price or are there other mitigating circumstances? Care to share your thoughts on the matter?

    Thanks for participating,

    Jan
    Jan Crittenden Livingston
    Panasonic System Communications Corporation
    Partner Sales Manager, NY and NJ


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    For me, it's price and reputation of the seller. That includes reliability, to some extend, customer service and shipping costs.
    David S.


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    For me it goes in this order:

    1) are they an authorized re-seller
    2) of those authorized sellers who has the best out the door price
    3) of those authorized sellers who have the lowest price- who has the best reliability


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    Senior Member Dave 's Avatar
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    Interesting and complex question. My straight-forward answer is, "It depends." It is definitely not as straight-forward as, whoever sells it at the lowest price wins my business.

    Price is certainly one of the main factors. As an example, I'd love to buy locally but if I can get the same thing online for 30% less money, I'll do it. However, I won't buy from buycheapcameragearhere.com (fictional, I think) just because their prices are lower.

    Performance history (earned trust) is critical. I tend to stick with what has worked for me in the past.

    Feedback from others is also important. Admittedly, my personal experience usually trumps feedback from others but their feedback definitely weighs in when I don't have the experience with a seller.

    Availability is obvious. The seller actually has to have the product.

    Convenience also plays a role. I find it to be more convenient to order something and have it shipped to my doorstep than to drive across town to the nearest local store.

    All that being said, here is my current order of preference in the film/video space:
    1. B&H
    2. Amazon
    3. DVXUser
    4. Other

    Great question. I can't wait to read through others' perspectives.


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    Convenience and competitive pricing have always been the killer combination for me. Which is why, up until recently, I always bought pretty much everything from B&H. Their website is unparalleled, you could shop pretty much 24 hours, they always have everything and at reasonable prices, and it's delivered within just a few days.

    However, recently Texas Media Systems has made an incredible push to earn my business. First, they're local, and all other things being equal, local is always better. Second, they're a fervent supporter of DVXUser, they're a sponsor (B&H isn't a sponsor) and besides helping support the site with sponsorship, they also have been introducing some killer "group buy" deals. And third, my state allows a sales tax exemption for professional production equipment, so that even eliminates any supposed sales tax savings from buying out of state.

    I think B&H is a great dealer, but I also think that we need local dealers and alternatives -- there must be competition, competition is healthy and it benefits us as end consumers. There are a lot of great dealers around the country, and several of them are DVXUser site sponsors. If folks can find a local dealer who will compete as effectively for their business as TMS is competing for mine, I highly recommend buying from that local dealer.


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    Senior Member Jan_Crittenden's Avatar
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    Excellent responses guys, keep it up. But let me throw in another question. Do you rely on your local reseller for demonstraions and or technical answers?
    Jan Crittenden Livingston
    Panasonic System Communications Corporation
    Partner Sales Manager, NY and NJ


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    That works in major markets, but is non existent in smaller ones.

    Technical answers seems to originate more here at dvxuser.com thanks to all the contributors.

    It would be great if Panasonic could provide targeted demonstration videos on line that are truly tutorial, and not marketing for those who cannot get local demos.
    Last edited by David Saraceno; 05-17-2012 at 11:48 AM.
    David S.


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    Senior Member Bern Caughey's Avatar
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    Whenever practical I buy locally from dealers I have relationships with. The added support derived is well worth it, & I'm usually offered the products at prices equal to, or less than, B&H's.


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    +1 to all of David's comments. He lives in a smaller market like myself where there are few or no pro-equipment dealers.

    Recently, a Panasonic rep called me and was wondering if I would like to set up a demo with a local dealer. Uh? I live in rural Washington State. The closest dealer is over a hundred miles away in Seattle, which for real dealer support, might as well be a thousand. I have used a few different camera dealers and my preference would be for the dealer to also be an authorized service center, so that is a strong consideration for a camera purchase even if it is across the country. Despite this preference, I have ended up using BH mostly since they are just so good at the web store process. BH pretty much sucks for handholding and product advice, and I never expect that from them. I do my research elsewhere. The things I like about the BH webstore include: selection and inventory, excellent website interface, competitive pricing, EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION on my order for shipping and tracking, and especially shipping choices and shipping prices. When I have had issues, their "problem solver" people have always come through quickly with no hassle. For example, I purchased a 5d a few years ago which was DOA. No problem, as fast as could be done, I had a new camera. They even paid for accelerated shipping. They helped me with one of the glacial Panasonic rebate programs. If I have a gripe, I have Henry Posner's email, and he responds whenever I contact him with a suggestion.

    As much as I would prefer to buy local, I refuse to punish myself, waste time or incur higher costs to go out of my way to buy local when that local service might not be as good as what I receive from an internet retailer. I must mention here the dreadful experiences I have had using Amazon. If you purchase directly from Amazon, that works OK, but if you purchase from one of Amazons authorized resellers, beware that Amazon has very poor support for such transactions. Recently, I purchased a case from a Amazon reseller and they shipped me the wrong product. It took well over a month to get a resolution and refund, and Amazon was ZERO help, and I do mean ZERO. Remember when you click on a Amazon reseller, you are not dealing with Amazon in any way, and they want nothing to do with the purchase except to skim a commission off the top.

    Grant

    edit: Intersting the Bern comments about local dealers, but note that he lives in LA where much of the industry is located.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    However, recently Texas Media Systems has made an incredible push to earn my business. First, they're local, and all other things being equal, local is always better. Second, they're a fervent supporter of DVXUser, they're a sponsor (B&H isn't a sponsor) and besides helping support the site with sponsorship, they also have been introducing some killer "group buy" deals. And third, my state allows a sales tax exemption for professional production equipment, so that even eliminates any supposed sales tax savings from buying out of state.
    I bought my HPX-170 from them and have pretty much been a loyal customer since September of 2009. If I didn't purchase from TMS, it was because they simply didn't carry it. They've started carrying Redrock Micro gear recently and I finally got my Follow Focus Blue from them as well.


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