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What factors influence your decision on where to buy?

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    Originally posted by Jan_Crittenden View Post
    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?
    Im in a slightly different market Jan. But that point is very important to me - to an extent. Insofar as the local dealer who does the demo, lets you get the hands on, are good guys with good service. However on a recent purchase, they were $2k higher on a quote. I ended up going with an out of state company who also offer great service, are authorised for this particular gear, charged me 0 shipping and as I said didnt immediately go the eye gouge on price.

    In Aus its most likely a little bit different from the US. Smaller market. Less resellers. In the past the delivered product has been a bit higher here from the manufacturer - however just as an example with the AF100, people like Rob Myers did a lot to ensure we are on par pricing - so when I know someone like Rob is doing that, and then one reseller charges you a huge mark up for unknown reasons (common here) you avoid them. This is the factor thats a little different from the US.
    w: Noel Evans TV

    p: +61 (0) 408 455 374



      Sorry I missed meeting you at NAB and I hope all is well with you! At Barbizon, we constantly hear that our customers appreciate having a brick-and-mortar option within their market. We often have the best prices (below MAP on a quote-by-quote basis, of course) on the best lines that they're looking for. That said, we treat our margins as if we want to remain in the brick-and-mortar business.

      In many markets, regional distributors represent the only chance for customers to put their hands on real, production models before they make their purchase decision. With electronics, unless you've already seen it in-person at a trade show or in another store, I don't know how people could function other than to put a given device through its paces.

      I know how I feel about WH Platts and SpecComm. They get it. They understand users at the entry-level side of the market as well as the enterprise-level. Barbizon functions in the same way. Free demos of the latest equipment - often in a customer's own space or on a paying job - is one thing that sets vendors like them apart.

      We do get customers who make their purchase decisions based solely on price - and sometimes we cannot compete with a web box store who purchases umpteen units on pre-order or on blind speculation. That's tough, but it is a continuing issue. Also, for Panasonic, I would just say, "Please continue to enforce your aggressive MAP!" Camera manufacturers seem better at this than other market segments, but I think they put more value on keeping some value attached to their products than many others. And that's unfortunate, because that end of the market can drag everything down with it and then we're all buying crappy hardware at places like Lowes and Home Depot.
      Erik Olson


        It depends upon what type of equipment. I don't buy locally, I buy from the most knowledgeable reseller, which I believe to be Abel Cinetech in the digital cine arena. But, they might not be as strong in the live switched, multi-cam area of production.

        If it's an accessory I need fast, and want to order after hours, the online stores are good(B&H, Adorama, Full Compass) and they can certainly provide some phone support during business hours, but their depth of knowledge is unlikely to be that of a high end reseller and rental house like Abel Cinetech or Band Pro Digital(the latter is not a Panasonic reseller or a rental house).

        There are some resellers that seem to have a lot of in-stock inventory and B-stock gear, such as Omega Broadcast in Austin, so they are a good resource for me.

        When a reseller asks for a large deposit on gear that isn't going to deliver for months, I go elsewhere. Since so much of this gear has a minimum selling price, sales consulting and service support are the differentiators at this point. I also find the video blogs, training seminars to be useful, although it's hard for me to attend the latter too often, being in SF and those happening in Burbank. I did go to Varicamp in '09 and found it to be worthwhile.

        As for sales tax, we file an annual use tax return for all gear bought out of state, so no advantage there over California resellers.
        Jeff Regan

        New: Sony PMW-F55, Canon C300 PL, Canon CN-E 30-105mm, 14, 24, 35, 50, 85, 135mm w/PL-mount, AllStar 80-200mm, GL 11-16mm, 18-35 Cine lenses.

        Panasonic HPX255/250 P2,
        Sony EX1, HSC-300/HXC-100 cameras, Arri, Chrosziel, Elements, Sachtler, Zacuto support, FSI, Leader, Panasonic, TV Logic HD LCD monitors, MYT Works 4' slider, Arri, LTM Pepper, Chimera, Kino Flo, F&V lighting. HD Fly Pack with Panasonic HS410 switcher.


          I live on a BC island where trotting off to the nearest reseller means two ferries and a half day each way. So like other ruralites I undertake my product research and purchase online. Rigorous research is an imperative when replacement turnaround can easily take a couple of weeks. Prices from Canadian suppliers are more often than not considerably higher than from US sites so I mostly use Adorama or B and H. I've also bought from Shoot 35, Jag35, China and Westside AV. Westside were stellar, as was Shoot. Jag are good but delivery was slow (11 days). Adorama are fast at processing and shipping and have great prices. China had my order to me in two days for a price that wouldn't have covered the cost of postage here. I use Amazon for small purchases but previous experience has caused me to distrust them for anything remotely expensive. Their service sucks big time if there are problems.
          Last edited by Inveresk; 05-17-2012, 06:15 PM.


            I also have had excellent service from Texas Media Systems. Just bought an AF100 from them, and Terry really helped with a great price and fast, free shipping.
            "If they move, kill'em!"


              A big purchase like a camera usually goes to B&H. Most other things come from Amazon (Prime for speed). If I really need to touch what I'm buying, I'll go up to Austin as there is nothing here in San Antonio.

              I don't know anyone who has ever been screwed, or had an unsatisfactory experience w/ B&H. I also have nothing but good things to say about amazon.

              I sure do wish I had somewhere to go locally.


                Not paying California sales tax :-)

                We're pretty evenly split between Beards and Hats and Texas Media (Leroy is a good guy).

                When we know exactly what we want, it's hard to be B&H .. when we're not sure, we lean on
                the guys at TMS.



                  My perspective is from someone outside of the US, in a place with very limited access to professional gear due to the apparent limited size of the market.

                  As you guys may or may not know, I'm based in Macau, and here, getting to know your professional equipment means only 3 options: going to Hong-Kong, which means about 1 hour of boat ride to it and other immigration hassles, or Mainland China, which normally means Guanghzou or Shanghai, either a 2 hour car ride with immigration hassles or a 3 hour flight with heavy air ticket expenses (costs less to fly to Tokyo from here, in fact!), or order and learn about gear through the internet.

                  I have to say this site, dvxuser, as well as other sites such as dvinfo, creativecow and reduser have helped me immensely in my knowledge and learning of production gear and solutions. It was also through these sites that i learned about B&H and Texas Media Systems, Abel Cine and the others either through sponsoring our through word of mouth. I have been able to order things I wouldn't or couldn't if it wasn't for these sites. This is probably one of the things I like most about our new, globalized world, and is this free flow of information. It was through here that I learned and jumped on the 35mm adapter bandwagon for example (with a brevis), which made me make some breakthroughs in my career. And of course, now, I purchased a red camera, which the whole ordering process and support just feels great for me because I feel I'm getting top service and information directly from the source.

                  A big company like Panasonic is divided by market and different companies manage the Panasonic brand and divisions throughout the World. I think Panasonic USA are probably the ones working more closely with Panasonic Japan, so you guys are lucky! I think a more global approach for the era of globalization and free flow of information can be thought out by you guys: Like Barry suggested, online Demos and training videos, as well as some raw footages, enquiries, interactive discussions, developer Q and A days could be a very welcome addition to your communication and development process. The pricing should be discussed in a global perspective, because in this day of free flow of information, it gets really annoying to see such big price variations between countries for the same products. We do know about different taxes, but we also know some of the pricing variations, like the usual Euro "round up" to the dollar are, well, not justifiable. here in hong-kong it doesn't justify to have a higher price than the US since there are no import taxes whatsoever- but they usually are and you need to bargain- which is something I hate to do- just to get close to the us price.

                  And now, back to the basic original question: For me, while price is of course important, if it stays close to the best legitimate price on the market, but provides reliable service and excellent costumer support, I will not mind for a slightly more expensive (100 to 150 USD) more expensive price tag on my camera purchase. But service and support needs to be top notch!
                  Last edited by SPZ; 05-17-2012, 07:49 PM.
                  SÚrgio Perez
                  Macanese Director


                    Big ticket items I always by local and when it comes to cameras, the dealers here in Canada never know more than I do about the product, so I don't ask. Everything else I buy from B+H. They have cheaper shipping than anything within Canada. I don't know how they do it.


                      Price is top priority for me, all my cams came from eBay

                      HVX200 New- Asian import - no issues
                      HPX170 Used - UK seller/pick up in person - user 1 button didn't function but warranty was still active and it was fixed by Panasonic
                      AF101 Used - German seller - no issues

                      Maybe I've been lucky cos I know not everyone has had a smooth ride using eBay
                      EVA1, AF101, AC161, GH4


                        Cameras, I've always bought locally (even though it's more expensive) so there is some form of back up if there is a problem (only had a issue once but being given a replacement so I could continue working while it was sorted was great)

                        Most of my support/accessories I buy from overseas for about half of the local price - not good for my local reseller I know but the difference is hard to argue with.
                        Rohan Dadswell
                        Freelance Lighting Cameraman -
                        Blackmagic Production Cam & Blackmagic Pocket Cam
                        JVC LS-300, 2 x Sony PMW-350, 2 x NanoFlash, Sony X70, Pana GH2,3 & 4, Gopro
                        Shed full of lights, dollies, jibs, gimbal & other toys



                          I could not find a local dealer in my section of South Carolina. I am not even sure there is one in Charlotte, at least I did not find anything advertised. I like a competitive price as well as availability. I have used B&H in the past, and they have been easy to work with. What would be nice is a dealer directory on the Panasonic website. If there is one, I could not find it.



                            I bought the DVC30 and HPX170 from B&H based of price and reputation of the seller. I bought Panasonic because of the extended warranty period and product recommendations of others. As far as Panasonic as a company I think they have a lot of improvement to do concerning communication during warranty service. I have communicated my concerns about this to them several times but never heard anything back. This one issue would most probably be a consideration in my next camera purchase.
                            Last edited by Mark Williams; 05-19-2012, 12:44 PM.


                            GH5, Panasonic 12-60, 14-45, 45-175, Olympus 60 macro, 75-300, Benro S6 Tripod, Rhino Carbon 24" Slider, and Edius 8.5 WG.
                            Video channel:
                            Stock Video:


                              Originally posted by David Saraceno View Post
                              For me, it's price and reputation of the seller. That includes reliability, to some extend, customer service and shipping costs.
                              same here, if they have a reasonable return policy, it makes a big difference. It's piece of mind knowing that if you were to recieve a bad product they will do whatever they need to do to make you a happy satisfied consumer. Many places fall short when it comes to customer satisfaction. So as David stated, price and reputation, customer service (but that comes with having a good rep.)


                                Bought from our local cine-rental house here in Frankfurt/Germany. Not cheap - but they have excellent service and are extremely helpful when things do not go as expected. And I can get me a backup there if things go really bad. To have the surrounding infrastructure was the decisive point.

                                Should any of you ever shoot in Frankfurt, Hamburg or Berlin - I do recommend them.