Let the buyer beware.
If you ever wanted evidence that the consumer ( at least here in New Zealand) is being thoroughly ripped off for camera equipment just have a look at the pricing from various companies.
And its no just companies, a quick stroll through the listings on Trade Me will show that individuals also think their camera gear is worth more than a new unit.
I recall at least two N.Z. retailers, online only mind you, that had a launch price of $598NZD for the HS30, which impressed me at the time as my HS20 at launch was averaging $799NZD, but I was able to secure one for $603.00NZD by ordering from an online company ( since gone bust ) and waiting a week for it to arrive, which as an online order isn’t too long a wait.
As the old telecom add said ” let your fingers do the walking”, and so this morning I did. I was curious to see what the prices would be like given that the new stock should arrive in a month or two. Imagine my surprise when I see almost every listing for the HS30 above the original launch price. Now I know that folks have to make a living and need some markup on their goods, but this range of prices, which is by no means the total number of retailers here in N.Z. is nothing short of amazing. Not only is the cost of the camera not coming down prior to the launch of the HS50 but they have shot up.
At $875NZD for an HS30, this is a total ripoff and spells out only one thing. GREED!!
Unequivocal avarice and a willingness to dupe customers and the unwary. Do these retailers not understand that any consumer can do what I did this morning. Jump on the internet, bring up a listing from PriceSpy and see instantly where they can get the best buy?
Of the list of retailers, there are 6 that are under the $600.00 mark the rest are over, that’s 80% of the listed retailers all charging small to excessive markup on an outdated camera.
And it gets worse – There is a listing for an HS10, currently showing as in stock for $988.00NZD !! This is a three year old camera, no one but an idiot is going to pay this price for an HS10, even if you broke yours and wanted a replacement, why would you pay this sort of money when the HS50 is likely to launch around the $800NZD mark, which I might add is borderline excessive as well.
The XS1 can now be bought for $850.00NZD which is about what its original launch price should have been, not the $1150.00 to $1250.00 price tag that was common for the first 6 months or so after launch.
And the price gouging doesn’t stop there with Fuji cameras either. Looking at my favourite DSLR’s, Pentax cameras, its just as bad. As of today a Pentax Kx with the standard 18-55 lens will set you back $1045.00. You could buy the body only, if like me you already have a shelf full of Pentax SLR lenses for $970.00NZD , or you could buy the brand new Pentax K30 body for $1090.00NZD and use your lenses on a camera that’s at least 4 to 5 years younger and with considerably better quality and performance.
The conclusion(s) that one can draw from this are that you should:
- Do your homework and decide what you want to buy.
- Shop around at local dealers
- Check online pricing
- Check overseas prices, with a good exchange rate this could be a very good alternative
- Be prepared to haggle with local dealers, show them the online prices and ask them to match it.
- Decide how much you are willing to pay and target buy accordingly.
Remember, retailers are not interested in doing you any favors, if they can they will extract the maximum dollar value they can get from you the consumer. A good many of them think the the average punter is happy to pay ridiculous prices, and often times they are right, as the unsuspecting often fall prey to this type of consumerism.
Is it legal, yes it is. Is it moral? In a great many cases I would suggest that its dubious at best. As in all things, when planning a purchase of new technology, be it a camera or PC or TV, do your homework first. Buy from a position of knowledge as this allows you to cut through a lot of the advertising blurb and the sales spiel you encounter instore.
Goodluck with your new purchases, whatever they may be.