How much money should a camera retailer make?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Mred32, Sep 23, 2009.

?

Retail Camera Stores in Australia Should Expect To Make:

Poll closed Sep 30, 2009.
  1. 0 - 5%

    14 vote(s)
    12.8%
  2. 5 - 10%

    15 vote(s)
    13.8%
  3. 10 - 15%

    34 vote(s)
    31.2%
  4. 15 - 20%

    17 vote(s)
    15.6%
  5. 20 - 30%

    15 vote(s)
    13.8%
  6. 30 - 50%

    14 vote(s)
    12.8%
  1. Mred32

    Mred32 Old and Decrepit

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Messages:
    4,821
    Location:
    Perth, South of the River
    How much should a camera/photographic retailer add onto the cost price of a camera?
    Pretty simple question really but when you take into consideration things like:
    Level of service ...
    Staff knowledge ...
    Available stock on hand ...
    Warranty backup ...
    ... It all can get a bit thought provoking.

    Very cheap cameras (under $200) and very expensive cameras (over $3000) are a bit different, but in general, how much do you think a retailer with a bricks and mortar store, paying rent, wages, GST and tax ... should mark-up their cameras?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  2. berek

    berek Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,764
    Location:
    4305 Booshville
    Can't answer it. Depends on your costs to stay in business (overheads) and what else you sell. A 10% wholesale markup on a camera may still only give 1% profit taking into costs but might not matter if you're selling prints with 99c in the dollar profit and shift thousands.
     
  3. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,494
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I think you're asking the wrong question. The correct question is why should an informed customer pay a cent more than B&H prices (including GST + postage) to a local retailer? The warranty extortion is not good enough a reason, it only works for specific brand bodies. Also the "support the local market" means nada to me. Local art photographers sell their photos online to a global market, I dont see anyone doing them any favours because they're "Aussie"? Why should they give money for nothing to their local shop?

    In fact, to even match B&H prices, you'd have to earn it. Because B&H has never stuffed up or delayed any of my orders, or sent me a dysfunctional product, or lied about their stock availability, which is a lot more than I can say about many local retailers.

    The rant is only because you used the word "should". Also, check out what happened to me recently, and its not the first time: I ordered a camera from B&H which was marked as "back ordered, expecting stock in 7-14 business days". At the same time I ordered a soft release from a big shop in Sydney. Guess what arrived first. To give you a hint, it came from the other side of the planet.

    Having said all that, Vanbar in Melbourne are a pretty cool mob, they can mark up 15% :thumbup:
    The rest can keep making money from noobs and tourists.
     
  4. tHRiCe

    tHRiCe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,795
    ..........
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  5. doigal

    doigal Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,847
    Location:
    Linkoping, Sweden
    The correct answer to this isnt in a percentage, its a far more intangible "what they are worth". Regardless of the shop, if they'll give me what I want, no fuss, no BS, no running around, no stress, no hassles, GOOD COMMUNICATION, etc as well as friendly service (which really is covered by the previous statments) then I'm more than happy to support them at the cost of not getting rock bottom prices.

    Its when I pay premium prices for fleabay service then I get really shitty, and shops like that just dont get touched ever again, except to happily warn others to avoid like the plague.

    In short there will always be skinflints that want cheap cheap prices for delivery yesterday. The rest of us just want decent service and dont mind paying a reasonable premium for that peace of mind. Note the word reasonable there, because as we all know most aussie distributer prices arnt reasonable.
     
  6. tHRiCe

    tHRiCe Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,795
    ..........
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  7. doigal

    doigal Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,847
    Location:
    Linkoping, Sweden
    sorry, i dont think i put my point across here on that one very well. For a local B&M to survive in aus, considering they are already starting behind the ball on price compared to B+H and Adorama from their distro, is to offer something else - better service, reliability, good communication, etc etc etc. As Spyro pointed out, that doesn't usually happen. So to turn the question around slightly, if a different store offers you a product thats cheaper, quicker and easier then why wouldn't you go wouldnt you go there?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for supporting a good honest Aussie business when I can, and regularly do (there's probably two stores in melbourne i get my developing and supplies from and i dont bother with any one else anymore) and hence don't get the cheapest price all the time, but i'm not a mug and i'm not going to put aussie pride over a 40% discount by going OS.

    Surly the shops realise this and are putting pressure on the distro network and saying if you, the distributor, want to survive you have to do something about it???
     
  8. Kyl3

    Kyl3 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,035
    Location:
    The Hunter
    I clicked 15-20%
     
  9. Dark Orange

    Dark Orange Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,685
    And there is the variable.

    A net savvy and informed purchaser, someone who knows what they want and have weighed up all the warranty vs exchange rate issues will likely buy it from an online retailer.

    A customer without the means or desire to do the research will use a B&M retailer.

    Members of this forum would tend to be "informed and net savvy", the majority of the population would be the latter.

    Thrice, why would the retailer have an interest in preventing warranty work? Is it because they are out of pocket while the camera is being repaired?
     
  10. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,005
    Location:
    Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
    I think asking any consumer how much of the money they spend on any product should go to gross profit is like asking them if they want to have their nails pulled off with a pair of pliers.

    Consumer's naturally want the best deal they can get, and if they could get it at wholesale cost, or even just manufacture cost, they would.

    One of the biggest issues that camera stores here in Australia face is relatively small buying power & opportunity.

    Given that a store like B&H can effectively supply a population of over 8 million for just New York City, and a population of over 19 million for the state, the ratio of customer to sales is significantly higher than say Photo Continental being able to supply a sales service for Brisbane's meagre 1.9 million people.

    Then lets not forget that a lot of electronic goods in the United States are generally cheaper to start with (at least compared to Australian dollar equivalents).

    If Australia did ever have a camera super store the equivalent of B&H and could provide the same sort of prices as the US store & similar levels of service, I'd be buying there, not at Teds or P.C (though as it is, getting into more 'exotic' camera gear generally means the typical consumer stores can't supply your needs anyway).
     
  11. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,869
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I said 30-50%, but would have said more if the option had been there (70-100%)

    Seriously, by the time the add on staff wages, insurance, rent, power, etc etc it adds up fast.
    Do you guys think places like Harvey Norman are only marking their goods up by 10-15%???
     
  12. Smoke87

    Smoke87 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,196
    Sif buy camera gear from Australia rip off merchants in any case.
     
  13. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    9,461
    Location:
    Townsville
    I didn't vote, I think it's the wrong question.

    What I am prepared to pay, assuming it's proper Aus stock etc, is generally around 10-20% more than what I can get it for grey market, probably towards 20% more for higher cost items (due to risk).

    I'm interested in hearing what sort of markup IS applied in Aus (i.e. over the wholesale Canon Aus price, and so on). For example, what is the price Vanbar/Photo Continental/etc can get a Canon 70-200 F/4 for versus what a US store can get it for?
     
  14. akashra

    akashra Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2003
    Messages:
    3,733
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    Standard retail margain on pretty much everything in Australia is 40% - Camera accessories are much the same, though bodies can be slightly lower.

    Remember, out of that you have to pay business tax (30%), GST (10%), rent, advertising, staff salaries... there's not much left once you're finished.
     
  15. hippyhippy

    hippyhippy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    6,419
    Location:
    Sydney
    i would never pay > 30%, if i find something 30% less than the retailers price, theres no way im paying the retailer, i dont need the extra service the retailer provides. Im sorry but money is money, a dollar saved is a dollar earnt.
     
  16. ehor

    ehor Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,513
    Location:
    ftp://2114.syd.nsw.au
    You'll never beat B&H prices because of the sheer volume they purchase. They purchase more Canon gear than Canon Australia. :eek:
     
  17. MickybD

    MickybD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I was speaking with someone in the photography retail business about the issue of o/s competition and mentioned B&H, and he told me that B&H sells more Canon gear through their one store than the entire Australian market place combined. So, when you consider the buying power of Canon Australia from Canon Japan (or whoever is at the top of the Canon tree) compared with B&H, in theory the Australian distributor - which must then add its margin to sell to its distributor network - could not buy at prices as good as B&H. I believe it's an issue for the manufacturer and they should support the local distributor network, but the buying power of B&H must be immense. That makes it tough for Australian retailers.

    edit: beaten to the punch by ehor...
     
  18. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,494
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Yeah life is tough what can you do. Maybe we should start a charity to support the local shops.

    But before you shed too many tears for them, just think that there's always noobs, tourists, people with massive budgets who cbf ordering online, or even comparing prices, or too scared that their precious lens might be kicked around by UPS, or are simply too scared of warranty and customs issues. People ordering from O/S are really only a small minority.
     
  19. bubblegoose

    bubblegoose Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    4,509
    Location:
    Molesworth - Tasmania
    I really don't think you can just put a % margin on it, it all depends on stock levels, availability etc.

    But I think it is healthy for them to charge a bit extra due to after sale service and stuff like that. What really annoys me is when you get someone in a camera store who really doesn't know anything about the products they are selling, if I get one of these guys, I drive hard for a bargain. If I get a guy who is knowledgeable, I'll usually just ask for the best price, and just pay whatever he writes down haha

    I used to work for Sony a while back (retail), and so I sold a lot of products to a lot of people, on some items we would sell them maybe %0.5 on cost price (big expensive tv's) just so that we could beat people like Harvey Norman, and JB HIFI. Usually this was on models we had a lot of, were about to have a wholesale price drop, or were about to be replaced with a new model.

    Thinking back to my Home theater amplifier, I paid $550 for it (Sony STRDA5300ES) and we were selling them for $3500 on the floor...
    We just got a FANTASTIC buy price. Wholesale regular price was about 2 and a half grand.
     
  20. MickybD

    MickybD Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I was merely stating an opinion about their apparent circumstances - not seeking sympathy on their behalf.

    However, I believe it is an issue that needs to be addressed one way or another at some point in time (and I am not suggesting the retailers themselves do not have to carry their share of the burden), because at a broader level, if Australian retailers across all industries cannot compete and they therefore close, where will our kids find jobs when their time comes? Will they have to move to New York and work for B&H...?? ;)
     

Share This Page