Friday, March 19, 2010

Samy's Camera in California not all that bad after all!

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Above is Samy's main store in Los Angeles.
Above is the Samy's store in Pasadena, California
Now...this sales rep and camera expert is Timothy Stallard and he came to California after working in England and was soon going to move to Florida. His accent seemed more like Australian as he said" Good day Mate".

Hi Pentaxian friends.

I didn't want to talk about it, but I had my camera bag, with equipment, disappear the weekend of PMA 2010. In fact, I never made it to the PMA as I was so bummed out. Litle by little, I am replacing what was in it. It might take me a year or more.

A few weeks ago I needed to get a new camera bag to replace the stolen one. I drove to Pasadena to see what Samy's had to offer and to check prices. I went to the store knowing that my first and last experience with Samy's had not been a good one. The last time, the sales person was rude and would only entertain conversations about Canon and Nikon. Needless to say, I didn't purchase anything and swore never to come back.

My experience was completely different this time around. Timothy was very friendly, and gave me all the attention I needed. We looked at several camera bags and he even walked next door to the warehouse to get a model that was not in the store. I wanted a bag that could carry a laptop plus one body, four lenses, flash and other equipment. I purchased the Tamrac 3385. He gave me the same price as B&H Photo mail order price, actually $10.00 less.


We then talked about Pentax. His experience has been mostly with Pentax U.K. He said that the store  he used to worked at had Pentax Reps coming to the store all the time. They would bring them out to lunch, and had all kind of perks for store sales people. Pentax would demonstrate all the new equipment and made sure all sales people were knowledgeable. He said that once Pentax stopped all of that and got rid of most of their sales reps, he and the other sales people gradually stopped pushing Pentax.

I suppose that other brands are still having sales reps. I also understand that Nikon and Canon have an enormous line of credit which allows stores to have bigger inventories on their shelves. On the flip side, when Ritz Camera went bankrupt, Nikon and Canon lost a lot of money because of that.In the world we live in, if your business is not part of the internet, you're not in business. We have seen so many brick & mortar stores going out of business these past few years. Unless they have a strong presence on the internet, camera stores are doomed. Most people go to camera stores to try the equipment but turn around and purchase the equipment on the internet. I think Pentax is doing the right thing and eventually all vendors, and buyers will deal through the internet only.

As for Samy's, they have a  presence on the internet, but they need more sales people like Timothy if they are going to stick to brick and mortar stores and succeed. Timothy took the time to show me the camera bags, and in turn I purchased it that day instead of ordering it on the internet. Keep up the good work Timothy and good luck.

Email Samy's and let them know about Timothy. pasadena@samys.com
Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

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