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Thread: Quality Camera Sales Australia is closing down

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    Quality Camera Sales Australia is closing down

    I just headed over to one of my older suppliers, Quality Camera Sales Australia, and to my shock, discovered it is closing down.

    For those who aren't familiar with Quality Camera, it is a Mandurah, WA-based parallel importer which specialises in Canon gear, and has been operating since 2003-2004

    While its prices were not as low as some other parallel importers, its service level is excellent, and having bought a few big-ticket items from there in the mid-2000s, I can attest to the excellent service.

    It's a real downer to hear that it's closing down, as it's one of the pinoeers of online camera sales in Australia. Unfortunately there's no information on why it's closing down.

    Just thought I'd mention this, as there might be a few people here who have been customers over the years.
    Last edited by Xenedis; 28-11-2012 at 5:01pm.

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    Thats a bummer,

    I remembered a few years ago the boss had offered to drive to Perth CBD from Mandurah after work to give me some CF cards I had needed for a shoot, and some other accessories too. I had to decline as I felt really bad for making him drive all that way. So definitely excellent customer service there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    I remembered a few years ago the boss had offered to drive to Perth CBD from Mandurah after work to give me some CF cards I had needed for a shoot, and some other accessories too. I had to decline as I felt really bad for making him drive all that way. So definitely excellent customer service there.
    Yeah, Stu sure was good in the customer service game.

    I bought my 135/2L from him. I discovered an optical defect with the unit I received, and after I reported it, he shipped another one with a pre-paid consignment satchel for me to return the original lens.

    I don't know how many suppliers would do that.

    It's a real shame to see him bowing out of the market.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I reckon we are going to see this more and more over the next 12-18 months. Many businesses are only just keeping profitable and people are spending less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    I reckon we are going to see this more and more over the next 12-18 months. Many businesses are only just keeping profitable and people are spending less.
    I was wondering if the closure of the business related to shrinking margins.

    I was really quite surprised to see the prices of lenses on offer from another supplier today; they've really fallen considerably, and given it's been over four years since I last bought a lens, I'm probably out of the loop on current market values.

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    Dang! For accessories Stu was good value
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    Such is life. I've bought a few things from there over the years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    I was wondering if the closure of the business related to shrinking margins.

    I was really quite surprised to see the prices of lenses on offer from another supplier today; they've really fallen considerably, and given it's been over four years since I last bought a lens, I'm probably out of the loop on current market values.
    Xenidis , i wander if it would be due to online prices versus local pricing?? for shrinking margins??.
    I know i always give my local supplier first chop at selling me what i'm after and stress the duifferenc ein price and if they couldnt sort of meet me halfeway so i can leave my $$ locally and most times its been "Go buy it online" and in all honesty it does hurt.. Not the pocket mindyou but just that knowing businus etc its a shame that sometimes the $$ does go offshore..
    I do also know what it means towards the Aussie economy and employment but the varying prices are sometimes HUGE!!!...
    Dony know the answer either..
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    are you serious? Shelley's Avatar
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    I bought a bit from Stu and went to his home to get my gear. He had a big sale this weekend - he has a lot of gear. Sadly it's not by choice but lack sales. It's very competitive online and he bought in Australia not grey imports. Such a shame as he lent me lenses and really did provide good customer service.
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I think we are to blame as much as anything. It is quite normal to hear people rave against local dealers for not giving the prices we can get from overseas dealers. Some defend them to a degree, but we all tend to buy at the lowest price I can't see many high end camera stores surviving. Sad, but its hard to see an answer for it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    I bought a bit from Stu and went to his home to get my gear. He had a big sale this weekend - he has a lot of gear. Sadly it's not by choice but lack sales. It's very competitive online and he bought in Australia not grey imports. Such a shame as he lent me lenses and really did provide good customer service.
    He also stopped advertising online 2-3 years ago now, he used to be an AP advertiser, but then stopped. He also stopped advertising on a couple of the other photography forums as well. Now this is fine if your market know you exist, but a lot of people come in and out of photography over the years and anyone who has done so in the last 2-3 years would probably not have heard of Quality Camera Sales, unless someone else told them about it. Any business needs to have its name out there, attracting the customers.

    I also used to get a regular email from Stu, that listed what new products he had/was getting in, and announcements on the occasional sale etc. but they stopped a couple of years ago as well. This was to me as a customer, not as AP owner, as the email they came to was my personal one that I had used for orders, not my AP one.

    My post is not to 'have a go' at Stu, but rather to point out that there are a lot of online stores and to attract customers, any store needs to keep their name in the minds of their market. After all, if people see an advertisement every day for a company, and do not even know another company exists, who are they going to purchase from? It is a competitive market segment and those that do well are those that are either local to the consumer (bricks and mortar), and thus handy to go to, or have an online presence that includes marketing. People need to know you exist, before they will search you out and buy from you.

    I have purchased off Stu several times over the years, and his prices were very competitive, his service levels very high (delivery was fast).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Axford View Post
    ...... Sad, but its hard to see an answer for it
    The answer is actually super easy!! ... but unfortunately not the one that the majority of Aussies want to deal with.

    That is, our currency must come back down to more sustainable levels, approx US0.80c or thereabouts .. otherwise the future for local retailers is only going to get darker as the years go if currency remains at parity.

    I still buy local as much as I can, and where I can! ... even if it costs me a few hundred dollars more on a single item, as was the case with my last major camera purchase.
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    I can't see that changing a currencies value is super easy, Arthur. Anyway, what difference would it make? Retailers buy in the same currency that they sell in. When the $a was buying US$0.60 we still had the same problem.

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    Simple really, places like DWI, EGlobal et al all pay wages that would be far less than any wages paid to sales/support staff here, they probably rent space at a cheaper rate, and they have buying power, better relationships and in recent years have all setup very comprehensive web stores, that make buying simple, and they secure reliable, fast, cheap delivery services to get their offshore market goods to us here. They require smaller margins and rely on reach and volume, where a place like QCS would only be selling to the AUS or NZ market, the grey offshore resellers will also have clients in other countries as well as their own.

    Whilst the USD remains suppressed and the AUD flies high, we will see this more and more because we get more for our $$ than ever before overseas, and I think many of the products we are buying are often traded in USD from manufacturer/distributor to retailer.

    When the thieving local distributors have no retailers here to sell their stocks to, and the greedy retailers no longer exist to rob the customer, perhaps they will all take a long hard look at how the market has changed, and realise the error of their ways.

    When there is no advantage to paying more locally, I will always shop wherever I get the best deal.

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    huh! I actually bought some Pec Pads off of Stu just a couple of weeks ago!

    He was very helpful and although he was a little more expensive then say ebay, it was delivered from WA in 2 days. I'm pretty sure he didn't even charge me freight! (I do need to check my credit card statement for that now)
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