Glen Barrington wrote:
I just read a thread that mentioned one of the US's major internet based photo equipment retailers, and I realized that I had never heard of any competitors from Europe, or Asia, or S. America.
Do such competitors exist? Or does some other factor somehow cause them to get filtered out of our collective consciousness?
Lots of good internet photo gear shops here in the Netherlands. A fair few work on the basis that if in-stock items are ordered before 10 pm, they will be delivered the following day.
If anything, I would say that there isn't the kind of domination by a few big internet traders that appears to be the case in the US. There are good internet sites that allow you to find the cheapest offer (including the shipping costs, if any), see what the stock status is (in stock, low stock, and if out of stock what the wait is in a number of categories), and see (reliable) buyer ratings of the store (plus reviews of the item, etc, etc). For example, this is the one that I use:
For most items, US internet stores are irrelevant to those in Europe: postage is slo-o-o-ow from the US (compared to similar distances in the old world), items may be hit with (substantial) import duty, and (not sure if this is still true) restrictive trading practices mean that many items cannot be shipped to Europe. Nevertheless, we still somehow manage to survive on this side of the pond