B&H: Lessons Learned

Started Mar 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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p ward Junior Member • Posts: 48
B&H: Lessons Learned

First let me say I have been a dedicated customer for many, many years and plan to continue buying from B&H in the future. However, I think we have all learned a few things during this odyssey with the D800. I’m one of those people who pre-ordered with B&H in those first moments it went live on the B&H website, (my confirmation email was 2/6/12 @ 9 pm PST) and I still have no clue when my camera will come. And, yes, I am very frustrated, because if I had pre-ordered from nearly any other company at such an early date, I would already have a camera in my hand. Heck I could have ordered last week from some electronics companies and had one by now. Unfortunately I have a trip planned to the Sierras over Easter and would have loved to put the D800 to the test up there but that probably won’t happen. Meanwhile, I have been following the threads on this site and others trying to piece together a picture of what happened and where I went wrong. Here are some of my observations:

1. The D800 captured the imagination of a lot of people around the world and demand exceeded anyone’s expectations.

2.Lots of people thought like I did—the moment the D800 becomes available for preorder, order it from one of America’s largest and most trusted camera stores. After all, they get a good supply of just about everything, don’t they?

3. Everyone who pre-ordered (non NPS members) through B&H is now frustrated.

4. Nikon USA may have imposed an embargo on web giants B&H and Adorama. Henry Posner has said that they received two small shipments and delivered them to customers, yet CS agents have given contrary information. Perhaps a difference between in-store customers vs. web orders here? Or else the shipments were too small to be significant? How else do you reconcile that there has been no evidence on this site of any non-NPS customers receiving notice of shipment of a web order until yesterday, exactly one week after introduction? Same case for Adorama. Nikonrumors reported yesterday that both companies were finally starting to ship web orders. The logical conclusion is that both companies were not able to fulfill any web orders until yesterday. It maybe just a supply issue, but the coincidences indicate otherwise.

5. If my speculation of an embargo by Nikon is correct, then Nikon USA is to blame, not B&H. And it’s not really fair to B&H and their customers. I understand Nikon wanting to give a little boost to the smaller camera stores around the country who probably complain endlessly about having to compete with B&H’s low prices and no sales tax policy. But, monster web seller Amazon was able to fulfill orders from day one. And now electronics companies and big box stores are delivering cameras sooner than B&H. The D800 is a pro-level camera not a commodity. Shouldn’t the top camera stores and their customers get some priority?

6. Unless Nikon USA changes its policies on distribution, B&H will continue to be the wrong place to order the next hot, cutting edge Nikon product. This year we will likely finally see a D300s replacement and there is a lot of pent up demand for that camera as well. Unfortunately for B&H, those customers who want it ASAP will be better off pre-ordering elsewhere.

7. Finally, rumors can run rampant on a board like this, such as B&H has lost its authorized dealer status or is being punished by Nikon. Or that no cameras will be available from B&H until the end of May. I appreciate the fact that HenryP takes the time to come on here and quell them. I’m still frustrated that I have no idea when I will get a camera, but I am heartened by the fact that some customers are now receiving them.

Nikon D300S Nikon D800
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