Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Myth Of "Great Deals"

One of my friends, along with many many others this holiday season, has engaged me at great length in conversations about cameras, asking my advice, only to turn around and make a purchase somewhere else. I needled him about this, I thought rather justifiably; I'm spending all this time advising you on cameras, and I know you're going to come to me with it later asking more about how to use it, so why don't you buy it from me?
And this person said, and I quote, "Small shops can't compete with online prices."

Needless to say, this isn't a friend I'm speaking to currently (let him figure out how to use his camera on his own first, then we can make up), but if someone who I considered a friend felt able to say this to me, then the rest of you (most of whom don't know me; hi, I'm Bridget, I work at Store 406 on Transit Rd) are all thinking it. Customers coming into the store have said things like "I'd rather spend a little extra and know I can get the camera looked at if I have questions!"

But it's not true. We sell online. We sell online competitively. Most of our prices are the minimum advertised price set by the manufacturer and adhered to by every one of their licensed dealers. Yes, that means Best Buy. Yes, that means Wal-Mart. Yes, that means Amazon. (We sell on Amazon. The link's to the right of this page.)

The camera he bought, we had for $50 cheaper, in store, no shipping. We also had a better deal on a memory card to go with it.

So our prices aren't any higher. Where this idea comes from, I don't know.

If you find it for a better price online, print out the page showing it in the shopping cart at that price. Then go to Google and type in the shop name, and look for Reseller That's what we do, in the store. If it turns out the shop in question really is on the up-and-up, then bring the page in to us, and we'll match the price. I promise you, about 19 times out of 20, if the price is really really good, it's because you're not actually going to get what you think you're going to get. There are a million and one scams on the Internet, and even more of them this time of year. If it's good, we'll match it! If it's not good, then we can't afford to match it, because we're not going to sell you the wrong camera or give you an illegally imported gray-market no-warranty camera or take the included charger and battery out of the box and sell them to you separately or insist you buy some shady "extended warranty" or we'll cancel the sale, or any of those things that make those "incredible online deals" worth exactly what you pay for them.

So really. You trust us for camera advice. Trust us to sell you your cameras. Or we won't be here indefinitely to keep answering your questions.

And if you did buy a camera somewhere else after benefitting from all our advice and expertise, c'mon. Buy a camera class or get your pictures developed here. Support a local business; reward those who try harder to serve you; keep the knowledge base local.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


So we survived Black Friday. Still holding strong with lots of stock in many items, including a new shipment of memory cards and batteries that came in midday yesterday. We're running a bit low on a couple of colors of some cameras, but Nikon USA has assured us that stocks are good and whatever we order now ought to be in before Christmas. So if you want to get the super-low Black Friday prices on some of these hot items, give us a prepaid order so we can get it in to Nikon before the cutoff date, and you'll get your gifts in time for the holidays.
We've got a lot of good deals left, though, and tons of whatever you're looking for in stock.
So avoid the big-box stores-- don't get trampled, don't get stuck in a line for an hour only to realize it's the bathroom, not the checkout, and as a huge side bonus, get actual intelligent answers to your questions, from real live human beings. Come give us a shot.
Apparently some people are calling it Small Business Saturday, to follow Black Friday-- come support a small local business.
And for those of you who stopped by yesterday, thank you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Your Win!

We were a little surprised to discover this morning that the Buffalo News ran our Black Friday ad yesterday. We had a Pre-Black-Friday ad all ready to go, via our agreement with Nikon, but when we opened the paper, there was next week's ad!
We don't really mind, we're honoring the prices, but it's a bit confusing, and now we're a little bit worried we'll run out of cameras. Still and all, that'd be a nice problem to have. (We can always special order whatever you want, if we run out!)
We are stocked up and ready with everything you want for the holidays. And at the lowest prices of the season, ahead of schedule. So we're just gonna give you a little piece of advice-- don't wait, come in now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where Do You Go To Take Pictures?

This morning we got a call at the Transit Rd. location. The caller on the line wanted to know where in the area she should go to take pictures.
We hemmed and hawed and suggested a few scenic local areas, but were a little taken off-guard by the question. Someone looked us up in a phone book to ask where to take pictures in the Buffalo area? Why would you call a camera store with a question like that?

But actually, it's a really good idea. All of Delaware Camera's employees are avid photographers, to one degree or another. All of us take pictures all the time. Even if at this busy time of year we only have time for the pictures we take to show customers how to use cameras, we still do it daily, and most of us do even more than that. A few of us have side businesses, doing weddings or portraits. Some of us tinker with old film cameras. Some of us love to photograph sports. Some of us are art students whose cameras live in our school bags and go with us everywhere. All of us, given a day off and no other obligations, are highly likely to grab the camera bag and head somewhere pretty. There's not a lot of downtime at this time of year, in the retail sector, so most of us are only going to be taking photos of the inside of the store until after the holidays are over, but at least we're taking photos.

And this is why we can help you with your photography questions. You may get different answers from different employees, because photography is a highly individual pastime, but we all are passionately interested in photography, and handle cameras and photographs every day.

So I'm sure we all have our suggestions of where we'd go shoot, if we had a nice camera and a day off.
Where is YOUR favorite local place to take pictures?

Leave us some suggestions here in the comments or on our Facebook page, or @ us on Twitter!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Most Important Thing About A Camera

No camera is a good camera if you don't know how to use it. It doesn't matter whether you have a high-end pro camera that cost more than your car, or are trying to document your family's life with the built-in camera in your cellphone. It doesn't matter what it is or is not innately capable of-- if you don't know how to make it take good pictures, it's not a good camera for you. Because the point of the exercise is to take pictures, not just to impress the Internet with your tech specs or indie cred.

Here at Delaware Camera we get a lot of questions about how to take pictures. Because, as it turns out, the other stores that sell cameras around here tend not to have employees who actually can explain to you how to take pictures. And as for the Internet, well, it's full of people who are pretty sure they know how to do everything there is, but when it comes down to actually figuring out how you can take the pictures you want with your camera... Predictably, as it turns out, while they know an awful lot, they tend to fall short there.

So with that in mind we've started offering classes again. Since we know how to take pictures, and you want to take pictures, it's the most efficient way to make that connection happen. Come in to one of our stores and see what time slots are available, and sign up. (Times are listed on the website-- Delaware Ave location here, Transit Rd location here, but the signups are managed in stores so that no one session will be too crowded.)

What classes are we currently offering?

Intro To Basic Digital Photography
So you have a digital camera, and it turns out it’s pretty complicated, even frustrating to use. Don’t worry, the fantastic pictures you’re looking for are within your reach! Come to our introductory class, where we’ll review the basic principles of photography, and cut through the confusion of today’s sophisticated digital cameras to give you the simple, basic knowledge you need to take great pictures.
Digital SLR Basics
There’s no substitute for an SLR when it comes to picture quality and total control over your images. Problem is, if you don’t know how to take that control, you don’t get the results you want. This class helps you move that dial off of Auto mode and start to take advantages of all the power and control your digital SLR offers you, so you can realize the potential of your SLR camera and get the best possible pictures.
Understanding Lenses
Cameras with interchangeable lenses offer unparalleled control. But there is a bewildering and expensive array of lenses available. Get a solid overview of how lenses work, what different types of lenses are available, and most importantly, how to choose lenses that will allow you to take the kind of photographs you’ve always wanted to take with this intermediate-level class.

Let us know if there are other classes you'd like to see!! We've had requests for a class on taking better pictures with a cameraphone, but the boss doesn't believe us. So if you really want something like that, drop us a line so we can prove it. We've got all kinds of ideas in the works for new classes, so watch this space. But in the meantime, start off with one of the basics-- it's knowledge you can use now, and most importantly, since the class sizes are small, you can ask a real live human your questions, and get intelligent answers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gearing up for the holidays!

Delaware Camera's gearing up for the holidays, so here are just a couple quick updates on what's going on.

1) Now through Nov. 13th we're offering our shoebox scanning special, where you can bring in a box full of photos, up to 1200 prints, and have them scanned and burned onto a CD for only $99.99. On November 13th, that special is going away, to let us gear up for our busy holiday season in the lab. So if you've been thinking about availing yourself of this most excellent service, now's the time to do it.

2) Speaking of which, oh gosh it's November already! Time to get your holiday cards taken care of! Now through December 1st we're offering our customary Early Bird Special, which is 50 of our 4x8 flat photo cards (with envelopes!) for only $19.99, or 50 of our designer 5x7 flat photo cards (also with envelopes) for $29.99. It's a great deal, and gets you off to an early start. Order in either of our stores, or using our online system-- you can specify whether you'd like them shipped to you or left at one of our stores for you to pick up at your convenience. Use the coupon code HOL50 at checkout to get the Early Bird price.

3) Last but not least-- we have CLASSES again!!! Stephen's back and he's teaching seminars at both locations. So far we have three different classes-- an intro to basic digital photography, an introduction to using a digital SLR, and a more advanced class on SLR lenses.

Stop by and see us sometime. More to come-- we're also revamping our online presence, starting with our website, and including our Blogger, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.