Photography shop or John Lewis?

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Mark
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#41
I have to disagree (depending on what you call in depth). At LCE in Reading, of the 4 guys that were working there on my last visit, 1 shot Canon & Fuji, another Nikon, one Nikon, Fuji & Sony, and another Canon & Sony. That meant that of the 4 main brands there were people with real life experience. Plus they had "shop kit" that they took home to use so they could understand it.

Believe it or not, my local Mini showroom actually has a very passionate Mini owner on the sales team... He has a couple of his own cars plus his demonstrator. Is it a coincidence that he sells more than the others ?
Completely agree Steve on both counts.

We had LCE come and do a talk at our club last year the amount of gear the guy brought along was staggering he was a Nikon shooter (he obviously has taste :D) but he had a good understanding of all of the systems he brought along form point and shoot up to the latest DSLR offerings and lots of lenses.

I know that there local store (Worcester) made sales to a number of members myself included after that evening. When I went in I was interested in the Tamron 70-200 G2 they didn't have a Nikon version in but let me try the canon one one a equivalent to the D750 I ended up buying one form them along with a tripod.

The same goes for our local MINI dealer we went to nottingham to test drive one and it felt like we were being pushed into buying a car we weren't sure of went to Worcester and it was so relaxed we ended up buying a new JCW Clubman instead of the Cooper S version!
 
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#42
I have to disagree (depending on what you call in depth). At LCE in Reading, of the 4 guys that were working there on my last visit, 1 shot Canon & Fuji, another Nikon, one Nikon, Fuji & Sony, and another Canon & Sony. That meant that of the 4 main brands there were people with real life experience. Plus they had "shop kit" that they took home to use so they could understand it.

Believe it or not, my local Mini showroom actually has a very passionate Mini owner on the sales team... He has a couple of his own cars plus his demonstrator. Is it a coincidence that he sells more than the others ?
I think that you are very fortunate and in my experience in different areas is that knowledgeable staff are a rare commodity ... and they are not necessarily to blame for that..
 
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Rob Telford
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#43
I have a local camera shop that's really good, Charles Eagles in Sunderland, knowledgeable staff and great customer service. I bought a lens there just over a week ago, strangely their website has just been deleted when I had one of my regular check of their used stuff yesterday. Hope this isn't a bad sign as they had to close their Durham branch a couple of years ago.
You had me worried there for a minute - I keep an eye on their used equipment section

Their web site is working for me right now at least

http://www.charleseaglesandson.com
 
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#44
Apologies, that was a bit harsh. But I stand by my defence of Jessops, and any other high street retailer. Times are tough and it would be a shame to lose them again.
Why ? Jessops don't appear to have changed and aren't moving with the times. If Jessops went it may make more space for independent boutique shops who do offer something genuinely different to the internet.

Probably the only photography shops that are worth going to are the Lomography ones. The assistants are knowledgeable, they actually have photos on display and run social events and workshops for their customers. Exactly the kind of stuff you need to do in the internet age to attract more customers.
 

Skyline

Emmet Brickowski
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#45
If the price is the same I will buy from JL.
Saying that I drove 45 minutes the other day just to go to Jessops in Canterbury. Why? Because they gave me a trade in on a camera lens. And because I done a trade in I got more knocked off.
Before I had said what I was going to do the staff there were very helpful. Can I have a look at that Olympus camera please. Not a problem.
John Lewis have a lot of dead batteries in their cameras in the Bluewater store. This is because people playing with them and leaving them on. If you tell them they will put a fresh battery in, or if they don't have one they will say have you got any shopping to do, We'll charge one.
I only wish JL had a person around the cameras that knew what they were talking about all the time.

As for Currys. I won't even walk in there :)
 

StephenM

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#46
As for Currys. I won't even walk in there :)
Like all things, it's going to depend on the shop and who's actually serving. Last year an assistant at my local Currys/PC World spent a LOT of time determining which battery I needed for my Nikon Photomic finder to make sure I obtained the correct one - and then, as they didn't carry it, advised me where to go locally for it.
 

Skyline

Emmet Brickowski
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#47
Like all things, it's going to depend on the shop and who's actually serving. Last year an assistant at my local Currys/PC World spent a LOT of time determining which battery I needed for my Nikon Photomic finder to make sure I obtained the correct one - and then, as they didn't carry it, advised me where to go locally for it.
They didn't try to sell you an extended warranty on the help :D
 
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Adam Priseman
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#48
Just to clarify, I would never want to see Jessops or any other specialist store go out of business, I may have just visited Jessops at the wrong time, I will certainly be visiting again and will almost certainly purchase something. The point I was getting at is as follows...

Jessops and JL both sell the same cameras and lenses for a very similar price and both are within a 10 minute walk (In Birmingham), my point is that weather it be cameras, TV's or loaves of bread, if you've got two shops next to each other and one impresses you more than the other, it's obvious which one you'll shop at. Independent/specialist shops will never be able to compete on price compared to the big boys so if they want to survive, the need to give the customer a reason to spend money with them and not just "Well if you don't buy from us, we might now be here tomorrow.".
 
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#50
Snip:
Independent/specialist shops will never be able to compete on price compared to the big boys.
That's not true, I bought my Canon 6D and 24-105L from a long-established, independent, town centre shop (brand-new UK stock, not grey) and it was cheaper at the time than the price advertised by any of the UK 'big boys'. So don't be fooled into automatically thinking that 'warehouse' type mail order dealers will always be the cheapest.
 
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Terry
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#52
I traded a camera kit into Jessops for a very good price against the Fuji XT2. A good experience.

A while later I had them clean the sensor on my Canon 5D MK2 I bought from @ChrisH

They made it far worse than before I took it in and tried to tell me it was because the dust collector in the mirrorbox was full and the actuations of the shutter were making it worse.

That b*****ks just winds me up.

So I'll go anywhere else now BUT Jessops.
 
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#53
Although I was quite sorry to see Jessops fold a few years ago, and glad to see it revived, I can't really say I've chosen to shop there much since the film era. The experience really isn't that much different to Dixons/PC-World these days. It's certainly not somewhere I'd expect to find good advice, any more than I would in John Lewis, though I imagine there are exceptions. In London, places like Park, Cameraworld and LCE do a better job for new stuff, and there are still a few independents with interesting ranges of secondhand gear (which most of my recent stuff has been). Of course, for most of the country camera shops of any description are pretty thin on the ground, and an average town is lucky even to have a Jessops.
 
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peter
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#55
Ok there is no JL or Jessops near me (both 40 ish miles away)
I have before travelled 40 miles to Jessops at York for a bag they had on special for the Mrs and the service was very good.
I have been in Currys a few months back when looking for a point and shoot for the Mrs the service was a Joke and i walked out.
A member of staff came over asked if I needed any help I replied saying we are interested in this camera (was holding a tz80) he said ok and walked off.
I recently spoke to LCE on the phone as they had a lens I had been looking for at the Taunton branch and I could not have got a more helpful person on the other end of the phone.
I consequently purchased it and they had the lens delivered to me the following day.
 
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#56
I have a local camera shop that's really good, Charles Eagles in Sunderland, knowledgeable staff and great customer service. I bought a lens there just over a week ago, strangely their website has just been deleted when I had one of my regular check of their used stuff yesterday. Hope this isn't a bad sign as they had to close their Durham branch a couple of years ago.
You had me worried there for a minute - I keep an eye on their used equipment section

Their web site is working for me right now at least

http://www.charleseaglesandson.com
Great to see Chas Eagles still going. I went to Uni in Sunderland in the late 80's and even back then it was one those great little independents.
 
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#57
Great to see Chas Eagles still going. I went to Uni in Sunderland in the late 80's and even back then it was one those great little independents.
Bought my first SLR from him in 1979, (a used Zenit E would you believe) from his first shop in Crowtree rd. I've spent a fair bit in there over the years, cameras, lenses, film, chemicals the lot, but all worthwhile even if I could have bought it cheaper elsewhere. A proper family run Photography shop, a couple of his sons still work in there.
 

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#58
I have to travel into London or Reading for a decent "traditional" photography shop, so I have also picked up cameras and lenses as JL. Some of the staff are quite knowledgeable, but they are often tied up as they are the one camera person in the dept. I like the 2 year warranty so I have purchased a 7D2, 300 f4, and my Gopro from JL.

That said, they seem very short of Fuji gear in my local stores; lenses especially.

I have very little time for Jessops. Since the take over they remind me of a "Snappy Snaps" that sell a few cameras. Even before then, trying to find somebody who actually knew anything was like the haystack needle....
I get the impression they are no longer stocking Fuji.
 
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#60
Jessops will price match if they can. JL's "never knowingly undersold" line is BS. I've told them about cheaper high street prices and they've not bothered reducing their shelf price, although they did offer to match the high street price - but they didn't have the product available in store (the competitor did.) While the partners at JL do get a share of the profits, surprisingly few of the people who work for them are partners. A lot are manufacturers' agents (they're the ones with some product knowledge) or agency workers.
Jl have always price matched when ive bought from them as long as comp has product .
 
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#61
IMO Jessops is all about shifting boxes. I worked there for a short while and all it was, was push push push for the sale. We came to an agreement that I spent too much time talking to potential customers about what they needed/ wanted as opposed to pushing for the sale regardless. So I quit. Go figure ...
 

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#62
IMO Jessops is all about shifting boxes. I worked there for a short while and all it was, was push push push for the sale. We came to an agreement that I spent too much time talking to potential customers about what they needed/ wanted as opposed to pushing for the sale regardless. So I quit. Go figure ...
Was this under the current ownership?
 
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#63
Was this under the current ownership?
Yeah about 5 years ago. If we didn`t make the sale it was deemed as a black mark. I guess that`s why staff rotation is so high. I pop in once in a blue moon, but the people are always different. Sad but true.
 
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#64
Unfortunately, most of the good camera shops have been killed off by "showrooming" where people wander in, look at and handle loads of kit then go home and buy from the cheapest place they can find it on the internet.
Standard advice on forums until the camera shops all started going bust was to do exactly that, use the time of the knowledgable people in the store and their stock to find which one you like, then order online. I read it here often enough.
 

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#65
I have found that some camera shops will match the best non-grey price on Camerapricebuster. By all accounts, the margins on new engagement are very slim. I expect there are volume discounts that help.
 
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#66
My local LCE I find pretty good overall but I am near Reading again, the Guildford branch was good when I went there too. We want to keep being able to handle the equipment so we need the stores there and profitable, if we force them too hard on price in the end they will break is my view.
 
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#67
My nearest JL has some well informed staff in the photo department, although I may just be lucky. I was looking to either upgrade my Canon 70D to a 6D or switch to Fuji. I talked through what I was interested in, the guy was a Fuji owner and enthusiast and gave me a good demonstration, I tried the 6D and the XT-1, the 2 wasn't available then, and he recommended I stick with Canon because I had the lenses. In the end I want for the 6D, took it home and found it was available for £200 less somewhere else, I put in for a price match, they matched and repaid £200 into my account within a few days. I also got a 2 year guarantee. They might not always have the latest models in but I can't fault them.
 
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#68
My favourite place to shop is my local Calumet which is basically just a trade counter with none of the bells and whistles you are going to find in Jessops or John Lewis. The shop itself doesn't really bother me much, I just like the staff who are reasonably knowledgeable. To be fair the Jessops closest to me has some good staff as well but it's a bit more of a crap shoot depending on who you get.
 
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#69
Do that many people commenting on here really need to deal with knowledgeable sales staff?.
I'm sure most know exactly what they are going into the shop for, probably know a lot more than the sales assistant.
 

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#70
Staff with good product knowledge, yes. Last thing I bought was a compact for holiday use and the girl I spoke with in Jessops was able to show me prints of the same subject from a couple of the options I had on a shortlist. I knew what I wanted (and needed) as far as size and features but dealing with someone who had the nous to do a selection of prints from different cameras meant that I could make a better decision than one based purely on some spec sheets.
 
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#71
the Jessops branch in the Metrocentre must be different to the others, it's bright and airy with lots of kit, and the staff seem to know what they are talking about. Bought a few things from them and they have always priced matched as well.
 
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#72
Do that many people commenting on here really need to deal with knowledgeable sales staff?.
I'm sure most know exactly what they are going into the shop for, probably know a lot more than the sales assistant.
Indeed. It always makes me laugh when photographers moan that the staff don’t know enough about the products. Personally if I decide I need an item, I’ve done all my homework on it long before I get to the point of walking into a shop. What the sales person can do is talk to me about trade-ins, finance or negotiate the price.
 
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#73
Well, I would put in a good word for the LCE in Gosforth - very helpful, knowledgeable and willing to trade kit that some others wouldn’t take. My Olympus system has come from them as a result. I don’t live up there but do have a relative there so it’s quite a regular thing. The other knowledgeable place I go to are Clifton Cameras in Dursley. Very helpful - went in twice to discuss tripods and spent a long time there - bought it from them too.
 
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#74
I got my Canon 750D from John Lewis in Newcastle, sadly it developed a fault & was sent off for repair & a couple of weeks later after I got it back it developed another fault, John Lewis weren't happy about it so they replaced everything & restarted the 2 year warranty from that date & the the service I got from them was great plus they will often price match
 
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#75
Let's be honest, finding any salesperson, from any field, who has in-depth knowledge of the products they are selling is extremely rare.
That comment is offensive. I spent well over 20 years working as a salesperson or running sales teams. Everything from working in the Stratford Upon Avon store of Cine Equipments (who remembers them) to being the national sales a manager or a large audio visual equipment manufacturer running a field sales team of 6 turning over £9.5M. I can demonstrate any of the products my company sells, as can any of my field sales team. We have in-house training every month on new products and every field sales person who joins goes through intensive training for a couple of weeks before they get out on the road. We spend a fortune on training our staff. When I took over as NSM on 1st Jan 2012 we turned over £5.7M, when I was appointed as COO last year we turned over £9.5M. Nearly £4M sales growth in 5 years. We didn’t achieve that by not knowing our product. When I worked at the camera shop the manager trained us every week on new cameras etc so we knew what we were doing behind the counter.

It costs a fortune to train your staff. It costs even more in lost sales if you don’t.
 
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#76
Knocking Jessops stopped being trendy a long time ago. When they went out of business a few years ago it was a sad time for photography and it was great to see them back on the high street thanks to Peter Jones. Jessops need the support of photographers, not to be slammed by idiots who didn’t get a cuddle when they walked in the store. If you want to shop in a department store that’s fine, but don’t run Jessops down. Or they’ll be gone again. Btw, I’m willing to bet you didn’t buy from JL either. Your type usually end up buying online to save a further 75p whilst wasting the time of the people doing their best to earn a living helping ungrateful fools like you.
I’m not knocking Jessops but in this instance they clearly need better management to keep the staff motivated and trained. If a mystery shopper reported back these findings then no doubt action would be taken. I buy from Jessops who do indeed price match but mostly via their mail order service. But there is no excuse for bad service or a poor store.
 
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#77
JL also price match.......not sure if Jessops do or not? I would probably use a Jessops if there was one nearby but there isn't!
Jessops price list via mail order. Speak to Luke at their telesales office. He is a good guy and knows how to sell as when I bought my TZ100 from him after a price match he was trying to sell me everything else from a spare battery to a gift voucher for a friend...
 
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#78
I have also used LCE in Lincoln where I traded in my Bronica gear for a PX on a Nikon D7000 kit some years ago. Service was good.

But the best service ever in retail photographic comes from Grays Of Westminster in my book. Fantastic bunch of people. Great PX prices and always a polite welcome and a smile.
 
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#80
On a related note... I often used to confuse my other half cause I used to call John Lewis in Nottingham Jessop’s (and Sons).
 
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