Nikon 200 F2 AFS VR I: $500 Price Jump 2 Weeks - Gouging?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andre_noble|5, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. And so about 2 weeks or so ago the imported version I was selling at B&H for $4500. I had one of these all set up in my B&H cart and pressed the "Submit Order" button. Due to a processing error at Bill Me Later, the order did not go through. Argh

    . As Bill Me Later was sorting out the error (I have a $6200 line of credit with them), I continued to watch B&H ssteadily raise the price on this item so that it is now $5000.

    Has the USD dropped in value that much in 2 weeks? Are retailers taking advantage of anticipated scarcity of items out of Japan? Did B&H simply raise the price on this particular item (the Version I) in order to bring it in line with the $5800 price tage of the newly released VR II?

    In either case, now the Bill Me Later has sorted out my account problem, the price has jumped $500 and I just can't bring myself to buying it at that price.
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Supply and demand is economics 101. B&H is now out of stock of gray market 200mm/f2 AF-S VR version 1. So if someone else is willing to pay $5000 for it, why should they sell it for less?
    Since the VR ii was announced, I am sure that production of vresion 1 has long stopped. There are only so many new ones remaining. Given that the earthquake/taumni descrupted production, prices in general will certainly go higher.
    The Japanese yen very briefly went way up to like US$1 for 76 yen, but now it is back down to around 82 yen as it was just prior to the earthquake.
     
  3. Supply and demand is economics 101.​
    Thank you. I understand no one likes to see prices go up on anything, ever, particularly an item you've had under consideration. That said, IMO "gouging" is a pejorative and undeserved calumny which besmirches our reputation undeservedly.
    That aside, Andre -- look for my email.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  4. OOps Shung, I meant the USA Version all along, which is in stock.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  6. It looks like there are other Nikon lens price increases.​
    No doubt and if you check other brands and reputable retailers you'll see similar price adjustments. This is not unilateral. Every retailer labors under similar circumstances.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sure, see this current thread on the Canon EOS Forum about Canon price increases at Amazon.com: http://www.photo.net/canon-eos-digital-camera-forum/00YUIu
    There seems to be multiple factors. The US dollar continues to go down; we are now below $1 Canadian, and supply is affected by the earthquake/tsumni in Japan and the continuing shortage of electricity.
     
  8. FWIW, i had the sigma 85/1.4 in my Amazon cart at $919. post-quake/tsunami, it's now $969.
     
  9. under the circumstances, did anyone expect prices to decline? that seems very counter-intuitive. anyone being mindful of the consequences of a massive natural disaster in japan would've placed an order for existing stock of desired products immediately. it's extremely unfortunate for someone to malign dealers for responding to inevitable upward price pressure.
    this might be a good time to do less shopping and more shooting.
     
  10. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-03-30-wal-mart-ceo-expects-inflation_N.htm

    U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, Bill Simon, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday.

    Along with steep increases in raw material costs, John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, says labor costs in China and fuel costs for transportation are weighing heavily on retailers. He predicts prices will start increasing at all retailers in June.

    "Every single retailer has and is paying more for the items they sell, and retailers will be passing some of these costs along," Long says. "Except for fuel costs, U.S. consumers haven't seen much in the way of inflation for almost a decade, so a broad-based increase in prices will be unprecedented in recent memory."
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  11. It looks like there are other Nikon lens price increases. The 35mm/f1.8 AF-S DX is now $250 and still out of stock:​
    The 35mm f/1.8 is in stock on the Amazon site from a retailer named Portable Guy for $349.95. The estimated selling price on Nikon's web site is still $199.95. Ouch!
     
  12. "Old" labor prices in *China* make for new increased prices for the current buying market.
    The AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX Nikkor is not Made in Japan (to my knowledge....) so the old ones at the new price is known as ________________?
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The 35mm/f1.8 DX is made in Thailand, but the design and a lot of parts still come from Japan.
     
  14. What really bugs me is seeing Nikon USA listing the SB700 for $329.95 MSRP and Nikon Canada listing it for $399.95 MSRP. That is a HUGE difference especially when our dollar is at par or a little stronger. I'm heading to Florida next week and might pick one up while I am down there. The tax rate is lower too, 6% vs our gouging of 13% - I could save $100 CDN.
    This applies to a lot of things such as software that I can buy online with no tax in US dollars that would cost me a lot more if purchased from a Canadian supplier. Magazines and books too - US and and Canadian price on them and the US is about $2 less for every $8 (US $16 CDN $20) and if I offer to pay in US funds they still want to charge the Canadian price.
    Sorry, ranting my is done back on topic. I expect a lot of things to rise in price over the next month because that's when the last of the shipments from Japan pre-earthquake are going to arrive in North America. Car parts are going to be an issue that will affect me (I own an automotive repair shop).
     
  15. To be fair the Nikon Price increase is similar to recent Rodenstock large format lens price increases. This is going to force me to make use of the lenses I already own. That's no fun, tee hee.
     
  16. The strong yen and the weak dollar makes prices go up. Bike prices skyrocketed from the 2007 models to the 2008 models. What $1199 bought you in summer 2007 the 2008 model was $500 more. I was glad I bought the new 2007 model on closeout for $999, saved me $700!
    The flip side is that these price rises will also raise prices for used equipment, benefiting sellers. I am now moving away from DX format Nikons and back to FX, so I am going to be selling a few DX lenses in the coming week and expect to get nearly what I paid for them a few years ago.
     
  17. For the last few days in the back of mind, I've been wondering if I made the right decision to buy the two D300s bodies I've been eyeing for a year or so. I made the move, even though it stretched me very thin, because I figured new product would be delayed and prices would go way up, and current stock would be depleted quickly. This thread gives me comfort that I did the right thing, especially because I got factory refurbs from Adorama for $1249 US each.
     
  18. One thing that Henry may or may not be able to confirm is that Nikon USA is now requiring online and brick-and-mortar retailers to advertise products no lower than MAP or they will lose any Nikon incentives.
    Any truth to this?
    RS
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    One thing that Henry may or may not be able to confirm is that Nikon USA is now requiring online and brick-and-mortar retailers to advertise products no lower than MAP or they will lose any Nikon incentives.​
    That entire idea is silly, anyway. So you have to display this MAP (minimum advertising price), but you add a line that says click here (or put the item in your cart) and you'll see a lower price, and then it displays the real price.
    So there is this extra step to waste everybody's time, but the final outcome is that shoppers can see the real price as they should.
     
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  21. That price does seem odd since even Nikon's web site shows that it should be $199.95.
    Any thoughts Henry?
    I'd also like to know your thoughts on Nikon's new regulations regarding MAP listings and if you could shed some light on this. It was explained to me that online retailers were supposed to do away with the "ADD TO CART" workaround that Shun mentioned.

    RS
     
  22. One thing that Henry may or may not be able to confirm is that Nikon USA is now requiring online and brick-and-mortar retailers to advertise products no lower than MAP or they will lose any Nikon incentives.​
    I won't comment on any one manufacturer or importer individually but I will say in general enforcement of MAP rules has become quite a bit more strict and the penalties for flouting them draconian.
    So you have to display this MAP (minimum advertising price), but you add a line that says click here (or put the item in your cart) and you'll see a lower price, and then it displays the real price.​
    Sometimes, not always. Every MAP agreement has its own provisions for when and where and how a "real" price can be conveyed to a customer. Some are "add to cart," some require you to provide an email address whereupon we reply with the "real" price and a time-limited URL from which you can but the item at that "real" price. Some specifically prohibit "call for price" notes. Some only permit us to say there's a lower "real" price if the customer's on the phone and asks.
    Whether some or all of this is "silly," it's the pond we swim in.
    That price does seem odd since even Nikon's web site shows that it should be $199.95.​
    Nikon USA posted that price with the note, "ESP (Estimated Selling Price) listed only as an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time," the day they put the lens on their site. That was Feb 2009. Much has changed since then, but Nikon's posted "ESP," has not.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  23. Thanks Henry for your response.
    Perhaps this helps shed some light on what retailers go through with different manufacturers.
    I know Nikon USA is not exactly quick in editing their "current" lens pages...and the explanation of ESP is a good one. I believe I paid $249 for my 35mm f/1.8 when it first came out, and got about $179 for it when I moved to FX and sold it.
    Thanks again Henry
    RS
     
  24. I can tell you that prices at my falafel stand will be going up shortly. Costs are skyrocketing. We can't even get eggplants at any price. (I am not joking). If I'm going to buy a 17-55mm f2.8 nikkor people are going to have to start paying $23 for a falafel (now I am joking).
     
  25. "The 35mm/f1.8 DX is made in Thailand, but the design and a lot of parts still come from Japan."
    Could China must be a more concise name for Thailand?
    Here's a image of the AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX Nikkor lens I have been using...
    00YV6C-344627584.jpg
     
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sorry Jerry, I got mixed up. The ones I have seen are also made in China.
    00YVBE-344719684.jpg
     
  27. It is price gouging plain and simple. Some retailers are charging a grossly inflated price for the Nikon 35mm 1.8 DX.
    Makes me think twice about shopping by them again.
    They blame it on Japan, the tsunami, the reactor, the dollar, yada, yada.
    From $189 to $270? MSRP is $199.99
     
  28. Nikon reported at http://www.nikon.com/news/2011/0331_01.htm, "...we have a concern that the situation may continue where our production cannot fully satisfy our customers' requirement due to inability of full swing production worsened by the planned blackouts of electricity. While we will do our utmost effort to overcome such expected difficulties, we will be most grateful if our customers could understand such circumstances."
    It's an old adage that supply and demand drives prices but reality is not that simple. In some cases retailers are concerned about the prices paid for merchandise being delivered now; in others the price a retailer must pay tomorrow to replenish inventory sold today has to be considered also. Unfortunately our economy, driven by the Japanese catastrophe, rising gasoline prices and other factors, strongly suggest prices for many popular products will rise. This holds true for products made in Japan, for those dependent on components or sub-assemblies from Japan and so on.
    Respectfully, calling it "gouging" is simplistic and naive. MSRP IMO is a mutually agreed-upon fiction that's all but meaningless in the real world. I got my first pro job as a photographer in 1975. From then to now the only thing MSRP is good for is telling the insurance company what I want them to think it'd cost me to replace equipment they're insuring so I'm not slaughtered by deductibles. YMMV.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
     
  29. It's stretching the concept of "price gouging" to include non-essential and luxury items. This isn't food, water, transportation or health care.
    This is a perfect example of how the market should work. If enough people believe that price is too high, they won't buy and the price will drop. If enough people believe it's reasonable given the current circumstances and are willing to pay to acquire an item that is not essential for the majority of buyers, then the market is working as it should.
     

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