Nikon camera prices

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mervyn_wilmington, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. I am presently (in the UK) seeking the best price for a new D700 from an authorised Nikon dealer. There is quite a bit of disparity between outlets.
    However, when I questioned the price of one dealer, who was near the best price, I was told the actual price charged to him by Nikon. I have no reason to believe other than that was true. Frankly, the profit margin was so tiny - and I mean tiny - that I could see no value to him of the retail transaction in financial terms.
    That said, it rather reminded me of the last time I bought a new car. Having discussed discounts with the salesman, he went to his locked filing cabinet and produced a letter from the manufacturer. It said that from the beginning of the previous month the dealer profit margin was 4%. On the face of it, therefore, the dealer was very constrained.
    However, my wife used to work for a company that supplied both cars and commercial vehicles. She reminded me that the company's real profit did not come from the margin on individual sales, but from the periodic performance payments made by manufacturers to the dealer. They could be very considerable.
    Is the Nikon dealer who indicated his profit margin on individual sales being disingenuous? Do camera manufacturers work on a similar basis to motor manufacturers?
  2. Yes!

    Remember, from the manufacture’s point of view, the goal is to move as much product as possible as fast as possible. The base price to the retailer covers their cost for small quantities. If the retailer can move more product for the manufacture, they will rebate some of their margin to encourage the retailer to sell their items over another manufacture.
    Ken Fretz
  3. Of course tax is a major expense also. I am not buying a camera but hypothetically I could buy a Leica in Calif (a store about 60mi from the house) for $4600.00 (M7) plus about $460.00 tax, or I could buy the same camera from BHPhoto at the same price and pay no tax at all and possibly even free shipping at this time of the year. I do not see how the local business can work around that..If the profit margin is very small then they cannot discount the tax price to make a sell. Most people are not going to pay an extra $460.00 for the camera. I suppose one of these days mail order purchases will be taxed and then you just wait and see who stays afloat. However I had always figured there was a big mark up on items such as that. I guess I am wrong. It makes me feel sorry for the businessman trying to stay solvent.
  4. Don't know but I received a d700 quote yesterday @ ~$2070. I was just in camera shop browsing and was curious...There was a recent thread about profit markup and people said ~10%. I think it varies a bit more 10-20% depending on location, model type etc...
  5. Park Cameras in the UK recently sold me a 200mm f/2 at allegedly "near cost price". I believe them mostly because I imagine they were trying to shift the old stock before the updated 200 f/2 comes in (which is fine by me, given the mark-up on the new lens and the apparently tiny difference). Unless they know something you don't, it seems unlikely that a D700 would be going very near cost before the D800/D700x/D700s/whatever is announced, but there's definitely a big difference between the prices of the large retailers in the UK (notably WEx and Park) and some high-street stores; I suspect they just shift a lot more, or have favourable deals with Nikon because or their quantity. Stores that do a lot of on-line business ought to have less overheads, especially since neither WEx nor Park have a town-centre presence. We don't have the dodgy tax advantage that B&H or Adorama have in the states, but that doesn't mean some dealers can't offer a much better price - it just doesn't cost the warehouses much to keep a D700 sitting on a shelf ready to post out, especially if they price them so that they can sell large quantities.

    Or they might have been lying. :)</ p>
  6. Two points on the responses so far.
    First, in the UK the tax on sales is the same regardless of the method of purchase.
    Second, I don't know the position in the US, but in the UK we are very familiar with the retail price that the manufacturers recommend. It may well bear little or no relationship to the price the manufacturer actually charges to the retailer. Thus, a dealer could give what amounts to a very substantial discount. In reality, the dealer still has a large profit on a sale, but the purchase appears very attractive to the buyer. When I repaired my own cars, I was quite used to finding parts at up to a 80% discount off the price recommended by the manufacturer: simply a matter of knowing your way around.
  7. An example of a unpaid tax when shipped to California, like below:
    "Most people are not going to pay an extra $460.00 for the camera. I suppose one of these days mail order purchases will be taxed and then you just wait and see who stays afloat."
    ... may need some explanation. There is no need to wait for one of these days...
    If Californian purchase from out of state, they should pay the tax called "USE TAX", to the state of California, for all purchses made from B&H, Adorama, etc... there is no enforcement or execution of this law for few dollars, as the collection could cost more, but once you are audited, your credit card purchases and your checkbook could be examined, and the "use tax" requested.
    If you are not paying the use tax, you are in violation of existing law in California. Check with the state tax board for details.
  8. Camera stores make a larger percentage on profit on the accessories you also buy.
  9. Iagree with Ellis.
    When a retailer sells the customer a new camera body, they know full well that it will require a lens or
    lenses, perhaps a bag, CF card/s, extra battery,grip, tripod etc........ get the idea?? the money is in the
    accesories that we later buy to support this obsession.
  10. Ellis and Steven,
    Yes, you are right generally, but not in my case. We all know the ploy that sir will now need a very good filter to protect the very expensive lens he has just bought. The margin on the filter could be 50% on something that the manufacturer had well over-priced in the first place.
    But some of us buy these things, new or used, when we find quality ones at a very good price, even if we don't immediately need it. A uv filter that would cost 50gbp new is expensive. A used identical (perfect) one for 5gbp is worth putting in the drawer until needed. At least that is the way I tend to work.........
  11. I worked at the largest local chain of photo stores in the Boston area and was very surprised when I learned how little the store was making on camera sales. I can't give figures, but the profit margin was much lower than I had expected.
  12. I do not know about profit margins in the UK, but I just compared a D700 Body price in GBP with a price in EUR in the Netherlands :
    The UK price is GBP 1748 att the site where i found it , the EUR price here localy is EUR 1659.
    When calculating the EUR price form the GBP price I end up at EUR 2082,- making it EUR 350,- more expensive in the UK.... ( that's in brittish pounds a difference of arounf GBP 295,- ...).
    So my question would be : If those profit margins are that thin, then how can it be so much more expensive in the UK compared to the other side of the North Sea ?
  13. If you are not paying the use tax, you are in violation of existing law in California. Check with the state tax board for details.​
    Would I just ask the state tax board how much tax I should pay for "NOT" buying a Leica? Maybe a new thing to push through is the "non shopping tax". Anyone caught not shopping will be assessed a 10% penalty. Seriously I will just let the High Rollers buy the Leicas and let them worry about being audited. I have a FM2n myself and It works fine.
  14. I got my brand new D700 for $2100. USD plux tax about 4 months ago locally(came out to $2250 with tax). I see that has recently lowered their D700's from $2400. USD to $2349. USD so I saved $100. As for if the Merchant is being honest I have no clue just look around for the best price.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, as one of the moderators here, I would like to remind everybody that this thread is about dealer cost and profit for Nikon camera products, especially in the UK. It is not about sales tax and sales tax evasion in the US. Please respect the OP's question and stay on topic.
    Thanks in advance.
  16. I sell Nikons, along with other brands. Our profit margin really is quite small; on some cameras, especially older models with instant rebates, we might make less than 10%. If you really jerk around the employee and make him jump through hoops for you, the end result might even be that it COSTS the store money for you to get the lens, especially if you pay with a Mastercard.
    That's why brick-and-mortar stores push filters, cases, and warranties. If you buy a $100 'almost no fault' warranty and a D90 from me, I probably make twice what I'd make if you just bought the camera.
  17. Sounds like a tough business. Low volume, low profit and a high overhead. I wish the camera store owners the best.
  18. Reference to CPM's comments about prices in the Netherlands.
    The cheapest price I'm aware of for a D700 in the UK from a Nikon authorised dealer is 1677gbp including sales tax (vat). They can be obtained much cheaper from established outlets, but not Nikon authorised, ie they are grey. Thus, a buyer would have to rely on a different warranty supplied by the outlet. That might, or might not, be reliable.
  19. bmm


    Remember to differentiate whether we are talking profit or margin here. The 4% may be after an allowable mark-up margin to cover the store's fixed and variable expenses. We may not just be talking price of goods sold minus wholesale cost of inventory here. Put another way, the retailer may not have to 'live off' the 4%... (pay his staff, keep the lights on, etc)
  20. I don't really want to complicate this, but perhaps I should clarify a little.
    The dealer indicated a price that was only about 10gbp above what he said was the price he paid. He spoke though of matching genuine "in stock" prices from other Nikon dealers. I had sought to draw a distinction between matching a price and his best price. Clearly they are not necessarily the same.
    If a dealer is prepared to sell at what amounts to a loss in relation to his buying price, it must follow - bearing in mind there was no chance of me buying accessories etc - that he expected to obtain other "profit" from Nikon via the backdoor. What, of course, troubles me is that he was giving the impression in quoting the two prices - buying and selling - that he was selling a camera for nothing. I've no problem with dealers making a profit: they would go out of business if they didn't and we would all be the poorer for that. It was the seemingly "half-truth" that he was promoting that annoyed me.
    It is not uncommon for retailers in many fields to give a price and say come back to me if you get a better one elsewhere. My standard response is that if you can offer a lower price, you had better do it now. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Whatever else, I don't regard it ethical - or beneficial - for me simply to go back to someone who later on will give me the same price as someone else.
  21. One camera, many lenses and other accessories. They do not even have to make any profit on the camera to turn a profit.
  22. For those comparing UK prices to those elsewhere, bear in mind the 17.5% (soon to be 20%) tax rate. I also looked into importing a big lens from Japan recently and allegedly there's a 6.7% import duty on top of the VAT. UK prices tend to look a lot higher than prices listed elsewhere, especially when those listed abroad don't include tax and the UK prices (almost always) do. It's not the whole difference, but it's a lot of it - if it was genuinely cheaper to import lenses from elsewhere legally, people would do so more than they already do, but at some point the UK retailers have to pay up. Unless, of course, you buy something off the back of a lorry behind a pub - but then there's a good chance the seller didn't pay anything for it.
  23. Apples and oranges but I work for a large retailer. We make very little money on things like lawn mowers and cordless drills. We hope that you are kind enough to buy your drill bits and replacement blades from us. I'm sure the camera store would like to buy a lens and flash from them as well.
  24. Michael - that might be but should it?
    I remember the time when if you bought a hundred grinder discs the supplier through in a grinder! The profit on the former must have been quite disproportionate.
    We get the same with our printers. The machine might be quite inexpensive (good value) but we then get charged an arm and a leg for the the ink.
    I've no problem with people making a profit, but I like to know what is fair, rather than things being dealt with by smoke and mirrors.
  25. That comment does, however, make me feel better about my policy on high street camera stores: I'll go in and try something out, I won't spend a fortune buying a large item which would be much cheaper on the internet. But I do make a point of going back to buy filters etc. to help compensate them for their time. If their mark-up on small items is reasonable, I feel much better about it. If they're no longer able to sell film - the only obvious consumable - it's no wonder the high street camera shops are struggling.
  26. There's a danger of getting off topic, but small shops with low turnover need high margins to pay their way and make a profit. High margins usually mean high prices. We then look on the web and find where the item is cheaper, perhaps carriage free.
    The small shop closes and we lose the help and expertise. When we try to get help/advice from some larger outfits, we might as well try speaking to a brick wall. They probably think a 42mm screw is something for mending a car...........
  27. Mervyn - I sympathise. I really can't afford to be generous about buying expensive items at small-shop prices (hopefully enough people make impulse purchases when they walk in from the high street, but that's not what I do with the expensive stuff). I do try to make a point of buying something though - completely wasting the time of the salesperson is just rude. And, as you say, the small shops then go out of business. I have less sympathy for the large chains who don't have experienced staff and are still overpriced (because they have shops in expensive places) - they survive only because they can afford to advertise. The big warehouses often do have a keen photographer on staff, although it's not always the first person you talk to, and even though they sell more equipment per employee.
  28. They can be obtained much cheaper from established outlets, but not Nikon authorised​
    Mervyn, I compared two authorised dealers here, no grey import....
    For those comparing UK prices to those elsewhere, bear in mind the 17.5% (soon to be 20%) tax rate​
    Adrew, current tax is at 19% currently in the Netherlands, so just a bit higher than in the UK. I compared inclusive prices ..
  29. C.P.M. - in that case, you have my sympathy. In which case, we're overpriced. :)
  30. CPM and Andrew -
    The UK is not called "rip-off Britain" for no reason.
    It is not that many years ago that VW cars were so expensive in the UK that UK residents started to buy them in continental Europe. Nothwithstanding the extra costs of having to go other over there - and make the necessary arrangements in advance - it was still much cheaper than buying here. If I remember rightly, VW tried to obstruct that process, but weren't successful. It was so much of a business that agents sprang up to do the work for people.
    I believe that if you buy "grey" Nikon in the UK, it is likely that the instruction book will be in French and you may need a converter for the charger - perhaps supplied. That rather suggests that these outlets can source Nikon goods considerably more cheaply than the controlled Nikon UK price levels, and still make a good profit notwithstanding the additional hoops they must have to go through. Nikon "bite back" by not accepting repairs under warranty.
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I believe that if you buy "grey" Nikon in the UK, it is likely that the instruction book will be in French and you may need a converter for the charger​
    That is the last thing I would worry about. Nikon owner's manuals for various products in several different languages are available on the web as PDF documents; it is easy to download them.
    Nikon's battery chargers for DSLR batteries are identical in different countries. They are all compatible from 110V to 240V, 50Hz or 60Hz. You need different cords for different countries due to the difference in plugs.
  32. Shun - you are quite right, although I was making the point as an indication of likely origin rather than a problem. That said, since I like hard copy, producing the D700 manual - I believe around 400 pages - would be a fairly big print-out.
    The main point I was making was the absence of a UK warranty.
  33. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mervyn, I bought my first Nikon SLR, a Nikkormat FT3, back in 1977. In the subsequent 33 years, I have bought about a dozen new Nikon SLRs, including 6 new DSLRs; the latest is a D7000. Do you know how many times I have used Nikon warranties on cameras? Exactly zero, in 33 years.
    That is why if I can save a lot of money up front, I am more than happy to have no warranty, and I never buy extended warranties.
    For the record, I have had one Nikon lens fixed under warranty and one flash fixed under warranty within the first year over that same 33 years.
  34. Shun - that is a very good and interesting point.
    Most of my Nikons have been bought used, but I did have an f301, bought new, that failed under warranty. It went again not long after the warranty period had expired - a different fault - and was not worth the cost of repair.
    It is true that most of the the used ones I have bought have been very reliable. However, I bought my D70s as to what amounted to a demonstrator. It was then just too old - although near mint - to get the then 12 month Nikon warranty. It seemed fine in every way - and still does, except when I bought an SB800 recently, I found the camera and gun would not speak to each other. I can't think other than the fault was there when I bought it. It is certainly the camera, not the gun. The latter performs fine on other bodies.
    As with many things, it is a question of money and risk.
    Although rather off topic, it might be interesting to have a posting to discover, in up-to-date terms, just how many users have had to seek repairs during the warranty period. What do you think?
  35. Shun, Mervyn,
    In Europe ( I know a lot of Brittish people don't want to be an "European Citizen"... :) ) Nikon will have to comply to European law on warrany too, i guess. So If you buy something anywere in the EU, you should have the same rights warranty wise..
    Also warranty officialy extends over the one year, that Nikon prommisses, by EU-law, because you should have warranty rights for the "expected economic lifetime" of a product ... ( there is a lot of info on the EU websites about that..).
    Problem mostly is, manufacterers , and also dealers for that matter, often refuse to recognise your rights in these matters, unless you file an official complaint ... Or talk to one of those TV-shows about consumer rights... , and who wants to go trough that hastle...
    ( I hope my "Dutch English" makes some sence, because this is not an easy subject...).
  36. CPM - your Dutch/English is fine. I'm sometimes rather more troubled by American English! - Only teasing, I don't want a certain woman with a tea cup in one hand and a moose gun in the other coming across the Atlantic to sort me out.
    Without checking, I think there are three UK outlets offering "grey" Nikons. There's a suggestion in one case that the cameras are not in the UK, but imported directly to the buyer from the far east. The warranties are also confusing. One site suggests that there is a one year manufacturer's warranty. That is strange because Nikon now give two years in the UK. The other outlets seem to offer a warranty by the seller.
    Shun's point about the reliability of Nikon cameras is very valid, but someone, sometime, is going to get a "bad" one. Your point is then equally valid. We don't want to be having to argue for weeks and months trying to get our camera repaired.
  37. Mervyn,
    This is getting a bit "offtopic" now , so if a debate about warranty is needed, it might be better to start another ( there have been multiple alread) topic about warranty in the EU ...
    SO to end this ( for me...) here is a quote from one of these topics by Ilkka Nissila from topic :
    Nikon provides worldwide warranty e.g. for film cameras and lenses, not for digital cameras or scanners. The scanners and digital cameras have regional warranties only. However, in EU this doesn't matter as the law requires the manufacturer's importer to obey warranty of an item that they have in their portfolio irrespective of the country of purchase, or whether it was "gray market" or not. Nikon USA is the only one with the gray market problem ... which they handle really badly by the way.​
  38. CPM - you are quite right about the off-topic aspect. Indeed, I intimated such risk earlier.
    It is, however, relevant in this sense. My original post related to the price of Nikon equipment. The "value" of a warranty is very important in relation to prices from different outlets.
    I had already looked at the string you refer to. Having read it, I felt, perhaps, more confused than less. There are clearly two issues. First, what does a warranty in a particular situation provide as a matter of law? Second, even if it seems quite clear that it does provide warranty cover where you are, will Nikon actually accept that without argument?
    Perhaps what we need is a definitive statement from Nikon (in straight-forward language) that covers all situations. The warranty information on the Nikon Europe website does not achieve that.
    My suspicion - perhaps it is obvious - is that Nikon will try to resist warranty work arising from grey sales because they wish to try to maintain the higher prices in the particular location.
  39. Perhaps what we need is a definitive statement from Nikon (in straight-forward language) that covers all situations. The warranty information on the Nikon Europe website does not achieve that.
    I do not think you will ever find something like that, because bigger companies are always trying to find ways to confirm to local legislation in the most cost-effective way. Warranty is part of the commercial operation, not part of charity .... :) .
    If one bigger company would start to use Warranty as a way of marketing ( like in the car market..) then things might change, but i guess this is not going to happen for companies who sell stuff with a lifespan of a few years and for limited ( in their vieuw, that is) ammounts of cash .
    Apart from that there will always a hughe gap between how things work in the US and in Europe. In the US you can , if you don't like a product, return it easely to the dealer a lot of times, here in Europe, a sell is a sell most of the time, no way back unless something shows a manufacturing issue, the you can either exchange it for a new one, or have it sent in for repair straight away....

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