Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/11/12

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Camera store R.I.P.
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 11:12:04 EST

It's been almost 20 years but I used to sell cameras retail. At one store I 
only earned commission on used equipment but at another we got "spiffs" -- a 
small commission on specific items sold. If we sold a filter we got 50 cents 
(a Hoya multi-coated filter earned $1). A tripod either earned $5 or 5 
percent, I can't remember which. Camera bags got a spiff as did binoculars, 
slide projectors and darkroom equipment. Aftermarket zoom lenses almost 
always got some kind of spiff. Cheap lenses like the $89 80-200 dejour 
usually brought the the salesman $5-$10 per sale. In contrast, selling a $500 
camera manufacturer's zoom earned you ZILCH, nada, nothing. There was 
absolutely no commission on a Big Five (Canon-Nikon-Minolta-Olympus-Pentax) 
camera and normal lens. Clearly, this was a case of the store owner 
encouraging the salesmen to help HIM make money. I guess none of this is a 
secret but it sure drove home the point to me that there is little money in 
the high ticket stuff -- it's all in the little accessory items. 

Bob (and I marvel at $40 caps) McEowen