Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/05/12

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Subject: [Leica] Two good shopping experiences...
From: nathan at (Nathan Wajsman)
Date: Sat May 12 00:10:36 2007

...on both sides of the Atlantic, so relevant to most LUGgers, I hope.

Those who have seen my PAW 18 will know that my best friend from 
Denmark, who is also a photographer, visited me last weekend. When we 
get together (2-3 times a year), there is usually  some extra expense 
involved since he often has a new piece of kit that I try out and like 
and so want one for myself :-)

And so it was this time. Hence, last Sunday I ordered two items online. 
First was a Billingham 206 Presstop bag; I have owned Billinghams in the 
past but always sold them on because I got frustrated by the small 
openings which made it difficult to get the equipment in and out 
quickly. The Presstop line is much better in this regard, while 
retaining the traditional Billingham virtues of superb craftmanship and 
durability. So now my Canon DSLR and its 4-5 lenses live in this bag. 
Anyway, this about a good Dutch shop, Their prices are 
reasonable (for Europe), they have a good selection, and there is also a 
real shop (near Rotterdam) if you are in the area. I ordered the bag on 
Sunday and paid by bank transfer (they don't take credit cards on their 
web site). Of course my order was immediately confirmed by e-mail. On 
Monday afternoon I got a call from them saying that the bag I had 
ordered had been sold between the time they opened the shop Monday 
morning and the time when they could see my payment in their bank 
account Monday afternoon--and this was the last bag in stock. The 
employee who called apologised for this and said that they had already 
placed the order with the Billingham distributor in the Netherlands and 
expected to have the bag the next day (i.e. Tuesday). And sure 
enough--on Wednesday around noon the package containing the bag was 
delivered to my office in Eindhoven. All this service for a 5 Euro 
shipping charge. They do ship abroad, and the site is more or less 
bilingual, so it could be relevant for European LUGgers, especially 
those living in the Euro zone.

The same Sunday I ordered a sensor cleaning system from B&H, opting for 
the cheapest delivery option, USPS air mail. Same good ordering 
experience as always (I have been a B&H customer since the late 80s), 
and yesterday when I came home from work, the package had been 
delivered. To make this purchase even nicer, the Dutch post office for 
some reason decided not to collect the 19% VAT on delivery, so the $207 
I paid to B&H (incl. shipping) was the final cost. BTW, this was the 
item I bought:

There are lots of online shops out there, many of whom are more or less 
dodgy. But the two I mention here have served me impeccably for the past 
20 years in the case of B&H, and for the past 4 years (since I came to 
the Netherlands) in the case of Kamera Express. An ocean apart, but same 
standards of service.


Nathan Wajsman
Almere, The Netherlands

Opportunistic Image Acquisition

General photography: and
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