April 21, 2014, 07:07:04 AM

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Messages - Helen Oster

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Canon General / Re: Helen Oster
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:19:23 AM »
I'm simply overwhelmed with all your good wishes - so glad I'm able to be here  and provide personal support and advice.

Thank you!!

Canon General / Re: Helen Oster
« on: April 18, 2014, 03:46:17 AM »
This isn't a rumor, right?  ;)

I do not know. I never give forums my correct date of birth for security reasons, so maybe sanj has some inside info or it is her "forum's profile" birthday!

Thank you all so much for your good wishes - no, not a rumor. Today's the day - 21 again!

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 16, 2014, 12:46:51 AM »
Would love to order from Adorama sometimes.  But their shipping to Canada just isn't on par with B&H.  I just tonight loaded up a cart at both Adorama and B&H.  Many similar or identical items.  Only difference is a refurbed SL1 in the cart at B&H. 

Adorama total = $1079 + $244 shipping (UPS which I hate)
B&H total = $1544 + $228 shipping (Purolator)

Both including customs clearance.

Not sure why shipping from Adorama should be more on a smaller $$ order than B&H.  My guess is because they are using UPS shipping to Canada which everybody knows is pretty much the biggest ripoff around.

So, B&H continues to get my monies.

I don't know why either - we actually use Bilsi for shipping to Canada (as opposed to Purolator), who collect from us then hand off to FedEx. It's the same duty-paid service so the cost should be the same.
I would be grateful if you could email me with your zip code plus the SKU # of the item so I can check why this has happened.
BTW we always do our best to at least price match , shipping as well as unit costs to equally reputable retailers, so I'd love to be able to get to the bottom of this asap. Thank you in advance: Helen@adorama.com

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:25:13 PM »
......the inconsistencies experienced for stock status is a real missed opportunity and I hope it gets resolved soon.

As soon as the office re-opens on Thursday I will raise these issues with the web team. It would be helpful if anyone who has experienced these inconsistencies can please email me with details of the operating systems and browsers being used.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:47:46 PM »
Either company is fine. Both have excellent salespeople with the knowledge to get you what you want, and shipping to get you it when you need it. However, there are bad employees at each, too.

Can I just note that the mobile site is on Beta testing stage.

Also, that if you experience what you suspect to be a glitch with either site, the quickest, most effective way to resolve this (or any other customer service, sales, stock or shipping issue - whether related to the cost, speed or packaging of your order) is to email me directly: Helen@adorama.com

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 14, 2014, 09:13:42 AM »
That's never happened to me... but it would be frustrating.  I live about 3 hours away from Adorama and B&H and I expect when I order and it is instock that I get it either the next day or the day after.  If you want and need something for the weekend... waiting a few extra days (unknown quantity) can be incredibly frustrating.  Especially since you could have bought it from another for a comparable price and it would already be in your hand.

If an item is in stock at Adorama, and your order enters our system before. 8pm, there is no reason why you wouldn't have it the next day (if you request o/night shipping), wherever you are in the US!

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 14, 2014, 04:43:07 AM »
Odd; when I go to that link I see, in red:

Please note: Although this item is temporarily out of stock, you can order it now and it will ship as soon as it arrives. Your card will only be charged once item is shipped.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: April 07, 2014, 04:25:42 PM »
Anyone else in Canada having trouble getting product
From Adorama in less than 7-10 days? Was going to order couple
Of Canon lenses but have a small order I placed last Wed afternoon. App
Didn't ship till Friday and now in the hands of Bilsi
Who usually hang on to it for 3-4 days before
Contacting Fedex. Product from B&H by Purolator
Gets to me in 48 hours

These are the estimated shipping times, as per our website:

Estimated Shipping Times:
Alberta - Four to five business days

BC - Four to five business days

Manitoba - Three to four business days

Maritimes - Three to four business days

Ontario - Two to three business days

Quebec - Two to three business days

Saskatchewan - Four to five business days

Toronto - Next day to two business days

Bilsi doesn't actually hold onto items - it is that items are not usually scanned until they pass to FedEx at the Canadian border.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 24, 2014, 07:40:38 AM »
......I got a monopod head that came in crumpled-up packaging.  I think it was a thin layer of foam that was wrapped around the monopod head's packaging, then had the air vacuumed out.  The head arrived intact, but I would have preferred one of those envelopes with bubblewrap lining or a box.....

I forwarded on your comments, plus the picture of the 2nd package to our Distribution Center manager. My understanding is that a thorough 'risk assessment' was carried out for each item that is to be sent via this method.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 14, 2014, 01:10:37 AM »
@ Helen,

At the risk of my sounding real stupid (if the simple answer is easily there to be seen) is there any way to tell from an items webpage on Adorama.com whether or not the item is in-stock?

No, it's a valid question! In the past we weren't so good at this, but we've been updating our systems over the past few months to mean that when you put an item in your cart it SHOULD be in stock - unless it actually states otherwise on the product page.
The difficulty is that if we are already low on inventory, and then receive a number of orders for an item via our affiliates such as Amazon, buy.com, our eBay store, via our website, in our NYC store or by 'phone, it's possible that stocks could be depleted by the time you get to the checkout.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 14, 2014, 01:02:54 AM »

It is really really sad. I feel especially bad for Calumet's employees.......

.....and the customers! For so many people Calumet will have been their local store.

When I started working for Adorama in 2007 I remember my Manager telling me that Calumet was a competitor, but that if anyone asked for advice where to shop when we were closed on Saturdays, that it was one of the places I should recommend

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 13, 2014, 01:48:42 PM »
What about Calumet?

Oh, that is so sad. Really, really sad.


Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 12:27:45 PM »

No, we don't offer Purolator - the Adorama low cost shipping option to Canada is from http://www.bilsi.com/

Thank you Helen, i appreciate this. However, when i try to do my checkout, i do not see this low cost shipping option. Maybe I am missing something. Not long ago I was shopping for a smaller softbox for a speedlight and was looking at  Glow HexaPop 24" priced at $140. The lowest shipment (UPS Worldwide Express) would've cost me almost $50. I checked my cart now and I still do not see any less expensive options for shipment. Also, with UPS option I still do not see if the tax is already included in it (I think I went all the way through checkout but did not finalize it). When i shopped for a similar item (a bit more pricey) at B&H, their Purolator option costs me close to $30 which includes delivery, tax, customs, etc, etc.

Like I said, maybe i am missing extra shipment options, so any advice will be appreciated.
Thank you.

Might be easier to do this by email: Helen@adorama.com

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 11:52:22 AM »
I'm in Canada, so for me its 90% B&H and 10% Adorama just because of the shipment options. Adorama's shipment to Canada is more expensive, last time I checked. Buying smaller (less expensive) items there does not make any $$ sense.

No, we don't offer Purolator - the Adorama low cost shipping option to Canada is from http://www.bilsi.com/

What is included in the final Adorama price? ALL taxes, duties, and brokerage fees are included in the final number when you select "Canada Shipping".

• Tax: Your local sales tax (GST + PST, or HST depending on province). If you are not in an HST province, only GST is charged (no PST). No taxes are due at delivery.

• Duty: Most camera equipment is duty free. If what you are buying is not, duties are included as well.

• Brokerage Fees: There are NO extra brokerage fees. Everything is already included in the shipping fee!
Go check out Adorama Camera for yourself, today http://www.adorama.com/ and find out how the new Tax & Duty-Included Ground shipping is going to keep dollars in YOUR pocket!

To estimate Arrival Time: on average it will be, overnight to Toronto add one day to most of Ontario and Quebec, two days for the for the Maritimes and Manitoba three days for Saskatchewan and Alberta and four days to BC.

We calculate Duty VAT, Taxes, etc. in accordance with the laws and import regulations of the destination country. These fees are usually based on destination, item type, and country of origin, manufacture or assembly.

When you choose to have Adorama handle this payment for you the order total is guaranteed by Adorama 100%. There will be no additional charges or fees due upon delivery.

According to photoprice.ca :


a quick check shows that shipping costs are, on average, 50% less! Most items ship for less than $20, which is competitive with Canadian retail store shipping.

Don't forget that many photographic items are covered by US/Canada or Worldwide Manufacturer Warranties, so many items you purchase from the US often come with warranty coverage in Canada.

This is the photoprice.ca article on warranties for Canadian consumers:


If you are new to buying from the US, you can also read the photoprice.ca article about Tax, Duty, and Brokerage Fees when buying from the US.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me directly: Helen@adorama.com.

[Thank you to  photoprice.ca for their help in saying it all so concisely and clearly!]

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