August 01, 2014, 09:41:03 PM

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Messages - Helen Oster

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16
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

17
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.


































jk
[/quote]

18
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

19
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 :

http://www.photoprice.ca/article/adorama-cheap-ground-shipping-tax-duty

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:

http://www.photoprice.ca/article/warranty-us-canada-grey-market

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.

http://www.photoprice.ca/article/tax-duty-brokerage-demystified


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!]

21
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 10:20:47 AM »
.....I will say that we consumers are very fortunate to have to excellent companies to purchase from and I'll amend my statement to say that you can't go wrong with either merchant and I would recommend Adorama over B&H simply because Helen takes the time to visit CR and respond to our posts :)

......Now, after reading Helen's posts and learning about the lengths she goes to for customer satisfaction, I realize this company has an extraordinary asset. I'm sure they will be seeing a good bit more of my business.

I'm so pleased to have the opportunity to reach out to you all - hopefully you now know there is a real person behind the signature, who will always be there to offer advice or support with any order from Adorama.

22
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:58:18 AM »


I am actually in the process of buying a new 1066X CF card and decided to check Adorama out as I rarely go to their site, and they do not even have the one I want....


I'd be interested to know which one it is, so I can alert our Purchasing Manager. Thank you: Helen@adorama.com


The Lexar 32GB 1066X CF Card and 64GB 1066X CF Card. Adorama only seems to sell them in packs of two and I only want the one 64GB 1066X card. Thanks.


http://www.adorama.com/ILXPCF10632.html : 32GB x 1
http://www.adorama.com/ILXPCF10664.html : 64GB x 1


Thanks. I was going to ask how you found them as I had followed the path from the home page, but then I notice that neither of these two products have an image next to them for some reason which is why I may have overlooked them earlier. You may want to get someone to put the image up, as when it is greyed out like that with "image coming soon" it looks like you do not have them - at least it did to me.


You are 100% correct - major fail by our admin!! I've already alerted our purchasing department to get onto this asap. Thank you - BTW Can I get your email address before you place / pay for your order?

23
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:27:50 AM »


I am actually in the process of buying a new 1066X CF card and decided to check Adorama out as I rarely go to their site, and they do not even have the one I want....


I'd be interested to know which one it is, so I can alert our Purchasing Manager. Thank you: Helen@adorama.com


The Lexar 32GB 1066X CF Card and 64GB 1066X CF Card. Adorama only seems to sell them in packs of two and I only want the one 64GB 1066X card. Thanks.


http://www.adorama.com/ILXPCF10632.html : 32GB x 1
http://www.adorama.com/ILXPCF10664.html : 64GB x 1

24
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:11:16 AM »


I am actually in the process of buying a new 1066X CF card and decided to check Adorama out as I rarely go to their site, and they do not even have the one I want....

I'd be interested to know which one it is, so I can alert our Purchasing Manager. Thank you: Helen@adorama.com

25
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:54:50 AM »

[/quote]
.....Adorama does a fine job but they sent me a cheap lens and the box was damaged.... and probably not by the post.  So... small problem that was quickly fixed... but still.


I hope you notified us?

....With Adorama is seems that you never really know if something is in-stock or not...


I don't know whether you have visited the website recently, but this is being introduced, gradually. However, as I noted above, the most common reason for this happening is when an item is unexpectedly popular and the orders we receive outpace our website’s inventory update system. Adorama Camera is built on customer satisfaction and we do try very hard to avoid situations that cause disappointment.

I am in Toronto Canada....I have heard that Adorama has recently introduced a ' the price is the price' service but I have no experience with it.


Yes; in partnership with http://www.bilsi.com/

26
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:46:58 AM »
.....I needed filter wrenches ....The item was listed as in stock, I ordered three sets ....My confirmation email showed them as backordered. So, I called to inquire, and was told they only had two of them (I would have thought that should show up when I added three to my cart....)

The problem is that if we may have had, for example, 20 in stock when you added them to your cart, but if several other customers were also ordering 18 pieces at the same time, but got to checkout and paid for their items before you, we wouldn't by  then have 3 available to ship!


....I ordered a $65 item from them, which they had in stock ....I got a second email stating, "Uh oh! The credit card used to pay for order #xxxxxx has been declined...It......I called them, and it turned out that was the problem - the new card had a new date, but also a new CVV security code, and I was not given an opportunity to update that on the website. Apparently it was a known issue, probably fixed some time back. 

This is actually a security precaution, and as far as I know is still in place. Customers are required to delete completely all pre-existing credit card information and then enter it all again from scratch. It is supposedly the most secure way for your information to be stored.

....I had to call multiple times, wait on hold, etc......Adorama's CSRs have been consistently friendly and helpful in getting the issues resolved, and Helen's participation here and elsewhere is certainly appreciated......

Thank you for your kind words - and if you do order from Adorama in the future and have an issue you really don't need to call in at all!  As a CR member, just a single email to me: Helen@adorama.com with an outline of the problem, plus your order number, is all that is needed.  :D

27
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:29:17 AM »
i think we clearly have a winner here, B&H it is! thank guys, i truly appreciate everyone's immediate response..although on Adorama's deal "New Leaf 3 Year (Drops & Spills) Warranty" included, is this a deal breaker or not?

The New Leaf “Drops and Spills” service plan covers the repair or replacement of your product should it suffer an unlikely mechanical or electrical breakdown, or in the event of an unintended, accidental drop or spill. 

There is a clear difference between neglect, misuse and accidental damage, and the New Leaf "Drops and Spills” plan is designed to provide coverage in the event that your product is involved in a “single event”, unintended, accidental situation.   What does this mean? 
If you are using your product and you accidentally drop it, is it covered? Yes.  If your toddler grabs the lens because it was left in an unsafe location, is it covered? No – toddler should not have access to the product!

If you set your lens on the table and a glass of coffee tips over, is it covered? Yes. If you are skiing with your product in tow and you fall, is it covered? No – unsafe location……

There are so many different scenarios, I could never list them all! However, if you have any specific questions, Laura, a New Leaf representative, is always more than happy to address them directly. She can be reached at 972.573.1267.



28
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:25:13 AM »

I've had 2 really bad experiences with Adorama:

1.  Purchased a Canon 5D Mark II.  Came out of the box with a bad battery.  The only way Adorama would ship me a replacement was to return the bad battery, wait 5-7 business days for the return to process through their system, then they send me a replacement by the slowest ground shipping available. 


That doesn't sound right; most refunds/replacements are completed within 2 business days.

2.  My wife bought me several items for Christmas from Adorama.  Adorama shipped it via a method that left their warehouse via UPS but then got handed off the the U.S. Postal Service somewhere enroute.  Once the USPS handoff was made, all tracking info was lost.  The shipment went missing.  Adorama required it to be "non-delivered" for 30 days before they would send a replacement shipment out.  So I got my Christmas gift somewhere near the end of January.



It sounds as though your wife selected 'free' shipping; as per our website, this is 7-10 Business-Day delivery. In order for us to  be able to provide 'free'  shipping (which of course isn't actually, 'free', as we pay for it), we use a wide variety of carriers, FedEx, UPS, USPS, MessengerForYou, Manna, Mail Innovations and more.
When an order is placed online, the carrier is selected by the shipping department at the time when the order ships out.
There are a variety of determining factors; item weight, item size, item value, delivery location, and most important, delivery speed selected by the  customer.

When the order is picked up by the carrier, we provide them with the time frame.

If you would like a specific carrier to be selected you need to place your order over the phone with a salesman by emailing sales@adorama.com or by calling 800-223-2500. You can request the carrier of your choice and the salesman will manually select it for you. (USPS can only be selected if the order has a value of $195 or less).

If an item is lost by UPS, they require 10 business days to investigate and either find the missing item or instruct Adorama to refund or replace.
Last Christmas, the volume of orders greatly exceeded the number planned for by UPS, and while this led to numerous problems of late or failed delivery, I’m not sure that Adorama can be blamed for this....

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303345104579282432991595484

29
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:03:21 AM »
Chances are, things will be fine with both companies...IF things go well.


I know somebody who is currently in limbo due to Adorama's suboptimal packaging and expensive Zeiss lens arriving damaged, involving multiple returns to get the same lens in one piece.  The lens is now stuck in UPS-claims-denied world with no end in site and no help from Adorama. 

We actually pack above and beyond the industry standard.  Most packaging companies that come in and see our operation are taken back by the amount of pillows we use in one carton.  They actually drool to try and get our business, because it is not the norm. 
The industry standard is to put the item in the box to one corner and then fill the void with dunnage whether it be peanuts, pillows, foam, or paper.  Our standard is to blanket the bottom and the sides of the box and then place the item in the middle - and then fold over the pillows and add more to fill the box where needed. 
The only thing we don’t add any pillows to are items that ship in the vendor box, and soft goods (t-shirts, backpacks, hats, etc).

As soon as we are notified that an item is MIA we open a trace with UPS. UPS requires up 'til 10 business days to complete their investigations. There isn't actually anything that we can do during this period.

However, as it sounds from your description that your friend's issue has somehow slipped 'through the cracks', can you please have him email me directly: Helen@adorama.com with his order number and I will see what I may be able to do, to help.

On a personal level, remember the time Canon EOS-M/lens package was on $300 sale, and after taking a bunch of orders, Adorama unilaterally cancelled their customers' orders without any replacement or offers when the exact body/lens combo was no longer in stock.

I don't personally remember this, but if we were out of stock, and were not able to obtain any more units at the lower price, then I guess we will have had little option but to cancel the outstanding orders.
We sell across multiple platforms, eg Amazon, Buy.com and many others, plus of course we are receiving orders via telephone, the website and in-store. If we are already low on stock and we receive an upsurge in orders it isn't going to be immediately obvious which customer(s) may be disappointed. This is exacerbated because we don't actually charge until an order is shipped.

30
Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 12, 2014, 04:43:21 AM »
I've ordered many times from both companies and would recommend B&H over Adorama primarily because they ship the fastest (i.e. get your order out of their warehouse to the shipper). 

I don't think that's true, actually; Adorama orders for new, in-stock items that are placed right up until 8:00 pm ET are generally shipped the same day. As items are packed they go straight onto one of the UPS trailers in our shipping department. As soon as a trailer if filled we call for a driver to come and collect the trailer and take it to one of the UPS hubs, immediately.

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