June 21, 2018, 08:22:12 AM

Author Topic: Retail Markup. How much do stores really pay for the equipment they sell us?  (Read 22491 times)


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probably between 1 and 15 %

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I'm wondering if anyone has any specific details, estimate/figures or generalized standards for figuring out the retail markup that stores put on lenses, bodies and equipment.

I'm being told by a salesmen that they basically make little to no money selling new lenses and that they only make money on used equipment and accessories.  I am certain that this is what most salesmen of cameras and lenses say and have always said.  But I don't necessarily believe them, and that is what I'm after,-how accurate is this common line, or is it a total line that many just learned to accept but is far from reality?

In most retail, electronics and computer components included, etc. etc., there is a significant markup.  Any detail, or hard evidence on how camera retail works and what the actual/estimable margins are.  Thank you very much.

Retailers make next to nothing on camera lenses and camera bodies. He's not lying. I worked a long while in retail, and there was rarely a double digit margin. That usually only happened at launch, and when things were hard to come by.

Here's a few true story examples. (Canada)

Christmas Situation
Canon G9
Dealer cost $464
Sale price: $449 (Price Match on say Staples)
Visa @ 1.2%: $6.09 (after tax)
Total Cost: 470.09

Canon Provides 2% volume discount from a large Christmas order.
+ Another $15 sell through rebate claim.

$24.28 Back to the retailer.

Dealer sees both of these credits 6 months down the road.

Total raw profit on the G9 sale: $3.20

100% factual true story. This isn't an anomaly. This is why your local camera retailer spends most of the Christmas season crying over loss leader flyers from Wal-Mart and Staples.

So when they say, "no you can't have a free bag or memory card"... there's a reason.

There's a reason the local camera store is a dying breed.


Canon EF 800 f/5.6L IS

Dealer Cost: $10,480
Merchant Account Cost: $149
Sale Price: $10,999

Raw Profit: $370

You get the idea.......

These examples were at various different times, prices have changed since then.


I can confirm this in Denmark as well... I currently work with a guy who used to work as a retailer in one of the two main stores. They hardly make anything on a sale, but the way they scrape in some change is by receiving quarterly bonuses based on how much the store has sold of a particular brand. Also the reason many danish retailers only keep one brand of the big guys.


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probably between 1 and 15 %

I  nominate DavidM for the prize for the most succinct answer. :)

MK5GTI: A little more explanation please. It looks like the store/stores gives employees a 25% discount. I don't see anything that says what the actual cost of the 5D II is to the store. Maybe I'm misreading this. Some retailers who offer employee discounts offer those discounts across the board (giving their employees the discount even on sale items). Where are you seeing the store's cost? Can you explain in more detail what this is showing?

jacksw1ss, mreco99, leGreve, and others: I think I've concluded from these and many other posts on this site that it really sucks to live in Europe when it comes to buying things. :) On the other hand, you do get to live in Europe while we Americans have to pay an arm and a leg just to come visit for 10 days. :)

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