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What bugs me with B&H - Switching to Amazon


OliKMIA
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Hi,

I'm curious to see your opinions about B&H here. I've been a regular customers for years now throwing a lot of money with this store and I'm usually very satisfy with the experience and customer service.

However I'm getting more and more annoyed by their super strict religious policy which make them close many weeks per year due to Jewish holidays. The latest was a one week closure for Passover. I didn't pay attention and order just before the celebration and my product arrived 2 weeks later.
Now I totally understand and respect their religious position. It's the way they are but on top of that I recently got a lot of comments deleted after leaving mixed reviews on their website. It was nothing trashy, just objective point of view and reports of real flaws (eg. the micro jitter issue on the Panasonic 14-140 lens that make the image stabilization useless in video).

So at this point I'm going to order my stuff on Amazon. The customer service is excellent too, the store doesn't shut down for weeks (not even a day actually) and the comments are not censored.

What do you think ?

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I usually go back and forth between the two... Where I live B&H standard delivery to me is next day so that is always a plus for me. I also have Amazon Prime. But that is 2 days usually for me.  I learned a long time ago to always check the B&H schedule..

 

I cant comment on the comments because i have never commented on either site.

 

 

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B&H has way better browse/search to research for the gear we folks buy; Amazon is terrible. For me (in CA) there's also no tax with B&H. OTOH, Amazon is incredible in fulfillment (often next day with my Prime membership) and good pricing. I don't like the frequent B&H breaks too, must be a union thing.

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I don't have brand loyalty to any store really.

I like b&h and do look/shop there a lot, but I shop just as much from places like Adorama, Amazon, Ebay, Best Buy, a few local Baltimore stores from time to time.

Whoever has what I want for the best price/availability wins, no need to look into it much more than that for me.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sekhar said:

B&H has way better browse/search to research for the gear we folks buy; Amazon is terrible. For me (in CA) there's also no tax with B&H. OTOH, Amazon is incredible in fulfillment (often next day with my Prime membership) and good pricing. I don't like the frequent B&H breaks too, must be a union thing.

Almost their entire in-house staff is Jewish. Generally I've had no problems so far with B&H, adorama I've sworn off, as they are not always entirely clear if something is in stock or not. Also I prefer B&H to Amazon, because I don't like the chance existing that I will purchase from a 3rd party seller. For used stuff, love Keh.com, always accurate descriptions of gear from them.

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To the OP, you could have canceled your B&H order and just bought from Amazon instead of waiting. If there's an upcoming closure, the website clearly states that with a pop up telling you exactly when it closes and reopens. This message is repeated when placing orders as well. If there's any doubt as to whether it will ship, you can call beforehand and confirm.

I bounce back and forth depending on the item. I can save on sales tax going with B&H, so most big ticket items that I can't get through Texas Media Systems (if you're in the U.S., highly recommended, I get all my preorders in the first wave through them) I go B&H.

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LOL i take it OP's never been to the brick & mortar store .. FYI, the staff isn't regular type Jewish.. they're mega orthodox Hasidic (basically Amish level Jewish). Staff actually live in a reserve in NJ and have a special bus bring them into work every AM! May come as a surprise to many but strict Jewish observances is fairly common among NYC businesses.. The upside I guess is they remain open on Christian holidays. Regardless ton of other super stores out there, if this causes such grievance. Not sure about the moderation part either , the URSA mini reviews totally rip it to parts calling it horrible, flawed, etc.. if anything i'd say it's a good place to go if not just for the honest user gear reviews!

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1 hour ago, Django said:

LOL i take it OP's never been to the brick & mortar store .. FYI, the staff isn't regular type Jewish.. they're mega orthodox Hasidic (basically Amish level Jewish). Staff actually live in a reserve in NJ and have a special bus bring them into work every AM! May come as a surprise to many but strict Jewish observances is fairly common among NYC businesses.. The upside I guess is they remain open on Christian holidays. Regardless ton of other super stores out there, if this causes such grievance. Not sure about the moderation part either , the URSA mini reviews totally rip it to parts calling it horrible, flawed, etc.. if anything i'd say it's a good place to go if not just for the honest user gear reviews!

Of course I went to the store near Madison square garden with the fun moving cart system on the ceiling and I know they are "mega orthodox Hasidic" ;) But again, the point is not about jews or muslims, gays, animal lovers or whatever group it can be.
I really like B&H for the service but the regular closing and comment censorship bugs me a little and I was curious about other people experience, especially about the comments. And as many said, no big deal since we have plenty of options.

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re: Adorama. Last year, twice I placed an order for something that was in stock, only to receive notice within 24 hours that shipment was delayed and the item was backordered. I've read accounts of this happening to others too. Another time, I received another person's order. And they wouldn't ship my actual order until they received the wrong items back. Was irritated that shipping time would have been effectively tripled, so I requested a refund and had SLR Magic send me the order directly.

Never had issues like this with BH. Or Amazon. In fact, BH reps have gone out of their way to help me with price matching, or to override quantity limits, etc.

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Same thing happened with me, ordered a camera from them because it said it was in stock. Hit the buy button and then received a notice saying it's not in stock and would have to wait 2-3 weeks to receive. They do it because if an item is sold out everywhere it nets them more sales. Will never use them again because of this, it's a shame because I had great experiences with them before that point.

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I don't know anything about comment censorship, but I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would complain about someone taking time off. 1 day/week plus select holidays. And they clearly advertise this in advance. I wish more companies would do this. Seems super healthy and sustainable to me. 

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3 hours ago, Geoff CB said:

Same thing happened with me, ordered a camera from them because it said it was in stock. Hit the buy button and then received a notice saying it's not in stock and would have to wait 2-3 weeks to receive. They do it because if an item is sold out everywhere it nets them more sales. Will never use them again because of this, it's a shame because I had great experiences with them before that point.

I noticed they tried to do that when the a6300 was on the verge of coming out. But if you look closely you can tell its not in stock. But yeah I hate that they do that. Its really shady. I have nevered ordered from them but was tempted a few times. But for the most part I have stuck with B&H and Amazon....

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Maybe this does not matter to you, but Amazon seemingly treats the workers in their warehouses very bad. Some say B&H ain't too good too in tis matter either. Well, life is not always easy - most of the time we pick money before humans. From time to time I pick up a thing or two from Amazon myself, but try to avoid purchases involving their warehouses.

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12 hours ago, OliKMIA said:

Of course I went to the store near Madison square garden with the fun moving cart system on the ceiling and I know they are "mega orthodox Hasidic" ;) But again, the point is not about jews or muslims, gays, animal lovers or whatever group it can be.

not to beat a dead horse but you were the one ranting about their "super strict religious policy which make them close many weeks per year due to Jewish holidays". sounds like you do have a problem with that.. but again if this annoys you shop elsewhere. in their defence they do a fairly good job in notifying their closing periods.

+1 on adorama. called them few days ago for product availability.. guy couldn't give me an ETA but insisted pre-ordering was my best option.. needless to say i took my business elsewhere.. 

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If I was in the USA I wouldn't hesitate to use B&H, but the shipping prices to the UK wipe out even the best of bundled deals. I won't use Amazon for major purchases like cameras and lenses because some of the delivery companies employ gorillas that seem to think that fragile means throw it around like a frisbee. For my a7s2, lenses, tripod, beholder DS1, I used Wex Photographic - all of these products, apart from the DS1, came the following day (though chose free 3 to 4 day delivery). I was not expecting the DS1 for a good three months (that was the honest estimated waiting time) as it was not in stock when I ordered it and getting hold of them can be tricky, but even that came within a week. Must have had the next one off the production line.

I tend to use Amazon for just about everything else, mind - their reviewing system allows everything through.

Regarding negative reviews on B&H, there are plenty of them. Just check the reviews for the DS1 :)

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2 hours ago, Django said:

not to beat a dead horse but you were the one ranting about their "super strict religious policy which make them close many weeks per year due to Jewish holidays". sounds like you do have a problem with that.. but again if this annoys you shop elsewhere. in their defence they do a fairly good job in notifying their closing periods.

+1 on adorama. called them few days ago for product availability.. guy couldn't give me an ETA but insisted pre-ordering was my best option.. needless to say i took my business elsewhere.. 

Here we go, let's clear the air once again here because I have no problem with any religion or group, the subject of my  "ranting" was about the regular closing which in this case is for Jewish Holidays and also the censoring of comments.
I mentioned it because this is why they close. It could be for Muslim holidays, hipster Burning man party, the UFO lovers reunions or whatever reason, a closing is a closing, same for the comments.  If I had any problem with them, I would probably not have spent a lot of money with B&H already so please save your borderline comments for yourself. I you have a problem with that, it's not mine.

As for the notification, you're right but I didn't pay attention last time I ordered. And good to know for Adorama, I never ordered with them actually and I was the impression that they had similar service than B&H.

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Relax.. never said you had a problem with any religious group.. I was just explaining to you why they close and it's a valid reason considering they're background, hence I don't understand why it should even be brought up as an issue (especially since you seem well aware of it). As i suspected it appears you goofed and are blaming them for getting what you consider late shipping.. anyways B&H / online purchasing is certainly not flawless but i feel this rant is a bit unwarranted.. feel free to disagree.. i'm out of this thread :)

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Ok, we're good. No problem. I was just curious about other's people opinion on the subject and overall experience with B&H. Got some good info already but you're right. At this point I can just shop elsewhere. Nothing more to say.

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