Nikon Pricing Debacle

It's been a bit since my last temper tantrum, otherwise know as a rant. You cannot count my niggling complaints about the D7000 as a rant, especially after I clarified them a bit with how much I actually like the camera. By the title you may think that I am going to beat on Nikon a bit. I am not. I am going to beat on people. Nobody specifically, more society in general.

My curse in life is that I am a cynical romantic. I know that makes no sense. It even borders on an oxymoron. Unfortunately that is why it is a curse. My mind is always at odds with itself. I am really good at arguing six hundred different sides to just about anything with equal passion and vigor. I am not indecisive - in fact I come to a conclusion immediately in most cases. The issue comes with the aftermath of rationalization, justification, reasoning, etc. Enough preamble. Let's get on with the current state of affairs with Nikon pricing in the consumer market.

You would have to admit that prices for just about any reasonably current Nikon gear are downright nutty. I am not only talking about the D800. Of course a new camera that has such a huge difference in specs is going to be fairly high for a bit when it is first released. My prediction is that price inflation is not going to end anytime near where we are used to those things going away. Take a look at all Nikon gear at the moment.

Everything from the two year old D7000, to the 50mm AFS 1.4G, to the 16-35mm AFS f4G VR is out of whack. Everything is nutty, please take a look at the links above. The links are current Amazon prices. They vary a bit every day but they are crazy. They are more crazy at the moment I just published this post than when I looked yesterday. Ebay is even crazier. Probably becasuse this is where most of the jack-off entrepreneurs congregate.

Yea, yea, yea supply and demand. Yea. Bullshit. The Tsunami, nuclear disaster, flood crap was a long time ago. I speculate that this has no current impact on pricing. Instead it provided the opportunity for a number of jerks to gouge people beyond belief for gear who's production was temporarily interrupted. There was a time when a lot of Nikon gear was actually impossible to get - even if you would pay just about any price.

Fast forward a bit and you will find that there are crap loads of Nikon items that you can buy from 1000 different fly-by-night entrepreneurs. If the supply was nonexistent these extortionists would be far far more spotty in terms of popping up on Amazon, eBay, etc. There would be one or two here and there not a consistent supply of the items by many purveyors. These assholes went into business when the supply really did run out. They stayed in business buy continuing to by their inventory through more reputable and ethical channels like "real" Amazon, B+H, Adorama, etc.

The reason Adorama, B+H, Amazon (the real Amazon) doesn't have D7000's, 50 1.5G's, etc, etc is because these assholes have are like 1000 (or more) artificial people being in line for gear they are going to deliver to the actual end users while providing no additional value. Yes these people are assholes because they want money for nothing. That's what scammers are in the broadest sense of the term, people that want money by providing no value.

The issue is that idiots actually pay the insane inflated prices above MSRP. The more they do that the more time it takes for enough of the scammers to start loosing money. Trust me - some of them will take a bath but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to dump a bunch of them at MSRP prior to B+H, Amazon, or Adorama to start competing with each other again. What actually seems to happen is that once the actual initial demand is used up there is a huge delay in prices reaching equilibrium. You know like when Adorama, B+H, Amazon actually compete with each other and we get to the real "street price".

Here is where my divided brain comes in. I don't know who to be more furious with. The asshole scammers or the idiots that buy from them. Here is where the decisive part comes in - I decided a long long time ago that I am not going to pay more than the manufacturer said it's worth. Heck they already have their own profit margins and the profit margins of retailers built in as well. I urge you to do the same. If you need one of these super rare, never to be made again items (yea right), just order one from the real importers. They guys that have been here for decades and don't bash you over the head.

It won't take that long. My buddies ordered D800's within a week or two of "order-ability" and all of them have their gear. I am absolutely sure that a D800 or a 16-35 or a 50 1.4G is not going to be a major impact to your business if you have to wait a couple of weeks.

I picked Nikon as a place holder but this applies equally as well to some other products as well. Nikon just happens to be hot right now so it made a good archetype. The only reasonable news is that the D700 prices finally took a plunge. Based on how quickly they have moved to around the $2000 mark I think we may see them go a bit lower which in turn may even drive the D3's down more. It already has to some degree but not what I expected yet.

RB

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