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B&H Photo prices, why such good prices vs everyone else?

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 05:59 PM

I'm in the market for a C9.25 and later this year, I thought of getting a CGEM11 mount. Theres quite a bit of money to save, if I bought the combination together. B&H Photo prices are about $350 less then everyone else as a package deal with free shipping and about $850 less when buying these parts individually.

Why can they beat everyone else in their prices?

I've bought a few things from them over the years but nothing significant. Are there any downsides to buying from them vs someone else that charges more? I cant think of any, especially if Celestron is the place that will receive any defects for repair.

Any thoughts on any of this?

...Ralph

Edited by aa6ww, 12 February 2020 - 03:17 PM.


#2 petert913

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:12 PM

I've bought tons of gear from them over the years.  Cameras, scopes, mounts.  All were an excellent experience.  I suppose they can sell at lower

prices due to high volumes.  They are a lot bigger than most astronomy shops !


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#3 SJ2W1

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:26 PM

I've never had to send anything back to them for service, so I can't speak to how that works. I've done a lot of business with them and Adorama and prefer B&H. I'm sure that the volume of products they deal with and move gives them the ability to be more flexible on prices. Smaller shops have smaller margins, which makes it harder for them to compete. 


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#4 vdog

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:27 PM

Yeah, I don't get it either, but I've taken advantage of it.  Fast, free shipping and never had an issue with them.


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#5 deepwoods1

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:28 PM

Give the small guy a chance IMHO. You’ll probably get much better service if there’s a problem and they may even know something about Astronomy. Our CN provider gives a discount to members BTW. And they support this wonderful website! 


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#6 wrnchhead

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:34 PM

I always check with our guys first and only go elsewhere when they don’t have it.
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#7 StarBurger

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:04 PM

B & H is has been my goto for 8 years now .I actively look out for what they have to offer as I know it will be a fair deal and living in the "free shipping " area (NYS and a little beyond) makes it a no-brainer.

I have never had any issue with returns simply because everything delivered worked fine.

At one point between jobs and as I lived in New York City I applied for a job with them and I would have been proud to get it. 

Alas it was not to be.

These guys are just a class outfit and one of the few things I miss about living in NYC is not being able to browse their HUGE store on W 34 th St. on a day off.

Tear up your credit card before you enter. It's not just the astro equipment, a small dept., but anything to do with photo/video. Two (three?) floors on half a city block of an Alladins cave of juicy treasures.

Don't visit on a Saturday, closed for Sabbath. It's New York City of course.

Otherwise knock yourself out...

I


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#8 Jeffmar

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

I have ordered more than a few things from B & H. I like them. I have had better deals on telescope equipment from High Point Scientific, but that could just be a timing thing. 



#9 deepwoods1

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:34 PM

I’m sorry, but my experiences are a bit different. They know a great deal about cameras and lighting, video and all sorts of electronics, but when I’ve been in there room of scopes, I couldn’t get a straight answer from them without them reading some handout materials. As for having stuff shipped, I’ve complained the few times I’ve used them for film. Poorly packed with a token piece of bubblewrap. I get it, $350 is a good chunk of change. I’m just asking that you give the little guys with the expertise a shot. Clear and steady skies.....


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#10 Astroman007

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 08:36 PM

Why are their prices so good? Don't ask...just be grateful! wink.gif


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#11 SandyHouTex

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 10:01 PM

I’ve used B&H for all of my camera and lens needs over the years.  Great prices and excellent customer service.  I had to return something only once.  They sent me a shipping label, and once they got it and inspected it I got a prompt refund.

 

Excellent company.


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#12 Simon B

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 11:46 PM

I remember last year the Vixen APZ mount + APP-TL130 tripod was $450 at B&H... I suspect it was a typo, since it was selling for $900 everywhere else. Nevertheless, they honored the price when I bought it, along with a couple of others here on CN : )


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#13 UnderOvercast

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:05 AM

I remember last year the Vixen APZ mount + APP-TL130 tripod was $450 at B&H... I suspect it was a typo, since it was selling for $900 everywhere else. Nevertheless, they honored the price when I bought it, along with a couple of others here on CN : )

Hi Simon,

 

I just received a Vixen APZ and APP-TL130 tripod from B&H this afternoon. They have the pair on for 400USD off from the regular 899USD.

 

https://www.bhphotov...ris_alt_az.html

 

I'm impressed by the packing - triple boxed in a huge box from B&H. I've had my eye on that mount for a while... couldn't resist.

 

Grant


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#14 SeattleScott

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:23 AM

Living in Washington state, I have to pay 10% sales tax on purchases from B&H. The smaller astronomy shops are about 10% more expensive, but they usually don’t charge me tax yet, except for Cloudbreak since it is in my state.

I remember that deal on the Vixen mount. I was tempted, but geez, by the time you add an equatorial wedge and goto, the price is around the same as an SX2 with SB10. If you just want to use it as alt az and never have any aspirations to buy the 242 expensive add-on accessories, it isn’t a bad deal. But then you can get an AYO Swiss for roughly similar money, so still not the deal of the decade.

I remember going to Staples and seeing a deskjet printer for $50, and the ink cartridges were $35 or so. The manufacturer could sell the printer at a loss in order to make money on ink. I suspect Vixen offered a sizable rebate to vendors, or at least B&H, to move some product and boost accessory sales. I think of the Vixen Advanced Polaris as the inkjet mount.

Scott

Edited by SeattleScott, 12 February 2020 - 12:28 AM.

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#15 Simon B

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:33 AM

Oh wow, yeah it's on sale again... sweet : )

 

Scott, yeah true.. the AP equatorial wedge is only $139 from Vixen, it's the motors that are exhorbitant... $650 just for RA motor + SB1.... ouch... and then another $330 for the dec motor... double ouch

 

Good analogy with the Inkjet printers : p  kinda like those fancy 5-bladed Gillette razors... buying the razor is cheap, but replacement blades are where they make their money


Edited by Simon B, 12 February 2020 - 12:43 AM.

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#16 UnderOvercast

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:09 AM

Oh wow, yeah it's on sale again... sweet : )

 

Scott, yeah true.. the AP equatorial wedge is only $139 from Vixen, it's the motors that are exhorbitant... $650 just for RA motor + SB1.... ouch... and then another $330 for the dec motor... double ouch

 

Good analogy with the Inkjet printers : p  kinda like those fancy 5-bladed Gillette razors... buying the razor is cheap, but replacement blades are where they make their money

I've been kicking myself since I missed out on the deal you had back then. I'm glad to have another chance. So far very nice mount. And really good dealing with B&H.

 

I hear you and Scott on the prices of some of the AP equipment. But if you go manual it's no so painful.

 

A couple of years ago my battery box for my GPDX broke - I fixed it, but I also ordered a new one (center negative) from Vixen Optics. I also ordered the RA/Dec clutches while they were still available - might as well. Truth be told since getting the clutches I've been using the GPDX totally manually. I like not having to worry about replacing 8 (!) D cell batteries every time they die.

 

I'm starting to get interested on buying the bits and pieces to make the APZ into a manual GEM. It's still relatively inexpensive. It's just when you start adding motors, and not to mention Starbook Ten. :)

 

Grant


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#17 Eddgie

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 08:02 AM

I’m sorry, but my experiences are a bit different. They know a great deal about cameras and lighting, video and all sorts of electronics, but when I’ve been in there room of scopes, I couldn’t get a straight answer from them without them reading some handout materials.

This is I think is a good observation.

They are primarily a camera store and if you go in to the store, you can get expert help on camera gear, but they really are not well equipped to answer technical questions about astronomy gear.

 

Now this has been my experience with other camera stores that sell telescopes. It used to be common to see Celestron C8s for sale in many camera stores but if you asked any of the staff about them, the best they could often tell you was that it was a "2000mm f/10 lens". 

 

But if you buy a C8 from Amazon, no one there knows anything about telescopes either so that is not really a negative.  It it is just a characteristic of a volume business.

 

This is my bet though. I do not know a lot about telescope wholesale pricing, but I do know a lot about wholesale pricing in general and what I know is that in general, the bigger the order, the lower price the merchant pays

 

Big retail stores have the money to place very large orders, and when they do, they get discounts.  The small shops often place small orders as inventory dwindles because they don't have the money to place very large orders, and because they don't have the cash position to place large orders or the warehouse space to store large orders. 

 

So these kinds of stores just place large orders and get big discounts and have the volume to store the merchandise.

 

Since they pay less, they can sell for less and still keep the same profit margin.

 

Amazon does this.

Costco does this.

Walmart does this.

Sam's does this.

 

And my guess is that this is what B&H does, the difference being that B&H does not sell books, bulk bacon, or cheap shoes. They sell optical stuff and accessories. 


Edited by Eddgie, 12 February 2020 - 09:16 AM.

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#18 Terra Nova

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:03 AM

As only an online customer, I’ve been dealing with B&H for nearly twenty years and have nothing but positive things to say. I’ve never purchased a scope or mount from them but I have bought computers, cameras, camera accessories, filters, eyepieces, and other accessories at always great prices, with very prompt shipping. Communication has always been prompt and excellent as well regarding anything out of stock or on back order. Everything always arrived well packed and in perfect order.


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#19 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:24 AM

Many smaller stores like Astronomics price match so at least give them a chance..

 

Jon


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#20 kel123

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:54 AM

High volume my friend, high volume. Everything I have ever bought from them, including EQ6-R, Evostar 80ED and Star Adventurer have been cheaper there than elsewhere.
They even throw in gifts too making items even much cheaper.

However, you can try to price match with www.astronomics.com

They are experts and offer discounts too. They run this forum in case you don't know. Hence, you can never be in safer hands.

Edited by kel123, 12 February 2020 - 10:13 AM.


#21 SandyHouTex

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:05 AM

If Astronomics starts selling cameras, camera lenses, computers, and the other things B&H sells I will.  But since telescope makers price fix, prices on telescopes are the same at B&H as they are at Astronomics.  So we should buy from our hosts IF IT’S IN STOCK.

 

Something else, and another reason I frequent B&H over other vendors, is that they almost always have stuff in stock.



#22 Carl N

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 11:32 AM

B&H and Adorama are great vendors.

#23 Henry Posner

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 11:56 AM

As only an online customer, I’ve been dealing with B&H for nearly twenty years and have nothing but positive things to say. I’ve never purchased a scope or mount from them but I have bought computers, cameras, camera accessories, filters, eyepieces, and other accessories at always great prices, with very prompt shipping. Communication has always been prompt and excellent as well regarding anything out of stock or on back order. Everything always arrived well packed and in perfect order.

Thank you, and everyone else here who related positive experiences shopping with us. We appreciate your votes of confidence. Very gratifying. 


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#24 Paul G

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

I recently upgraded several camera lenses, all purchased from B&H, and they gave me a $200+ credit to use on any subsequent purchase. I've always used them for my camera stuff.


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#25 PXR-5

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 05:07 PM

I worked on 34st also, so I loved going in there :) I also lived about 30 mins away from High Point Scientific :)

Those were the days...


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