Thursday, October 28, 2010


I was surfing in google reader one day to an interesting post on regarding CODB. This term refers to the Cost Of Doing Business.

How does it relate to me today?

During lunch hour, three gentleman came to the counter and asked for a quote for some Nikon lenses. After checking up the price from our files and letting them know what was our selling price, they counter offered a price that was even lower than what we could afford to sell.

Some of us can afford to walk into KFC or Mc Donalds and order a meal worth RM 15 without batting an eye. Ironically we purchase camera equipment worth thousands of dollars and negotiate to the last dollar (or ringgit). When you set up a business or sell something, we do so with profit in mind. If you're not making any profit at all from the sale (on the contrary, you may be making a loss), what is the point of continuing the transaction?

Frankly speaking, the prices of camera bodies in Malaysia are as cheap as they can get. D700 bodies are selling for approximately RM6,000 (1,937 USD) while 5DIIs aren't that much further behind. Adorama in comparison sells the D700 at 2,700 USD. I guess the cheaper labor costs in Malaysia help to reduce the prices too. So if you're interested in a new camera and you'd be visiting Malaysia, I'm sure you'll know what to do ;)

Indeed, some larger photography shops can afford to give more discounts, because they sell heaps of gear as compared to my shop. The prices quoted can even reach dealer prices, which is even more incredible. (It's due to the rebates , and the volume of the items that they sell). As I've said, everyone would logically sell something with some profit in mind.

If a customer insists that another shop has given them a price that is below what we can afford, we kindly and wholeheartedly advise the customer from that shop. No such thing as 'Please match the price... I've driven all the way from Puchong' or 'I'm lazy to get the camera from the other shop. If you can offer me a better deal, I'll get the lens here and now'. Camera shops in other areas may attempt to outdo each other by reducing prices as much as possible, but not ours. We spend so much to acquire the camera gear, yet the profit margin is only about 2 percent (or even less) for brand new items :s

If our shop were to rely solely on camera gear sales, we will never be able to survive, which is why a bulk of the company's income is from doing convocation jobs or event photography.

I guess it ends my rambling's for now. Always remember CODB. If there's nothing much to be gained (or rather, you end up losing), re evaluate your current business, and improve on it, or find something else to do.


1 Comment:

Ron said...

hi Brandon...
Since you in the camera business now :) i would like to seek your advice, thinking of purchasing Oly 150mm F2 the near future but the local retail is around 8K but whereby in the US is around 6K+.
do you think is better to buy locally or go for online store?

cheers... Ron


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