Camera Shops – Where are they?

I miss local camera shops, we used to have 6-8 in the Bournemouth area, we now have 1 pro (always too expensive – more than London prices) and one other main camera shop that used to be good, but now hardly stocks anything really photographic. I want to go and browse these stores and look for new ideas and equipment – but sadly the nearest one to me is 30 miles away – This is doing a disservice to the whole photographic Industry and the 2nd hand market.

I even went to London around a month ago for other things and went by the local camera shops that were in London, they have all gone, and I always liked the 2nd hand shop in Tottenham Court road – Gone!

What is the solution? I could open up a camera shop, but it would set me back in the region of £150K with no guarantees and I do not have that kind of money anyway. There is probably a market for a real old fashioned camera shop with knowledgeable staff who love photography. It’s a shame that Jessops brought up all those small independent shops over the last 10-15 years or so.

Sorry my rant for today on photography things, as I have had to order 3 items from 2 separate companies today, where as normally I would have walked into town and purchased it locally today, and I could play this weekend, but no I have to wait for up to 5-7 days to get my goods and I had to pay 2 separate postage charges on top of the item price.

Had I been able to do this locally, then I may have purchased some other items on impulse as I used to use when I went into a camera shop.  I remember when I went to one in London a few years back with the intention of spending around £5-6 on one item, well that went out of the window and eventually I paid around £90 for 6-7 items – talk about impulse buying – but I did use all those items over the next few months so it was not wasted money on things I did not need or want.

People say we get a better deal online, but I beg to differ, as I cannot make an informed choice about the item I want, the camera shop may have a cheaper or more expensive item, but when I touch it, it is better than my original item I needed?.  I cannot get that feel from seeing a description and photo of it in a brochure or online.  I do not know if its right for me.  I also want to discuss it with a sales assistant and get more info out of them about the item, seeing if I am making the right decision what ever the photographic item is.

Not a good day for photography – I want more local camera shops please universe!

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