Who In Their Right Mind…?

Who In Their Right Mind…?

If you have ever stood in a shop, looked at some piece of equipment offered for sale, and had this phrase trip through your thoughts…congratulations. You have seen through the veil, past the coloured lights, and around the edge of the back door. And discovered that there are other people asking just the same question. They are, in backwards order:

  1. The retail staff. Who have an item to sell that defies their power of persuasion. They are tasked to sell it in much the same way that chemical troops are ordered to release clouds of mustard gas. Should the wind change…
  2. The management. ” What ever made us order this unsalable disaster? ” they cry, and there is nothing but the sound of crickets and the ticking of a clock.  It’s going backwards, counting down the seconds until the goods expire.
  3. The wholesaler. Who has been sent the goods by the maker along with the other products that were actually ordered and actually sell. Wholesaler’s warehouses can hold more than shop’s stores and that means that there can be more old stock.
  4. The makers. They thought it was a good idea. They’d done research into what the public really wanted and fee’d a design team to come up with it and a factory to make it. The raw material is consumed, the factory town is polluted, and the launch literature is printed. It is now or never. Banzai.

All is not lost. Do not gloom. Reflect that while one may not be able to sell jellied eels in Saskatoon, you could probably sell them in Bermondsey. It’s the same with camera equipment. Someone, somewhere will regard the oddball camera with lust and respect – it is just a matter of getting them to clap eyes on it. In this respect, we can be grateful to the internet. As annoying as the use of it in retail camera trade can be  (  ” You have to match this price from Moldava…” ) the fact that it exposes the goods to a wider audience is invaluable. If a shop can maintain a reasonable net presence and find a way to get paid with real money in real time – and then solve the equally difficult problem of shipping goods elsewhere unbroken – they can risk housing some of the more esoteric stock.

At the end of it all, ask yourself if your puzzlement is because the goods are impossible to use or just hard to understand. The first is not your problem, but the second …well…is. There are many ways to learn about photography – from formal courses and studies to club activity to trade shows and launches. If you don’t know now it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn – ask the staff at CE for details on our contributions to photo education.

You don’t have to be in your right mind for that…

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