Is B&H Photo becoming too big?

I’ve noticed of late that B&H is growing by leaps and bounds. The Canon 5 D camera and 1.4 lens that my love and fellow photographer Jene Youtt wanted to purchase was not in stock. We were told that most of their business now comes from online sales so the warehouse is where the majority of the items move in and out of. The camera was overnighted to Jene but the lens was on backorder. Remember when you could walk out with your purchase!

The changes don’t stop there…. I wanted to get paper… no salesmen in that area so I asked a salesman in the printer section if he could help me. Sure, the William Turner paper I was looking for was not on the shelves. He typed stuff into his monitor, gave me a sheet of paper and sent me to a line to place my order. Thinking maybe he couldn’t imput the sale because it was not his area. I handed over the sheet of paper, the associate inputs the usual info, prints out my purchase hands it to me and I go downstairs to the cashier and then to the merch PU.

Thursday I went to by a firewire in the computer section. This salesman (from that section) finds what I need on his monitor, handed me a sheet of paper and directed me to another line in order to get the actual order slip, then to the cashier and pu lines.

NOT sure why I now have to wait in 2 lines in order to get what I need. How is this streamlining? Why are they wasting a full 8-1/2 x 11″ piece of paper? I sort of understood why the salespeople couldn’t do more then write up your order and hand you a sales slip after they scanned in the bar code of what you wanted but now it’s a waste of my time and a few extra trees. It seems the sales people of the first floor can still take you order and send you directly to the cashier…

When they expanded the store, I thought it would be better – the store looks better but not only has the service not improved, it has worsened. It was their service and knowledge of products that built their business.

Maybe I’m showing my age… but I hate being usher edand herded around the store going from line to line. Is it the tactic of the longer you spend in the store the more apt you are to buy more. I remember the days when 1 salesman would take care of all your needs.

Maybe I won’t bother coming into the city just for B&H anymore… Time is money so it may not be worth the trip in any longer.



Filed under B&H photo, camera equipment, photo equipment, photography, sales and service

4 responses to “Is B&H Photo becoming too big?

  1. Thank you for your visit and this feedback which I have shared with our store managers and other managers at the top of the company here. We continually evaluate our systems in an effort t make shopping here as pleasant and efficient as possible. The system we’re using is designed to make your shopping experience speedier. We appreciate customers who want to linger, but we received feedback that many customers wanted to get in, select their items, pay and leave. The current system is designed to facilitate this. If we learn it does not, we will change it. I am grateful you took the time to write this and appreciate the thought that went into it.

    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video

    • Henry,

      I do want you to know that I have never had a salesman stand idly while waiting for my order. Most would politely ask if you would mind if they took care of someone else while we waited OR we would engage in photographic discussions which was always a pleasant experience and would sometimes lead to additional purchases.

      That exchange with some very experienced workers was always helpful. I hope that doesn’t go away.


  2. Henry,
    Thank you for your response. I’m still not sure how standing in a 2nd line facilitates the process and gets me out of B&H Photo any faster. I wait to speak to a salesman, get a piece of paper with the sku barcode on it , then stand in another line, waiting for the product to come up, hand another person my paper, he scans the item, crumples the paper and hands me a different receipt. Then I go stand on line to pay and another to pick up my merchandise. I was fine with the process before and understood how that helped with the huge volume of merch and customers but can’t seem to wrap my head around this extra step. It’s a waste of both paper and time.

    Mary Wehrhahn

  3. Frankly I cannot argue with you. It does seem so. What helps though is that while you’re headed towards paying, your merchandise is being sent from the basement warehouse to the front of the store and your sales associates are available to assist other customers. With the old system you and your sales associate stood idly while your merchandise made its way from the basement.

    As I said, if we (with feedback from customers) determine the system has shortcomings, it’ll be modified or replaced.

    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video

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