Socialism? Me? Good grief, you guys have no idea of what you speak: I hate where that concept has led Britain.
But making comparisons with one small snapper (myself) and the rate for my work which, as ever, is always different job to job because I donít do the same thing twice, has nothing to do with the shifting of thousands of identical products in boxes, which is what new cameras are. False analogy for you chaps to have made.
Youíre probably too young to remember, but in the mid-sixties, prices for a Hasslblad 500C were standard across the board: the thing was about 320 pounds or so anywhere you went in Britain; it even said so on the ads! Clearly, the sensible thing was to buy from the local man who was always there to return anything that might be faulty (never happened to me in those days, from Nikons to Hasselblads), was there when routine servicing was thought necessary and there was no need to package like for a moon shot, worry about postage etc. because heíd do all of that or handle it via the H rep, everything insured.
We have lost a helluva lot of caring people who were absolutely there to help us, because in so doing they were helping themselves. I miss things like that. Itís not just cameras: itís endemic in life now: nobody cares a fig for anyone else Ė itís greed, self and bugger the rest. Maybe thatís the socialism of which some speak?
The current sense of Ďbargain huntingí should stay rooted in Christmas Sales and never intrude into the normal aspects of real, everyday life where service, quality and dependability count. In the end, we get what we deserve: cameras that are rubbish from the first click, lenses that donít focus, batteries that die after fifty shots. Thatís the bright and brave new world some have wished upon us. You canít drive prices ever downwards and not see something, somewhere, have to collapse. Everything needs margins that allow it to function.
The abolition of retail Price Maintenance was a frigginí disaster waiting to happen, which it did.