As a store that primarily sells cameras, notes Cooper, it's very difficult to make money these days. "Typically a profitable camera may get me 20-25 percent but usually that's an off-brand or a clearance line. If I were selling a brand new Canon, chances are, in order to secure the sale against the Internet, I would have to sell it at cost," says Cooper. "And the only way I can benefit from selling it at cost is by paying my bills on time to the manufacturer. Basically, I'm selling a camera at cost and getting three percent back from the manufacturer, which shouldn't really happen.
"Point-and-shoot cameras typically have a life of three months, which makes it hard for me to buy and hard for (manufacturers) to project," continues Cooper. "I would imagine the big box stores have an awful lot of returns. (Manufacturers) need to give retailers a small profit," states Cooper. "So many stores have gone out of business because of price gauging."
"Nobody's making any money," reiterates Mary Findysz, owner of Tucson, Arizona's Photographic Works. "Camera manufacturers had an opportunity when digital came out to market them so they made money and the retailers made money. (They also have control over) the timeline of when the new camera models are released. If you're a Best Buy, what do you do with the older models? It's out of hand."