DPReview launches GearShop










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Introducing GearShop

After a two-month beta period during which the store was available only to logged-in members, we’re excited today to announce the official opening of DPReview GearShopIn celebration of the launch, GearShop customers will be able to claim up to $150 in free accessories with select camera purchases now through July 27, 2013.

GearShop is a unique photo specialty store that utilizes DPReview’s comprehensive testing and research to select and recommend cameras, lenses and accessories. Designed for photographers, by photographers, every product in the store has been approved for inclusion by the DPReview editorial staff.

But GearShop is about much more than a carefully curated selection. The store is run by a small team of photo enthusiasts dedicated to finding the very best products and to ensuring that product pages have the most comprehensive information anywhere on the web. Combining original DPReview content with 360° views of products, sample images and exclusive video content, our product pages cut through the usual marketing speak and sales materials and present honest, factual information to shoppers. The Gearlist feature allows us to give you personalized recommendations and product news, and the store also offers free 2-Day shipping on cameras and lenses.

Please note that at launch, the store can only ship to US addresses. We are of course well aware that two thirds of our audience is outside the USA. At present, all we can say is that we welcome feedback from you, wherever you are in the world, and we will use it to help us evolve and expand in the future. 

A message from the DPReview Editors

For many years we’ve played with the idea of building an online store that offers encyclopedic knowledge and personal recommendations from passionate and enthusiastic experts. A store that utilizes DPReview’s comprehensive testing and research to provide photography enthusiasts with expert guidance when buying cameras, lenses and accessories online. 

GearShop is an important initiative for DPReview, because it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers and an even better DPReview in the future. Although the DPReview team is not involved in the day-to-day running of GearShop, we are working very closely with the team behind it and are excited to be lending our name, our expertise and our experience to this new venture. But we would be naive to think everyone will welcome this latest development, and many of you will question how we can maintain our independence as we enter into such a close partnership with a retail business.

We want to reassure you that we’ve worked hard over the last 14 years to earn our reputation for unbiased, objective assessment of digital photography equipment, and we have no intention of throwing that away. 

The existence of a DPReview branded store and our involvement in the product selection process does not in any way affect the tenets and principles that guide our work on our site. We are and will remain 100% independent. GearShop is staffed and managed by a totally different team, and our involvement is restricted to product assessment and selection approval, and to the sharing of content from our site to the new store.

We retain full control over the products we choose to write about and review, and over what we say about them. We are not involved in any business discussions with suppliers, and we have absolute veto over what goes onto the site or into the store. We will not, ever, sell our credibility.

The GearShop pledge to you

  • We will only sell products tested, approved or recommended by the DPReview editorial staff, and we will not shy away from telling you about a product’s weaknesses as well as its strengths.
  • We won’t sell you things that we wouldn’t recommend to our friends or use ourselves.
  • DPReview will retain 100% editorial independence. Our writers will not be thinking about selling. cameras, just as they currently don’t think about selling advertising.
  • DPReview editorial staff will have no involvement in the day-to-day running of the store.
  • Neither GearShop staff or their suppliers will have any influence over DPReview reviews or other content.
  • We will remove products from the store immediately if we feel we can no longer recommend them, based on our own experience, and/or customer feedback.
  • We will always prefer our own content over manufacturer-supplied words, pictures and videos.

FAQ

Why are you doing this now?
Firstly, because we really want to build an amazing specialty camera store for the photo enthusiast. We are full of ideas (and will welcome your input), and the GearShop team is excited about making those ideas come to life on the site. But this is also an important initiative for DPReview, because it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers and an even better DPReview in the future, without turning to advertorials or intrusive ‘roadblock’ ads that we hate as much as you do.

Why should I buy from GearShop?
We hope the features and deals on the store will give you good enough reason. We’re working hard to give GearShop customers some real savings, but buying from GearShop also directly helps DPReview continue to expand its editorial team and build cool new features. You are, of course, perfectly free to buy your camera anywhere, and you can still use features like Gearlist even if you don’t intend to make a purchase on GearShop.

Why is XYZ brand / product not listed?
We’re launching GearShop with an intentionally narrow selection of products – those we have tested, those we use and love and those we know to be essential (system accessories etc). The GS team will be expanding the selection gradually over the coming months based on DPReview’s testing, their own evaluation and customer feedback. 

Beyond this, there are several reasons that individual products or entire brands might be missing from the site. If we cannot get stock, get bad feedback or discover a flaw we may de-list an item. Certain brands may just be absent from our inventory because the GearShop team is still in talks with those companies.

Will this change the way DPReview covers products?
Emphatically no! This would destroy everything we have built over the last 14 years. We would gain nothing and potentially lose everything by sacrificing our independence. Under our existing ethics policy editorial staff are not allowed to accept perks, products or discounts from suppliers.

But won’t you just recommend products you want to sell?
Again, emphatically no! The DPReview editorial staff will not be involved in the running of the store, will not meet suppliers, will not have access to the sales data and will continue to write exactly what they want. And you are of course free to continue shopping elsewhere if you want.

Does this mean I can’t mention other retailers / deals on DPReview?
Nope. Go ahead.

So DPReview reviewers are now shopkeepers? Will they be answering the phone?
No, editorial staff are editorial staff. They will not be involved in the day-to-day running of GearShop beyond approving new products to be listed and providing test results (as part of the normal review process).

Are you going to start spamming us with emails/plastering the site with banners?
No. We will allow you to opt-in to member-only deals and we’ll let the GearShop store manager stick a message at the bottom of our newsletter, but we don’t want GearShop to intrude too heavily on your enjoyment of DPReview.com. You’ll see a few extra links on product pages and we will replace some of those terrible ‘Lose Belly Fat in a Week!’ ads with GearShop offers, but it is absolutely not our plan to change the feel of DPReview or annoy our visitors.

Where can I talk about Gearshop?
We have set up a dedicated GearShop forum which will be actively monitored by the GearShop team, so feel free to have your say! Please note that GearShop threads created in other forums will be moved to the new forum.









Comments


Peter K Burian

Yeah, Amazon.com (dpreview owner) never ships to Canada because there is an Amazon Canada.

Of course, Amazon.CA does not have many cameras, lenses, etc. (in fact, **very, very** few)

So this Gearshop is unlikely to ever be available to readers in the UK or Canada or any other country.


jfjal

The reason you are doing this is obvious: Your owner (Amazon) thinks there is more profit to be had in gear selling than in gear reviewing, mnabe even more by combining them.

This may be wrong – those are two quite different business propositions. It is common knowledge in business consulting that combining different business propositions often breeds failure.


louslens

I would question a little more closely any of your recommendations. If you expect us to believe that they will not be skewed in favor of products you are trying to sell, I have a bridge to sell. BAD DECISION on the part on the part of DPR


Andy Westlake

OK, let’s run through the logic here, from our point of view.

Option 1: We skew editorial to recommend products we *want* to sell on GearShop for any reason. Lots of readers buy over-recommended products, feel let down, and neither read the site again nor buy from GearShop again. BAD DECISION

Option 2: We review as we always have, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of cameras and lenses as impartially as we possibly can. Readers know what to expect when they buy, so are much less likely to feel let down. They continue to come to the site, and hopefully buy from GearShop. BETTER DECISION

It’s simply not in our interests, as a business, to try to get people to buy products by over-hyping them, just in search of a quick profit. We *know* it wouldn’t work long term. So we’ll go on reviewing impartially, as we always have, and hope that readers will be happy with their purchases. Meanwhile the income from GearShop will hopefully help keep DPReview going.


Roland Karlsson

@Andy – I believe in your sincere intentions here. You probably believe that you can stay as neutral as today, but still sell goods. And your example above seems water proof. But … the future is hard to predict. You have made a choice. Some years from now that choice is going to be very important for this site. For good or for bad? Hard to tell. But the choice do matter. A lot.


Makinations

In the future letting people down, having them not read the site and never buying from gearshop will become a good decision?


DotCom Editor

Classic ad-edit conflict.


billbourd

At first glance I do not like this concept. I do shop often at Amazon and am quite happy with my experiences there and I have always gone to DPReview for information on anything photographic. However this puts a different slant on both.
I have been a longtime subscriber to Consumer Reports. They have a reputation for true independence on their reviews and if they opened a shopping site I would feel betrayed for having been an avid subscriber. I know that might seem irrational, but the fact is that is how I would feel.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and to wonder if I will be able to feel comfortable continuing to be a follower of DPReview amd shopper at Amazon.


BackInTheGame

Wow, you just validated the long held belief (by some) that your reviews are clouded by Amazon marketing. What were you thinking? I like Amazon sometimes. And I read reviews posted by Amazon customers. But I also like B&H and Adorama and National Camera Exchange and a bunch of others. Maybe they should buy a forum and hire “expert” reviewers. This is over the top. DPR Gearshop? No thanks. I can find stuff to buy all by myself.


bigrgib

Why do I log in to gearshop when I log from DPR?

Pushy, are we?


Low Battery

Totally Agree! Why do we have to lot into gearshop (and have the gearshop cookies) just to log into this site?


windmillgolfer

All prices are in $. Is there a UK version?


D1N0

Amazon.co.uk 😉


M Lammerse

UK version…in this global facebook world we live in free trade is still not a standard…sad in a way.


jfjal

Hello Gearshop!
Goodbye trusted rewiews!
DPR suddenly got less interesting.

To state that you are independent while selling the gear you are reviewing is just laughable, no matter how many times you try to tell us!
The history of business development tells us this. You are facing a very steep uphill battle.


D1N0

Don’t you think dpreview is going to get slaughtered in the comments, when they start favouring certains brands/products?


Toccata47

You are aware that dpr is owned by Amazon, right?


D1N0

And? Amazon is a gear manufacturer? Amazon sells almost every brand.


sebastian huvenaars

I used to work in a gearshop for a while.

You don’t wanna know how many offers we (as salespersons) got to push product A or tell story B when selling product X. Hot air balloontrip here, 1000 euro’s to be split under colleagues there. All of this after meeting certain targets ofcourse. Not to mention direct financial commissions.

This manipulation came from within the company itself to clean out old stock and high margin sales or from manufacturer representatives trying hard to make us remember the perfect salespitch.

There’s no concrete reason to believe DPR is letting itself in on this kind of stuff, you’ve got a (good) reputation to protect. But i got a pretty decent idea how marketing structures function and this Gearshop development makes me weary to say the least…

Manufaturers on the one hand, consumers on the other and the Amazon/DPR deal to generate traffic inbetween, sounds to logic not to be true…


Peter Bendheim

Amazon repackaged and rebranded…..Amazon won’t ship to international, neither will it’s clone. All you do is built a nice new front end interface, stick on Amazon’s related product database onto the back end…and Voila!…you have a”shop”


Gryfster

Amazon will ship international to certain countries. Not necessarily the cheapest option though.


gnewsch

What’s the deal with the US shipping only? You’d think that an e-commerce giant like Amazon would have the know-how to help set up an international shop from the start. That would have been vastly more interesting than this test run in a market that is already saturated with a lot of good online shopping camera stores.


ABDurbs

Nothing to do with Amazon not wanting to or being able to ship internationally. It’s about brand licensing in Foreign countries where Nikon, Canon, Sony etc have brand licenses in place.


fz750

Amazon UK denied once that this was the reason (and which would arguably be illegal under EU law as I was going to make a formal complaint) and warranties have to be EU -wide anyway..

They used to send abroad (US and Uk..) but now it seems that everything is getting worse with Amazon and I have to rely on amazon partners that may send to international destinations..

(but partners are useless, if they are still around, when there’s a problem…)


gnewsch

Seeing how neither Nikon, Canon nor Sony are US brands, I don’t see how licensing would be any more complicated in Europe than in the US.


Dave Oddie

ABDurbs “Nothing to do with Amazon not wanting to or being able to ship internationally. It’s about brand licensing in Foreign countries where Nikon, Canon, Sony etc have brand licenses in place.”

You have that completely wrong. It’s everything to do with Amazon and I suspect it’s to prevent customers taking advantage of exchange rates to get a lower price than the local Amazon store. It is already possible to buy stuff shipped from the US and have VAT applied from other retailers.

B&H will even calculate the VAT and import duty up-front.

That said for the most part it often isn’t worth it. I would be more expensive to import a Nex6r + lens from B&H than buy here in the UK for example but you can do it.

However sometimes products are only available in the USA and it would be nice to have the option to buy and vice-versa I presume. Amazon prevents this.


smatty

“Apologies to our International customers. The store can only ship to US addresses???”

International customers? I thought dpreview started in the UK…


h2k

A “curated store” ?

Is that how you call it now? Will you be the MoMa of online shops?


Gesture

Amazon has one of the best return policies going. But you must be very careful when purchasing from Marketplace Vendors or Amazon Fulfillment. Often the merchants seem to be rotated. I always check the Return and Refunds policy of the exact seller first. To a certain extent, there is much less control on Amazon than in the past. The buyer has no way of knowing what controls Amazon places on individual sellers.

Thus, GearShop can be a good competitor by consistent policies and practices, a la, in my experience, firms like KEH, Adorama, Cameta, Beach Camera and B&H.

I thought DPReview might go to more “sponsored by” features or store links? How will GearShop handle a camera or lens that isn’t good from the start, or when a package gets damaged in shipping, etc. Time will tell.

As to other spinoff income, you should consider e-book tutorials, even photo classes a la Mike Reichmann and others. All the staff seem to be good folk and I expect would be fun to know.


Benarm

I guess the ratio of bad-to-good reviews will sink even further.


fad

Where are the shipping, return policies and so forth?

What is the value to the consumer of Gear Shop over having a list of recommended products with links to purchasing them on Amazon? Why should we buy from you?

What states do you collect sales tax for?


Jeff Keller

Shipping: http://gearshop.dpreview.com/help/shipping-info

Returns: http://gearshop.dpreview.com/help/returns-and-refunds

Sales tax: http://gearshop.dpreview.com/help/sales-tax


Janbro

From above: “We will only sell products tested, approved or recommended by the DPReview editorial staff.” What does this mean exactly? For example, does it mean that products won’t be sold unless/until a favorable preview/review is published? If not, what other criteria are used?


kgreggain

I think it is going to be a challenge for Dpreview to remain objective. A negative review is shooting their sales in the foot.

Time will tell I suppose.


Shawn Barnett

Editorial, by definition, is not interested in selling cameras. We review them. Doing anything else will be obvious. As you say, time will tell whether we can continue building on our rather large body of thorough and honest reviews. There are enough good cameras out there that we have never needed to do anything but be honest. To do differently would hurt the business.


AbrasiveReducer

As I commented yesterday on that sensational revelation that not all online reviews are accurate or honest, this is the way things have always been. Amazon owns DPR; DPR has reviews with links that (surprisingly!) go to Amazon.

The reason I would not be too concerned is that frankly, DPR is usually quite generous in their reviews so it’s hard to see how they could inflate things further just because the store is now on their own page instead of Amazon’s. The guys at Camera35 magazine (which was really tough on products) liked to joke “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything”.

Even without the store, DPR could never have gotten this big by writing harsh reviews. Do you think a manufacturer will give a “pre-production” camera to a site that’s that’s known for emphasizing flaws and being overly critical?

I don’t mean to be rude but I can tell you already that whatever replaces the D800 will get at least a silver award and my bet is on the gold. Care to wager?


Shawn Barnett

So writing harsh reviews is the definition of integrity? It’s true, we don’t review too many crappy cameras. There are plenty out there we will never touch because we know no one’s interested, and our resources don’t allow us to get to all the popular cameras, so even signing the shipping form on some cameras isn’t worth the time. But I’m pretty sure we get blasted regularly for our criticism of features, performance, or lack thereof on almost every camera we review.

I’ve been called biased against every brand of camera, even cameras I gave a Gold award, as well as biased in favor of a few times as well. But as usual we post page after page of evidence to support our verdict, complete with photographs to back it all up. We always welcome you to look at it all yourselves and make your own decisions. DPR has always sold ads and linked to camera stores; it hasn’t affected our objectivity so far. It will be no different going forward.


Shawn Barnett

As for the Nikon D800, that is an excellent camera, as was its predecessor; anyone would be a fool to take your wager that one of the most successful camera companies in the world couldn’t make another to earn a gold award; whether it does, though, is up to any future model’s performance, the performance of other cameras on the market at the time, and our writers’ observations. There are sites that will be harsh for the sake of it, but there’s no good reason to do that. That might make a site you would prefer, but it wouldn’t be honest.


PenGun

I google every purchase. I buy from many different places and have been doing so for years.

The problem for DPR is whether they can even come close in price to what is available worldwide.


Mssimo

Did any cameras or gear make the “Not Recommended” list yet?


Spectro

didn’t see any Lytro cameras.


Deutsch

I’d like to see the final price BEFORE I have to enter all the shipping and payment info, not wait till the end to verify.


Spectro

I don’t have an issues here. I would guess the inventory here would be from amazon warehouse. Amazon sells all types of camera so they don’t really push one camera brand/type/genre vs another. Since they don’t need eternal advertisement they are less influenced there too. With influx of money now for dpreview I expect more from this sit too.


M Lammerse

I’m a bit old fashioned, I still buy my goods mostly at physical stores, now is that here no problem with stores like Yodobashi Camera and BIC camera, with fycical stores you have service differences…I just wonder what this offers more than the speedier Amazon and all others with reviews also, and because DPreview is part of Amazon (correct?) what is the reason for this site?


Shawn Barnett

Scroll up and read in the FAQ: What is the reason for this site?


veroman

Something is not right about dpreview having gear for sale. I don’t quite have a handle on it yet, and I’m not sure if it’s a conflict of interest situation or something larger or newer, ie a whole new breed of integration between reviews and sales. But, whatever it is, I know right now that I’m not comfortable purchasing gear from a web site whose primary reason for being is gear reviews. Something is not right.

On another note: GearShop’s web site design is pretty clunky. It’s no match for Amazon’s or B&H’s. Needs correcting badly.


Thomas Kachadurian

Get to the heart of it though. It’s too bulky for shopping, too commercial for reviews.

Big mistake and a very clumsy interface. Easier to shop at amazon.

They’d have done better just to have a buy it now link to amazon whenever there’s news or a review. Only guess that would make it too clear the old objective DPR is gone.


Simon Joinson

except we’ve had those links for over a decade.


Antonio Abreu

It’s just another Amazon but specialized for cameras.


Mikhail Tal

Isn’t there a serious potential conflict of interests here? DPR reviews photography gear, and is now in the business of selling that same gear. How can we be sure that you do not give a product a more favorable review because you have a greater incentive to sell more of it compared to other products?


Gothmoth

because they say so.. you either believe them or not.
there is no way to prove it.

i worked for a print car magazine and it was usual that a car company could “buy” good/enhanced reviews.

the writers did not lie… they just did not write much about negative things.


graybalanced

This is not a new issue. If you chose to continue trusting DPReview after they were purchased by the world’s biggest online retailer (Amazon), why would you have questions now?


justmeMN

When they do camera reviews, Consumer Reports doesn’t have any financial conflict of interest. The problem is, they don’t know what they are talking about.

Web sites have advertisements, so there always has been some degree of conflict of interest.

My understanding is that camera companies send DPR cameras to review. That is also a conflict of interest. If DPR’s review is too critical, they could stop sending them new cameras to review.

The real world is filled with conflicts of interest. That’s the way it is. Deal with it.


rallyfan

To whom are you saying “deal with it?”

The members here seem to recognize the conflict of interest, and several have listed examples from their own personal experiences and jobs similar to this situation; it is the staffers that have attempted to deny it.


tritx

I’m working in a car magazine. I know very well about those conflicts. But can you imagine a car magazine selling cars?


Ken Phillips

Hey, tritx … at least one car magazine now has a setup similar to this marketplace. It doesn’t shock me.


tritx

I see some very anxious replies from dpr team. I cant remember all these years such a busy day. The Boss must be pleased.
The end of an era! So simple, so sad.


ozgoldman

The fact that DPR are essentially ignoring 70% of their clientèle does not make good business sense to me.
It clearly alienates and degrades the vast majority of those that visit this site.
Q. How do get off side with your readers? Do things like this all the time.
As global users of this site, we deserve better from DPR.


Craig from Nevada

I agree with your desire to do something with the broader range of DPR users, but you have to start somewhere. First step and then expand.


graybalanced

Online store rollouts are often geographically constrained, not because of any desire to “ignore” other people, but due to taxes, laws, and banks. DPReview could decide not to launch a store until they could serve 70% of the globe, but you might still wait just as long for that to happen as you will be now.


ozgoldman

I must disagree. DPR has Gear Shop – which is US only, now this, which is US only.
Attitudes of this nature certainly alienate clients, and that is not good business.
If you are expecting the 70% of people that visit this site from outside the USA, DPR needs to cater for them.


chlamchowder

About conflict of interest: I agree that there can be conflict of interest if the gearshop and site advertisements were dominated by one brand. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Quite a few brands are featured prominently in the gearshop and DPR advertisements. The reviewers would be equally biased towards each brand, and the bias would cancel out.

The other possibility is bias if one sponsor is contributing significantly more than others. There’s no way we can know that, though. If that’s the case, we can only hope that the reviewers aren’t tempted by money. That’s somewhat believable, since they imply that their salary stays the same regardless of which one they favor and people in charge of making money aren’t reviewers.


Gesture

When we look at a preview, review, camera in the archive, there’s are always links to Amazon and some other retailers. Will there now be GearShop links?


Simon Joinson

if you’re in the USA, yes.


CameraLabTester

Never mind all the crap negative vibes of members…

If you could offer a price sweeter than the other mob, I will buy from you.

Money talks, cameras snap, recorders listen.

.


reginalddwight

Amazon is one tough competitor.

Just ask Apple.

.


CameraLabTester

Amazon is DPReview.

DPReview is Amazon.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/15/amazon_buys_dpreview/

.


iae aa eia

I am very happy about this. I always dreamed there could be a store where they would sell only electronic products considered good and the best cost vs benefit in the market; if I had money I would do such thing. That’s great this is exactly about it, and hope they keep it that way. And I also appreciate the use of own words, pictures and videos. Many online retailers already repeat the company’s material A LOT.

Congratulations!


Create Dont Imitate

So long everyone… taking this site off my favorites and canceling my membership.

I haven’t been here long… but this site cant possibly be unbiased… if they are SELLING THE GEAR THEY ARE REVIEWING.

Good luck to everyone.


Barney Britton

Sorry to see you go – I suggest you read the Q&As above though, which you might find reassuring.


Simon Joinson

i should point out that *we* aren’t selling any gear….


Create Dont Imitate

No I don’t find any of that reassuring. Does anyone know how I can stop my membership to this site… it appears to be pulling an Adobe and wont let me cancel.

MOD… anyone know how to cancel my membership…?


iae aa eia

Hey, bud; Stay for another cup of coffee :] Give them a try. If they are biased we will find out, because, though they are one of the best (if not the best), they are one among many good review websites, and some of us happen to be checking others, so it won’t be difficult to find out they’re being biased.


Create Dont Imitate

iae aa eia…

No way. Ive seen this scam to many times. All of the old line photography magazines are all nothing more than shills for the camera companies… it’s why everyone stopped reading them.

It’s NOT POSSIBLE to be unbiased if you are SELLING THE EQUIPMENT YOU ARE REVIEWING.


Barney Britton

We’re not – see Simon’s reply, above.


Create Dont Imitate

Do you take us all for fools? You think you can play us? I’m not buying anything you are saying… which is just making my opinion of you even worse by the minute.

It’s not possible to be unbiased if you are SELLING THE EQUIPMENT YOU ARE REVIEWING.

How do I unregister from this site… or are you now attempting an ADOBE scam…?


Gothmoth

^^ don´t trust anyone if he wants your money. 🙂

it´salways good to be suspicious of intentions and agendas…


graybalanced

Why didn’t you cancel your membership after DPReview was bought by Amazon a while ago? It’s not like Amazon doesn’t sell camera gear.


Mssimo

Sorry to say but no one here will miss your drama. Good bye sir


BillSprague

Amazon bought dpreview on May 14, 2007.

See: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2007/5/14/amazonacquiresdpreview

Dpreview opens a camera and gear store on July 17, 2013! I’m surprised it took 6 years.

I enjoy shopping at Amazon. The GearShop experience should be at least as good.

Above somewhere, it says it is OK to mention other retailers, so it should be noted that B&H does not charge the 9.8% sales tax collected where I live in Washington State. dpreview, Amazon and GearShop have to charge sales tax. So everything at B&H starts as a “10% off sale”!

B&H has one store in NewYork and, so far, is not required to be tax collectors for the other 49 states. My understanding is that with all of their distribution centers Amazon has to collect sales tax for many, if not all, states.


reginalddwight

Amazon does not collect sales tax for 40 of 50 states. In case you’re wondering, no tax also for District of Columbia residents either.

**********
“Items sold by Amazon.com LLC, or its subsidiaries, and shipped to destinations in the following states are subject to tax:

Arizona
California
Kansas
Kentucky
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Texas
Washington”


rallyfan

I will never shop at B&H specifically due to the tax issue.

It is far more convenient for me to shop directly through a site that DOES collect the tax, rather than have to keep track of each and every internet purchase in order to then declare the relevant values and pay the tax every April of the following year.

Amazon has greatly simplified my life by simply collecting the sales tax. In fact it’s the best thing they’ve done in years.


D200_4me

Unfortunately for me, I live 30 minutes away from a large Amazon hub so they hit me with taxes. But….if I want it, I want it and I’ll pay the taxes if they have what I want, when I want it. Service has always been good for me from Amazon. Well, and service has been good for me at B&H too.


rallyfan

My state mandates the taxes, they are not a choice. If I purchase a product for use in this state, I must pay either sales tax upon purchase or declare the value and pay use tax afterwards, during tax season.

Since I have to pay the tax anyway I applaud Amazon for doing the legwork for me. This is why I won’t shop from places like B&H (well, there are service issues also but those could have just been bad luck; the tax thing is the main issue). It’s more work for me.


Laura@GearShop

The GearShop team is a separate team from both DPR and Amazon.com camera. Yes, DPR is owned by Amazon, so of course we would utilize some facets of Amazon that they have proven to do well. Specifically, Amazon handles our secure payments and shipments, which allows us to deliver fast shipping and a safe experience that you can trust.


Ken Phillips

Actually, virtually all states REQUIRE that you pay sales tax on online purchases! Very few people do so, however. So … if it’s too much for you, move to a state with a lower tax rate.


Stephen Scharf

Great news! Congrats!

Now, where is that full review on the Fuji X100S? 😉


Barney Britton

I’m doing it, I’m doing it!


Stephen Scharf

Cool beans. Thanks! 😉


D200_4me

I don’t need the full review (but looking forward to it anyway). The X100S is awesome. I don’t regret buying it one bit!


Tapper123

Not sure what to think… I just hope DPR maintains its standards and ethics in reviewing gear. Good luck with this new venture, I suppose.


yonsarh

I hope dpreview doesnt sell open boxed items. if so I will buy from it here


Mssimo

What would be something that would cause DPreview to remove an item? D800 focusing issue or D600 dust issue? Not picking on nikon here..just could not think of others.


Mr Fartleberry

Or when Nikon would not sell repair parts outside of Nikon.


Gothmoth

beside the obvious conflict i think this undermines the credibility of dpreview even more.

it has suffered already when amazon bought the website,

i worked myself 4 years for a car magazin and i know how things work in such advertising based business.

if you want independed reviews you need someone who is independend.
independend from money that comes from companys or through selling reviewed products.

unfortunately everyone wants to make money from blogs and websites these days….


Simon Joinson

so out of interest, do you think the site made no money from 1998-2007 (pre-amazon)? And if not, why was it so valuable that Amazon bought it?


Gothmoth

why it was valuable?

i tell you: ADVERTISING!!

do you think instagram or nik software are worth 1 BILLION dollar?
i mean in actuall VALUE, like we determined company value in the 80s… before the internet “virtual value” was created.

today it´s all about how many people you can reach with your advertising and gathering DATA.


Barney Britton

I’m confused by your logic.


Gothmoth

well but that´s not my problem, right? 🙂

to say it simple:

amazon did not buy dpreview because of it´s revenue.
it bought dpreview because of US… the USER BASE dpreview has.


Barney Britton

Both, actually. But I’m pretty sure that even in 2007, Amazon didn’t need to raise awareness of its existence.


Gothmoth

really? you think people are naive enough to believe that amazon does not want more advertising space?
please don´t think we are naive or even stupid.

amazon, like any other company, can never have ENOUGH advertising. why do you think they have a partner program just for that?

and please do a search about amazons tactics and how it uses all kind of gathered data for statistic purpose.

now again back to the instagram example.
instagram was not worth 1 billion in any physical value and they barely made a profit.
but the userbase was (maybe) worth 1 billion.

without the big userbase nobody would have payed 1 billion for instagram.
not for such a simple and cheap product.


Simon Joinson

but DPR is not instagram. It was a highly profitable business with established revenue (thru advertising and affiliate schemes) when it was sold. To suggest that we became ‘less independent’ because we went from a situation where the editor (Phil) was selling advertising to a situation where an amazon team 1000’s of miles away was selling advertising makes no sense. But then I have the advantage of actually knowing what i’m talking about, rather than conjecturing.


Gothmoth

well …. nobody can prove your telling the truth or you really know what your talking about. no offense, but that´s a fact.

as i wrote.. i spoke from my experiences working for print magazines.
and you are not someone making the decisions at dpreview.. are you?
you are just writer… correct? not management?

so you don´t know what is going on behind close doors… so much about “knowing”.


Simon Joinson

i am the general manager of dpreview. I make all the decisions about the site including this one. So yes, I am the one behind the closed door.


KevinG

Guys, I’m getting a “Page Not Found” message


Jim

Is this really Amazon in DPR clothing?

Jim


Gothmoth

yes i bet it is basically.

and i noticed that some replys are deleted from this thread.. looks like the staff is well aware that this is a sensitive thing for us users but they don´t want to hear it.


Barney Britton

It isn’t. It’s a different platform, a different (much smaller) selection, and obviously vastly better content.

As regards comment deletion, we actively moderate comments (always have) and offensive or flat-out trolling comments are deleted, same as always.

Constructive comments, questions etc., are welcomed and will be addressed.


Gothmoth

so you have your own storage?
the stuff is not comming from one of the big amazon storehouses?

some of the comments are obviously not trolling as you answerd them.
it´s confusing to follow a thread if you delete them after you answerd.


wetsleet

But why do your own comments (Barney) get deleted (and then reappear after the disappearance is protested)?


steelhead3

In answer to Barney; I looked at item pricing and the fixed price is down $1 a la Amazon style.


Cameron R Hood

You carry Pentax cameras, sort of, but you are NOT listing their lenses in the ‘Brand’ section, but then 6 K mounts come up under ‘list by type’, then actually about 50 Sigma lenses show up, and only 1 actual Pentax lens, the 18-270, and it says out of stock.

I think your database is screwed.

Cheers,
Cameron


Laura@GearShop

We have just begun adding Pentax into our selection. At the moment, all of the K mount lenses we have available are made by Tamron and Sigma.


LensLineup

does this mean DPReview will actually review some of the product that get the standard copy/paste press launch ‘preview’ along with the text “a full review will follow soon” (but a year later soon never happened) … because you’ll have a revenue stream that makes doing a review a worthwhile thing.

totally understand that dpr is a business – but surely this gear shop can only be a good thing for business – will we see the lens reviews that got started a few years ago and then abandoned?

will you be able to (slyly) name and shame the companies that won’t supply you with test units or does that hurt the amazon ownership link?

will your gear shop have a volume bias (Sony/Nikon/Canon) in the same way that the reviews have or will you review other makers stuff?


Barney Britton

Some points of clarification here.

1: Our previews are far from ‘copy paste’.

2: Reviews are always ‘worth doing’. We just don’t have infinite resources.

3: We have no difficulty getting hold of test units – that’s never been an issue. What can be hard it getting hold of them *quickly* but that’s a complicated issue, and is generally model-specific.

4: We still do lens reviews – they were on hiatus for a couple of years after our lab moved, but we’ve been publishing them again for months now. We published one already this week.


Stephen Scharf

Yes, but the title your site is Digital Photography REVIEWS, not Digital Photography Previews or Lens Reviews. Reviews should be Requirement #1, not 12.


Barney Britton

I’m afraid you’ve lost me. I respectively suggest you take a detailed look at our p/review content as a whole (you might be surprised by how useful it is) and at the countless comments and forum posts from dpreview staff where we explain our methods and priorities.


offtheback

No matter your level of integrity,it’s very difficult to be thoroughly objective when money/your living is at stake.Best of luck.I very much like your site.


Simon Joinson

the editors of the site have no money/living at stake here. Our business has to make money to pay them, but that’s not their concern.


JohnyP

1) editors have no money at stake here
2) business has to make money to pay them

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contradiction

1) steal underpants
2)…???….
3) make profit


R Butler

The point is that the writers are paid the same amount, regardless of which products we review, what conclusions we draw or how many units Gearshop sells.

Ultimately, the business needs to make enough money to pay us, but that’s true of anyone in any job.


Simon Joinson

Our writers get paid the same whether gearshop sells 1 or 1 million cameras. Whether we’re selling ads, getting affiliate revenue or charging for content makes no difference to the editorial staff – they do their job, and they answer only to their audience and the editor.


Gothmoth

sorry .. but that´s a nice idea but in reality there are more things at work.

i know from my own experience and i guess everyone who worked a few years for print magazines knows the game.


Barney Britton

“in reality there are more things at work.”

Nope.


rallyfan

Stating that the writers get paid the same amount is in effect a strawman argument, as the OP has not questioned whether writers are on commission dependent on sales.

Ultimately, if a review is to be useful to anyone — readers, writers, sellers — it will influence sales. Otherwise nobody read it, nobody reacted to it, and nobody cared about its conclusions.

In a discussion further down, BB explains to me that the site’s revenue stream is more complicated than I seem to understand. Here, however, BB laconically says “Nope” in response to a comment that there are more things at work. Which is it?

There is a contradiction for the staff — on the one hand they assure everyone and I’m concinced they do believe they are impartial; on the other hand they are writing reviews read by potential customers, potential critics, etc. and these revues concern commercial products that the site conveniently sells…


Barney Britton

The missing link here is that it doesn’t matter to us, the reviewers, whether sales are influenced or not. A positive or negative review might very well influence sales, but a slip in sales will not have any negtative impact at all on the reviewer, and a boost will not benefit him/her.

These (understandable) concerns aren’t new – the site has always been reliant on camera manufacturers advertising with us, and it’s never influenced our editorial output.


rallyfan

If it doesn’t matter to you, perhaps it should. Consider the statement made previously in this comments section:

“By Simon Joinson (2 hours ago)

the GearShop team has lots of plans, but the key thing is that you help keep dpreview alive.”

The success of the sales site is linked to the existence of this site — the site on which you write your reviews. I am not questioning whether you consider yourself an independent reviewer; I am convinced you do.

I am pointing out that it seems your position as a reviewer is dependent on the success of at least one commercial site, as stated by key staff on this site. If that site doesn’t do well, the implication is that dpreview will not do well. Isn’t it logical to conclude that job(s) may be affected? Does that not matter? And if it doens’t matter to you, does it also not matter to any other reviewers?

There is a clear conflict here in my view. I have no doubt you will do everything in your power to avoid it. I’m simply pointing it out.


steelhead3

Will you support price fixing that sony and other manufactures have foisted on the consumer market?


angrywhtman

Three words sum it up. Conflict of Interest


Barney Britton

We’ve always been independent, and we’ve *always* been supported by advertising. This is nothing new. GearShop is just an evolution away from relying on this as our sole source of income, and towards offering services to our readers.

The alternative is to take the exact opposite approach, and charge you to use the site. I can assure you that editorial content has never been influenced by commercial concerns or outside interests, and never will be.


angrywhtman

The pathway to Hell is lined with the best of intentions.

Listen. DPreviews character is not above reproach. Like it or not, every review we read, we’ll have a little Latin phrase rolling around in the back of our collective minds “Cui bono”

There are better ways to make money than allowing your character to be questioned.


Gothmoth

why was a comment removed barney replyed too?


Barney Britton

@ angrywhtman – I’m afraid it’s beyond my power to stop the little voice in your head saying things to you in latin.

All I can do is honestly explain what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it. See Q&A in the news story (above).


rallyfan

Sorry but I don’t understand the statement “we’ve always been independent,” particularly when followed by “we’ve always been supported by advertising.” Setting aside whether an independent site could remain so yet accept advertising, this site is owned by Amazon.

I don’t know that there’s an answer or solution that would please critics, frankly. This site, Amazon, the new site are commercial sites. Everyone has bills. To quote J. Lebowski, everyone has to feed the monkey. Not abnormal at all.

It’s also normal to want to maintain standards an ethics, as the site staff have shown here and elsewhere is their intention. That’s terrific.

However this site isn’t what comes to mind when “independent” is considered. My statement isn’t intended to be judgmental, positive or negative; just factual.

Anyway, it’s a moot point at this stage. If you guys have good prices, good support, and collect sales tax for my region, I might actually buy from the new site too.


Barney Britton

*Editorially* independent. Amazon doesn’t exercise any influence on our editorial output. Never has. And GearShop doesn’t change a thing.


Shawn Barnett

All publications are aware of the phrase ‘conflict of interest.’ We all understand the importance of impartiality in what we do. There are no review sites I know of that aren’t supported by ads or clicks, and the same applies to magazines. All publications I’ve worked for do everything we can to make sure we separate the two entities, and we talk about it when we perceive a conflict.

If GearShop were filled with every product under the Sun, and all our reviews were Gold, I could see how you might suspect a conflict of interest. But they’re not all gold, nor all silver and the selection is actually a selection that we sat down and decided upon.


Shawn Barnett

We will continue to review products as before, and if anyone tells us to look at something favorably, in typical journalistic style we’ll instead look at it more carefully. It’s how we are.

GearShop is similar to affiliate links and shopping clicks, only it has a lot more to offer. I was no more influenced by affiliate links and shopping clicks than I am by GearShop.

Ultimately, it does us no good to only review products favorably, as your post suggests we will. If we did, we’d only get positive responses in the forums from fanboys; instead we frequently get flamed for daring to list cons. There will always be good cameras and bad cameras, and we’ll do our best to look at as many as we can and tell you what we think. It’s what we do.


rallyfan

Unless I’m mistaken you are based in the USA? Are you aware of Consumer Reports? They are not supported by ads or clicks.

Serious scientific journals that publish research articles, on the other hand, do accept advertisements. However they only accept articles after peer review, and they label every article as an advertisement.

This site is neither labeling every article as an advertisement nor publishing independently reviewed articles.

Whether you try to eliminate the conflict of interest, whether you discuss it, and whether all your reviews are gold or not, does not affect the existence of the conflict of interest. It may (or may not) affect the effect(s) of the conflict of interest.

Accepting your statement that there are no review sites of which you are aware that aren’t supported by ads simply means that each and every review site of which you are aware has a conflict of interest.

This site is one of them.

Accepting the conflict of interest is my only point.


angrywhtman

Been around long enough and seen enough to know when money enters the equation, strange things DO happen. The first review published that even hints at bias and DPreview will be raked over the coals and you’ll come out looking up at Ken Rockwell.


Gunnlaugur Gudmundsson

Do you plan to sell to international DPReview users? Do you have any idea when that might possibly happen?


Barney Britton

Launching in more than one territory would simply have been too complex, logistically. We can’t comment on future plans except to say that we’re very aware that a huge portion of our audience is *outside* the USA.

Source Article from http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/07/17/dpreview-launches-gearshop