For the past several years, Canon has rewards its consumers with a Summer Rebate program. This year’s program is even better since the instant rebates apply at the point of purchase. It’s a great way to encourage sales when everyone is so careful about spending!
I have written about B&H Photo in NYC before. They are a price leader for photographic equipment across most brands. Usually my experiences have been favorable, but Fourth of July Weekend was a different story.
I was shopping for one of Canon’s iconic lenses, the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L. This lens is a top seller for Canon and highly priced by Canon photographers. Of course, I went to B&H. The following ads represent B&H Photo’s latest in the top photography magazines, with yellow highlights for the listing of the lens (US Market):
The 70-200mm f/2.8 L has a $200 instant rebate from Canon. All previous B&H ads listed this lens at $1,499 (including the rebate). Popular Photography’s July 2009 is the first ad to show a price increase at $1,599 (including the rebate). Yet, this is not B&H’s current price! Take a look at a screen shot of their website from 7/7/2009:
The Canon instant rebate is still in effect; it expires on 7/11/2009. So what is going on? I asked Eli, one of the Floor Manager’s at B&H Photo on Friday 7/3/2009. He called B&H’s Buyer and was told that Canon had raised their price and they are passing the increase along. During a rebate period? Eli said that B&H would not honor their currently advertised price (even though the B&H Summer 2009 catalog lists the cheaper price of $1699 … apply the $200 instant rebate and it matches the $1499 magazine price). He also said that they would not price match another NYC vendor J&R Music & Video who was selling the same lens for $1599. See below:
I called Canon’s US Corporate Office to try to confirm the price increase. The rep was not aware of a price increase, but would check on it. As of today, I have not heard back from her.
Hmmmm … something is not kosher here. But, for now, got to go to J&R not B&H!