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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 06:32   #101
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I am not an expert, but I think marketing is more about emotions than about logic.

On their websites, the first thing Swaro and Zeiss do is separating hunters from birders. Guess why.

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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 08:06   #102
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I am not an expert, but I think marketing is more about emotions than about logic.

On their websites, the first thing Swaro and Zeiss do is separating hunters from birders. Guess why.
All three have seperated catalogues. One for hunting and one for nature.

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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 08:16   #103
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Sour grapes, oetzi ?

If you mail Nikon and ask for review samples for your blog and they don't reply...

Disregarding the massive brand placement through their camera advertising (every month on every tv screen everywhere in the developed world) their bino sales dominate the middle market so clearly their approach works, and that's despite the unhelpful global price disparities.

Best wishes,
If I were mad at every company which ignores me....
As a lifelong user of Nikon cameras - bought my first in 1977 - and as a photography nut I am well aware of Nikon quality. And of their very often mediocre service to anyone outside the Pro users.

In germany, Nikon sells its binos mostly in camera shops, with € 250,- being considered an expensive one. Steiner is the household name for binos over here.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 08:38   #104
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Florian,

OK. I think I understand.

It's OK for Swarovski (or any other binocular manufacturer) to sell their binoculars to both the Birding market and the Hunting market as long as they don't bring up that fact when engaged in marketing events aimed at the European Birding market.

Bob
I have defended responsible hunting (including bird shooting) over here in the UK because the vast areas of land managed for this benefits large numbers of other species. And in many places there are too many deer (no natural predators) to the detriment of vegetation regeneration, so they need culling.

But you know what? I wouldn't want to watch hunting on a video, even if it was for example the culling of deer that I think is necessary.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 13:27   #105
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@Jan
Well, knowing how difficult it is to discern the minute differences of top binoculars and make a sound purchase decision in the short time in a shop, I'd assume that for customers like yours, who have not much previous binocular experience and knowledge, the advice of the vender could play a certain role in the decision. So let's imagine the vendor says: "this brand has the best products, it's the market leader, it's our bestseller", wouldn't it be possible that many uninformed buyers just go for that brand then?
I was at a Cabelas last weekend, which for those in Europe who don't know, is a massive seller of hunting equipment, and one of the few brick and mortar retailers that still sells high end optics in this country. A man at the optics desk was showing two men some binoculars. He told them that Swarovski had the best warranty of all brands, and that short of actually losing their binoculars, Swarovski would replace or repair their bino for any reason. I don't see how any buyer couldn't be impressed by that claim. When they asked him what the second best brand was (probably after seeing the Swaro prices), he told them it would probably be Vortex (maybe he was confused by their similar appearances?), which were sold in the same showcase, next to the Swaros.

The only Leicas sold were the new Trinovids, and older model Trinovid mini, and the rangefinder, which were placed in a separate case next to the Leupolds. The Zeiss binos were in a corner case, between the Leicas and the well stocked and large Swaro case. A couple of Conquest binos were included, and the older minis, but the whole display was disorganized. Oddly, a brand new Victory was in stock, but it was hidden behind a promo sign, and there was no sign indicating it was in stock.

Frankly, I don't see why Leica or Zeiss even bother selling their lines through this company. By doing so, I think they cheapen their own reputations. I think they should drop Cabelas and make themselves seem more exclusive, and not found in the same store that features a mountain of stuffed animals from all over the world. It's true, Google "images for cabella animal mountain."

On a side note, a man walked up and volunteered that he had a Swarovski spotting scope, and that he really liked it, and that he liked Swarovskis because they came with "doppler" adjustments, which he needed because his eyes were getting older.

All in all, it was a very interesting visit.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 13:41   #106
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What Zeiss and Leica need to do it to educate and educate and educate those guys.
Guys like that at Cabela's are the face of the brand. He should know better than putting Vortex above Zeiss and or leica, but it is NOT the fault of the customer. He thinks he is getting the right info.
So Zeiss and Leica need to hurry up with some kind of Sport Optics Acadamy for salesrep's that sell their brands. It seems Swaro's name is already in place.
WTF is holding them???

Just my opnion.

Jan
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 14:03   #107
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What Zeiss and Leica need to do it to educate and educate and educate those guys.
Guys like that at Cabela's are the face of the brand. He should know better than putting Vortex above Zeiss and or leica, but it is NOT the fault of the customer. He thinks he is getting the right info.
So Zeiss and Leica need to hurry up with some kind of Sport Optics Acadamy for salesrep's that sell their brands. It seems Swaro's name is already in place.
WTF is holding them???

Just my opnion.

Jan
Jan, that's not the way retail works in this country. Why do you think Vortex and Swarovski are placed in the same case? I think that Cabelas has made a decision that they will push the Swaro and Vortex line, probably because they have agreements with those companies that are more profitable for Cabelas. The salesmen are told which lines to push. He even hesitated when he said Vortex was second best, but I'm sure that's what he was told to say at some employee meeting, and I think he values his job more than seeing that his buyers choose the right binoculars for themselves. I don't blame Leica or Zeiss for the salesman's ignorance (i.e. lying), I blame them for sticking with a retailer that treats them like dirt.

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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 14:12   #108
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The guy at Cabelas, which is a world class store/retailer BTW, is probably making his case based on product warranties. If that's the case he's correct, along with leupold. I've stated before that of the 120 or so hunters I've had in camp over the past 12 years, probably 70% of them show up with Swaro something, 20% Zeiss, 5% Leica, 5% something else. Leica, as a company, is totally clueless how to market, warrant, and service their products here in the USA. People have caught on to this and have chosen to spend their $$$ on something else, as have I. Life's too short to deal with idiots.

Meopta will be the one to watch out for. They are making huge strides here.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 14:13   #109
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He told them that Swarovski had the best warranty of all brands, and that short of actually losing their binoculars, Swarovski would replace or repair their bino for any reason.
I had a similar experience in Germany, in a Frankonia store (chain of hunting gear stores). I asked for bins and the vendor simply said Swarovski is the best. Period. Lucky I did my reading before and knew that they are just one among 3 or 4 best brands
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 14:18   #110
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The guy at Cabelas, which is a world class store/retailer BTW, is probably making his case based on product warranties.
This warranty thing is sth. I will never really understand. Maybe also some kind of cultural divide. I very often read here statements from US-Americans like "Leica warranty/service is crap, I will never buy Leica, only Swaro for me". Really like the warranty was the only thing people care about when buying an expensive binocular. This always puzzles me.

I know, good warranty is certainly a factor to take into account. But still, I want to buy a binocular, not a warranty.

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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 14:23   #111
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The guy at Cabelas, which is a world class store/retailer BTW, is probably making his case based on product warranties.
I disagree, I think he is making his case based on what will make the most money for Cabelas.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 14:26   #112
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This warranty thing is sth. I will never really understand. Maybe also some kind of cultural divide. I very often read here statements from US-Americans like "Leica warranty/service is crap, I will never buy Leica, only Swaro for me". Really like the warranty was the only thing people care about when buying an expensive binocular. This always puzzles me.

I know, good warranty is certainly a factor to take into account. But still, I want to buy a binocular, not a warranty.
I don't think it's cultural as much as personal. Frankly, when someone tells me how great a products warranty is, I wonder about the quality of the product that would need such a warranty.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 15:22   #113
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I don't think it's cultural as much as personal. Frankly, when someone tells me how great a products warranty is, I wonder about the quality of the product that would need such a warranty.
So you actually wonder about the quality of a Swaro or Zeiss glass just because their warranty is far superior to Leica's? I wonder about that reasoning. Maybe its' just me, but when I buy an alpha product, at alpha prices, I expect better support, that's all.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 15:29   #114
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I don't think it's cultural as much as personal. Frankly, when someone tells me how great a products warranty is, I wonder about the quality of the product that would need such a warranty.
CF I know where you are coming from but its a bit of a perverse line of thought.

If you sell a product that you know to be likely to breakdown by reason of faulty manufacture and materials, why would you burden yourself with on-costs for years or decades by giving a strong warranty?

It's more likely you will give a strong warranty if you think it won't cost you much in repairs and replacements and might gain you sales.

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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 15:49   #115
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So you actually wonder about the quality of a Swaro or Zeiss glass just because their warranty is far superior to Leica's? I wonder about that reasoning. Maybe its' just me, but when I buy an alpha product, at alpha prices, I expect better support, that's all.
I also wonder about the quality of a Swarovski because they don't feel as rugged as my Leicas or the Zeiss binos I've tested. BTW, I haven't had anything but excellent service from Leica the one time I had to have a bino repaired (because of my own negligence).

Jgraider, I'm just curious why you are so fixated on warranties. Have you had a lot of problems with Swarovskis?
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 16:33   #116
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So you actually wonder about the quality of a Swaro or Zeiss glass just because their warranty is far superior to Leica's? .
Its easier over here, everybody gets only 10 years :)
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 16:38   #117
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Jan, that's not the way retail works in this country. Why do you think Vortex and Swarovski are placed in the same case? I think that Cabelas has made a decision that they will push the Swaro and Vortex line, probably because they have agreements with those companies that are more profitable for Cabelas. The salesmen are told which lines to push. He even hesitated when he said Vortex was second best, but I'm sure that's what he was told to say at some employee meeting, and I think he values his job more than seeing that his buyers choose the right binoculars for themselves. I don't blame Leica or Zeiss for the salesman's ignorance (i.e. lying), I blame them for sticking with a retailer that treats them like dirt.
Having been in sales for 35 years, it's more likely there was a spiff offered on those two brands. The spiff was probably offered by Cabelas to it's people, the offer from the optics company was likely rebate dollars. Retailers love rebate dollars because when they hit the books at the end of the year they show as 100% profit. Cabelas floor guys are making right at minimum wage, $50 or $100 in spiff money a week makes a huge difference.

When plasma cutters first hit the market one of the mfg'rs came to the company I worked for and told us, we will pay you the salesman $1 an amp for every machine of ours you sell over the next 4 months. The company got a 2% rebate. I made right at $10,000 in spiff money from that offer. The plasma cutters were pretty good, not top of the line but close. So when I sold, that extra $50 to $75 in my pocket suddenly changed my selling strategy. They werent troublesome machines, I knew there wouldnt be any push back so I steered customers to those machines. Never had a single complaint on them. Making money is the nature of the beast.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 16:53   #118
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So you actually wonder about the quality of a Swaro or Zeiss glass just because their warranty is far superior to Leica's? I wonder about that reasoning. Maybe its' just me, but when I buy an alpha product, at alpha prices, I expect better support, that's all.
Warranty is a marketing tool, if you charge enough you can offer any kind of warranty you want to.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 17:03   #119
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If I were mad at every company which ignores me....
As a lifelong user of Nikon cameras - bought my first in 1977 - and as a photography nut I am well aware of Nikon quality. And of their very often mediocre service to anyone outside the Pro users.

In germany, Nikon sells its binos mostly in camera shops, with 250,- being considered an expensive one. Steiner is the household name for binos over here.
It's ironic that Steiner is now Italian owned (by the pan-global arms manufacturer Beretta, who also own Burris)

However of the big four, Nikon alone no longer offer riflescopes, although that might not make the whale meat any easier to swallow for some.

The list of bino companies that don't offer riflescopes must be quite small.

Best wishes,
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 17:10   #120
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It's ironic that Steiner is now Italian owned (by the pan-global arms manufacturer Beretta, who also own Burris)

However of the big four, Nikon alone no longer offer riflescopes, although that might not make the whale meat any easier to swallow for some.

The list of bino companies that don't offer riflescopes must be quite small.

Best wishes,

Nikon still offers them here
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 17:28   #121
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Thanks, perterra. Nikon Store UK don't list any, they are all on the discontinued list.

Plenty of other choices for hunters though, not that we'd ever see binoculars from Schmidt & Bender, or Nickel AG !
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 17:36   #122
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From this forum and my own experiences with alpha binoculars, I can't tell that one brand is any more likely to require service than another. More importantly, I'm not convinced that the likelyhood of failure in any alpha is great enough that the warranty and service issue should be a strong factor in one's choice. I have happily bought used Leicas knowing they carried no warranty whatsoever. One of four required a fix that I had to pay a modest fee for, and which Leica USA carried out promptly and courteously. I would do it again. To me, it's a risk worth taking, vs the certain defeat of buying a glass that is not the most interesting, out of fear of issues.

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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 17:51   #123
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Warranty is a marketing tool, if you charge enough you can offer any kind of warranty you want to.
I've always suspected that the extra one to two hundred dollars Swarovski charges for their binoculars in this country is essentially an extended warranty that people have no choice but to pay. Jan has said in previous posts that in Europe, Leicas are more expensive, and Oetzi has pointed out that all brands there are required to have the same 10 year warranty. I wonder if companies in Europe are allowed to offer bonuses to stores and sales people as an incentive to push their brands, like they are here?
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 18:17   #124
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I've always suspected that the extra one to two hundred dollars Swarovski charges for their binoculars in this country is essentially an extended warranty that people have no choice but to pay. Jan has said in previous posts that in Europe, Leicas are more expensive, and Oetzi has pointed out that all brands there are required to have the same 10 year warranty. I wonder if companies in Europe are allowed to offer bonuses to stores and sales people as an incentive to push their brands, like they are here?
Well, they haven't offer me non.
It is usual in the camera business, like Perterra posted. That's common.
Personally I would like to stay independend. Sell the customer what he needs not what my biggest bonus will be. I want my business to stay in a 100 years and not for the short run.

What bothered me is the way the USA does business. What is the extra value a shop as cabelas (and probably others) brings to the customer except getting his hand in the wallet, if they can't/won't give a objective advice?

I'm getting to understand the:"he is a dealer" mantra, with experiences like these.
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 19:51   #125
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Well, they haven't offer me non.
It is usual in the camera business, like Perterra posted. That's common.
Personally I would like to stay independend. Sell the customer what he needs not what my biggest bonus will be. I want my business to stay in a 100 years and not for the short run.

What bothered me is the way the USA does business. What is the extra value a shop as cabelas (and probably others) brings to the customer except getting his hand in the wallet, if they can't/won't give a objective advice?

I'm getting to understand the:"he is a dealer" mantra, with experiences like these.

Small brick and mortar independants are the best way to get good service. You may pay more for a product, but in most cases they are not just a store but a consultant also. In my experience with non chain stores they can get things pushed thru as a good will repair when larger big box stores let you down.

But smaller stores are at a huge disadvantage in the US. They dont have the buying power that places like bass pro or cabelas have, places where the contracts signed with suppliers state they can return product for any reason or no reason and get full credit. There is no risk to the big store, they load the risk on the mfg'r. You as a small shop carry your own risk, in many (most probably) cases if your product doesnt sell you are stuck with it.

I agree with you about the way the US does business. It's a stack'm deep and sell'm cheap walmart mentality and it's basically sunk our middle class. We are a nation full of investors looking for a quick buck with no risk. A I got mine, you get yours mind set.

The only value added given by a big box store like a cabelas, home depot or walmart is buy it cheap, 50,000 items under one roof and if you dont like it, bring it back.
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