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Old January 22nd, 2002, 12:47 PM   #1
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Hoodman

Chris, I think you posted a recommendation for the "Hoodman" viewfinder cover a while back. I checked it out online and liked what I saw.

Problem is...I've sent them two messages requesting purchase info (since the online form doesn't work for overseas purchases)...but nary a response.

Are they still in business?
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 12:57 PM   #2
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I just talked to Bob Schmidt, VP of Sales for Hoodman USA less than two hours ago. Let me see if I can get him in here.
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 01:00 PM   #3
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Wow!

Great! Thanks, Chris!

Leave it to you to be able to say something along the lines of "Oh, by the way, the VP and I were just having lattés out on the deck when the CEO of Canon called and said the funniest thing..."

;)
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Old January 23rd, 2002, 11:24 AM   #4
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Just to give them the benefit of the doubt, I'm sending a third message now.

I'll let you know if they respond.

John
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Old January 24th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #5
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Advice to DV Retailers

Still no word from "Hoodman." And on that same note...have been trying my damndest to order a Frezzi light for the past couple of months.

I inquired directly with Frezzi about purchasing a mini dimmer kit directly from them. They directed me to their local Seoul distributor. I contacted the local distributor and their response was "Frezzi-what?!? I informed Frezzi of this, so apparently they contacted the distributor who then got in touch with me and said, "Oh, yeah...Frezzi." He then proceeded to quote me a price of USD2,045!! I pointed out how high this was, explaining that I could order one directly from the U.S., pay for FedEx shipping, and customs tax, and still come in under 50% of that quote (if only Frezzi would sell to me directly). The local dealer reconsidered and dropped the price to a reasonable amount...which I accepted. Problem is...that was early December. I've sent at least a half dozen e-mails saying "I accept your quote. Please order the item." but they won't even respond now. Obviously, they're having second thoughts about their second quote.

So, my advice to DV retailers is this. The only reason you're not selling a lot of your products overseas is because no one knows about them. And you should know that by making your products "seen" by others can produce a contagious "gotta get one of those" effect.

So, please don't simply ignore overseas purchase inquiries. They really could lead to more overseas sales.

At least have the decency to respond to messages from people living overseas who want to buy your products.

The fact that neither of these companies has even attempted to communicate with me about purchasing their products makes me want to scratch them off my list forever...even after I return to the States.
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Old January 24th, 2002, 04:49 PM   #6
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Y'mean Frezzi wouldn't sell to you direct cuz you are overseas? That is discouraging! I simply e-mailed them (frezzi@frezzi.com) and their VP of sales was on the phone to me the same day. Charged me $400 plus shipping. You'd think they could take a moment or two to work with their overseas customers.
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Old January 24th, 2002, 07:32 PM   #7
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You'd think so, eh? Thing is...they are aware of the dealer problems I'm having over here, but they keep referring me back to the dealer, or they deal directly with the dealer and instruct them to deal with me...never directly with me.

I guess it's a question of "turf." If I were Frezzi, though, and heard that a dealer wasn't carrying their end of the stick, I'd say to hell with 'em and sell directly to the customer.

$400 you paid!? And they quoted me more than $2,000!
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Old January 25th, 2002, 03:53 AM   #8
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John, a Frezzi should cost no more than $400 including shipping to the Far Side. By the way Hoodman is here at VideoMaker Expo and I will do my best to make sure they see this thread. They have not responded to you probably because they're here at the tradeshow. Sorry for the delay on my part but when I'm away from home I'm "gone" in more ways than one.
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Old January 25th, 2002, 07:12 AM   #9
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Thanks, Chris!

Just to clear something up...after reading the $400 price I went back to the web site to double check. Looks like that's the price just for the light itself. What I'd requested was the XL-1 kit plus the soft box, dioptic lens, and barn doors. I think the straight retail price is around $850? Not sure right now. I'd have to go back and check.

The second "acceptable" quote that the dealer made was for $1,075 which is "close enough" when you consider shipping and customs tax need to be added. Unfortunately, that dealer is the one that won't respond now. He's also the one who said $2,000+ for the first quote?! Man! That took some nerve.

Just to put a positive slant on this thread...I should point out that most manufacturers have been great to deal with on an overseas basis. Varizoom comes to mind right off the bat. So does B&H.

And...as in the case of Hoodman...if it's a small operation and they're tied up at the tradeshow, that's understandable. And in Frezzi's defense, I think they just have no idea how lame their one and only dealer in Korea is. I could probably hook them up with a much more reputable dealer. I know one DV dealer in Seoul in particular that would be heaps better for them.

I also think there is a fair-sized untapped market over here. When you go to the Video/Film suppliers, they have a very limited selection of products. And in the case of video lights, the selection here is pathetic. I checked several places and no one had ever heard of Frezzi. When I explained that it has a dimmer switch, the eyebrows went up. So, the interest exists.
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Old January 25th, 2002, 12:50 PM   #10
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Hoodman...

I was just informed of this website and your posting regarding Hoodman.

I can assure you that we are very much alive and in business. I apologize for the lack of service and response that you have experienced. I can assure you though that the salesman who was responsible for that lack of service is no longer employed with the company. He has been replaced by Jorge Gonzalez as Territory Manager. Jorge is a sales professional who is more that happy (as are all Hoodman Team members) to answer any questions, and provide the best service possible. Jorge can be reached at jorge@hoodmanusa.com.

I would also invite you to contact me directly with any questions or concerns. I look forward to serving you and do hope to hear from you shortly.

Kind regards,

Scott Christiansen
Director of Business Development
Hoodman Corporation
20445 Gramercy Place Ste. # 201
Torrance, CA 90501
Scott@HoodmanUSA.com
www.HoodmanUSA.com
800.818.3946
310.222.8608
310.222.8623 (fax)
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Old January 25th, 2002, 01:56 PM   #11
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l

Right, that $400 was just the light, softbox and shoe mount. (Actually, I looked up my invoice and they had "corrected" it up to $420 plus postage.) I didn't see the need to go for the whole xl1 kit, since I already had the batt. belt hookup from my "non-Frezzi" light.

Interesting, I don't know what kind of contract he has with his dealer in Korea, but the fact that there are local dealers here didn't seem to stop him from taking my order for a direct sale. Ooh, and since you mentioned them, how about B&H? Could they help you?
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Old January 25th, 2002, 09:22 PM   #12
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Thank you, Scott.

I appreciate your response. I'll be sending a message to Jorge Gonzalez today.

(And thanks to you too, Chris)
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Old January 28th, 2002, 12:21 PM   #13
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Chris,

Just to follow up...I spoke to "Jennifer" Gonzalez (wasn't Jorge...oops!) at Hoodman today and my order is on its way. They're also going to check into fixing their online form to streamline overseas orders.

So...Hoodman bounces back for an A+ on customer service.

Frezzi is still in the doghouse, though. GG, looks like I'll have to follow your advice and go through B&H. Was just holding out to give Frezzi some room for redemption, I guess. Problem is, I'm so put out with them now, I don't even want to buy anything from them. Unfortunately, I really like what they offer. Oh well...
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Old January 28th, 2002, 06:50 PM   #14
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JOhn, I just e-mailed Frezzi about one of my deals, and I threw in a PS question about selling to customers in Korea, just as an "afterthought" let's see what he says.
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Old January 28th, 2002, 10:03 PM   #15
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:)

This should be interesting.
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