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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 5th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #16
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I have just heard from Doug. He has registered for DVi but has not had his account confirmed yet so he has asked me to post a response on his behalf.
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Hi everyone, my name is Doug Jensen and I'm the producer, writer, and instructor on Vortex Media's "Mastering the PMW-EX3" and "Mastering the PMW-EX1"training DVDs. I've been reluctant to register for DVi because I know I'll spend too much time posting here, but this thread has made me change my mind. I've started the registration process but it seems to be taking a very long time to get approved so I can post a reply. Until that happens, Simon has kindly offered to post this for me. Thanks, Simon.

I take offense that people are accusing us of ripping off customers. We are not ripping off International customers by charging $22.00 for UK/Europe shipping. We actually LOSE at least $1.88 on every shipment sent to the UK and about that same amount for any orders that are sent to Canada.

We only charge the customer $22.00 but it costs us at least $23.88 for a USPS International Express Mail Flat Rate Envelope. FYI, another well known retailer will charge you $56.25 for the exact same shipment.

Yeah, you can drop an envelope in a mail box for a couple of bucks, but do you think it would be wise to just ship our products without tracking, insurance, proof of delivery, etc?

What if we we mail your order and it never arrives. What do we do then? Suppose we mail it and the customers SAYS it never arrives? What then? Ship it again? And what if the 2nd one never arrives? I know that 99% of people are honest and will deal with us fairly . . . and that most regular first class mail will get delivered . . . . eventually. But the regular mail service is really slow and very unreliable. And what should we say to customers when two weeks have gone by and we can't tell them where their package is or when it will arrive? That is not a professional way of doing business.

We used to use USPS Priority Mail for a few years (and only charged $10 back then) until the quality of service went down hill. The average delivery time rose from 5 days to almost two weeks and we wasted a lot of our time telling customers "hang, on I'm sure it will come eventually". Eventually most orders did arrive, but it was big hassle and not very professional to tell customers we had no idea where their package was or when it would arrive. Also, once or twice a month we'd finally give up waiting and ship another one, and almost every time the first one would arrive the very next day!! It's funny how that works. Then we'd have to worry about how we are going to get the second shipment sent back to us.

Also, worth noting, is that we charge a flat rate. So, for example, you could order 10 DVDs, a set of WarmCards, etc. the charge would still only be $22.00.

If anyone is aware of a less expensive shipping option to the UK/Europe that allows tracking, proof of delivery, etc. we would love to hear about it. We don't like charging $22 anymore than customers like paying it. We try to charge just enough for shipping so that we almost break even. I can assure you that we have no intention of ripping customers off or making extra money from shipping charges.

Thanks,
Doug Jensen
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:26 PM   #17
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I hope Doug is able to get register approval soon, he will be an invaluable asset to this forum.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #18
 
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I hope Doug is able to get register approval soon, he will be an invaluable asset to this forum.
And hopefully he won't have to waste his valuable time having to respond to threads like this one.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
I have just heard from Doug. He has registered for DVi but has not had his account confirmed yet so he has asked me to post a response on his behalf.
No offense, Doug, but I'm surprised you were offended. A simple misunderstanding and someone got their knickers in a knot, which you clarified. Brings to mind The Second Agreement, "don't take anything personally" (easier said than done, I must admit).

$8 for US delivery doesn't appear to be out-of-line and I'm considering ordering the video myself to fill the remaining holes in my understanding.

I look forward to your future contributions to this forum!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:06 AM   #20
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Doug,

My intention was never to cause you any embarrassment, or undermine your excellent products. I have every intention to purchase a copy of the EX3 DVD. My point was that the postal charges were far too much for such a small item, yes I know if you put multiple items in one box it will work out cheaper, but I don’t need anything else at the moment.

I ship DVDs out from the UK and send them recorded delivery, these cost me a maximum of $3.00 for postage. I have so far sold over 7000 copies and in that time I have had three copies go missing (South Africa, New Zealand and UK), and I have simply sent them another copy. The South African DVD did turn up and the guy offered to send it back, You are right 99.9% of all customers are honest folk and appreciate the service you and I supply.

A friend did buy a Vortex title for the Sony Z1 and I can vouch for the excellent quality in production and content on your DVDs.

I would also like to publicly apologize to you for any embarrassment that I may have caused you and Vortex.

Yours sincerely

Vincent Oliver
Editor of Digital Photography at photo-i
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Old January 6th, 2009, 06:26 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
Doug,

My intention was never to cause you any embarrassment, or undermine your excellent products. I have every intention to purchase a copy of the EX3 DVD. My point was that the postal charges were far too much for such a small item, yes I know if you put multiple items in one box it will work out cheaper, but I don’t need anything else at the moment.

I ship DVDs out from the UK and send them recorded delivery, these cost me a maximum of $3.00 for postage. I have so far sold over 7000 copies and in that time I have had three copies go missing (South Africa, New Zealand and UK), and I have simply sent them another copy. The South African DVD did turn up and the guy offered to send it back, You are right 99.9% of all customers are honest folk and appreciate the service you and I supply.

A friend did buy a Vortex title for the Sony Z1 and I can vouch for the excellent quality in production and content on your DVDs.

I would also like to publicly apologize to you for any embarrassment that I may have caused you and Vortex.

Yours sincerely

Vincent Oliver
Editor of Digital Photography at photo-i
Vincent, I admire and appreciate your integrity!

Also, keep in mind we don't have VAT here, so the-powers-that-be (and this exlcudes Vortex Media) have to come up with other ways to soak the consumers.

I recently had to send two Kensington card adaptors (very small, very light) to Australia and the postage was outrageous--far more than $22!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #22
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I've not had much experience on the selling side when it comes to production runs of the same item. I understand that pricing will be extreme on an item that is a one-off (be it a wedding video or commercial production or feature film) as you must cover all your cost selling it one time. However, I'd think that the selling price for an item that is produced in quantity and sold repeatedly could be more affordable. This pricing compares to a Nintendo DS, a nice pair of shoes, or 3.5 of Ross Herewini's MxR cards! Shipping is what it is - and sometimes that's a killer. Perhaps he could look into "media mail" pricing.

Case in point - Jeff DeMaagd and I really struggled with pricing for EX3 mounts. Priced too low, he'd either have to stop doing it or change the price (which no customers ever like). Priced too high, well, this happens. His goal was to cover his cost outlay and cover the labor, with the initial assumption that at least a couple dozen would sell. These DVD's, being much cheaper and covering two cameras, essentially, should sell at least 100 units, I'd expect. If I were producing them, I'd consider the time/labor of the production and the cost for order fulfillment for each. I'd try to cover my costs within maybe 50% of the first run - in case I was wrong and they didn't sell. This way, even if I sold no more, my costs are covered and I had "billable" hours. Anything beyond that is profit. Too much profit tends to look like greed to the consumer.

Then again, no one is forced to buy and the seller has every right to set their own price. I just personally feel charging more than you need to isn't the best option, but then, I suppose I'm a lousy capitalist. If the right people feel the price is too high, they can compete with their own product. Quality may not be improved (or may be), but one thing for sure - there will be another, cheaper alternative and the original product will either fail to sell or it's price will adjust accordingly. Simple supply and demand economics.

So, to sum up, if the pricing seems high, produce a competitive product. Don't plan to charge as much - maybe half the price or so. Of course, if one is endeavoring to learn, the option to produce their own is perhaps a silly one. But, maybe, after a month or two with the camera and learning its quirks and features, it will be a consideration. Bashing or just complaining about the entrepreneur usually won't accomplish anything productive.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post
If the right people feel the price is too high, they can compete with their own product. Quality may not be improved (or may be), but one thing for sure - there will be another, cheaper alternative and the original product will either fail to sell or it's price will adjust accordingly. Simple supply and demand economics.
Or the original product, while more expensive, remains the superior product and continues to out sell the cheaper version. Apple is a good example of this. :)
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Old January 6th, 2009, 10:49 AM   #24
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So, you're saying that Apple's outsell PC's?
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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #25
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Yes, that is correct. As of right now there are more Apple computers being sold than PC's. Especially laptops.

I think I came across wrong with my post. I was just poking fun at your blanket statement. I didn't want to start an argument. My apologies. :)

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #26
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Yes, that is correct. As of right now there are more Apple computers being sold than PC's. Especially laptops.
Not to hijack this into a Mac vs PC thread, but just to clarify, I follow Apple pretty closely and I'm in the Apple software industry. The true statement is that PC's in total outsell Apple's, but per brand, Apple outsells others. For example, Apple outsells HP, they outsell Dell, but they don't outsell HP and Dell combined. There's just too many $300 PC's out there for Apple to compete overall. However I do think that Apple does have a pretty good percentage of the Creative Professionals market (us), some from legacy and some from the ease of use and uniformity of the applications.

Also Macs can run Windows, and in fact run them just as fast as PC's using Bootcamp, Parallels and VMWare Fusion. I do this all the time when I need to run software that isn't available for a Mac or need to test something on Windows, so for me it's the best of both worlds. Don't mind spending a premium. When you add up all the hardware and software costs of what you get with a Mac vs something similar on a PC, the price is competitive.

Not really back to your thread :)
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #27
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Okay, this will be my last point.... (no more thread hijack.....not responding again no matter what)

All I was trying to say was not that Apple or PC's were better.....not my point at all (although I like Apple). My point was that price isn't always the deciding factor when purchasing equipment. If someone designs a nice product and then someone comes along and copies it and sells it for a lower price, it's up to the customer to decide which product has a better value.

I tire of the "logic" where a cheaper product will always force the competitors to lower their price. I just don't believe that's always the case. I just used Apple as an example to support what I was talking about.

I think Ted's product is great! In fact I'm considering buying a base plate for our EX3 soon. But which ever product I decide to go with, it won't be because it's cheaper, it will be because it's a better product.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #28
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International shipping "safely" seems expensive all over.

A single MxR adaptor for the EX is $35 plus $15 for shipping (airmail). So it's almost half the price of the card. Using express courier the shipping jumps to $45 which is more than the card itself costs. I don't think anyone is lining their pockets on these shipping charges. It's expensive.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #29
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Its a shame Vortex don't have a reseller in the UK, like creativevideo or Amazon etc.

There is a company on ebay selling it for $99 but postage to the UK is $26 so Vortex isn't that bad for postage.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
Thanks for having the courage to respond to this thread, I respect that. When I am in the market for a bigger item, I will certainly consider B&H
Then we're on the same page. Excellent. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen
I've been reluctant to register for DVi because I know I'll spend too much time posting here
ROFL. You have no idea. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen
you can drop an envelope in a mail box for a couple of bucks, but do you think it would be wise to just ship our products without tracking, insurance, proof of delivery, etc?
Excellent point. Thank you.
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