10 Confessions Of A Ritz Camera Salesperson

A Ritz camera salesperson writes in to give you the skinny on scanning, digital prints, and which memory cards are just a ripoff.

I have been working for Ritz Camera/Proex for about three years now and it’s really starting to get on my nerves, but I thought I’d share some of the ways they screw you over as a customer and potential employee.

1. The E.S.P. or Extended Service Plan- This plan is alright. You pay quite a bit for security. The only good thing about it is if you do drop your camera they will cover your negligence. Only problem is, is that depending on where you bring the camera in the U.S. most likely for any repair out of Ritz/Proex it will take about 2 months to get your camera back and thats the quickest.

2. Prices- We have price matching, but it has to be the exact same product, the other store must have it in stock, and we have to call the other store to make sure that the customer isn’t lying. Then we call a district manager and half the time they don’t answer so you stand there and stare at the customer until they leave and go buy it at the other store. Not to mention cameras are a much better deal online all the time, any time.

3. Memory Cards- They try and make us sell you “Ritz” memory cards before Sandisk or Panasonic. They are all the same. Ritz claims theirs are “faster,” but they are the EXACT SAME CARD. You’re already dishing out 300$ for a camera, get the cheapest card that will hold the most.

4. Products- As employees we are required to push at least 4 products on you. While I refuse to do it and stick close to the finishing lab, everyone else has to. Most of the time they will tell you that they are a certain price only to find when you get to the register that the price is higher. This is because you must have our Image Rewards Card.

5. Image Rewards Card- Claims it uses a system that collects “money back,” but I have yet to see that come up from frequent customers. For 16$ this lovely little piece of plastic can be yours. Unless you are doing actual 35mm film this card isn’t worth it. It literally takes pennies off digital prints. You have to do tons of digital prints in order to get your monies worth.

6. Prints- We have what is called Big Print You which is the “New Digital Standard!” It’s a bunch of crap. You are paying ten extra cents for half an inch of paper. It’s not worth it. Take the time and make 4×6′s. 4×6′s still fit in albums and frames. Big Print You fits in some, but you have a small selection.

7. Scanning- Scanning is 2.50$ per print. Ridiculous! Most of the time I don’t charge it and just say I forgot. Everyone else normally does it. 2.50 a scan, and you can only scan one at a time with a maximum of ten then the software makes to start another ten. It takes forever. By a cheap scanner and you’ll save a ton of money if you think you need to scan a bunch of photos.

8. Demo Cameras- We sell them to you and you don’t even know it. Everyone’s grubby hands have probably been on your camera. It’s probably been dropped at some point, not to mention the boxes we get shipments in from UPS look like they’ve been kicked all the way from the home office to our store. We sell demo cameras at no discount, we just clean them up and put them in a box. Then we are told to lie to you and tell you it’s brand new.

9. Employees- Be prepared for a job that offers no movements in pay. They have a company policy that allows you to take quizzes that your manager and service manager have to sign off on then give to your district manager that then gets you a small raise. Most of our employees have finished these, got them signed, and turned them in. We all still get 8$/hr. The district manager claims he “never got them.” I’ve heard this same excuse has been used with other stores too with different district managers. Also there are “Sales Incentives” that are supposed to be your commission. These are pennies and on like 5 things in the store. Most of the time it’s all taken away in taxes.

10. One Hour Photo- Yeah right. Half the time our machines break down because they are about as old as I am and the company is too cheap to fix them. So with the new “One Hour or It’s Free” deal we have now, we can just say that the machine is broke and that voids the deal. I’ll just give you your prints free. If there is a chance that our machine is working alright, in reality we can probably get your prints done in about 15-30 minutes unless you have a ton of them. Also ordering your prints online saves you time in a mall and the smell of fish that the printer gives off. So do that.

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Comments

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  1. John Whorfin says:

    No wonder they are disappearing from malls. I don’t know how they do any business. I get my digital prints from Target.

  2. AaronZ says:

    People still go to ritz? I thought that was a fairy tale, like people shopping at Radio Shack.

  3. smitty1123 says:

    $8/hr for retail? I worked retail in college and the best you could hope for was $6/hr. Granted, it was a college town with a steady stream of potential employees, but at the time $8 would have been sweet.

    • Lyle Kopnicky says:

      @smitty1123: Federal minimum wage is $6.55/hr. Increasing to $7.25 in July 2009. In Oregon (where I live), minimum wage is $8.40 an hour.

  4. formatc says:

    I can vouch for #8. While shopping for my camera, I was poking at the demos at a Ritz Camera. After a few weeks of playing with different models and reading reviews, I settled on a Sony A100. The Ritz Camera only had one in stock, and it was the display model I was holding at that moment. I asked the salesman if they offered any discount because it is a floor model, and they did not. He offered to call around to other Ritz stores in the area, but I declined to wait. Instead I went home and bought it online for the same price bundled with several extra lenses and accessories. I usually prefer to buy local, but they aren’t going to retain any customers without simple incentives like open box discounts.

    The Sony A100, by the way, is a wonderful camera. I say this somewhat tongue in cheek, after having just voted on Sony being worse than Google.

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I don’t like how he says to buy the cheapest memory card that holds the most. Bull.

    Some cards are just poorly made, and can result in lost data (I have had this happen).

    Other cards aren’t fast enough for the video recording many cameras can do (I have had this problem as well).

    Also some large cards can’t be read in some cameras, even if they are the same “type”. Such as the higher density SD cards can only be read in SD-HC devices. You can’t just say, “hey, this is SD, and big, I’ll buy it!”.

    So either do lots of reasearch yourself, or go to a camera store where the sales rep knows about various speeds, and what cards are compatable with your camera.

  6. scoobyhed says:

    Inflation, smitty. $6/hour then is probably more in real terms than $8/hour now.

    But seriously, Ritz (at least the one here in Birmingham) isn’t so bad. My tech-idiot mother went there for a new camera and the sales guy spent a good half hour going over features and such before selling her a camera that was only about $5 more than it would have been online. And he didn’t even push memory cards or extended warranties or anything on her.

  7. Buran says:

    I either buy from B&H (one of the only reputable places in NY) or this kickass local camera shop down the street from me.

  8. sleze69 says:

    Now THIS is a real set of confessions.

    Keep posting more confessions like these instead of the generic, “if you are rude, we won’t help you,” variety.

  9. NoWin says:

    Yeeeeears ago, we had two Ritz stores in our city, operated by the same guy. He was the slimiest salesman I ever met, but he did know his stuff, and any repairs or special orders were done without any problems (maybe he treated repeat customers like us a bit better).

    He had a good store to do comparison shopping, and if you bought in an advert from a local competitor, he’d often price-match, if not beat it but a point or so.

    With the advent of online prices and outlets, he flat out stopped matching and said hat you saw posted is what you paid.

    When he sold the franchises, the new guy wound up closing one store in about 6 months, and turned the other one into a Ritz with horror stories like you read about.

  10. arch05 says:

    @formatc: Buying from your ‘local’ Ritz Camera isn’t ‘buying local’ at all.

  11. bananaballs says:

    @Buran: also, adorama. they have good open-box specials.

  12. pandroid says:

    I also worked for Ritz off and on for a long time, 5 stores in 3 states, though admittedly not in a couple years. I take issue with several of the “Confessor’s” points.

    1) ESP – It is a poor deal for anyone who is careful with their stuff. However, it’s generally a great deal for people with kids, pets, or the clumsy gene. I bought a plan on the camera I bought my sister last year – Because with an infant and a 2 year old in the house, she needs it.

    2) Why are you calling you DM on a simple price match? Sounds like there needs to be re-training. I PM’d the camera I mentioned in 1, and no DM was required. Everything else mentioned is standard PM procedure just about everywhere.

    3) The Ritz cards are cheaper than the name brands, so how is this a problem for the consumer? In the four years I worked there, I never saw anyone have a problem with any memory card. Including ones people had run through the washer, among other things. Flash memory is some of the most stable stuff out there. Non-issue.

    5) They used to call these frequent foto cards, because they were the most useful for people that were frequent customers. I saw it’s usefulness for some of our customers… and we did have some that would literally print hundreds a month.

    7) Is that new? That was not a service we charged for when I was working there. It was free of charge for us to help you scan pictures.

    8) Yup, displays get sold. Although I generally worked in stores where the stock moved quickly enough that cameras were rarely on display more than a week. And if something gets damaged, send it back defective! Ask your manager where your defective bin is if you’re unaware. I never sold a camera with anything wrong with it.

    9) If you want to make money, don’t work in retail. Ritz had some of the best medical benefits out there for full time employees though.

    10) If you’ve got a frequently broken machine, or old equipment, you must be a C-class store. C class stores mean they sell very little, have older equipment, and don’t have much volume. These are generally smaller stores in rural areas. A and AA class stores have the newest Fuji equipment and those machines require very little maintenence. Our one-hour percentage for the last store I worked at was well over 90%.

  13. freshyill says:

    @smitty1123: I got $7.85 at Best Buy in 2002-2003. I was only there while I was looking for a real job after I graduated college. I feel bad for anybody about to graduate, because with the economy the way it is, I think we’re going to see a lot of people in the same boat I was in a few years ago.

  14. deadlizard says:

    I have a Ritz camera gift card for two years and I haven’t found a single reason to use it.

  15. formatc says:

    @arch05: A local B&M, even one belonging to a chain, is still paying local employees. I understand what you’re saying, but it’s better than nothing.

  16. pete7919 says:

    I concede the fact that Ritz probably is a long way down the toilet, but this sounds more like a sour grapes employee. There is a stereotypical retail employee that hates the job and is usually pissed about working it because of some set of circumstances that forces him/her to do so. Either they got fired from somewhere else, laid off, or they are just unmotivated. They complain about everything, never get a decent raise (but don’t deserve one either), gossip, and are generally useless when dealing with customers.

    By the ramblings of this person they fit into the mold.

  17. ClayS says:

    @AlteredBeast:
    All good points on memory cards. But did you really expect to get worthwile information from someone making $8 an hour?

    If you need advice/guidance, your best bet is probably a good local camera store followed by B&H or Adorama if you aren’t local to NYC.

    And if you get advice from a local store, don’t then purchase from an online dealer. At least not if you like having local dealers stay in business.

  18. psychos says:

    I’ve found that Ritz Camera is a wonderful place to go try new cameras and lenses. (They’re happy to let me try out their lenses on my own dSLR body in the store.) Then I buy what I want online or elsewhere.

    I have bought a few items there, such as camera bags, that weren’t much more than online and preferable to buy in a brick & mortar. But I would never buy actual camera gear from them.

    I dropped a $450 lens onto concrete a few years ago. The lens still worked fine (a testament to Canon manufacturing, especially for a fairly big and heavy 75-300 zoom), but the UV filter screwed onto the end had shattered and was stuck to the lens. I took the lens into Ritz, and they told me it would be $300 just to send the lens in, and possibly more for repairs depending on the severity of the problem.

    I took the same lens into a local shop (Hunt Photo and Video in the Boston area.) They first suggested a safe way for me to try to get the filter off myself. After that failed, I brought the lens back in and they sent it to a 3rd party technician who simply drilled into the UV filter and removed it. Lens was good as new. Total cost: $15 including shipping. I’ve given them my business on several purchases since then, even if it’s a bit more than online.

    I learned my lesson and haven’t dropped any of my camera gear since that incident!

  19. justdan says:

    These are my favorite kind of posts. Revenge posts.

  20. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @ClayS: Good point…but this was listed as a confession. He says how Ritz says their cards are faster, but they are all just exactly the same. Unless they are just rebranded, I doubt they are exactly the same. As well as he seems to make it sound like faster cards are irrelavant.

  21. arch05 says:

    @formatc: I know you get what I’m saying, but that’s like saying ‘Shop at your local Walmart & help your local economy!’. The minority of the money you spend there goes to the employees. The majority goes to the uberhumongoconglomerate upstream. Living in Austin, I have hippys pounding the ‘GO LOCAL!’ mantra into my head every second of every day. But you know what, once they put the peace pipe down, they make some sense. So support your local camera hobby store, & fuck ritz!

  22. brandyfelix says:

    I had the price switch pulled on me ($15 on the sales floor, and “oops, it’s actually $25″ at the register) at the Tysons Corner store. I don’t remember them trying to sign me up for the Ritz card, so maybe it was an honest mistake.

  23. redhelix says:

    @freshyill: That really depends on whether you’re working towards a useful degree. (History, Philosophy, Liberal Arts majors… I’m sorry but you are screwed.)

    I mean, I have 2 job offers floating for after I graduate in August. I’m about to earn my BS in networking & information systems, which is basically CS Lite. It’s not that tough.

    Also that wage at Best Buy they were giving you is substandard. I worked for Geek Squad during my sophomore and junior years of college and made 12 bucks an hour. I also got tons of free or steeply-discounted stuff from vendors.

  24. ClayS says:

    @AlteredBeast:
    I don’t disagree. The speed of the card can be very significant. I recently purchased a camera rated to shoot at 6 fps. With a slow memory card, the camera is likely not to meet that spec. I don’t need this guy telling me to buy the cheapest card with most memory.

  25. weakdome says:

    @redhelix: Right… because nobody with one of those degrees has a job. They might as well let you major in panhandling.
    Idiot.

  26. firesign says:

    i can’t believe ritz camera is still around. they’ve been shit for years.

  27. Twilly says:

    That picture looks like the old Pekin Mall in Pekin, IL.

  28. sly100100 says:

    I went to a ritz recently to check out the Olympus 510. The woman behind the counter was very helpful, and she knew I was just looking, and yet she gave me her full attention and even offered to charge a camera so i could check out the menu on it. She also gave a noob some great advice on picking there 1st camera. She was knowledgeable and was also a part time wedding photographer.
    Wouldn’t buy a camera from them though there prices are high.

  29. Geekybiker says:

    Ritz is aweful as a camera store. Very limited selection, no lenses to test (The one thing you really want to buy local!) Horrible prices. I can’t find a reason to step into one.

  30. 3drage says:

    I’d not shop there for the simple fact that they repackage demo cameras and sell them as new. That’s horse pucky.

  31. MissPeacock says:

    @scoobyhed: I’m in B’ham too and I’ve never had any problems with one of our local Wolf Cameras. I do most of my research on line and then go there to handle the actual camera before deciding whether or not to by.

    I haven’t bought prints in YEARS, but I was always really happy with the quality of prints they gave me when I was still using 35mm film.

  32. smallestmills says:

    myfriendusedtoworkatritzandiftheysawanypicturesofnaked/goodlooking/girlswithbigcheststheywouldmakedoubleprintsandputthemina”goodies”drawer.”

    This was back when most people used film.

  33. humorbot says:

    I saw George Lucas in the Northgate Mall (Marin County, CA) Ritz. Before Episodes I-III. That is the only good thing about Ritz Camera.

  34. youwantedahero says:

    Alright, so another former Ritz employee here. And I will tell you what I think about all of this… First of all, yeah, the pay isn’t that great, I made like eight bucks an hour, but I generally made a dollar to a dollar-fifty an hour extra from SIs (he’s right, they don’t pay much on items, but they do add up). And I was in a CORE store, the smallest in our district (which was South Puget Sound, btw – I worked in Spokane). So if you’re motivated and you work in a busy store you can make a decent living. Plus the benefits for full-time employees are AMAZING, and even part-timers have decent basic medical if they want it.

    Also, as far as I’m concerned, yeah, the prices are MSRP, basically, but think about it – brick-and-mortar stores have to pay employees, rent, utilities and so on. I also kind of felt that you were paying for the service, as everyone I know who has worked at a Ritz is more than willing to spend literally hours helping you figure out how to use your new camera. (Don’t make a poor Ritz employee run down features of cameras for more than an hour and then tell them you’re going to Costco, either – that happened to me repeatedly and it made me want to throw something. It’s just rude.)

    Ritz’s memory cards were the CHEAPEST we had in stock. And they were Lexar, absolutely nothing wrong with them. I personally have four of them and they work fine. You do need the faster cards for some things though, we were not lying about that to try to get you to spend more.

    One last thing, then I’ll shut up. The ESPs – those are really not that bad. Expensive, yes, but almost always cheaper than a repair. And you could do almost anything to your camera except for set it on fire and we would fix or replace it. It takes a while, but so does paying to repair your camera. Also, the multi-years were a pretty cool thing simply because you could smash your old camera to pieces right before the ESP expired and you would get a new/updated version of your camera back!

    So yeah, anyone can bitch and complain about a huge national corporation. Ritz has 1200 stores; I don’t think they’re doing too bad (and our DM was GREAT).

  35. veganvelma says:

    I used to work with Wolf, and I can definitely say that the most of this is true.

    No matter what the employee tells you, DON”T EVER GET THE BIG PRINT YOU (6×4.5)!!! They’ll tell you that all the heads will be cut off (which some may, but it’s simple to fix) and they tell you that you can get frames and albums for them everywhere. You can’t. The only place I seen them at is their store.

    The pay is pretty good, for not that much work (at my store at least), as long as you’re in the lab. I started out at $7.50 and within a year, I was making $8.75 plus sales incentives. These incentives can add up quite nicely, that’s really only during Christmas though.

    But hey, I was only one of the best lab operators in the Birmingham district and they fired me because the two weekdays I worked, my sales weren’t up to there standards. I worked strictly in the lab and was fired because my sales were down.

  36. As a former Ritz employee, myself, I need to correct the one glaring error in this article:

    It’s “sales associate,” according to my old business cards.

    Otherwise, everything looks about right to me.

    Ritz is the Microsoft of camera stores. Nobody really loves them, but a lot of people have to deal with them because they’ve bought out so much of the competition.

  37. Sarcasmo48 says:

    Even though it is also a chain (albeit much smaller) I have had nothing but good experience with Penn Camera. Prices that competed with BB/CC, and staff that were a hundred thousand times more knowledgeable (in that they know about cameras and don’t just read the specs off the price card). If you can’t go local, go small chain!

  38. chiieddy says:

    My husband once bought me a camera lens at Ritz for Christmas because he waited until the last minute to shop. I later found the bill (he used a joint card to charge it) and saw where it was from, how much it cost, and told him to return it. We got the same lens about $150 less through Amazon.

    I do have one favorite camera dealer, though. [www.butterflyphoto.com]

  39. cablecar says:

    First of all, this person is pretty much on the money. Now, I am basically going to reiterate a few of the facts the person stated above, being a former manager of 3 years at one.

    1. ESP- Great deal, but VERY expensive, your camera will take 2 months AT LEAST to get back, huge inconvenience, but they tell the truth that it will be repaired or replaced due to ANY damage, also its huge money for the store and associates get 10-15% commission for them based on how many years they can sell up to 5.

    2. PRICE MATCHING- Not much to say about this, yeah we have to check the store and then check the ad if applicable, but its basic price matching, not really done too much.

    3. MEMORY CARDS – This is very true, the RITZ brand cards are basically crap and give the associate the most spiff’s (commission) from. Yes they claim to be high speed and made from special plastic(some anti-static material), but GET THEM ONLINE!!! You will save a fortune for the SAME card.

    4. PRODUCTS – 4 items??? HA! In our district they pushed us to sell at least 8 extra items! the stores are rated by sales with various included items, including an average extra “addon amount” and if its not up to par with the district average the heat comes down to the management to push the associates to sell more.

    5. FREQUENT FOTO CARD/IMAGE REWARDS CARD – Utterly useless, do not get your photos printed at Ritz, half the time they train high school kids in a few days to print on a Fuji Frontier, even though its an easy machine, to print your photos for the same quality and machines that are at your local wal-mart for HALF the price, they claim to color correct and all that jazz, but it BARELY makes the difference, especially with their enlargements(prices inflated drastically).

    6. PRINTS – Basically same as above, the extra inch is a simple ploy to think you are getting your money’s worth. 4×6 is the standard and it will be nearly impossible to find any album or frame UNLESS AT RITZ to fit your “NEW digital standard” photos.

    7. SCANNING – No comment really, its definitely over priced.

    8. DEMO CAMERAS – THIS is fun!!! Definitely a total joke! Yes we drop the cameras, yes we wipe the finger prints off and toss them back into the box, LYING to the customer that the camera is “Brand New”. Sure you get your occasional defect, which we send back to the warehouse, but any popular camera, MAKE SURE You watch the clerk get a SEALED box, and check the seal, on many occasions I knew of clerks getting super sneaky with the demos so they wouldn’t get into a confrontation with the customer about the price and it being a demo. That response from earlier talking about how they have a quick rotating stock is a load of BS, the camera sits in the hands of many people even if it is up there for a few days, If I pay full price for a camera, I want it BRAND NEW, untouched.

    9. EMPLOYEES- Every employee that asks the district manager for a raise will get this same answer, “you want more money?…..SELL MORE”. There is no advancement for the sales team whatsoever, if you happen to work in the lab, they have this drawn out training process where you complete these packets for like a 25 cent raise every year to a max of 1.25 additional after about 5 years of dedicated lab training, which is TOTALLY a waste of time. Someone said their benefits were amazing, this is totally false, the benefits are HORRIBLE, I dont know who claims they are good, but the employee discount is less than tax(usually) for camera gear, and the only benefit is basically half off of processing, which isn’t that big of a deal as well. Management benefits include a spiff at the end of the month which if they meet a sales goal and/or a lab goal they get like 100-300 bucks extra, but they don’t make that much more than the employees.

    10. ONE HOUR PHOTO – This is the only category I slightly disagree with, most store, which do next to none processing unless its one of the Frontier stores that to a TON of processing, get your photos finished well within an hour, even if they have crappy equipment, broken down problems happen to all kinds of machines not just the “crappy ones”. Discounts if not free processing will be given if there does happen to be a problem.

    After reading most of the responses I do want to add just a few things, FIRST – Some of the GOOD salesmen will sit there and describe everything to the customer and go over all the features, good time waster and lets those salesmen end up adding additional stuff to the sale. SECONDLY the comment about store classifications does not really make sense, classifications are broken down into Processing and Hard Goods(camera gear). You can be a C store in processing and a AA Store in hard goods. THIRDLY benefits, medical for part timers is some useless company you have to pay extra 20 bucks a week for which is some TV insurance that has horrible deductibles and providers, the only decent coverage is MAJOR MEDICAL problems, dental and vision are awful, basic provider book for all types of coverage, not the best doctors, (I’m not sure if this changes from region to region).

    THE BEST FINAL WORD OF ADVICE:

    Go into a Ritz if you need to do some comparison shopping and let the clerk take you through the entire breakdown of the equipment you need, take notes and BUY ONLINE!!! It happens all the time, its what basically 50% of the people do, and its the best FREE information you can receive about camera equipment. There are tons of retailers online with free shipping and tax that will make it worth your time.

    • Anonymous says:

      @youwantedahero: @cablecar: I find it appalling that consumers spend so much of an hourly employees time, comparing, testing , being educated on a product, then feel it is absolutely alright to buy the exact product recommended on line. This is the behavior that is going to result in your choices being: buy what you want at Costco/WalMArt/BestBuy. Suffer with their limited selection, poor service and uneducated. uninterested employees.As far as FREE information. Nothing is free! Someone has to pay that employee, cover business costs, etc. You have essencially wasted the employees time and probably contributed to the demise of their collapse. Good for you! Hope you saved enough money to help pay for welfare. Glad you got such a good deal.

  40. pockygt says:

    I liked this article better last year when it was called “8 Confessions Of A Ritz Camera Sales Employee”

  41. @AaronZ:
    don’t go there. I flamed the RShack before and it wasn’t pretty. people actually died.
    yes I’m joking, but be prepared to fight the pro-radioshack commenters (although anyone willing to join the anti-RShack cause should speak up!

  42. @NoWin:
    in my time working at a local camera store (within the past year), faulty memory cards are found in batches (few, but MANY between). If you use pro-brands (genuine Sandisk Ultra/Extreme, Hoodman, Kingston, etc) you will most likely not see any problems…the house/offbrands generally are great, but upon initial use they will error if something is wrong. If that is the case simpy exchange them.

    If a memory card is faulty you will notice this almost immediately (either when shooting or transferring). For everyone there’s a bargain memory card.]
    Retail’s a bitch, and then you die.

  43. lhm says:

    $8 and hour? This is what’s wrong with America, guys. What we think of as ‘middle class life’ depends on the existence of legions who work for less than what it takes to be middle class.

    Something’s got to give. If we keep wanting it now, cheap, and to a high standard, we require armies of people who are virtually slaves-no more life serfs. We’re going to have to be willing to pay more and have less for the non-essentials. The strength of the American economy is in it’s middle class, yet the number of poor people that the middle needs to exist seems to keep on growing.

    So Ritz Camera is cutting corners by paying it’s employees crap and delivering service that looks good but isn’t? Blame yourselves.

    And face it. America’s a serf economy. The different between serfs and slaves, if you’re wondering, is that masters had the responsibility to see that slaves were fed, housed, and had some for of medical care. People who use serfs can command their labor, yet give them so little they rot, sicken and die out in the cold.

    And that’s us, folks, the serf-using class…

  44. MBZ321 says:

    What I don’t understand is there is a brand new Ritz store in this fancy outdoor shopping center near me….and they are surrounded by a Wegmans supermarket with a busy photo lab, a Circuit City, and a Staples! (plus the whole center has a Target and Walgreens right across the street). I don’t understand how they can even compete…

  45. westonalan says:

    This is so true. Today is the first time I’ve ever bought anything at a Ritz camera store. The only reason I had to was the flash I need (nikon sb400) was out of stock on Amazon, and amazon’s third party dealers were only a few dollars less than Ritz, but since it’s not Amazon i would’ve had to pay shipping, so I actually got something from Ritz. The only flash they had was the display model, i was like “what?” They didn’t give a discount and almost couldn’t find the box which includes the warranty info, etc. I hope to never buy anything there again. I got my D40 and lenses on Amazon for hundreds less than Ritz. I’m not really sure how they stay in business at all.

  46. MikeGrenade says:

    Here’s a positive post to go against the grain: Is anyone from Tampa familiar with the Ritz at Citrus Park mall? That’s an interesting store. I bring it up because it seems to be the exception to the rule, and I’m curious if there are any others like it. My experience there has been almost radically different from what I’ve seen at other Ritz/Wolf stores, Best Buys, etc. Does Ritz have corporate-owned and franchised stores?

    Every employee I’ve met there is an actual photographer in their own time, some of them professional. They know what things are and what they do. Heck I’m thrilled whenever someone knows what f-stops are, let alone how to use them. I typically hold a photography-related conversation with the manager when he’s in, and I’ve received some sound advice from him regarding equipment. That’s a big departure from the usual “more megapixels are better, buy our service plan!”

    A while back I had some prints made of medium format equipment I’m helping a friend sell, and I was pleasantly surprised when they recognized all of it. One of them was even interested in buying a Hasselblad lens. Everyone is very helpful, and they put up with my annoying requests to try lenses. As far as I can tell, most things are stocked well. They have most popular Canon and Nikon lenses, bodies for every current consumer/prosumer system, and the usual slew of point and shoots and accessories.

    They have one employee who appears to operate the printer exclusively, and unlike prints I’ve received elsewhere, I have never encountered quality issues, nor has an order been delayed during low volume. The printing guy even accepted a request from my mom to restore some extremely faded wedding photographs, and while I’m not exactly sure what equipment or software he used, it definitely wasn’t the KPM kiosk’s scanner with the contrast turned up.

    I like going to a camera shop where I’m not weary about talking about cameras or photography for fear of it going right over the employee’s heads. Hopefully there are other stores out there like this. Of course there are still some of the usual snags: retail B&M pricing, lagging behind on some camera models, cheap overpriced accessories (This is a big one – $80 for a 77mm MCUV filter by freaking Tiffen is ridiculous). But in terms of staff, it’s the closest experience I’ve had to a local pro camera shop without actually going to one.

  47. Alex Chasick says:

    By way of rebuttal, an anonymous employee of another Ritz Camera location sent us the following email:
    1. **ESP:** While there are lots of things about retail sales that I
    don’t like, this isn’t one of them. If you’re extremely good about
    taking care of all of your electronic equipment — and figure in the
    stuff that gets carried around with you (phone, iPod, PDA, etc.), not
    just the stuff that sits on the shelf at home — then no, this
    probably isn’t for you. But if you have kids, pets, are clumsy, lend
    your toys to other people (even briefly), or live/work in adverse
    conditions (contractors, areas of high heat and/or humidity, areas
    near saltwater beaches, many other examples that I can think of), then
    this is worth it. It covers _anything_ short of loss, theft, or the
    equipment getting roasted in a fire. If we can read the serial number,
    then it’s covered. Drop it, go swimming with it, let the dog chew on
    it, toss it out a window and scoop up the pieces — we get it working.
    We do have to quote 6-8 weeks for any repair or replacement, it’s not
    an instantaneous grab-a-new-box-off-the-shelf policy; it is more
    expensive than other ‘extended warranty’ plans; but it’s as close as
    we can come to guaranteeing you’ll never have a problem with the camera.

    2. **Prices:** The first part is correct: same item, in stock. I don’t
    know why this person has to call their DM for a price match — I don’t
    even have to clear it with my manager. If I can verify that the
    customer could go somewhere else to get the item for a lower price,
    then that’s the price they get. Equipment can be cheaper online, yes
    – we even have to compete with our own online presence, as it’s tax-
    free, while are retail stores have to charge state tax. We do what we
    can to make up for that, though, with hands-on demos, help, and
    customer service. At least, I do my best — obviously, I can’t
    personally vouch for any other salespeople.

    3. **Memory Cards:** The Ritz-branded memory cards are simply
    rebranded Lexar memory cards — take a look, the Lexar logo is right
    there on the packaging. We also carry non-rebranded Lexar, Panasonic,
    and have recently expanded our selection of Sandisk. Sometimes our
    cards are cheaper, sometimes the other brands are cheaper. Speed
    ratings for all the cards are somewhere on the packaging, and are easy
    to explain. The different types of cards are certainly not “all the
    same,” though for your average point-and-shoot customer, the higher
    speed cards generally aren’t necessary.

    4. **Products:** Of course we’re supposed to suggest items — this is
    retail sales. Generally speaking, those items are either going to be
    things you need (batteries that won’t die in ten minutes, a memory
    card so you can take more than ten pictures), things you might want
    (accessories), or things our company would like you to get (yes, this
    category exists — things like the ESP mentioned in point one, or the
    Image Rewards Card that’s mentioned next). Is there a retail chain out
    there that _doesn’t_ suggest items? Some salespeople will be pushier
    about this than others, and a good salesperson will make it as
    painless as possible, but it’s going to happen.

    5. **Image Rewards Card:** Admittedly, not one of my favorite
    programs, but I’m personally not a fan of a customer rewards club that
    requires the customer to buy in — I’d rather have companies offer the
    reward programs gratis so that any benefits are actually rewards
    earned by frequent customers. That said, this card _can_ save
    customers money if they’re regularly printing photos. It’s not for
    everyone, but it can be a good thing for some.

    6. **Prints**: Okay, I have to admit, I’m mostly in agreement with
    this one. The basic idea of Big Print You is a good one: since digital
    cameras take a 4:3 ratio photo, standard 4×6 prints, which use a 2:3
    ratio, crop off a portion of the image. BPY’s default size of 4.5×6
    prints the full 4:3 ratio digital photo with no cropping.
    Unfortunately, the company is positioning this as a ‘premium’ service,
    and I do agree that it’s overpriced (especially as they just dropped
    the price of 4×6 prints). Frames and albums were also a long time
    coming, and though they do exist now, they’re not nearly as common or
    easy to find as the standard sizes.

    7. **Scanning:** This appears to vary on a store-by-store basis. The
    official company line is that scans are $2 each (I’m not sure where
    the $2.50 price point quoted in the original article came from). The
    store I work at only charges this if we do the scans, as it’s
    considered a service charge for the time we have to take off the sales
    floor to do the scanning. If the customer does the scans themselves,
    we don’t bother with the scanning charge. However, other stores in our
    area don’t follow this policy, so it may be worth asking at particular
    stores what their policy is — or, of course, simply buying an
    inexpensive home scanner.

    8. **Demo Cameras:** Yes, we sell our demos, and unfortunately,
    company policy does not allow us to discount the demo units. It would
    be nice if we could do that, but I don’t expect the policy to change.
    Until then, the demo units are still covered by the manufacturer’s one-
    year guarantee, our 10/30 day return/exchange policy, and possibly the
    ESP if the customer decides to get that. If a demo camera is not in
    saleable condition (no dings, scratches, blemishes, and in out-of-the-
    box working order), then it gets marked as a ‘defective’ and sent
    back. If a customer is looking at a demo and we don’t have any more
    boxed, I let them know that it we can sell them the demo, or we can
    try to either find another store in the area with the same camera or
    order one through our warehouse. At _no_ time are we told to lie to
    the customer.

    9. **Employees:** The original writer initially states that he’s been
    working for Ritz for around or over three years for $8/hour. I’m not
    surprised, if his attitude in his post reflects his attitude in the
    store. In my two years, I’ve received two raises, putting me at $9/
    hour base pay. With the “sales incentives” — variable commission on
    various items — my actual pay ranges from $10-$15 an hour, pushing
    close to $20/hr during the Christmas rush. It is a retail job, and the
    base pay is never going to be incredibly high. If you want to earn
    more, you need to be willing to work for it — either through sales,
    or through finding another job.

    10. **One Hour Photo:** If the original writer’s machines are breaking
    down that frequently, than his lab, if not his entire store, is being
    severely mismanaged. A well-run lab will have minimal downtime, and
    the “One Hour or it’s Free” deal is little more than an advertising
    campaign designed to put a fresh face on business as usual.

    The problem with ‘exposés’ or ‘confessions’ like these are that
    they’re most likely written by someone with an axe to grind, and
    aren’t likely to be objective at all. I’m no Ritz superstar (my sales
    numbers, while decent, are never ‘star’ level, I’ve heard plenty of
    horror stories about other stores, and even had a few myself before I
    was hired), and at heart, it _is_ retail sales. However, I do think
    that there are also a lot of excellent stores and employees who _do_
    try to do their best, to provide good information, and to help their
    customers, instead of simply sleazing their way into the highest
    paycheck possible. Just remember that people are a lot more likely to
    share bad experiences than good ones, and remember that there _are_ a
    few of us working at Ritz that try to do our jobs well.

  48. fang27 says:

    I come from a family that owns an independent camera shop. We regularly sell “demo” cameras – and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

    I asked my father how often he sold a camera that ended up being defective without the buyer doing something to break it (dropping it, whatever). He said he remembered that happening 15 or 20 years ago when cameras had more moving parts. He’s never had a digital camera returned as defective.

    As long as the demo cameras are cleaned with care before being handed over to the customer, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying one. Usually, we clean the cameras every day to remove dust and fingerprints – and I understand most camera shops do so.

  49. Trai_Dep says:

    Another vote for B&H. I’ve bought from them 4+ times, online, and they’ve always been great.

  50. @3drage: That’s also illegal.

  51. omyard says:

    Ritz Camera? These “Confessions of…” have officially jumped the shark.

  52. melmoitzen says:

    I worked at Ritz on-and-off throughout the ’80s at a time when Dave Ritz would drop in at a store, know you by name, and even get behind the register to help out if things got busy. At the time, it was little more than minimum wage plus a LOT of spiffs in the 10% range on the outrageously marked-up house-brand items (the “166s”). The dream of every entry-level employee was to hit the big-time and be put on commission for all of your sales, presumably big-ticket items.

    Eventually I was put on commission (I think the pay scale was $3 per hour plus 2% of all sales plus the aforementioned spiffs, at a time when minimum wage was something like $5). Ironically, I found I was making more shirking sales duties to act as cashier, ringing up $300 worth of photofinishing and self-service off-the-shelf merchandise in an hour than the guys using that same hour to try selling a $300 camera.

    Most of the staff (including me) actually had an interest in and knowledge about photography and cameras. A substantial number of our “customers” knew this and would totally pick our brains over the expensive stuff, and then wind up buying it at from a local catalog discounter or via mail order from NYC.

    Ritz has always positioned themselves by acknowledging that they might not be the cheapest, but they know their stuff. And the few times I’ve gone into their stores since working there, the small sampling of humans I’ve spoken with really do. I suspect there are still a few knowledgeable salespeople in their stores getting their brains picked by folks intending to buy from Amazon, Costco, NYC, etc.

  53. When the local family-owned camera stores(2) in our town were bought by Ritz, one closed immediately, and the other one has turned to absolute crap. The last few times I have gone in there have not been good experiences, and I use another company now. The employees always seem as if they are being forced to work there. I would never buy a camera there.

  54. photojunky says:

    So if it sucks that bad then why are you still working there? My guess would be that you have such a chip on your shoulder that any other business that you interview with wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole!
    I have shopped at many different Ritz and Proex locations through the years and also had my kids pictures taken in their studio. I have always been delighed with the quality and service of the staff that works there. They are not the cheapest in town but there is value in the knowledge they provide. I think this sales person has an axe to grind too, but I would guess that they won’t be working there much longer, let’s hope so for the happy Ritz customers sake.

  55. pandroid says:

    @cablecar: I mentioned the class of stores, and I didn’t feel it was necessary to go into the breakdown, and quite frankly, I’ve never seen a C class in one be an AA class in another. As I said before, I worked in 5 different stores in 3 states, all in vastly different parts of the U.S and at different store classifications. Everything the OP said smacks of a C-class store… 3rd hand busted printers, and low merchandise turnover and minimal stocking that leads to complaints over demos. Ritz seems to have been slowly closing those stores down, so maybe the OP will be out of his job misery soon.

    And as to your assertion that Ritz is training high school students to run machines… that is highly inaccurate. The printers I worked with ranged in age from 20-55. You can’t be younger than 18 and work in the lab. It’s against OSHA regulations.

    —-

    The vast majority of folks I worked with were professional and knowledgeable, and those that weren’t generally turned over very quickly. I worked with a great number of professional photographers and enthusiastic hobbyists, who, though not always thrilled to be in a retail environment, were always willing to help educate customers. A lot of people in this thread seem to be camera experts, and that’s great to see. Go ahead and buy online if you want to. But there are still a lot of people who don’t get cameras at all, and Ritz is run more like an old local camera shop than a electronics megastore.

    As for the demo issue, these demos aren’t like a Best Buy or Circuit City. You have to ask to see a camera from the case, and I watched like a hawk when people were playing with a camera. I never, ever saw one dropped and then put back in the case. The camera I bought my sister last year was a demo, and it’s working perfectly. My first digital camera was a demo as well, and it still works – 5 years later. 2 megapixels just doesn’t cut it anymore though :)

  56. rewinditback says:

    i used to work at ritz. if i had about 2 hours and 3 cups of coffe i could tell you all some stories. the “18″ in the lab osha bit is a joke – we had 16 year olds in the lab all the time. i can dig up images of what ritz thinks of osha. Think “chemicals down the drain”.

    people borrowed high end items from the store for a photo shoot and returned them. buyer beware on those d300s that just came out…

  57. Atsumi says:
  58. drharris says:

    #3 is flat-out wrong. Especially in higher-end cameras, the brand makes a lot of difference. A 1GB card is not the same as every other 1GB card. They do have speeds for read/write. I seriously doubt the Ritz card is faster, but any serious photographer should research flash memory online before he or she buys storage. Usually the faster memory (which allows you to shoot much faster and reduces delay in-between shots) is about 2x the price of the cheapest card of the same capacity.

  59. olcameraguy says:

    To the “confessor”. As an employer, I see you as dishonest for taking the paycheck. I see you without ethics for taking the paycheck when you disdain the company that is paying you. Ritz camera is a chain but they are an ethical and well run large chain. But the most disturbing post are those that are made by those “customers” who openly admit that they only go to Ritz or any local camera store to hold the latest camera or lens or to spend as much time as possible getting the sales person to convince you whether the Nikon of the week is better than the Canon of the week, fully knowing that they plan to order on-line. Is this not the ultimate form of dishonesty? Why should a local merchant or Ritz pay an employee to educate you for free? Is this some kind of consumer entitlement? And for that silly post about butterflyphoto, have you checked out http://www.resellerratings.com ? If you order from Brooklyn, you deserve what will happen to you. If you know that you are going to order on line then do your research on line. Wasting the time for any merchant is the same as shoplifting.

  60. rogueangel27 says:

    At least Ritz is an American based company, just don’t buy a camera if your going to further damage our economy by pumping money into over-seas companies.

  61. omgretail says:

    My rants and comments on comments:

    With the pay, $8 is really shitty considering many people I know who work there are very knowledgeable on the products they sell and are photographers themselves. The problem is that you can make the same money (without any “sales incentives”) at a big box electronics store. The starting salary here should really be $10+ for experienced people working here. Even with SI included you have to be able to spread it out over all the hours to make it work. Making it hard to make much more SI when you don’t sell many SLR’S or don’t sell a lot one day, or GOD FORBID work in the lab when you rely on selling things to make more money.

    With the memory cards, they have been selling re-badged Lexar cards. They just started selling a lot of Sandisk stuff. Everything is cheaper online of course. The only time the generic re-badged stuff is “cheap” is when they have one of their every two week “sales”. The same goes for their Quantaray brand (re-branded Sigma equipment).

    @pandroid- It seems you worked in pretty lax stores. DM’s are always supposed to be called for price matches. The big problem with Ritz is pretty much no one does anything by the corporate book, making it hard to be consistent on any policy, like things dealing with discounts and lab items like price per scan.

    @pete7919- The best rule for working successful and happy in retail is STAY IGNORANT. I feel like anyone who doesn’t get pissed after working somewhere like this has gotten something wrong with them. Even if you are motivated and do everything right you still aren’t acknowledged for it. Like I said before, the pay (THE REASON YOU HAVE THE JOB, this is not a charity) is not at all consistent with your responsibilities and expectations. (Consider me sour grapes, pete, sorry for the rants)

    @veganvelma- I wish I worked in your district and at a Wolf rather than a Ritz. I have never known anyone to make a raise more than the $.25 for a new lab level. (Only possible every couple of months)

  62. GothGirl says:

    Sounds like someone who either has an ax to grind or a really bad employee….. I am a Ritz Store Mgr, and have worked for Ritz since ’05. Before I worked for a small Mom and Pop camera company for 6 years, and another for 10 years before that. So I have been in the camera biz for a while….
    1) ESP’s can be a lifesaver for customers, yes if you take good care of your stuff you don’t need it. But cameras now (plastic) are not made of the greatest stuff, drop your little point and shoot on the tile and see what happens. Most repairs take 4-6 weeks, its usually a wait for parts more than anything.
    2) No we don’t price match online people, most brick and mortar stores don’t. Our price matching policies are very similar to other companies, and our prices are usually very VERY competitive. Several hot cameras this last XMAS were cheaper at Ritz than any other brick and mortar store.
    3) Our Ritz branded memory cards are Lexar cards and say so right on the package. We sell other brands as well and other speeds… a good salesperson will recommend the right cards, and usually the multi packs (Ritz branded versions) are a steal price wise.
    4) You are in SALES, and yes you are SELLING STUFF to make the company money. God forbid you offer a CAMERA BAG or a MEMORY CARD to someone buying a camera. They need it anyway…. and if you want your store to do well, it would be a good idea if they bought it from you. We call this a free market system, and job security.
    5) The IRC card is a good deal for someone who prints a lot, or someone who spends a bit of money annually in our stores… not for everyone. Every major retail store now has some kind of reward card, we happen to charge for ours…
    6) The Big Print You (4 1/2 x 6) prints are a somewhat new thing, and Ritz is no longer the only company printing them. Will they take over the market, who knows… some people like them and it is the correct ratio for point and shoot digital cameras so people don’t cut off part of the photo. They are a bit overpriced for what they are, I will agree. But again it’s a service we provide for people, it’s an option… and we tell the customer upfront what it costs. There is also another option for these prints which makes then one 4×6 and two wallets fro 39 cents a print, which honestly is a much better deal.
    7) Scanning is 2.50 a print, again it’s a company and we are trying to make a profit here. There is a new service now for large orders that will scan 250 prints to CD for 49 bucks.
    8) Demo cameras aren’t discounted, but I will say they are only shown to folks with an employee right there. They are not out for all the world to play with. And we always tell people it’s the last one, and was on display. A good employee can order someone a new one (at no charge thru Ritz Express) or call another store for one. I have never seen someone try to push off a display as anything but a display.
    9) 3 years and no raise? You should take the hint, maybe they don’t want you there. My employees get raises every 6 months or so, and most average 10-14 dollars an hour when sales incentives are added. (good money for the area I am in) Around XMAS they make as much as 30-40 an hour. You get payed for performance, welcome to sales. We don’t pay for you to sit around! Four of my former employees are now managers as well. Managers can make 26,000-32,000 per year for a small store, 40,000 per year for a mid sized store… and the big Ultra stores can make you around 60k to 80k a year easy. Plus we have some of the best insurance of any retail company, not to mention a lot of other great benefits. We can but equipment direct from our vendors at insane discounts. For someone into photography it can be a dream job.
    10) Wow you must have some awful manager or staff, machines down all the time? Sounds like some other issues at work here, like someone not maintaining the machines or operator issues. I can count on one hand the times my machines have been down in the last year.
    Ritz/Wolf stores are a lot like other chains I’m sure…you will have the occasional bad egg, but I really love the company I work for. We have a ton of great people you love there jobs, and work there asses off for our customers. Yes we are a sales driven store, but no one is forcing associates to sell certain things or offer shady deals. Most salespeople will give you honest opinions about products if you ask and steer you in the right direction. It makes our jobs easier to have happy customers…. we want to sell you an ESP so if you break the camera we can fix it for you! We don’t want to be yelled at for selling you crap! Small chain stores like Ritz do one thing well, we sell cameras…. and do a good job of it. See if the idiot at Wal-Mart knows how to explain depth of field with your new camera, or if they take the extra time to show you how to format your memory card… or show your grandmother how to use the new digital camera she is terrified of.

  63. Anonymous says:

    ok, whoever wrote this must work in a bad store. i also work for ritz camera and have encountered next to none of the things listed here.
    -i can price match almost any store without having to call the store or my district manager.
    -ritz memory cards are the exact same as other brands, yes. but they are constantly on sale. and as a salesperson, i will figure out the cheapest card and offer that.
    -my machine is very rarely broken and i can absolutely get prints out within the hour. this is the same for all the stores in my surrounding area.
    -it is true that not all stores have everything in the catalog, or even more than just the one in the case. i’ve definitely driven myself to other stores to pick up cameras or cases/bags for a customer. i can have another store hold it, or i can order it and have it shipped to your house free shipping.
    -this person’s view of the rewards card is completely wrong. i’ve personally seen a woman recieve over 50$ cash back, and thats just one person.
    -the damage protection plan is a great plan. i’ve bought it for myself and my dad. and yes, it can take 4-6 weeks to get it fixed. but sure, if you want to send it to nikon instead, go ahead, because you’ll be waiting 12+ weeks.

    maybe these things are true for this person’s particular store, but its not that way in every store, and especially not in any of the stores i’ve worked in. i’ve been in the company for 6+ years now, worked in 5 different stores, managed and closed one of those mall stores.

  64. Anonymous says:

    @pandroid
    It’s nice of you to try and set the record straight but you’re still off target. I’ve worked for Ritz for several years and we do 1) charge $2.49 for scans ALWAYS and 2)Require a DM’s approval on price match. Maybe in your neck of the woods the hotshots did things differently. I have also worked in some very high volume finishing stores and the equipment is the same old stuff everywhere. I am not in a “rural” market either.

  65. Anonymous says:

    @SurinaFonzie I am a TSM in one of the districts for Ritz, and I have a few issues here. I’ve been working for the company now for 10+ years, and have seen ups and downs. You have to look at this with a more objective eye. I always have associates complain to me about how the equipment is old, and is always breaking. Most of the time, ALL of the issues are contributed to the fact that the associates had been lazy and not maintained the machines. And I get it, we don’t get paid a whole lot, but c’mon! It’s part of your job, and most of the time at least in my area, i just saw employees playing on their laptops and goofing the fuck off. here is the breakdown on the age of machines by the way: Frontier370 – purchased between 2001-2003. Frontier 340 – Purchased between 2003-2006. Frontier 390 – Purchased between 2002-2004. Frontier 375 – Purchased between 2003-2005. Frontier 570 – Purchased between 2006-2007. And ALL the drylabs were purchased in 2008.

    We had Epson wide format printers, all purchased in 2006-2007. We had Document printers for photobooks all purchased in 2007-2008. the company was trying to do all it could to make some profit somewhere.

    I admit, they don’t pay very well. Since the chapter 11 filings we have been severely cut down. But I like my job. And I keep my machines running VERY well. If your machines were crap, it was due to mismanagement. I hate it when employees talk about giving services away for free, or marking down the price, because they have no idea how much that hurts the profit for your store.

    There are a shitload of employees out there now that got laid off with the onset of the bankruptcy, and i’m sure that 90% of them would LOVE the chance to put up with these gripes, just to have a job again.

    and as for the customers, i’m sorry we can’t match the crappy monitor profile on your computer. I print photos all the time at my stores, and they don’t look muddy at all. they look great. maybe it’s your editing skills and overly-contrasted monitor profile that’s causing the bad quality photos. We are not a PRO lab, and don’t have any delusions of being one. We take time and care with consumer images. In my opinion I think that most of our stores do a great job.

    If you come in to our stores and get hours worth of guidance and help from our sales staff and then go elsewhere, you are not hurting the big ritz corporate giant, you are hurting that salesperson, and wasting his or her time. Most of us work for Ritz because we enjoy photography. Not because we want to sell cameras.

    And after all of this, I think I have more reason to complain than anyone. My pay has been severely cut again and again in all of this, my area is now larger for no extra compensation, and I now have to work with a DM I don’t get along with. But I need the job, and I like working on these machines. The “crap” machines as you call them.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I worked @ Shitz Camera for 1 year and Wolf for 2 years – I ditto everything this guy says- PLUS their so called “training classes” “coupon” that they give you when you buy a camera- and these “classes” are about 50% sales pitch to convince you to buy more equipment. They almost never have the higher end cameras in stock and they expect you to “order” ( read PREPAY ) for out of stock equip. Often if customers return expensive equip. Shitz will only send a check within 10 days so the company can use your money for a few days – like a free loan. There are very rarely any good “deals” at Shitz especially the “package deals”. As far as it being a Dead-End-Low-Pay job: ABSOLUTELY!!! …D.O.A.!!!
    Disclaimer: the above is of course, only my first hand experienced, years of first- person- witness opinion.