An open letter to Calumet Photography

Dear Calumet Photography in Chicago,

I thank you for being having a local presence for Chicagoland photographers. Sometimes I visit your store when I need things in a pinch.

But for the most part, I avoid shopping at Calumet. I would much rather shop and ship everything — from sandbags to C stands  — at B&H Photo in NYC.

I stopped by the store yesterday, and I like to browse and then buy. That way, I typically buy something completely unrelated to my list, and it’s a win/win for both of us.

But I was so pissed off about how the store was in complete disarray, that I turned around and walked out. I hope you’re going out of business and that it was a going out of business sale. The place looked like a bomb went off.

It cheapens the shopping experience when the professional source I want to buy quality goods looks like a bad day at Big Lots. I want professional accommodations when buying professional products.

Furthermore, the sales help isn’t very accommodating, knowledgeable or helpful. I overheard a customer ask a representative, “What kind of gear do you shoot with?” The rep said, “I don’t have any gear.” Usually helps if the guy you’re buying from has a working knowledge (whether he owns gear or not) of the merchandise  he’s selling.

I’ve worked with reps at the store who had never used the equipment I was buying and admitted it outright.

Worse yet, there were products that I really wanted to price out that had no price tags. Does your policy require that I ask a rep for each product I want to buy? Why waste my time like that?

Like I said above, I require a professional experience, or you don’t get my business.


Jeremy Witteveen


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