Olympus Pricing Observations

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Given the recent Spring sale, I'm curious to know if what I am seeing is a standard marketing campaign pattern. Have had awesome luck and customer experience with buying directly from getolympus.com. Recently snagged a reconditioned 17mm 1.8 for 319 during the sale. Shipping is in process and amazingly fast. Prior to receiving a text about a 20% discount, I saw the price of their cameras and lenses go up by about ~100 at Amazon and BH. Now that the sale is over, I can see an immediate drop. Does Olympus increase the price on new stuff to increase the margin at the reconditioned level, then taper back down? I'm just curious... tks!
 

ac12

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Interesting.
On Amazon, the MC20 was $379 before the sale, went up to $430 during the sale, and is now back down to $379.

This past Outlet sale's higher prices was definitely NOT like it used to be.
In the past, you could count on decent prices at the sale. In fact it was a race. Stuff used to sell out FAST.
I used to get up and log in as soon as the sale opened, just to see what was there, and if I found something that I "needed/wanted," JUMP on it. Which I did several times.
 
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That’s similar to my past experience. I found stuff to move FAST like you said. I felt like I had to rush into decision mode. I wonder if they’re holding the line due to pricing strategy changes from the new parent. Maybe they’re playing to shift their marketing storyline, too.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I'm not sure who the reconditioned store is now aimed at, based on the last event. From what I noticed, I could get the same item, brand new, from one of many authorized dealers for very close to the same price as reconditioned. Take the E-M5iii+14-150 II kit. Reconditioned, one might have saved $50...before shipping and taxes. Once those are applied, buying new was a better deal AND you got a 1 year warranty.

Back to my original comment--who is looking at OMD refurbished? Before, I suspect it was likely the existing customer base, committed to the brand, looking to score a good deal. I kinda figured it was Olympus's way of throwing loyal customers a bone. Now, I'm not so sure. Committed brand users and enthusiasts know of many places to check for deals, even for open box or used. The fact that they had to extend the sale said a lot--the normal customer base was not impressed. An EM1.1 for $999 before discounts? When I can get a new E-M1.2 for the same price? Pass me what you're smoking!
 
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The only reason I pulled the trigger was because I figured that Oly's recondition process might correct the lens if something were wrong, to the state it should have been by design (within reason, of course) and that was better than getting a dud new unit I'd have to return. Or pay about the same for an LN or LN- used. If this is the "new" Olympus store, it might be the last time I buy... for now. My EM5.2 and EM10.2 are both recons, which I got at 374 and 299 respectively with less than 50 shutter counts each.
 
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I just checked the getolympus outlet pages and the prices are still sky high. The reconditioned 12-40 Pro is selling for $799. When I bought it reconditioned last year it was $625. With 20% off it was $500. Yes, I've always looked to reconditioned gear for great bargains during the outlet sale. But, this time was very disappointing. No wonder they extended the sale, but even so, they had lots of stock left. Doesn't look like anything sold out, like they usually do early during the outlet sale. Why bother to have an inventory reduction sale if you don't price stuff to sell? SMH.
 

Michael Frank

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I just purchased a refurbished 12-45 Pro lens at the 20 percent off sale. New price was $649.99, refurbished price was $519.99 (20 percent less than new). The additional 20 percent off of that came to $415.99. It is in perfect condition. The current new price is $599.99 and it is not available refurbished.
 

RAH

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I have bought a number of items on the Oly refurbished site and have alwyas been happy with it, especially my E-M10.2 body a few years ago for a mere $300 (as mentioned by @thatnormguy ).

I have noticed, however, that refurb prices don't seem to have any relevance to the current new price. I mean, sure they are always lower than new to start, but often they'll have a sale on the new price that will bring the new price down to very close to the refurb price, so there's essentially no point in buying the refurb. They don't seem to even try to adjust the refurb price to make it sensible when there is a sale on the new.

So the refurb price often seems to be chiselled in stone while the new price often goes up and down as they have sales and deals. Sometimes they have additional sales on refurbs (as with the recent added 20% off on refurbs), but even there they are often a poor deal if the new items are on sale at the same time (by what often seems to be just a coincidence).

I do still check the refurb site however, because I DO think that refurbs are preferable to used, especially with cameras. A refurb camera seems to be just like a new one (although worse warrantee, of course).
 

demiro

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I think we need to recalibrate expectations around pricing going forward. Anyone who has been around for a while has lived through what I think was the golden age of bargain hunting, with so many manufacturers and a near-constant stream of new models. Profitability is now very challenging for camera companies/divisions. Contraction is a constant threat. New models are coming at a slower rate.

This is not a revelatory thought, but the price of cameras has to go up. I'm not saying that the Outlet sale prices are explained away that simply, but I think we're in a transitionary phase and camera companies, especially new ones, are trying to figure things out.

I think we need to accept that we'll be paying more for the shiny new stuff going forward. Used market will eventually reflect that as well. Better that than fewer viable camera companies and less for us to choose from, imo. Within reason.
 

exakta

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Prior to receiving a text about a 20% discount, I saw the price of their cameras and lenses go up by about ~100 at Amazon and BH. Now that the sale is over, I can see an immediate drop.

Olympus runs a new sale every month or so, with different deals on cameras and lenses. It's probable you just saw the switch from one sale period to another.

I'm one of those people who has never paid full price on my Oly gear, I've always bought during a sale. That has saved me about $1500.
 
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I haven't followed the prices on Olympus' own online shop, however here in Germany raising the prices during a touted sale is a common tactic for almost every store: For example I was looking for a new M.2 SSD earlier this year and a shop was running a promotion for Samsung. The 970 EVO 2 TB has been sold for less then EUR 320 prior the promotion. Once the promotion with I think 15% off started, the pricing was adjusted to EUR 350, sure you got those 15% off, however you saved less money than it would've seem at first. Once the promotion was over, the price was lowered to around EUR 310.

Back when Olympus Europe was running the E-M1 Mark II + free f1.2 Pro lens deal last summer, the prices of the camera also got raised, however it took the shops a couple of days. I don't know whether Olympus really dictates the prices or not, but some shops still had decent prices for the E-M1.2 even later on through the promotion.
 
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I have no idea why people ask questions about a company that only an employee of said company has any chance of actually knowing the answer. Furthermore, if they did know and and answered the question, they would probably be fired. It would probably be more productive to ask this question on a Qanon forum.
Qanon... a bit of a stretch. It was an innocent question. I got a sense at one point, just occasionally browsing threads, that some knowledge might lie with the friendly folks that are a part of this forum. Sorry if your day is off to a bad start.. hope it gets better.
 

demiro

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I have no idea why people ask questions about a company that only an employee of said company has any chance of actually knowing the answer. Furthermore, if they did know and and answered the question, they would probably be fired. It would probably be more productive to ask this question on a Qanon forum.

Lots of dumb questions get asked here, but I don't think that is one of them. Many folks here dig deep into stuff and come up with all sorts of things that you wouldn't necessarily expect. Is getting an answer a longshot? Sure. But it hardly deserves to be lumped in with the worst sort of people in our society.
 

PhotoCal

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Olympus has people trained to get out their wallets when the word SALE appears.

Pricing is a function of what consumers will pay. So if you think the prices are too high, don't buy. Use your existing gear.
 

ac12

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On a related, but slightly more granular topic... does anyone know what kind of checks Olympus will do for lenses to be sold as reconditioned? I probably should have posed that question before pulling the trigger.

In the grand scheme, refurbs varies WIDELY.
From just putting it into a refurb box (with nothing done; no cleaning, no testing, nothing) to a non-disassembled QA test and necessary repairs.
The company that I once worked for actually tested the returns prior to selling them as refurbs.​
There were stores where I've seen them just rebox the returned items (working or not, and sometimes missing parts) and label them as refurb.​
For cameras, what shop other than the OEM has the test equipment to properly test the gear? So other than basic testing (it turns on and "seems to work"), what is left, a cosmetic refurb, AKA a wipe-down? If it is a "refurb shop" then they are probably paid by volume, so there is no incentive to spend time with detailed QA and fixing problems. They could be playing the odds, that the returns are not damaged and can be quickly cleaned and repackaged as refurbs. This is why I have no confidence in any 3rd party refurbs, like often advertised on Amazon.

Interestingly, I read where some manufacturers would ship the returns back to their far east plant, where they would run it through a refurb line. Cheap local labor would be used to do the refurb checks, repairs, and repack the gear, then ship it back to the US.

BTW, in my brief refurb shopping, Canon seemed to stand behind their refurbs best, with a 1-year warranty on their refurbs. That is as long as many companies NEW warranty. The longer warranty gives me more confidence that Canon did a better refurb QA/fix, than a company with only a 30-day warranty. However, Canon could be playing the odds, that demo and returns are not damaged, so can be quickly cleaned and repackaged as refurbs.

It can also vary by region; Japan, US, Europe. Who the local managers are, what refurb facilities they have, etc.

And Olympus camera changed hands, so the current refurb process could be completely different than the prior refurb process under Olympus.

Bottom line, as was said, unless you have inside info, there is no way to know what the refurb process really is.
 
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ektar

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I just purchased a refurbished 12-45 Pro lens at the 20 percent off sale. New price was $649.99, refurbished price was $519.99 (20 percent less than new). The additional 20 percent off of that came to $415.99. It is in perfect condition. The current new price is $599.99 and it is not available refurbished.
I observed those prices prior to pulling the trigger on the same lens. TBH I had not looked at refurb prices going into the sale, as I wasn't really considering one. I checked new and used prices, and went with what appeared to be a good deal. Perhaps not compared to the last outlet sale...
But, she's a beauty...
 

doady

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Right or wrong, "refurbished" always just seemed like a fancier way to say "used" to me, and I never buy anything used so I always ignored them.

I noticed in Canada that the regular prices of the "Pro" lenses increased last year, and other than occasional sales and some differences between retailers, I haven't noticed any fluctuations.
 
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BTW, it may delight or chagrin you, depending on your situation, but getolympus just announced a big sale on cameras and lenses. An EM1X now goes for $1,799 new, which is cheaper than the $1,919 price on the reconditioned page! They were selling a reconditioned 12-40 Pro for $799, but now it is $899 new. WDH? Sure, it's up to them what prices they set, but for we Olympus faithful, this behavior is puzzling and a bit frustrating.

I gave a moment's thought to returning the reconditioned EM1X I just bought (and is being delivered today) and buying a new one instead. However, it would cost me about $275 more when you include the tax. My friend convinced me it wasn't worth paying that much more for 9 months extra warranty, when we have so seldom needed to use that warranty. Just gotta make sure I test it out thoroughly before the 90-day reconditioned warranty is over.

Good grief. Why, Olympus, why? :-O
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I have no idea why people ask questions about a company that only an employee of said company has any chance of actually knowing the answer. Furthermore, if they did know and and answered the question, they would probably be fired. It would probably be more productive to ask this question on a Qanon forum.
That's a pretty harsh reply. Some companies that resell refurbished tell you exactly what refurbished means. Apple provides a good amount of detail, for example. OMD doesn't go into detail on their site, but that doesn't necessarily mean the process is a trade secret. I thought at one time they did go into specifics, but maybe that was taken down with the change in ownership.
 
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