I find service here hit and miss. Service is either exceptional or absolutely crap. Very much like back in the UK to be honest - we tend to have very similar attitudes to service. I've had a few great experiences - Chris Reid at Blanco Negro is always brilliant and really helpful, a shop in Melbourne - I forget the name off the top of my head - was also really helpful and suggested a better option for some paper I bought a few months back. Vanbar was a bit hit and miss - some of the guys in the Sydney store could be helpful, others a bit less so.
What's most frustrating is the markup on products. I'm not sure who is shafting who. Obviously the consumer always gets shafted in the end. Recently bought a camera bag
, which I did want to buy from my local camera shop up here. They were after $250 for it. I thought I'd have a look around and I found it on eBay for $105. I did look elsewhere in Australia for another local option but the best I could get was $200. Much that I want to support local, you can't really, not when you're saving $100.
Anyway, that's an entirely different subject!