I make fun of retail because I don't shop there.
I haven't paid retail since the 1970s.
Even in the 1970s, I ordered from Adorama and B&H over the phone, instead of paying more locally. Let's face it: local stores don't stock pro gear or the kinds of film in the sizes I want anyway, and they didn't back in the 1970s either.
I'm weird: I have faith. I just order the stuff I need sight unseen online, because we always had the ability to return anything if we dislike it. Adorama and B&H have always given everyone a week or two to try it out, and send it back if we don't like it.
It means far more to me to get an hour of stick time at home with a new piece of photo gear than to play with it for hours in a store.
If you do shop at retail, it's cheating to walk into a store, take their time to play with the camera that they've spent money on to show you, and then walk out intending to buy it elsewhere for less. It's not even fair to expect retail to match online prices.
If you play at retail, buy at retail. Ask for your deal, but don't expect them to beat online (but do push for a free UV or POL filter).
I always buy where I shop. I research online, so I buy online.
I greatly appreciate all you people who come to my site to research your stuff, and then do the right thing by getting your gear through my links. Just as actually buying from the store you shop keeps them in business, using my links when you get the stuff you've researched here keeps me on the air. Why do you think I have one of the new Nikon 35mm f/1.8s on order? I have other lenses; I buy this stuff so I can give you my unbiased opinions, good or bad.
I support my growing family through this website.
If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
The biggest help is to use these links to Adorama, Amazon, B&H, Calumet, Ritz, J&R and when you get your goodies. It costs you nothing and is a huge help to me. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
Thanks for reading!