B&H Photo Video: The King of Camera Gear

Check out this quick and highly entertaining video on the history of B&H Photo Video, the largest non-chain photo and video retailer in the United States.

For many photographers and videographers, B&H Photo Video is a ubiquitous and comforting presence, a one-stop shop for all of your gear needs and desires. The company celebrated its 45th year in business in 2018, starting as a small specialty photography shop in 1973 in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Founded by Blimie Schreiber and her husband Herman with its name formed by their initials, B&H is now a three-story superstore, boasting over 400,000 products and over 1,000 employees. 

Well known for its exemplary customer service and user-friendly e-commerce website, B&H has been my go-to gear store for many years. I've only experienced positive interactions both on the phone with their sales and customer service teams and through making purchases and returns on the website. B&H offers numerous deals throughout the year. One of the better ones they're currently running is a $250 rebate on Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printers with 50 sheets of 13"x19" Canon Photo Paper Pro Luster thrown in for free. The deal expires at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, so make sure to grab it while you can. 

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8 Comments

Leigh Smith's picture

When I stopped by when I was in NY last year the conveyor belts were my fave too.

I first started doing business with B&H in the late 80's when I was working downtown NYC. Not only are they the best in their chosen field I think they're the best company to deal with in retail or the internet, period the end. These folks have their act together and there is no one better in my 3-decade old opinion.

The conveyor belts are super cool but at the end of the day it is the pure pleasure of dealing with a bunch of professionals in the very business we all love!!

We as consumers are blessed to have them around to deal with for so many years while the rest of the brick and mortar world has fallen apart. In fact, if you're an Amazon customer, make your next few purchases via phone with B&H and discover what a pleasure it can be to deal with real people again! And, give a Mom & Pop store who made it big your money as opposed to some gigantic, faceless company who in all probability you will never speak to.

By the way, I have never and do not work for B&H in any manner whatsoever. However, I am an ultra satisfied 3-decade old customer who appreciates a great store when I see one.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I agree that Amazon, like many big companies, will do anything not to talk to you. Trying to get a person to speak to is extremely difficult and no chat option either.

I bought from B&H many times and never had any problem calling and getting assistance when needed.

I wish they had a store in Canada.

Sponsored?

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Not sponsored at all - I just thought it was a great overview video of a company I truly enjoy doing business with.

after the case against them with the way they treat their workers (who arent jewish like them) I no longer buy from them or adorama as the staff is mostly chasideem as well. and im jewish myself.

On 11/5/2018, I ordered a Sigma 16mm f1.4 emount lens. When the lens arrived, it was in a box several times larger than the lens box with virtually no packaging. The lens was allowed to bounce around in the box. I contacted your sales department and explained the situation. The sales department made a note on my concern. I decided to keep the lens. So far, the lens seems to be working fine.

On 12/11/2018, I ordered a Sony 18-135mm emount lens. I explained to the sales person the experience I encountered with the packaging situation with the previously ordered Sigma lens. He said he would make a note to the shipping department to insure the new Sony lens was packed securely. The lens arrived last Thursday. Again, there was virtually no packaging. The Sony lens was packed in a large box with one small piece of bubble wrap. The lens could freely bounce around in the box. When I contacted a sales person, he said that he could see the note concerning secure packaging. He said he had no understanding of why the shipping department did not securely package my lens as requested. With no explanation, and after receiving the two poorly packaged lens, I made the decision to return the Sony 18-135mm lens for a full refund and take my business elsewhere. I did not open the lens box.

B&H wrote me This response. “Thank you for your orders and this feedback. We regret your dissatisfaction. When a sales associate gets a request like yours, he or she enters an electronic note which the shipping dept should read and obey. That shipping dept in in a different state more than an hour away. The person who heard your request and entered the note has no way to be certain it’s read and obeyed. It should be read and obeyed but neither an individual sales associate nor I can guarantee with absolute certainty that will happen.” He also talked about the lens not really requiring extra packing since Sony packs them so well.

It is difficult for me to understand why a company as big and well known as B&H can’t securely pack a lens. I also believe the comment about the shipping department being in another state and the part “but neither an individual sales associate nor I can guarantee with absolute certainty that will happen” is a less than an impressive reply. It appears that B&H does not have the span of control to insure their employees follow directions. Overall, my experience with B&H is less than satisfactory.

Ariel C's picture

What i love about going to BH in person is the honesty of some the people there.
More then once i went to buy a certain gear and ended up leaving with a better one for cheaper then i was going for because the guys went to show me new/better/cheaper products.