Online Surveillance Sales Trends 2015

Author: Derek Ward, Published on Jun 11, 2015

IPVM has uncovered the key trends and top options being offered across some of the most well known and commonly used online retailers.

Is SD analog still king? Has IP 'won'? Is HD Analog making headway?

IPVM received quotes and recommendations from 11 internet resellers, including:

  • 123 Security Products
  • A1 Security Cameras
  • B&H
  • Backstreet Surveillance
  • Brickhouse Security
  • CCTV Camera Pros
  • CDW
  • EZ-Watch
  • Security Camera Warehouse
  • Super Circuits
  • Video Surveillance.com

We asked each sales rep for recommendations and pricing for an 8 camera system.

In this report, we show what vendors quoted us, compare trends based off quotes and recommendations plus share our experiences talking to each vendor's salespersons.

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Comments (14)

So you asked for an 8 camera system, but how did the quotes distribute them? Were they all inside? Where?

As an integrator, it was very common for end users to totally wiff on just how many cameras they 'needed'. Either they asked for an insane amount, or they assumed one camera could cover the whole thing.

The first step was working backward from their plan (none of them ever looked as good as yours, Derek) to establish the level of detail and FoVs critical to see.

Usually getting the engineering design up front like that made the customer feel better about whatever price we proposed them. Even if we were third lowest (or maybe even highest) per camera, the fact we worked up a detailed plan won a lot of appreciation and credibility than if we had just sold them blind.

Brian, thanks for the feedback and insight!

To answer your question:

There was little to no mention from sales rep on how I should "cover" or position the cameras in the store, although I made it clear that I wanted the walls (which is holding skateboards and shoes) entrance, exit, checkout counter (which has smaller hardware pieces for boards as well as skateboarding accessories), half pipe and "aisles" of clothing covered, which usually consisted of them saying "6 cameras should do it for the indoors".

However, I stressed how I would like to have a camera monitor the workbench area near the half pipe as well as the managers office, which hit the 8 camera indoor only mark. If the kit came with indoor and outdoor cameras, I would use 2 cameras to cover the outside entrance and exit of the building, and use the 6 other cameras to monitor the areas previously mentioned.

Again, no concrete "set the cameras up this exact way" mention from the sales rep, but they had a solid idea of what needed coverage.

Was any 'scale' given to that floor plan?

Did any of them ask for a scale? Or how much detail you actually wanted to capture? Or how long you needed to store the video?

It doesn't sound like any of them got that granular but without more detail they would basically be guessing.

Do you think that would make much of a practical difference? Would you expect someone giving online quotes to strangers to spend 30 minutes or an hour designing a custom system?

Was any warranty / support info offered? Especially on the Dahua...

One can only hope that you used a disposable email here, otherwise you may be plagued for years to come. ;)

Ranking by PPP (PixelsPerPenny)

  1. A1 Security @ 143
  2. SecurityWh @ 130
  3. CDW - SDI.. @ 126
  4. Backstreet.. @ 108
  5. B&H Photo.. @ 105
  6. SuperCircuits @ 85
  7. VideoS - TVI. @ 67
  8. CDW - IP.... @ 66
  9. VideoS - IP. @ 66
  10. EZ - Watch... @ 56
  11. Brickhouse S.@ 39
  12. 123 Security. @ 30
  13. CCTV C. Pros @ 20

Key: IP SDI TVI/CVI 960H SD Analog

That's pretty amazing you did that!

Note, for readers, the top 2 were IP because they were the only 3MPs and were similar in price to the next couple which were non-IP and 'just' 1080p.

If only Arecont was around to see the fruits of their labor...

Funny that of the two vendors that gave more than one quote, Video Surveillance's were almost identical at 66/67, where CDW - Dave came in at 66, and CDW - Sam was nearly double the PPP at 126.

At least it's fair that 960H owned the cellar, and yes I even credited them the full 960x480 resolution.

As reported here, CDW - Samsung SDI is actually an SDI/960H hybrid, with a true PPP of 77 not 126.

It's bronze medal has therefore been stripped, and awarded to Backstreet Security.

A1 Security is one of the most serious offenders of undercutting integrators on certain camera brands. Sony being one of them.

In fact, distributors aren't even allowed to sell to them because of their undercutting.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/mkt-security/resource.resellers.bbsccms-assets-cat-camsec-resellers-ineligibileresellerlist.shtml

Thanks for sharing that Sony list. Very interesting.

Ironically, A1 Security has this page - "Don't Buy From Lowballers"

Thanks for doing this project! We will use it to further train our team. I would have prefered they also quote an IP option but happy they had a good deal for you ;-)

Unfortunately, this project omitted the elephant in the room.. Amazon.com where a search for "8 security camera kit" has some crazy low prices but no phone number to call so the customer now has low a price with no context.

-Todd

Todd, interesting point about Amazon. I had not checked Amazon options recently but just did. Lots of 8 channel systems for less than $300, though all SD.

Todd, do you have any idea how well those kits are doing on Amazon? It's weird but each of those kits are basically the same price as a single Dropcam...

I think in this day and age you have to assume every potential customer has looked at Amazon before they spoke to you or they will do so shortly after speaking with you.

Foscam and their sister brand amcrest do quite well as does zmodo plus there are hundreds of other sellers who when put together add up to a huge volume of units sold.

The absolute scale of amazon is hard to grok. Think several thousand of these camera kits sold every single day. The sellers make almost no margin and have no chance to talk directly to the customer.

Only Amazon wins...

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