From January 31st 2014 the partnership agreement between Paul C Buff and First Line Europe, and 1st Line Digital in Australia, will come to an end.
Existing customers who have ordered from PCB Europe or PCB Australia in the past will be able to place new orders directly from PCB headquarters in the USA.
Though from the 31st January 2014 all future repairs will be handled directly by Paul C Buff inc in the USA, with the customer required to pay shipping both ways.
We have been the Authorised Partner For Paul C Buff for the past 5 years and it is with great regret that our agreement with Paul has ended. Our partner agreement will end on the 31st January 2014.
At First Line Europe we value your business and realise that these new arrangements may cause you some inconvenience. Therefore, although we are no longer able to repair your equipment locally, we will do everything in our power to help all customers that have purchased a Paul C Buff unit from us whilst your equipment is being repaired.
New customers outside the USA and Canada will now also be able to purchase from PCB USA by using a freight forwarding company.
Though new international customers will need to find and select their own freight forwarding service, and payment is via wire transfer only. Full details can be seen here.
explanation from Paul C Buff inc, Nashville, USA. below:-
“In order to serve customers located outside of the U.S. and Canada, we pursued relationships with international companies, allowing them to serve as authorized international dealers. Unfortunately, these relationships have ended as this method of sales was not cost effective for our customers and, most importantly, kept us too detached from our customers, prohibiting us from offering the kind of customer support that we strive to provide.”
In addition we have have to inform you that from the 1st March 2014 that all future repairs will be handled directly by Paul C Buff inc in the USA with the customer required to pay shipping both ways. Complete details regarding foreign customer product repairs will be posted on the Paul C Buff, Inc. USA website after Jan 1, 2014.”
Where to now for First Line Europe and 1st Line Digital in Australia? –
First Line are not shutting shop though, they are releasing their own brand of studio lighting gear – t-one.co
And probably most telling is that their own brand is based on the now becoming very popular (and competitively priced) Godox range of lights, while offering a solid 2 year warranty and a 60 day money back guarantee –
First Line Europe To Launch New Studio Lighting Range.
So what does the future hold for us. In early 2014 First Line Europe and 1st Line Digital in Australia will launch a new range of professional studio lighting, we will be able to let you have more details on this new range very soon. This range will include a unit with very similar specs to the E640, a truly portable 600ws Studio Flash, the worlds first Lithium Battery Speed Light and a range of battery packs. All units will be covered by a 2 year warranty and with the peace of mind of a 60 day money back guarantee.
Regular readers of this site may be familiar with the Godox QT-600 which they are likely referring to as the E640 Einstein alternative, and the brilliant V850 which is the Lithium Battery Speedlight reference –
Godox do not currently have an alternative to the popular PCB Vagabond Mini Lithium battery pack though. Which is very surprising as Godox make some very serious larger Lithium packs already. And Jinbei, another Chinese company, have already provided a VML like alternative with the EN-350 Energon.
Will Godox then skip the external Lithium pack again (as they have done with the V850 speedlight), and possibly develop a fully wireless studio strobe with Lithium pack built-in?, somewhat like the recently released Profoto B1. Its obvious manufactures will be heading this way sooner or later.
Times are changing, and there should be some very interesting developments coming in the near future.
I’m not personally familiar with First Line Europe, but Colin from 1st Line Digital in Australia is well known for great service, and I’m sure they will only get better with competitive products. See t-one.co. And PCB Australia is still currently here.
This is obviously not the greatest news for current PCB European and Australian customers. Though at least we know the PCB lights are functionally solid, and PCB are know for exceptional customer service. So hopefully they will do all they can to minimize any shipping cost for warranty repairs etc for current customers.