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Its part of the issue

Manufacturers are keen to sell their products and some of them are not as ethical as dealers hope they would be. Even the largest manufacturers are guilty of shady dealings but that doesn't justify labeling all manufacturers as companies who "dump" their products on the gray market.

I have owned several companies and during the life of one of these ventures I looked into becoming a dealer for a very large computer brand. The cost of becoming a dealer for this brand was not small but I decided to go ahead and invest the money.

It turned out that fortunately we were entering a bid on a government RFQ for some of this high-end computer equipment. We didn't win the bid and it wasn't because we asked too much for the gear. We found out that this same company who charged a large amount of cash to become a dealer under-bid us at the 11.5 hour. The manufacturer under-bid one of their dealers.

They wanted dealers to hand out tens of thousands of dollars (minimally) to represent their products, in a strict geographic area, but they turned around an undercut one of these dealers (me). This really sucked but I was fortunate and did not lose as much as I could have.

This made me very sensitive to the subject of dealer networks and companies who operate ethically or not. Dealer networks are important for products that may require expensive post-sales support.

The dealer network, if maintained the way that it should be, can be a very good thing for the buying public. Its the most effective way to create an effective post-sales support infrastructure. Without this infrastructure, its a tough sell for high-end products.

Buying products via the internet might be OK for chewing gum or mouthwash, but equipment that costs thousands of dollars requires a different approach. A buyer usually wants to see and hear the product, and the buyer wants someone to turn to when something goes wrong with that product.

Yes, the internet has severely hurt the brick and mortar stores, and has severely hurt dealer networks. Its a tough time for high-end stereo dealers. Many of them have gone to audition by appointment only and I don't blame them. Tire-kickers audition high-end gear and buy elsewhere all too often.

I understand saving a buck but don't ask why Stax will not provide support for product bought outside its valid dealer network. If you live in the USA they will check the serial number and provide support if you bought the product from a valid USA dealer. They are just trying to maintain a quality dealer network.


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  • Its part of the issue - EdAInWestOC 06:12:55 09/14/16 (0)


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