By Stuart Clapp, Inside Sales Rep, PSA Security Network
“But I saw the same camera from another dealer for a lot less! Why are you charging me so much more?” asks your customer after you present them with your video solution quote. “What dealer?” you ask.
If it hasn’t happened yet, chances are it will at some point, especially if your customer is the type to look for a discount anywhere they can.
“I saw one online that has the same camera for about half your price.”
After some back-and-forth, you come to realize that the customer did a web search and found that they can buy online through several sources via credit card. These are the same sources where you can buy a DIY alarm system, a smart phone, the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-Ray, and five gallons of mayonnaise. Convenient!
There is a very real downside to these bargains, namely that they’re most likely poor-quality knockoffs or gray market goods. The company logo, part number and specifications all look good, and the reseller has an 88 percent approval rating, so what’s there to worry about? Plenty, actually.
Many resellers use the bait-and-switch tactic of letting you order what appears to be a name-brand product only to inform you later that it is backordered but here is a great substitute from a brand you’ve never heard of. Others will ship you a product that looks almost exactly like the one you ordered, but the overall quality and feel just isn’t there and the documentation is scant at best.
What’s more, the factory will not honor these products under warranty. Why should they? They either didn’t make them or they are used products that have passed through many hands. So now your customer is stuck with a dead product that will not be repaired or replaced without cost and will have to pay full price for a legitimate replacement. Of course, they can always try to get help through the discount outlet they bought from, but that often can be a laborious task.
When you add up all the time and cost involved, that discount certainly cost you and your customer quite a bit. But there are ways to avoid this. Many manufacturers have explicit policies about who are and who are not authorized resellers of their products. Two examples include HikVision and Speco Technologies, who both have a dedicated web page detailing unauthorized distributors:
Speco Technologies: http://www.specotech.com/index.php/unauthorized-sales-policy
So the next time your customer says they can get a better deal online, educate them about how much a deal can actually cost. If you need any help finding a manufacturer’s distributor policy, feel free to contact the vendor or your PSA sales rep. We’re happy to help.