Resellers have expressed concerns that distributors are increasingly targeting end users directly, following Nimans’ launch of end user e-warehouse site Nicomm.com last month.
The distributor’scontroversial web site offers a range of headsets, phones, faxes, printers and audio conferencing gear at, or below, trade prices.
The web site’s top-seller, the C560 wireless headset from Plantronics, is advertised at £139.99, but resellers are charged £179 on Nimans’ trade web site.
Howard Russell, director of VAR Signature Networks, said the use of mixed channel models among distributors is now a widespread practice. But he claimed that many are using more subtle means to grab end user sales.
“It is a constant effort for resellers to protect themselves against distributors poaching their customers,” he said. “We used one distributor for six months and asked it to ship an order to a customer blank-wrapped, so there was no indication of where it came from. We happened to be on the customer premises when it arrived and it had the distributor’s name plastered all over it.”
Alan Edwards, managing director of reseller Orange Information Systems, told
CRN: “Orange has
had issues before with distributors that claim they will not sell direct and instead use another arm of
the company to break their promise, but resellers should not see it as an issue.
“It comes down to the relationship a reseller has with a customer and the service that the end user receives through that trust.”
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages
Neil Sawyer claims he has 'never seen so many conversations about a new method of investing in workplace technology'