A separate insight as which manufacturers do would be interesting also. When brand names showed up at Target and Sears' websites a couple of years ago, it was dismissed as third parties selling those brands directly, but given the pricing was essentially at suggested dealer costing, it was highly unlikely that a dealer or a third party Amazon type was the culprit.
As for distribution doing so with secret sites, let the conspiracy theories begin!
IPVMU Certified | 02/16/15 09:28pm
This one isn't exactly secret...
Datacommunications and Networking Products | eAccu-Tech
Edit: Forgot to mention they have an Amazon store.
A few distributors do, and a many of them have direct channels to online stores and provide product info, pricing, and drop ship services. For example if you search google shopping for a cctv product, chances are if there are 10 stores selling the item, along with amazon stores, then 7 of them are selling the same inventory, from the same distributor.
Question: Is a distributor of a protected line, say Sony, normally authorized to sell their product to end-users as well as resellers, (as long as MAP is not violated of course.)?
This is interesting, I've never seen anything to indicate that distributors have a direct interest in online stores. I *do* believe that some of these online sellers generate enough business that the distributors are very reluctant to cut them off though.
IMO, there is too much risk to the distributor to have direct vested interest in operating an online store. I would not be surprised to learn of ex-employees of various distributors setting up shop online and using their inside contacts and relationships to secure reliable supply of equipment.
i know of a few distributors who have online stores under separate business names, and a few who along with manufactures sell directly on amazon.
over the past five years seen the following or heard from end users: tried, anixter greybar, abp technology, and a few others. If you want to see who is selling online through direct partners, look who offers edi feeds. Others dont sell to end users but will call preferred resellers with the deal and give special pricing to pass the sale through. On Amazon if you look at the pricing you can often see price points after amazon fees that could have only come from distribution or mfg directly.
Besides the obvious, i.e. resellers, who really loses when distributors do this? Does it make manufacturers mad, or just jealous?
With ip products, more and more internal it dept. or even maintenance staff are installing the systems. Honestly they are doing pretty good jobs. As the projects are basically IT oriented, organizations are saying if we already spend money on IT staff, why not have them do the IP cameras. Projects range for 5 cameras to 200, and the trend is growing.
I guess we fall into this category. We are a distributor for some lines and a reseller for others so our customer base is a mix between integrators, resellers, and end users. Customers can be a mom and pop installer , or we have large customers like the US Army, SpaceX, and Maersk. The need and line for 2 tier distribution is fading.
Pro Focus LLC | 02/17/15 05:00pm
Canal Security is also 123securityproducts.com
Securitybestbuy.com is owned by a distributor.
I am still reading the post and comments however this pertains to mostly independent distributors. I know quite a few that do this but all of us in the physical geography know about that. Does not seem to be a big issue.
EDIT: (after reading comments) After reading some comments I can see that some of them (distributors) have been flushed out. All I know is these distributors bring in big dollars 7 digits in a year. I have seen this across different manufacturers.
No one wants to admit it but we go to these distributors as they are hitting the mark in help us attain quota.
Worthington Distribution sells retail at ASIHome.com
Home Controls sells retail at discounthomeautomation.com, and on Amazon, Sears, and Newegg
Anixter is launching an new store, some parts are restricted to dealers, or have to call for quote.
The line between reseller and distributor is fastly blurring. Many online retailers drop ship from distributors and online pricing is about 2-3% above cost so not really any difference between them.
No secret here. Many of the recognized national distributors either have a poorly disguised online site, or a partnership with a large site. Some distributors will pass the products to these online sites at cost while making money on the back-end from the manufacturer's pay-early discounts, VIR programs, and trailing credits.