This Brooklyn Storefont Sells Millions In Uniview And Hikvision

By Robert Shih, Published Dec 18, 2018, 10:36am EST

Looking at their Brooklyn headquarters for this "CCTV Manufacturer", it is not much:

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Inside, it is not better:

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However, this company is one of the largest distributors of low-cost Uniview and Hikvision products in the US.

In this note, we examine who this company is, how they compete, how much they sell and how this impacts the market.

Company ********

******* ** **** ** owner **** ****** ****,******** ****** *****(**** ** *** ****** as *********** *** *******) is **** ******** *********.***:

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**** ******************* ****, ********* ** website ************ *******, ** a ********** **************.

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Brown *** *********

******** ****** ***** ***** a ******* ********* ** commonly **** ***** *** Hikvision *** *** *********** products ***** *** ******* of **** (***** ***** the ****). ** *** 12 ** *** ** TVI ****** ********* ******, the ******* ********** ** 6MP ******* ******.

Branded *******

******* **** *******, **** they **** ******** ****, Security ****** ***** ****** 25 ** ***** ******* with "*********" ******* *** a **** ******* *********. The ******* ******* *** available ** *** ******** and ******** *.***.

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Sourcing & ******

*** ******* ******* ** 11 ***** ********* ******** 251,606kg, ********* ** ** 2018 ****** *******. **** notably, ******* ******* ***** 82,249kg ****** * *********, e.g.:

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***** ********* *** ***** products *** ************ ******* from ***** *** ************, according ** ******* ***** to *** *******. ****** records **** ** ****** shipments **** ********* *** Dahua.

Largest ******* ** ********

******** ****** *****, ** the ******* ****** ** Uniview ** *** ** with * ****** **** half ** *******'* ***** shipped ****** ** *** USA ** *** **** period ********. **** ** despite *******'* ******** ** distributors, ********* *** *******, Uniview *** **** *********** lifted *******'* ****.

Very ********** ******* *** **** ********

******* **** ************* ***** pricing **** *********** ** the **** *****, ******** System ***** ******* *** 8 ******* **************** $** (**** ** Amazon ***** ** $*** [link ** ****** *********]) in * **** **** a *********** ******. **** also ******************** $** (**** *** Amazon ***** ** $** [link ** ****** *********]) and *************-******* $**. **********, ******** System ***** **** ******** free ******** *** *** orders ****** ***** ***** such ** ***** *** racks. ******* ******** *** a * **** ************ warranty. *****-***** ********* ******* is **** *********. ***** also ****** *** ****** video ******** ******** *** the ******** *** *** currently **********.

****** - **/**/****

******** ****** *****/****** *** since ******* *** ****** product ******** **** ****** entirely. ********* *********** *** "******* *********" remaining. *******, * ****** of ********* ******** ***** and * *** ******* (not ********* ** *******) remain ** **** ** their ****** ********.

Selling ** ***-*****

*********** **** ***** *******, Security ****** ***** ***** directly ** ***-***** ************ *********** *** ********** ******* *** *******. While *** **** ****** doesn't **** ** ******** that **** *** *** same *******, *** **** that ******** ****** *** "*******"***** ** *** ** Kenuco's ******** [**** ** longer *********] **** *** top **** **** ********** prices ***** ** **** for ***-***** ** **** their *******. ****** ***-**** customers ** *** * shorter ******** **** ******* do. ** *** ******* products, **** *** **** series ** ******* ** this ******.

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Channel ********** *******

************ **** ******** ****** Depot *** ********* ** responsible *** ****** *** eBay ********, *** ******* manufacturers *** ********* ******* new ***** ** **** the **** ** ***** end-users ******** ** **** to ****** *********. ****** is * *******, ****** than *** ******* ** this ****** ******* ** channel *******.

Market ******

******** ****** ***** ** certainly * ****** ****** than *** ******** ******** storefronts ***** *****. *******, that "******-*****" ************ ** a ********** ** **** they ***** ** *** market *******: * ***** of ***-**** ******** **** little **** *** ******* to *****.

Comments (94)

Security System Depot is certainly a larger player than its exterior physical storefronts would imply. However, that "corner-store" presentation is a reflection on what they bring to the market overall: a flood of low-cost products with little room for dealers to stand.

 
Watch it, pal. Me and Marty Major do the jokes around here. 
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Do they still carry Sony guts?

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Good for the Depot!  This is one of the reasons we decided not to do business with Uniview recently. Their once touted protected sales channel has now become even worse than Dahua and Hikvision. 

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Really elevates UNV's brand! ROFL...

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Sean, I am genuinely curious. How is Uniview less protected than Dahua and Hikvision? e.g., Amazon USA search results - Hikvision - 848, Dahua - 342, Uniview 48 and generally I still see a lot more Dahua and Hikvision branded sold online, is there some other dimension where those brands are better protected?

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Less price protected. There is no margin to made unless u want to be a basic box mover of a distributor. All of the UNV distributors are selling at such cutt throat rates that i didnt want any of it. Atleast with hikvision i can make enough money to support a staff of humans to provide a good buying experience to the customer.

Also, they have opened up to selling to alibaba resellers now. Basically an end user can buy a single camera for the same price as what i pay for 500 pcs.

Im sure we would do ok selling it, however as other users pointed out, they are going down the same path as hikua as far as sales channel, which is sad because one of their big factors was their protected sales channel and map pricing. Also, with all chinese security manufacturers basically having the same features, i saw no real benefit or differentiating factor for me to start a business relationship with them. We decided to look at other smaller more hungry manufacturers who could care less about competing with hikuaview. 

Again, unlike other posters, i think the depot is genius and i have no ill will. Why not take advantage of this oppurtunity as long as uniview allows it, why not? Good for them. As for me, i dont even want to compete with them which further explains their genius.

 

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Sean,

Just wondering, but if not Uniview, Dahua, and Hikvision, then what brand do you use for low cost clients that does have price protection for dealers where the client can't simply type in the part number on google and see the price? Is there a low cost manafacture our there that protects its dealer channel, but still has low enough dealer pricing to compete with the Uniview, Dahua, and Hikvision of the world? 

 

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I can speak about the Middle East only:

I don't think it's a case of Hikvision, Dahua, or Uniview offering better sales channel or price control.

It's a case of a Uniview failed strategy.  They had no presence and wanted a big market share. And they wanted it fast.  And it was at a time where the (low end at least) market was dominated by Dahua and Hikvision.

So they had to settle for less professional distributors who were small operations like this Brooklyn storefront.  You can have a look at their Middle East distributors section and do a Google Maps search to see what they look like IRL. They are mostly small companies willing to work for peanuts.

Basically, it's not easy for them to find new distributors. All the good ones were taken. It takes an incredible amount of effort to convert existing Dahua/Hikvision distributors because they were already so invested.

They entered the market when it was way too late. And when they did they weren't patient enough.

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Basically, it's not easy for them to find new distributors. All the good ones were taken. It takes an incredible amount of effort to convert existing Dahua/Hikvision distributors because they were already so invested.

Abaas, thanks. I agree that they have been challenged to get distributors vs Hikua.

A big factor has been the lack of resources they have invested in International expansion. Dahua and Hikvision have spent hundreds of millions over the past few years growing their international sales team, hiring hundreds of local salespeople.

Uniview has not.

In fairness to Uniview, Dahua is 5x larger than Uniview, Hikvision is 10x larger than Uniview. Uniview simply does not have the resources to match. To that end, I can at least understand their tactic of competing on price, as risky and harmful as it might be to them and others.

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That's interesting since I thought Uniview was supposed to be a dealer/distributor line, no amazon/ebay type sales?

I guess when you buy over 82,000 KG of product, you get some preferred treatment.

 

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It's not sustainable... something the MFG's in the PRC don't seem to understand. Despite Dahua following precisely in Hik's footsteps, and UNV now following in Dahua's footsteps, they still can't achieve any foresight. Anyone could move over 82,000 Kgs of product with SSD's overhead and profit margins, what does that shop cost? $500USD a month? Besides- everyone else already did all of the expensive work ... marketing, advertising, tech support... all they have to do is undercut the established companies. Often called poaching. I know others have more... degrading terms for this practice.

I guess it's kind of smart in a way, disrupt and destroy an entire brand while grabbing some quick cash. Then just leave the industry? Go do it to someone else like GoPro which actually already happened with Shenzhen action cams...

Has anyone bought from these people? Has anyone attempted to get tech support? What is that like?

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Great Post, and accurate.
Change your last name to reflect China origin and voila, instant preferential treatment.
no skill required for achieving volume selling near or at cost. Ask Bezos of Amazon.
As Americans, we're forbidden to open shop in China.
Why in the HELL we allow them here is beyond logical.

The business model does make sense though.
Sell near cost, try to achieve 10mil or more in revenue to the Chinese maker, bank your 7% rebate, and deposit said rebate into a non disclosed Hong Kong bank account.
Pay no taxes allegedly, a tidy 700k USD annual salary for working your staff like dogs. 

End of the day, American families are being robbed by fraud, bigotry, tax evaders, US Customs fraudsters, and to what end? 

I'm betting it ends poorly for them.
By them,l I mean the moron manufacturers allowing it, the sheer quick buck mentality, and it is this very mentality that explains why China, unlike Japan, Korea, the USA, Germany, etc. have centuries old companies and the Chinese are lucky to boast a 20 year old infant company still in business.

We'll all find our mojo again, and this disease of last few years will be sanitized one way or another. And I personally hope GoPro excels, and regains traction. What happened to them was unspeakable fraud. 

 

 

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I think you went a little too far with accusing them of tax evasion...

As far as I know,that store is just fulfilling the American dream, buy cheap, sell it to whoever wants it and make money. 

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Fax evasion is something they may have learned from the likes of google. Many big companies use postal addresses in other countries and get a tax deal there instead of paying in their own country.

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To most, it's semantics, but to the tax authorities, there's a bid difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.  Domiciling a company in a foreign country to protect earnings from outside the country is tax avoidance.  Taking money out of the country and calling it foreign earnings would be tax evasion.

 

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There are quite a few distributors in America that have sold Hikvision, Dahua, Uniview, TVT etc and dropped the pricing below others just to make a quick buck.  I'm sure they're not the only one.

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Perhaps when ONE bad apple drops the price too low, the entire market has to follow? Not sure how many times we've heard : "Well I can get it <here> for [5% over cost!]"

I'm sure that guy still calls our department for support though...

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$500 USD? please Google New York properties for lease please. Quick cash? It took them 10 years to make it on IPVM (that's EVERY security company's goal right?)

"Besides- everyone else already did all of the expensive work ... marketing, advertising, tech support... all they have to do is undercut the established companies." -> uhh, who exactly did this for 1800DVR or Uniview for that matter? who exactly are the established companies selling UNV?

 

Sidenote: I'm nowhere near as well-spoken or articulate like MOST IPVM users/member...but, unlike many IPVM users/member, I LOVE seeing people/companies WIN/achieve success in America. Why are people so salty and bitter when the topic is someone else's success? Is it because 30 years in and these folks are still crawling through attics and climbing ladders?

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well said Peter

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$500 USD? please Google New York properties for lease please

Brooklyn real estate is through the off, ironically enough driven by Chinese immigrants. People in most other parts of the country can't imagine run-down buildings being sold for $1 million or more but even in that part of Brooklyn, it's normal.

 It took them 10 years to make it on IPVM (that's EVERY security company's goal right?)

Lol, I don't know about that Peter! :)

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Hey Peter, hope all is well.

 

Nobody is bitter at Apple or Google or Microsoft or Avigilon or Axis, or Milestone etc. These are successful companies.

 

(notice I didn't put Arecont in there!)

 

The issue here is you have a company basically selling boxes, and damaging the value that integrators and dealers provide.

 

As a distributor, I am surprised to find you OK with this. Maybe when your dealer base dwindles down because they cant't stay in business competing with box pushers, you'll see what the gripe is about.

 

I see the rub here, but in all honesty it doesn't phase me much. Very rarely do our clients price shop online. Sure they may compare proposals/bids etc but maybe once I have had someone tell me they saw something online cheaper. I have a client that used to buy all of their own equipment and hire laborers to install it. They now pay us a fixed % markup plus labor for installs. They know they are paying more but they also see the value.

 

Offer value,and let the price shoppers do their own thing.

 

 

 

 

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It's all about the value... :-)

My customers tell me what they want, I tell them what they need and give them a price, for the package plus installation. They are not aware of, or care about individual pricing... generally.


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"damaging the value that integrators and dealers provide."

If you're a Security Integrator and aren't confident/aware in your Value Assertion/ value you and your company brings to the market and struggle to separate yourself from products sold online or in box stores... (Insert shrug emoji)

There's a quote that goes "There's levels to this sh.." by American Poet Meek Mill.

"Maybe when your dealer base dwindles down because they cant't stay in business competing with box pushers, you'll see what the gripe is about." 

You are 100% right sir, MAYBE. Maybe i'm just LUCKY and BLESSED that most of the Integrators I work with scoff at customers that mention Amazon/Ebay/Box kits/ "But I can buy it at XYZ for $000".

The "Maybe we're not a good fit for you" attitude is something more people and companies should really adopt. 

It's about to be 2019. How many companies are going to let manufacturers/vendors/competitors "bully" them out of business?

If success was easy, everyone would be successful.

"Very rarely do our clients price shop online. Sure they may compare proposals/bids etc but maybe once I have had someone tell me they saw something online cheaper. I have a client that used to buy all of their own equipment and hire laborers to install it. They now pay us a fixed % markup plus labor for installs. They know they are paying more but they also see the value."

That is a huge blessing! Wishing you and your family a Joyful holiday season!

Cheers to everyone on IPVM and wishing you ALL in Record-Breaking 2019 year!

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who exactly are the established companies selling UNV?

http://www.uniview.com/About_Us/Partner/

That's Uniview's partner page.  They are listed as one of the regional partners.

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It took them 10 years to make it on IPVM (that's EVERY security company's goal right?)

That can cut both ways.  For example, Hikvision has seen both benefits from IPVM early on and has been impacted negatively later on.  If my company ever appeared on IPVM front page I would likely have a heart attack due to anxiety before even opening the article.

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That doesn't speak well for your company from my perspective, and I hope I am wrong.

If you stand for what you do, your company can take some IPVM attention, you are not running any form of bad business right?

Take a look at the not-undisclosed comments... their company info is open. To me it says they stand behind their work and will not hide it, they are proud of the work they do and the results it brings. If you can't stand chin-up and stand behind your job, you're at the wrong job. RUN

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If you stand for what you do, your company can take some IPVM attention, you are not running any form of bad business right?

I do not own/run the business and I have seen no shenanigans here.  I was making a statement that sometimes being in the spotlight is not a good thing. For example, if Hikvision had not grown to be so mammoth and covered by IPVM so extensively and positively early on would you now be spending so much time writing air cover posts on IPVM?  There would have been no investigations into the ownership of Hikvision.  Bob Germain even used to answer support related questions in the forums.  At one point during the first round of hacking (link) I even defended Hikvision.

Look at the comments for "CCTV Manufacturer" in this very thread.  Are they positive or negative?  Perhaps a bit of both?  Does it aid the company or hurt it?

tl;dr: RUN

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Some Undisclosed is not because they are hiding from or not willing to stand behind their work and company.  I prefer that any merit to my comments be based upon my comment itself and not who employs me.

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Some Undisclosed is not because they are hiding from or not willing to stand behind their work and company. I prefer that any merit to my comments be based upon my comment itself and not who employs me.

I cannot verify how it is handled in other countries but in the US employees sign NDAs, non-solicits, non-competes, and employee handbooks that include so many conflicting restrictions I sometimes wonder how I have not gotten sued yet.  If there was no option for undisclosed IPVM would be a much quieter place.  

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Its possible some people just dont want to look like a moron in front of their employer? Or maybe even themselves.

When you are self employed, you are free to look like a moron as you please. Free punches accepted.

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If you have to hide your identity from your boss, I see only two options

- you are working for the wrong boss

- what you are saying is so ridiculous it should not be posted anyway

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If you have to hide your identity from your boss, I see only two options

You need a new eyeglass prescription, because your vision is apparently extremely limited.

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I am quite sure that may be the case for some.  I can only speak for myself however, my employer is well aware of the fact that I am a moron.  Given the size of the company and the fact that I am not a representative or spokes person for my company I keep most posting, although limited, as undisclosed.  Anything I post on here is my opinion and not that of my employer.  Given that I am an end user that makes decisions on manufacturers we will utilize for CCTV and who will install them keeping my opinions undisclosed makes the most sense to me.  My employer probably does not care but why risk it.  

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That's one way to look at it.

I get that some may have a feeling about my comments solely based on my name and previous public comments, that's ok.

To me, it add's value to see who says what, mainly it adds value to see a respected contributor voice his opinion, even if I don't agree. It means you are willing to own up to what you say instead of hiding in the shadows. It can add credibility.

But that's my two cents, I know not everyone feels this way.

 

 

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If my comments would solely be mine and no ties could be found to my employer I would gladly post disclosed always.  I am all for getting my name out there more and showing what I know and don't know.  Sadly its 2018 and that is not possible one quick search takes you to LinkedIn showing who I work for and what my responsibilities are. 

So my opinion that giant national integration companies are the pits and only out to gouge people gets seen by those people who look me up then when it's time to bid new projects here we are with me saying they suck yet having no other options and things just get weird at best.  Easier to just keep my opinions undisclosed.  Unless Sean is hiring and willing to pay me what I make now?  Then I will post disclosed all day.

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 I am all for getting my name out there more 

#9, you don't give yourself enough credit, your name's been out there...

#9

I understand your predicament and it's good to be vigilant about your job.  It's not only your present employer that you have to concern yourself with, but future bosses.  The internet doesn't forget.  

But as for you being a moron, I see you're on a fast track to the top.   :-)

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I'm familiar with storefront pricing in a number of cities. I stand by what I said. Maybe i was being a little dramatic... it's probably 1100-1500 a month.

Quick cash? It took them 10 years to make it on IPVM (that's EVERY security company's goal right?)

I don't see the connection or relevance. They couldn't do it with Dahua until Dahua themselves destroyed their channel strategy, at that point the brand had no value already. Hikvision had already done the exact same thing prior to Dahua... well over 10 years ago. This is SSD's first opportunity to do it, with UNV, a Dahua clone.

We're not upset at their "success", but merely disgusted with the cheap and dirty way they've achieved it, and the profit margins and markets they've destroyed by doing so. This is bad news for UNV, this exposure, of this kind, does not elevate the brand at all. It weakens it. What for?

But this is the new face of America... Amazon, Alibaba, grocery deliveries... we'll reap what we sow, mark my words, this ends poorly for America. Every old man on this forum is going to "disagree" and mark this post "unhelpful", that's fine. Keep it around for posterity when I become right in the near future. I guess kudos for adapting? Even if it kills us.

Gerald is right too, the Chinese in America get preferential treatment and support from their counter parts in the mainland. There is irrefutable evidence of this. You've seen it on this webpage. This is bigotry on the part of the Chinese. Pay attention to business and foreign affairs, we already see it in other industries as well.

I still wonder about SSD's technical support...

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"it's probably 1100-1500 a month." I have no clue where you are located but I would definitely like to move there ASAP!

Cheapest Cities to Rent Apartments - Cost to Rent a One-Bedroom Apartment

I'm on Loopnet and Zillow..I haven't found a Commercial/Industrial location in Brooklyn, New York for lease for UNDER $15.00 per Square Ft.

The range seems to be $15.00-$40.00 PER sq ft.

Do the math, if their little shop is 1000 sq ft...

anyways, Happy Holidays!

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In the interest of being accurate, let's compare apples to apples. Because apartments are not storefronts!

This is a location 2 blocks away from SSD's location, in Brooklyn, an 8 minute walk and a 2 minute drive. $1575 a month.

Actual Rent in Brookyln

Here is another location, further away from SSD, not sure if it's in a nicer neighborhood or not, I've only ever been to the "hip" spots in Brooklyn.

 

Sooooo.... I've done the math...

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Sooooo.... I've done the math...

But did you? Peter said 

Do the math, if their little shop is 1000 sq ft...

340 sq ft is a decent size patio.

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Okay, let's get past this hyperbole because it is entirely unproductive.

Let's assume their establishment does cost $5,000 USD a month, I think we can all agree on that figure as being "Fair"...

ALL POINTS STILL STAND. It's a cheap operation undervaluing what could have been a good product if it hadn't been mismanaged so terribly.

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Anyone could move over 82,000 Kgs of product with SSD's overhead and profit margins, what does that shop cost? $500USD a month?

A place like this is probably going to rent for ~ $2.00/SF/MO. Figure $2200 a month or more in rent, utilities not included. 

Besides- everyone else already did all of the expensive work ... marketing, advertising, tech support... all they have to do is undercut the established companies. Often called poaching. I know others have more... degrading terms for this practice.

Come on, that's unfair. There's barely any marketing or advertising for Uniview. There's certainly no tech support. Any marketing is this dude out hustling for business. Any tech support is this dude reading through the manual and trying to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. 

One thing I know about small time dealers: you can only screw them once. They cannot afford to go around and around with a tech support problem for weeks the way a well-capitalized company with a real sales pipeline can. These guys make a sale, buy product, install it, get paid, and use that cash to pay bills, all on the same day. Customer service is absolutely vital. There is no wiggle room for bad product, stock outs, or mislabeled SKUs, because these guys live all the way out on the edge. 

A distributor serving this market has exactly one mistake before they lose a customer permanently. A distributor serving this market can only lose a few customers before they go out of business forever. 

This guy slowly but surely built up a huge business that he's running out of a side street in Bensonhurst, and that's a genuine accomplishment. 

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There is no wiggle room for bad product, stock outs, or mislabeled SKUs, because these guys live all the way out on the edge.

This is I am unclear on. So 1800DVR sells for less than almost anyone and has to have better tech support and reliability than what ADI et al sells? 

My intuition would be that selling so low gives more 'wiggle room', yes/no?

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Their tech support probably consists of swapping out product instead of trying to troubleshooting and then figuring it out later, and choosing products based on reliability and ease of install rather than features, but yeah. 

Offering cheap product is awesome, but this guys like this live and die on repeat business, and selling cheap junk that doesn't work is the opposite of that.

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Come on, that's unfair. There's barely any marketing or advertising for Uniview.

I think what he is referring to is all of the marketing that the authorized Uniview distributors have done to initially lift the UNV brand name up all while keeping the MAP pricing and strict "no online publically advertised sales" policies that UNV has asked all of their distributors to abide by. This took alot of time, effort, and money to build the UNV name, all of which was mostly done by the distributors, not UNV. UNV promised them a protected sales channel and all of the UNV distributors believed this and went all in hoping that UNV would keep this true. 

Meanwhile, not long after, the depot is sending massive amounts of UNV to amazon and selling for super low margins, completely ignoring the policies and effectively undercutting all of the law abiding UNV distributors.

Hopefully now you can understand the other UNV distributors disgust. Again, this is no fault of the depot, its all Uniview for allowing it to happen. This happens with Hikua as well. Im curious what Uniview has to say about all this. Doesnt IPVM have contacts with them? I would ask them to chime in on this situation and ask them what they are doing right this minute to fix this issue. My guess is you will get some open ended answer. Personally i think Hikuaview likes their products being sold on Amazon at low margins, I think they look at it as marketing.

Honestly, anyone can go to Alibaba right now and with just a little bit of money, buy some stock of Hikuaview, bring it in to the USA, send it to Amazon, and Bam!, you have a security business. Its all USA version too!!! Here is an email from an Alibaba seller we got just today:





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Yeah, okay. That's pretty reasonable. 

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Sean is correct, that is what I meant. Also much marketing goes out in e-mails, and no one really sees it unless they were a customer or on the newsletter. You'll never see UNV on a billboard, at least not outside of City of Industry in California...

Also shops like SSD will find out who your customers are, it's very easy... then send them an email or a call "I see you buy from [Established Company] I also can sell you UNV for much cheaper, just tell me price!"

They're poaching.

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Im curious what Uniview has to say about all this. Doesnt IPVM have contacts with them?

I just reached out to them. I did not before this article as I wrongly underestimated the Uniview issue involved here. Thanks for the feedback.

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Yes.
Let's talk soon John.
I was in Hangzhou a few weeks ago, along with my oldest son Zach.
Axis MUST BE pinching themselves at how easy gaining market share is.

 

 

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Honestly, anyone can go to Alibaba right now and with just a little bit of money, buy some stock of Hikuaview, bring it in to the USA, send it to Amazon, and Bam!, you have a security business.

Kettle meet pot?

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absolutely. i basically sell out of my garage. Our established website, employees, facebook page, brick and mortar retail location, etc is just a facade. Much like IPVM has thousands of subscribers when in reality they only have 5 all posing as undisclosed.

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i basically sell out of my garage

That's your Ferrari garage, correct? ;)

Actually, Sean is just an invention of my imagination...

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I am John Honovich!

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Our established website, employees, facebook page, brick and mortar retail location...

What a difference from a few Christmases ago!

(Jeffrey) He’s making a list,

He’s checking it twice,

Gonna find out whose naughty on price

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Oh that was just because ADI was crying because we were selling below their insanely inflated price and actually offering tech support. We made the market better, your welcome. Boom Shocka Locka!!

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...ADI was crying because we were selling below their insanely inflated price...

Who’s crying now?

the depot is sending massive amounts of UNV to amazon and selling for super low margins, completely ignoring the policies and effectively undercutting all of the law abiding UNV distributors.

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Not I. I said the depot was genius.

However, ours was a different story. We were buying from another authorized USA distrib at the time, putting a healthy markup on it (much more than we do now) and we were still beating ADI quite nicely. In other words, ADI was gouging.

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We were buying from another authorized USA distrib at the time, putting a healthy markup on it...

So if everything was on the up and up, what was hik’s beef?

And, just to be clear, you are saying you never have bought product from an unauthorized source, even when in your garage?

 

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Buying authorized and unauthorized in a mix is not smart. Which items have warrenty and which don't? You need to monitor and register all serial numbers and figure out which ones to send back in case of defect and which ones not.

I can tell you Hik scan's RMA's and if it's not from the right channel they won't service it. Image being a loyal distri and getting back items because it's from the wrong channel. Also as a distri you will get this info on your customers. The hassle is bigger than the profit, plus you ruin relationships with you supply channels.

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Which items have warrenty and which don't? You need to monitor and register all serial numbers and figure out which ones to send back in case of defect and which ones not.

Surely you are keeping track of this in any event, since you need to know if the warranty is expired for a particular camera, and since manufacturers warranty periods sometime change.

The hassle is bigger than the profit, plus you ruin relationships with you supply channels.

Depends on the particular items-on-the-table and the deal-at-hand.

What lines are you currently slinging? What’s the difference in auth vs unauthorized markup you pay?

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ask yourself why you buy from the enemy of the state in the first place.
how can anyone look themselves in the mirror buying a Hik product knowing what you know these days about ownership.

Good Lord, I'd feel more morality buying heroin from Afghanistan.

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That's a high horse to shout from Gerald.

If buying nothing Chinese is your definite stand, prepare to empty out at least half of the electronics you own, because yes it was almost all made in China. And being stateowned in China is as common as being american and having a party on the fourth.

If morality is what you are looking for there is a long way to walk, not buying a cctv camera is not that high on the list.
For starters there is a massive debt the US has to China, that's morally wrong for you so let's pay that off first.

Not buying Hik and thinking that saves the world is a very shortsighted cheap shot at best.

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One step at a time. Nothing worth anything at all can be done in one fell swoop. As they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day."

So yea, it is going to be hard, but we should do it anyway. At least I feel like we shouldn't shy away from a challenge because it will be hard...

Gerald cannot pay off the national debt, he cannot even have a meaningful affect on how our government spends our money. So remove that argument because it's loaded and irrelevant. We all know the politics, finances, economies of the globe right now. You cannot hold Gerald accountable for his government's actions or spending habits. Also, why pay that off first? There are other priorities before we "pay them back." That issue is so complicated... with Currency Manipulation, geo-politics, cyber wars, China's IP theft... we could go on and on. So don't distract the topic with that loaded argument.

Start taking steps to make this shitty planet a little better. Even if it's going to be hard.

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Massive debt to China?
Hardly. nearly 1.2 trillion right now. Was over 2 trillion a few years ago.
And do understand, we're a sovereign nation. Translation? We can print money at will. As for the devaluing of the USA Dollar this would cause, that's a boon to exports. So the debt is a non-issue.

I apologize Jonathan for coming off as sanctimonious. I am as guilty as anyone for sending China makers millions for their goods. 

As for "not" buying Hik, I bought Hik for years. I ended the relationship approximately 2007, might have been 2008. I was at the Secutech show in Taipei Taiwan having a beer with Polo Cai. he was I believe at that time number 3 at Hik. He was profoundly passionate about his Captain officer status in the PRC Army Reserves. I explained to Polo that I was an Air Force Veteran and respect his passion for his military and his duty to his country.

I wont say on an online post what alarmed me mere seconds later.
Suffice it to say Jonathan, I couldn't give Hik another dime. I am compassionate we learn a platform, invest, get comfortable, and it's tough and laborious to leave a platform we invested so much effort in. But we cant buy Hik. Europe can't, America can't, while bizarre, while stunning, they are truly a de-facto extension of the Chinese regime.
As is Huawei and yes, the Hisilicon pending disaster IPVM is brave enough to discuss.

No one is stating Robert that it's practical to leave China tomorrow.
But at least we've all begun the dialogue. And that's a step in the right direction. I appreciate your professionalism Robert, Well written post.
More importantly, you don't conceal your identity like so many others.
I respect that.

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I explained to Polo that I was an Air Force Veteran and respect his passion for his military and his duty to his country.

I wont say on an online post what alarmed me mere seconds later.

Whatever it was it must have been pretty damning

Paging Mr. Polo Cai to courtesy phone 1, you have a call from Dr. Evil

 

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Great post here. Thanks.

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My thought is that for every customer they might lose for poor tech support or customer service, there are 10 more online shoppers [looking for the cheapest price] ready to throw them an order.

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A place like this is probably going to rent for ~ $2.00/SF/MO. Figure $2200 a month or more in rent, utilities not included.

Not so far from the ol’ stompin’ grounds, eh?

 

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He could not have sold such volume with out providing support for the unv product. His tactics are bad for the market but I hear his support is good

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That's the point... the established companies are providing the tech support... Or have already trained installers on the product.

Has anyone actually attempted to get proper tech support? From whom have you heard that his support was good? This should be part of the investigative journalism I think.

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what does that shop cost? $500USD a month?

I think you missed a zero.

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The reality is there are very few manufacturers out there that you cant find on e-bay etc. People are always willing to break the rules and policing it for the manufacturer can be very difficult, time consuming, and problematic.

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The reality is there are very few manufacturers out there that you cant find on e-bay etc

Sure, but here is where we disagree:

People are always willing to break the rules and policing it for the manufacturer can be very difficult

Manufacturers vary in how willing they are to police it. Some manufacturers (Chinese manufacturers most typically) are not only typically lax in policing it but often encourage it. We've talked to numerous USA employees of Chinese manufacturers who complain vociferously about how their corporate HQ knowingly allows brown box and grey market product to flood the US.

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It may be hard to police every device but when you market the line as a dealer only item, no online sales etc, then allow someone to buy and sell 82,000KG of product at extremely low margins to end users, that is pretty blatant.

 

A few products here and there are bound to slip through, but this is their entire business model..

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This kind of low-end distributor is destroying the market. 

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This kind of low-end distributor is destroying predicting the market.

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"Forcing" might be more appropriate.

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Another informative article, Thank You

Its important to respect success

Andy is a very hard worker and he worked really hard to build up his business

It has forced everyone else (including my company) to up our game

I have plenty of negative to say on the subject as well

However, I am going to take a cue from Peter Hu and not get salty

Congrats to Andy and his success 

He is extremely successful and formidable competitor

We have all improved because of you !

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Peter retired, of course he doesn't care or get salty... He was also closer to SSD's end of the spectrum when he was doing this...

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This discussion reminds me a bit of the old PC days. Way back in the day people bought clone computers, a vibrant market rose and all sorts of people in the US would build PC and servers. They we say Gateway/Dell etc selling direct and there was outrage in the dealer channel. There was a company called AST that promoted itself as channel friendly and would not sell direct. They ultimately could not compete with the margin requirements their value add channel needed and sell at a competitive price. This entire channel was transformed to a direct model as the giant OEMs consolidated and dominated the market. Even mighty IBM got out selling off to Lenovo. Dell reached out to VARs but at the low end of the line there was really no fit. The VARS selling mini computers mostly got wiped out. The remaining VARs had to move to software and services. We are not there in this market yet but we are moving in that direction.

If you are old enough to remember companies like Altos and products like 3B1s you know what I am talking about.

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I remember those days. However, kinda hard to compare the 2 because it was easy to add value back then when talent was needed to assemble and make the right PC parts to work together (I haven't installed a camera system where I had to struggle with drivers or protocols). Not to say all of us here are not talented :) but IMHO its way easier to put in a camera system than a computer system, so reasonable margins on equipment are IMPORTANT.

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when talent was needed to assemble and make the right PC parts to work together (I haven't installed a camera system where I had to struggle with drivers or protocols)

Or IRQs, jumpers, dip switches, etc...

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They have about 575 tonnes in 32 shipments in the last 12 months.

About 255 tonnes were from Gam Global Co Ltd in Cixi City Ningbo.  Based on the weight and cartons per container, they are probably mostly 4U and 6U cabinets.  My estimate is that it's about 300k USD in FOB Ningbo value.

The remaining 225 tonnes were from Uniview + from two suppliers who are probably just virtual offices/their offshore companies (based on a quick google search).

Overall I'd estimate their total purchases from Uniview to be under 2M USD. And their total CCTV purchases to be under 4M USD.

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Import data is not accurate.
its a nice tool, but use a third party and 95% of data removed.
I know, I use that tool.

My gut feeling is SSD buys 5-8Mil a year from UNV.
We were UNV's USA launch customer, I regret that.

 

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Would you elaborate? How is import data not accurate? Are importers in the US not shipping containerized goods? Are they not declaring their goods?

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Abaas, generally my concern with import data is that the products may be imported to an intermediary or another name which would effectively hide the shipment (let's say Hanco sells to Hankco but Hankco sets up MysteryCo and has Hanco ship to Mysterco first and then Mysterco forwards to Hankco). Anyone agree or disagree about this?

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Agreed.

A lot of companies have branch offices/offshore offices in China and declare them as the shipper. Others use the shipping agent as the shipper.

It's certainly possible, but I would be surprised if Mysterco was ever a company in the US. 

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A recent visit to the Brooklyn location reveals that the 'CCTV Manufacturer' storefront sign shown in our post has since been removed:

I called for a comment on the sign and they were unclear as to whether a new sign was on the way. They also referred to building management about their own sign.

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i would have to bull doze it down and start over. Their advanced inventory stocking system majorly tweaks my OCD

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Update - 12/31/2018

Security System Depot/Kenuco has since removed its Unview product listings from Amazon entirely. The Kenuco website only has "Network Equipment" remaining. However, a couple of Hikvision junction boxes and a few cameras (not Hikvision or Uniview) remain as part of their Amazon listings.

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Current storefront with new signage leading with Uniview / UNV:

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what no more tarp?!

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I'm looking forward to the updated demo camera installation on the corner of the building.

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