Dahua Offering Direct End User Sales

Author: Brian Karas, Published on Apr 14, 2016

IPVM's ISC West secret shopper approached 19 exhibitors with a set of questions, including ones about their key advantages and how or where to buy their products.

While most manufacturers required an integrator for purchase, Dahua surprisingly offered a direct sale.

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Comments (18)

How does one buy Dahua direct anyway? Make the check out to Dahua USA?

I know how to buy Dahua online of course, but there is always an intermediatery, and unless it's thru an authorized reseller, e.g. B+H, you have to go on the assumption that there is no support from Dahua, only the third party you got it from.

What type of transaction were they suggesting?

How does one buy Dahua direct anyway? Make the check out to Dahua USA?

This is a good question, and not something that I can answer directly.

In our pre-show meeting, I asked our secret shopper to ask about buying direct and to note responses. My expectation was that manufacturers would deny this is possible (which they mostly did), and refuse to acknowledge that for many of them you can in fact buy their products direct through online retailers.

Dahua was the only company (aside from expected ones like Longse) that didn't deny any knowledge of online product availability and actually seemed to encourage the end-user to purchase direct.

I'm not sure if it really matters if Dahua meant direct as in "make the check out to us", or direct as in "yes, if you like our stuff you could get it at Amazon". The most notable part is that they appeared to support end-user direct purchases as long as they got the overall sale.

We only had one undercover shopper at ISC West, so it's also possible that this conversation was an outlier, due to an English barrier (though our shopper did not note any apparent communication barriers with Dahua as this with Longse), or something else.

And language barrier as an excuse should only go so far. If an American company went to China and had people in their both with only passing knowledge of Chinese language and something as important as a business sales discussion gets miscommunicated, that's their own fault for having someone not more fluent in the language for where they are at.

Indeed, it seems most of Chinese companies challenges is not investing anything really into marketing and sales professionals that understands the regions language and culture. I'm sure there are other businesses around the world that have this problem, but the subject here is Dahua. But as an extra note, we deal with a non-English European manufacturer that also has the same problem.

Ive heard rumours that there are multiple amazon sellers that are actually Dahua selling direct.

Ha! That would be pretty low...

And then denying the support because they sold it pretending to be someone else...

There were a fair amount of people in the Dahua booth who had flown in from China, so in addition to the language barrier it's possible that the rep did not understand Dahua's US market strategy. I'm assuming that in China, you can pay Dahua directly for large orders.

Also, is it possible the Dahua rep was trying to say that you have the option to either buy a Dahua labeled camera or buy one of the many firms that re-label Dahua products (FLIR, Honeywell, Q-See)?

I'm not trying to defend their actions, just make sense of them.

Bob -

Good thoughts.

In regards to the employees from China, I would expect any large manufacturer that has a presence at a show like ISC West would prep employees who came in from the main office on things like channel strategy, and topics that they should not attempt to cover (like price/buying) that should be passed off to a local rep.

I was at the ISC Show and spoke to a worker in the Dahua booth that claimed to be the "National Sales Manager". I thought that in itself was interesting since its so hard to buy their stuff so I proceeded to inquire as to where to purchase the equipment? He never really was able to give me a direct answer other than the sources are being worked out? What the hell does that mean? So I moved on from that line and asked him to compare his 128 channel NVR to the Hikvision 128 channel NVR. He clearly did not know his product. They are not even close anyway. The number 128 is the only similarity. He was American as apple pie not a China-man. I left the booth with a clear understanding why they are not able to sell product and have a horrible marketing plan.

Dahua is not a company to deal with on a professional level.

"...so I proceeded to inquire as to where to purchase the equipment? He never really was able to give me a direct answer other than the sources are being worked out? What the hell does that mean?"

Wait. You mean to tell me you've not heard of Automated Outlet, who bills themselves as "Your Home Automation Distributor", having 3 locations in Texas and 1 in Oklahoma? :)

It's true. Dahua has hitched their NA distribution wagon to a home automation dealer who actually prefers to sell a rebrand called Toughdog.

They hosted a series of traveling BBQs last year. See: The Bizarre Dahua North American Tour for more.

Just to set the record straight, we ended our relationship with Dahua in December. Too many issues to discuss on this forum be we determined it was in our best interest to end the relationship.

Martin Custer, President, Automated Outlet

Too many issues to discuss on this forum...

Martin, I can assure you this forum is built for issues; and has sufficient capacity to handle your outbound venting requirements.

;)

Alibaba! Alakazam!

Dahua gets caught "dealing" from the bottom of the deck!

Now everyone knows I am familiar with the Dahua brand and sell them often. So, this is going to sound like I'm defending them in some way.

But, I just wanted to point out two observations from ISCW that don't seem to jive.

1) Dahua reps didn't speak clear English and we couldn't get any info out of them.

2) Dahua reps offered to sell through integrators or direct.

Is there a chance that these could both be true, sure. But, what is more likely IMO is that #2 was a misunderstanding, due to #1.

Like others have alluded above, they probably meant Dahua branded or OEM (FLIR, Eyesurv, ICRealtime, etc.).

I can't imagine Dahua wants to drop ship one dome from China. Managing that distribution would be difficult for a company their size, especially since they have zero US presence, brand wise.

Heck, I've still heard distros mispronounce their name as "Duh-who-wa"! If the first tier distributors don't even know how to say their name, that speaks volumes. Same goes for "Hick-vision" :D

"I can't imagine Dahua wants to drop ship one dome from China"

Point of information. Dahua now has an office and warehouse in California.

Remember the party:

Just a few miles down the road from the new Dahuan Digs I spied a strange, yet familar logo in the window of a small electronic/hobbyist retail store on the main drag.

Once inside I was shocked to find several display cases of Dahua, for sale and ready to go. take a look:

Does anybody else know of a walk-in retail store for Dahua branded equipment?

Wow! That is some serious margin on Dahua products! Almost 100% markup, it would seem.

Yeah, but it sure is convenient...

What's your 7-11 asking for a Dahua Dome and a Big Gulp?

Jon -

You raise good points, and I don't think it comes across as defensive.

Overall, this report is in the larger theme of Dahua seemingly struggling to figure out what to do in the US (eg: Dahua Declares Defeat, 'Embraces' Enemies, Dahua Admits Failed Channel Strategy).

ISC West is the biggest show in the US. It's not cheap to attend, and so you would think a manufacturer like Dahua could/would get people in the booth who could converse with their target customers (dealers and end-users).

According to our shopper, Dahua offered this, it didn't have to be coerced out of them. Our shopper was also not an industry person, so there was no bias for or against any particular manufacturer or channel strategy.

Dahua's strategy has seemed a little "build it and they will come" at times, as if just showing up and having a low-cost product is enough to get them in the game. I think (hope) they are realizing that they need a more coordinated and strategic approach.

  • This could have been a Dahua rep going off script and trying grab a deal buy suggesting a buy-direct strategy (and most likely direct as in on Amazon or online, probably not direct-from-China).
  • This could have been a language barrier, and they didn't really mean "you can buy direct" in any way that would be bad.
  • This could have been exactly what it seemed like, and Dahua trying to take advantage of the fact that the end-user didn't have an integrator, and they didn't want an integrator to come along and steer the user to another product.

All of these seem bad/clumsy/detrimental to Dahua making a stronger presence in the US (which I would assume was a big part of their reason for attending ISC West).

I don't think there is a spin of this encounter that is just complete and utter misunderstanding of what Dahua said and the whole thing was a "non-story".

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