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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read a post on the forum questioning the impartiality of a dealer that sold only one manufacturers DLP products. The post had several questions that I didn't want to get into but I thought the issue of dealer impartiality with regard to the number of products carried is a humorous one (to me) and I wanted to comment on it. The idea often seems to be that if Dealer 1 only sells product A but Dealer 2 sells products A and B that you are more likely to get honest/impartial advice regarding products A & B from Dealer 2. BZZZZ - WRONG. Here is why:


1. Most dealers aren't stupid. They frequently use one or more manufacturers to leverage the sale of products towards another manufacturer. Example - many years ago I used to work at a retailer that sold portable Kenwood CD players. They were a good value for the money and IMHO better and more reliable than Sony models, at least at that time. But 90% of the people who came in the store were always looking for Sony. We could tell them that Kenwood was better until we were blue in the face and and most of them would leave to find Sony. So we finally decided to sell Sony portable players too. Guess what - our sales of Kenwood players shot through the roof because now people trusted our recommendation when we showed them how much better Kenwood was. Many times dealers carry two products so that they can steer customers towards one product. Sometimes their (dealers) motivations are good when they do this and sometimes they are not.


2. Many dealers feel the customer out and make a recommendation based on what the customer has seen. Lets say you look at product A at Dealer 1. Now you go to Dealer 2 and he finds out you looked at product A. He is often going to tell you that product B is better because he knows you will think he is impartial because he has both products and he wants to steer you away from any product the first dealer showed you. Or if he finds out that you got a high price from Dealer 1 he may stick with product A and try to close the deal.


If anything the dealer that sells only one manufacturer or product at a particular price range could sometimes be argued to be more honest and impartial because he is just selling what he believes in.


The bottom line is that some dealers our very honest and truly care about their customers and some are thieves. But representing many different manufacturers does not make them any MORE or LESS likely to be impartial than a dealer that represents a few.


Thanks for listening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Grant:


You make some excellent points. But I would put it a little bit differently re: one item. You say "there's a huge conflict of interest present in every transaction". I would say that there is a "POTENTIAL" conflict of interest in many transactions. But as I have said before, this is even true for doctors, attorneys and many other professions (granted, I admit the "conflict" is more omnipresent for a dealer). A good attorney will recommend you to another attorney if he can't represent you well, a bad attorney will not. Bad doctors let the conflict of interest in their profession cause them to run lot's of tests to make more money but I like to think they are a small minority. I send people elsewhere all the time (and I suspect you do to) if I can't help them.


The important thing is how well does the dealer balance the potential conflict of interest.
 

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Excellent points. Let's add the issue of sales SPIF's (spiffs) to the picture.


And let's post here every couple of days to keep this near the top of the list for forum newbie's so they run into this thread early in their research.
 

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Hmmm...the discussion on conflict of interests seems to imply to me that an independent A/V designer not part of a dealer (perhaps associated with a builder, architect or interior designer) would be the "safest" if possibly "rarest" option.


You do really want someone that is technology and brand agnostic if you can find one. Given that we're all human, that's not completely possible but an A/V designer associated with a particular dealer is kinda like a kitchen designer associated with a particular cabinet dealer. They might be just as qualified or perhaps even more so but there is an underlying feeling that all things being equal, they're in the business of selling cabinets more than building kitchens.


Nigel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nigel:


We could debate this one for pages. Suffice it to say that I have seen both sides of the aisle and they both have their own conflicts of interest and their own weaknesses and strengths. For me both approaches are valid and I don't know if one approach is inherently better than the other. But I am going to end my comments here or you will be sucking me into another page long response :).
 

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Dealers, custom installers, salespersons, even web posters -- heck, we all have our own agendas, conflicts, interests, and perhaps even "conflict of interests." As a practicing attorney, I'd rather reserve the term "conflict of interest" to apply to a legal situation where a conflict arises of such proportion that it can be proven in Court, or for settlement purposes, that there was a significant ethical violation for which there is actionable damages at law.


There's plenty of dealer and salesman BS and sometimes you get good advise and service. CAVEAT EMPTOR - let the buyer get educated and beware and watch out for himself/herself.


I could tell you plenty of stories of dealer competence and just as many of dealer incompetence and sometimes outright BS. Like when the dealer puts down another product which they carry but don't push because they have a particular line they really want to sell you and they make even better profit on.Or the dealer who told me that ISFing a Sony G90 was not appropriate and Joel Silver and the Imaging Science Foundation were wrong!!! That last one is a real fish story from about three years ago.
 
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