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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who buy & sell Audio/ Video/ Home Theatre, there is a new trend being perpetrated on us. Rightly so, the Manufacturers are trying everything possible to stop internet sales. Many are tracking serial numbers, etc. They are disturbed that their products show up on such sites as eBay. They feel helpless in stopping it. I agree with their attempts, however, some Manufacturers have turned this into a witch hunt. For example, one of our suppliers was cut off unfairly from the Denon line. The reason? Denon accused them of internet sales, which they have never participated in. Denon suspected them by virtue of the fact that the company has a website. Is that illegal? I think that they are perfectly within their right to have a website. They were never found to have actually sold any item from their website, or via the internet. They were guilty by association. There was no proof, and yet Denon terminated their agreement and ceased selling to them.

Now the same thing has happened to us. We were Polk Audio Custom Installation Dealer. Never had a problem, although, it was not a major line for us. Upon placing a new order with Polk, we were suddenly told that we would have to fill out new paperwork first. They put us thru a sudden birage of paperwork. They suddenly asked a lot of questions. We started to feel uncomfortable. They were acting very strange. They would not ship the merchandise, which we had already sold to customers. Finally, I got very upset and I let Polk know about it. Then they told me that we were under suspicion of iinternet sales; maybe eBay. The evidence? We have a website. They think that because we have a website; we must be guilty of internet sales. First, let me state unequivoquely, we have NEVER sold Polk anything via eBay or the internet. They have not one shred of evidence to back this up; only inuendo. I defy them or any other company, for that matter, to show one instance of us selling their product on line. It simply has never happened. Do they have any proof? Absolutely none. They finally consented to sell us the items which we had already pre-sold; and nothing else for right now.

Well, they alienated us so bad; we will NEVER sell any products with the name Polk Audio on it again. They did not care what we had to say, and they did not believe us anymore then this other supplier who was cut off from Denon. Do you know of any other examples of this kind of policy? It is totally crazy. They are judge, jury & executioner, with absolutely NO evidence. It is a witch hunt. They are taking it out on dealers because they are not capable of controlling eBay sales. They are very angry.
 

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Authorized internet marketing is legit. To say marketing on the web will stop is like saying global business, and outsourcing will stop. That will not happen as some firms like Microsoft, a transnational, international and global company (keeps corporate in the States yet sells globally), actually does more business globally.
 

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This is why the computer companies entering the AV market (Intel, Apple, MS, etc.) will run over the established hardware companies and change the market in the near future. They're used to a free market with internet and storefront sales. They make new ideas a reality faster without consortiums or cartels to establish formats.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BarkingArt
This is why the computer companies entering the AV market (Intel, Apple, MS, etc.) will run over the established hardware companies and change the market in the near future. They're used to a free market with internet and storefront sales. They make new ideas a reality faster without consortiums or cartels to establish formats.
This is such an excellent point, and I agree with you completely. In today's sales climate, marketing is king. With the new A/V players you mentioned and now Gateway entering the market, B&M companies can't afford to close off any marketing channels. Equipment makers can take litigious actions and cut off supplies to dealers all they want, but the fact is that the most effective marketing tools and sales methods that provide the most convenience to end consumers is what's going to win out over time.


And if what the original poster says is true, as a courtesy to a dealer who was carrying their products (and I assume generating sales for them), Polk should be more professional. It makes me wonder if Polk was getting pressure from a competing higher-volume local B&M dealer.
 

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It's understandable what companies are trying to do, that is, protect their local dealer network from the competition of low-overhead internet sellers. Trouble is, previous posters in this thread are correct, someone else will move in to fill the vacume and they'll end up losing out anyway.


As someone once said, there's nothing harder to stop than a trend.


Deane
 

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As always, this will turn into another thread about how "horrible" it is for God forbid, a manufacturer to decide how they want their products sold. Instead, I would like to address Mr. Hookups question/post.


To answer your question Mr. Hookup, no I have not encountered what you are reporting nor have I ever heard of a single case of it - nor read of one (I'm referring to a manufacturer claiming that some one is engaging in Internet sales without thoroughly investigating it and having proof of it). That's not to say it's not happening here and there but it's probably due to ignorant employees.


Finally, I really think we are getting half a story here (probably from Polk). Sorry, but it's just not believable that you are under suspicion "just because you have a web site". If so, the majority of their dealers would be under suspicion. Maybe an unhappy competitor falsely reported you, maybe you are just dealing with an idiot at Polk, I don't know.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by QQQ
As always, this will turn into another thread about how "horrible" it is for God forbid, a manufacturer to decide how they want their products sold. Instead, I would like to address Mr. Hookups question/post.
Actually, they will continue to decide how their products will be sold, and will eventually have to move away from a territorial dealership model. Either they will bow to the winds of change, or they'll experience more and more hardship like the music industry. New competitors without dealer alliances will take business away from them. Another area that is experiencing a change in sales strategy is car sales. Car dealers are just beginning to accept the serious internet sales quote competition.
 

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Art:


I have gotten into long debates on these issues and it's easy for me to get sucked into them so I will respond once and let you have the last word.
Quote:
Originally posted by BarkingArt
Actually, they will continue to decide how their products will be sold, and will eventually have to move away from a territorial dealership model. Either they will bow to the winds of change…
Sorry, but that reduces a multi-faceted issue to simplistic generalizations. The A/V market is not monolithic and one approach is not best for every manufacturer. For some manufacturers the best approach might be an extremely tightly controlled dealer network (typically higher end manufacturers). For other manufactures a wide distribution “sell to anyone through ANY channel†approach might be best. And for other manufactures a hundred variations in between the first two might be the best approach. It’s as simple as that. And it’s also misguided for people to assume that Internet sales in the future will always mean lower prices. You will see many manufacturers setting up authorized but tightly controlled Internet dealerships. In fact, it’s been happening for years - with many manufacturers selling direct at full retail - gee, another reason manufactures might want to control distribution? And you will see the huge outfits such as Best Buy and Walmart using major market power to force many of the small Internet retailers out of business, just as they have in the brick and mortar world.


Let's use you statement that we have to "move away from a territorial dealership modelâ€. Sorry, but what does that mean? I don’t know of anyone that has a hard time finding a TV, speakers, surround sound receivers, do you? Best Buy, Circuit City? Countless Internet sites. Is that "territorial"?


BUT yes, *expensive* niche projectors and 5K speakers will continue to be more territorial than TV’s, with distribution more tightly controlled, at least for some brands and at least for now. Supply and demand. Is it hard to find plasma TV’s anymore? No, they also can be found at Best Buy now. Find several million people a year that want to buy projectors and you’ll find them at Best Buy AND they’ll be cheaper.


Is the market changing? Of course it is – it always is. Is the Internet affecting things? Of course it is. It’s one more channel and it's made and will continue to make changes happen. IMO for the better.
 

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Internet marketing is no longer a business "fad", it is now a here-to-stay marketing trend. Each day more and more business is dealt with on the web. It is a current event for global marketing. The biggest issues are buying from trusted sources and getting full warranties.
 

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Mr. Hookup,


May we have the link to your website?


If you have the DENON logo implied on yoursite, did you in fact have authorization to do so?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What is happening here is Manufacturers are seeing many of their products show up on such places as eBay. They are furious, and cannot figure out how it is getting there. They try many different things to stop it, but for the most part, they cannot. They try various things like tracking serial numbers, so that they can trace it back to the guilty party. I spoke directly to one of the head guys at Polk Audio about this, and they were concerned about something on our website on the Who We Are page. They inferred from it that we do nationwide or internet sales, which we do not. We never have. Did they have any proof of any such sales? Absolutely not. Never happened. Did they believe us? Absolutely not. Could they prove anything or back it up? No way. I defy them to find one instance of such a sale. It doesn't exist. Did they still decide to cut us off anyway? Yes they did. No trial, no jury, no proof; nothing. It is just plain unbelievable. In case you wish to judge for yourself, we are at: www.mrhookup.tv Are we going to just roll over and die because of this? Of course not. There are lots of other great Speaker lines out there.
 

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the thing that manufacturers are worried about with the internet is this


Someone steals a shipment of XXXX product and sells it to vendor Y who really has NO WAY of knowing if it is stolen. Vendor Y sells product on Internet and people buy it and some of it breaks or gets returned. Now your manufacturer is stuck with supporting a product that they did not legitimately receive payment for.....



When I worked for Zenith Data Systems, this exact same senario happened and in the end both Zenith Data Systems and the customer got screwed.........
 

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Are you positive they are not confusing your business with the person on Ebay who is going by the user name "mrhookup" (different part of the country)?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Hookup
What is happening here is Manufacturers are seeing many of their products show up on such places as eBay. They are furious, and cannot figure out how it is getting there. They try many different things to stop it, but for the most part, they cannot. They try various things like tracking serial numbers, so that they can trace it back to the guilty party. I spoke directly to one of the head guys at Polk Audio about this, and they were concerned about something on our website on the Who We Are page. They inferred from it that we do nationwide or internet sales, which we do not. We never have. Did they have any proof of any such sales? Absolutely not. Never happened. Did they believe us? Absolutely not. Could they prove anything or back it up? No way. I defy them to find one instance of such a sale. It doesn't exist. Did they still decide to cut us off anyway? Yes they did. No trial, no jury, no proof; nothing. It is just plain unbelievable. In case you wish to judge for yourself, we are at: www.mrhookup.tv Are we going to just roll over and die because of this? Of course not. There are lots of other great Speaker lines out there.
I tried the link to your web site you suggested and it says "we ship anywhere in the United States". Are you sure you have anything to be upset about?
 

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there is a big difference between "we ship anywhere in the usa" and offering an online ordering system.
 

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I am actually taking a Marketing course at www.waldenu.edu and I am learning the deeper meaning of the principle of Marketing. I am learning that it is truly a global, multinational and international marketing world. Change causes pain and mass INTERNET marketing is changing things. Smaller specialty A/V/HT shops must now contend and compete with enormous sales being made online. Even chain electronic stores loss some profit margin from consumers who would rather point and click for their gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Deeann: We are in Baltimore, and not associated with any other Mr. Hookup in some other part of the country. We do have a user name of Mr. Hookup on eBay, but we have never sold Polk there. We occasionally sell things, but nothing that is new. We would not be confused with anyone else. We talked directly to Polk, so how could we be confused with anyone else?
 
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