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The Day My Business Changed

In: Business and Management

Submitted By dvddarrenw
Words 392
Pages 2
I was sitting in a Portland Oregon hotel when four words forever changed my business. The keynote speaker at the meeting, a vice president of channel had just finished a surprisingly lack-luster presentation and opened up for questions. An associate from New York City immediately stood and asked, “Do you consider us competition or partners?” The VP answered without skipping a beat, “You are Apple’s competition.” I guess there shouldn’t have been a gasp and rumble throughout the room, but 100+ Authorized Resellers and VARs suddenly realized that they faced an uphill battle. Many would close their doors in the months to come.

As an Authorized reseller I bought our Apple branded products from first tier distributors such as Ingram Micro and Tech Data with only small price variances based on the size of the Purchase Order. Smaller PO’s were often ignored or faced delays in shipping. A big reason for the gasp in the room was the increasing trend of Apple product scarcity for resellers. While Apple’s new retail stores had full shelves we had to fight over the leftovers. Often this meant we missed out on the initial surge of purchases made by early adopters. (Eventually Apple would release game-changing products like the iPhone and not allow Apple resellers to sell them.)

When Apple opened their new store 5 minutes from one of mine I was forced to pivot or close my doors. We changed from being an Apple Reseller who sold some accessories to more of a system integrator and service provider. In some ways we were similar to a VAR but we did not sell to a high-end niche market such as professional videographers or musicians. We sold to the general public so we got very good at asking questions such as: “What are going to be doing with your mac?” We focused on packaging other products with Apple depending on the customers needs. For a hobby photographer for example we sold Apple with Adobe software, photographic printers or scanners. We also found new distributors of non-Apple cables, Apple compatible games and increased our overall variety of accessories. Our biggest change was to drop our service bench fee in half and offer free diagnostics. Within 6 months two other Apple Resellers in the state closed their doors and we opened a third store.

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