Apple and Dealer Relations

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,654
10,975
ThinkSecret has a report on upcoming changes to Apple's independent dealers on Monday.

ThinkSecret provides commentary and quotes from various anonymous dealers who are concerned about the continued competition with Apple itself. Unlike many companies, Apple offers both direct and reseller sales of its products, which can lead to competition between resellers and Apple retail channels.

Previous disputes have triggered at least one previous lawsuit.
 

bobindashadows

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2002
419
0
I'm not gonna lie - a local Apple store is putting a local retailer (a previous winner of the best retail location award not too long ago) out of business..
 

voicegy

macrumors 65816
As one dealer was quoted as saying:

"When Apple looks back some day and wonders why niche customers in pre-press and graphics and alike have left them for the Windows platform, they'll know it's because there were no Apple Specialist dealers left to meet their needs. It's only then that Apple will have no one to blame but themselves."

I simply don't agree. Opening Apple stores was one scary gamble that is now beginning to pay off, and is the best thing they've done to get the word out to the "man on the street" of the world of Apple Computer. Sure, the "Genius Bar" employess may sometimes need a little more "education", but I'm sure that'll improve as well. *shrug*
 

ITR 81

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,052
0
Will Apple open more stores up?

Well what Apple could do is maybe buy them out or make them offical Apple stores. I don't know why they wouldn't except for money issues. If they became part of the chain then smaller stores can stay and business and gain more Apple Corp. support.

Also how is Jobs picking sites to open Apple Stores? Are they going to put atleast 1 store in every state because I would like one here in AL. I do not going to CompUSA for Apple products. Also can someone contact Apple about opening up an offical Apple Store or is it just up to Jobs and markets? Reason I asked is because I know folks that are interested with money to spend.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
before you people totally go off on apple, ask yourself one question. Do you want profitable Apple retail stores, prompting the chain to continue, or do you want Apple to behave themselves and risk losing the entire line? Investors won't be happy if the retail stores don't perform, and Apple's not going to get that to happen by playing fair.

i'm not supporting their tactics, just pointing out what's at stake here. i think they should have thought harder about how to approach the Apple retail stores...

there are two sides to every coin...

pnw
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
double post, ack.

Originally posted by ITR 81
Well what Apple could do is maybe buy them out or make them offical Apple stores. I don't know why they wouldn't except for money issues. If they became part of the chain then smaller stores can stay and business and gain more Apple Corp. support.

Also how is Jobs picking sites to open Apple Stores? Are they going to put atleast 1 store in every state because I would like one here in AL. I do not going to CompUSA for Apple products. Also can someone contact Apple about opening up an offical Apple Store or is it just up to Jobs and markets? Reason I asked is because I know folks that are interested with money to spend.
Apple wants more control over their stores, they want to start from scratch rather than try and dramatically reform an existing company... i think buying most any Mac retailer would be a blunder...

and Apple apparently uses it's own formula to place stores... they're clustered in a few big cities, with a few fanned out, but many states have none... hell i was talking to a coworker friday, i think he would have bought an eMac on the spot if he could have taken his wife to an Apple store... as it was, i told him not to go to compusa, because they'd just talk him into some crappy PC he wouldn't like. i finally wound up recommending an HP, sadly. i think she'll go with gateway because she can go into their Country Store here and get a proper sales pitch...

pnw
 

theipodgod16

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2003
372
55
Berkeley, CA
one of my local apple dealers closed last year after the re-negotiated contracts. That was a good store, but the only one remaining is hidious. Old parts everywhichway, and a staff that will not listen to you when you want to ask a question. My experience at the apple stores has been nothing but bliss. I think that for Apple, i would rather see the company grow through its retail stores than try and keep those independent retailers alive.
 

ITR 81

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,052
0
Well they could just buy some retailers out and just start from scratch then. Most folks will sell if the money is right.

I myself think Apple needs to put a Apple store in all states. Atleast one nice store damnit! To me that would help sell more Macs everywhere if atleast every state had atleast 1 Mac store. To me it seems like waste when they open up more stores in other states that already have 1 or more Apple Stores when they have none in other states. To me thats bad business to neglect other states where they have no presence except for damn CompUSA..
 

Jerry Spoon

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2002
624
0
Historic St. Charles
Originally posted by ITR 81
Well they could just buy some retailers out and just start from scratch then. Most folks will sell if the money is right.
Why not just recruit good people from the retailers and let them die out on their own. Not nice, but what's the necessity of buying them out?
 

MDiddy

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
150
22
Chicago
Location, location, location

Apple is placing their stores in particular areas that meet a certain demigraphic, much mike any other retailer. They will put there stores where they think they can make the most money, not just to be "there" They have been very effective so far, I doubt that will go away any time soon. In the Chicago area, store #3 is opening this weekend, and a 4th store in Lincoln Park is probably a year away.
 

Codemonkey

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2002
280
0
Edmonton
I have no idea why anyone would ever complain about competition... </sarcasm>

Seriously folks - there are many, many reasons for a store to go out of business, and blaming Apple might only be a half-truth. I'd take any excuse a businessperson talks about "officially" with a grain of salt.

Apple's tactics are by no stretch of the imagination "smarmy" or underhanded. As mentioned earlier AAPL had to take a gamble to boost profits - and I'd add to that: if they didn't (or if thy failed), we might not be having this conversation today.

Here's an example of smarmy: Chapters book stores were allegedly opening up within the vacinity of older, smaller, supposedly established locally owned and operated book stores. These stores would then fold under the pressure that Chapters put on them. That's not the bad part... then Chapters would close down, there by ridding the competition and reducing their operating expenses -1 store.

It's "win win": a phrase I'm sure the execs were tossing around at the meeting they thought that tactic up at.

But I digress. I'm secretly awaiting the opening of an official Apple store here to show the large local retailler <cough>Westworld</cough> here a thing or two about customer service/marketing/supplier respect/pride.
 

Totalshock

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2003
250
774
Tarana (to locals...)
Channel conflict is always such a tough issue. Apple will likely get farther with the average consumer, by doing retail itself. As for its "hardcore" following... I'm mixed. Yes, we tend to love buying "directly from Apple", but there's also something to be said about the nature of the local Apple reseller/evangelist who really knows his stuff and can create a great deal of hype around the platform, much so than anything I've seen at Apple Stores on visits there.

But the comment from the reseller are very true... unless Apple builds itself a services business (not likely....) it's going to find it hard to keep itself up in many of its typical verticals, which are smaller businesses that need more support than an Apple Store will provide, but are too small to warrant a professional services business. This isn't necessarily true of education and other big verticals like that, but smaller design houses and the like. Granted, typically Macs don't need the level of integration and IT-staff work that PCs do. But these are companies that don't have any IT staff, and many times, don't have any real computer "geeks" on staff, just people who use them very well and very effectively as tools.

Apple Stores are great for customers who want to get the latest box, be it hardware or software or both. They aren't good for a small business owner who needs solutions, not just products.

And for every Dell, which makes a killing off the direct model, there's a Packard-Bell/NEC, which was basically murdered by its disastrous "NEC Now" direct strategy.
 

C14ru5

macrumors member
From the ThinkSecret article
"Take for instance the current situation," said one west coast dealer. "We can't get new iBooks or PowerBooks. But the Apple Store down the road from me has them stacked five high and three deep. I can't get new 40GB iPods, but the Apple Store has them. What do you think this says about me to my customers who see me without the product they want, and they can get it for the same price down the road? Do you think they're going to wait? Do you think they're going to come back? Get serious."
Word! :(
 

ITR 81

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,052
0
It still doesn't make since since alot of the colleges here are almost all Mac colleges.
But we only have a CompUSA and some small edu resellers that sell Macs. To me it seems like they are only going after states with the biggest of cities which is screwin the states that don't have huge cities like the LA or NY and so on.
Our local college buys all it's Macs online at the Apple Store because they don't trust CompUSA.
 

MacRAND

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2003
720
0
Phoenix AZ USA
The shameful way Apple treats independen dealers

Independent Apple Dealers (IAD) are often more knowledgable :) about everything Mac than Apple Stores.

APPLE employees (geniuses?) are often well trained, but tech discussions are often limited by Apple Policies, preventing them from being truly frank and forthcoming.

IADs Owners and Employees are often more experienced and knowledgable than the Apple Store clerks and Geniuses, and are always more forthcoming about productsl, sources, and problems.

Night of the Panther was clearly setup as unfair advantage for the Apple Stores, while some retailers like Fry's Electronics and some Best Buy stores passed out PANTHER OS X Mouse Pads, none of the IADs got to knock 10% off everything in the store that night, nor did IADs get a supply of limited edition Panther dog tags.

APPLE is begging for an Anti-Trust lawsuit against it for unfair trade practices from the only people who are really interested in Mac sales and service, and Apple's survival. When Apple treats the IADs unfairly, it is cutting its own throat.

I use MacSales regularly and even knowingly pay regular retail (when a better price is a mouse click away) simply because they provide me with solid information and expert HELP that Apple would never do, and if Apple did, it would only do so if I paid extra for AppleCare and hounded them.

Is Apple going to tell you that your iBook or PowerBook speed sucks because you have a 20GB hard drive running at minimal 4200 rpm:

15" PB: "60GB or 80GB 4200-rpm Ultra ATA/100 hard drive; optional 80GB 5400-rpm drive"

And, will Apple tell you that an excellent solution is to replace the cheap 20GB drive with a HOT! 60GB IBM/Hitaci HD running at 7200 rpm (FireWire speed) for under $300? NO!

Apple apparently doesn't even make a 7200 rpm HD available as an Apple Store On-Line upgrade for their laptops, and if they did, it probably cost $300 or more, and Apple would keep the old drive they removed instead of giving it to you to insert into an external FW HD box.

On a 15" PB, upgrading from 60GB HD @ 4200 rpm to an 80GB HD @ 5400 is a $200 premium

Check out the following example:

http://eshop.macsales.com/Catalog_Page.cfm?Parent=91&Title=2.5" IDE & SCSI for Laptops&Template=

60.0GB Hitachi/IBM Travelstar 7K60 **7200RPM** 8MB Data Buffer ATA/6 9.5mm UltraSlim 2.5" NoteBook Drive. 3yr Hitachi Warranty. (HIT08K0939) more info... $289.97

While I appreciate Apple's focus on winning, shouldn't it treat IADs more fairly? :(

Many Mac customers have lost interest in Fry's Electronics, Phoenix store since management let the only knowledgable Mac salesman go because he was more focused on Customer Service than Sales Quotas (I personally droped thousands of dollars in their cash register because of John R., but I'm taking my business and money elsewhere since all the current salesmen are PC drones with no Apple experience or interest in Mac products. They cut the core out of their Apple and now they wonder why Mac product sales have slid into the toilet. Management should have paid more attention to the Apple department numbers rather than personal sales figures. Customers like me are following John, and leaving the Fry's.
 

Dahl

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2002
622
14
L.A.
I would prefer if Apple only had true "statement" stores, stores with a lot of traffic and prestige. But then again, it might go against Apple's latest attempt to show the world that Mac's are for everybody, not just folks with $.
If your large town only have a CompUSA, maybe Apple should have a store there, but I would hate to see them queeze out the small guys, who have supported Apple for years.
 

MacRAND

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2003
720
0
Phoenix AZ USA
Shameful way Apple treats dealers

Dahl,

This should make you mad at Apple's treatment of independent dealers:

http://www.thinksecret.com/news/specialistchanges.html

Special Report: Apple cuts Specialist reps; further dealer changes Monday

November 2 - Exclusive Apple will announce Monday that it is firing many of its dealer Representative Apple Executives across the U.S., replacing them with existing inside phone liaisons and upping Apple Specialists' requirements to achieve certain discounts on equipment by as much as 40 percent...

Dirty dealing, Apple. Shame! :mad:
 

xtekdiver

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2003
132
0
Screw em!

Screw em! Buy from Apple.com. Why should we care if somebody can't make a go of a business selling Apple products? There is no competition; they all sell the computers at the same price. Apple gives us a nice online store to use and they provide, for some of us, outstanding show room floor stores; why should I shop anywhere else? I don't know about where most of you are at, but here in Southern California, a lot of "so called" Apple resellers are really seedy, hole in the wall, strip mall store fronts. Not exactly a very inviting place to make a purchase. I certainly wouldn't want to take my children there. And let's not talk about the embarrasment of CompUSA or Fry's Electronics. I think Apple has done the right thing by creating their own stores which are able to show off their products the way they are meant to be seen. These stores really showcase all of Apple's products and offer a very consistent experiance to the end user. Someone walking into an Apple store will go home and have the same experiance with their brand new computer. If you can find a nich selling Apple products somewhere, more power to you; but don't go bitching about it when Apple opens a beautiful new Apple store down the street in a mall while the police are cleaning up the murder outside your store from the night before.

Seriously, Apple stores are very nice. I have no problem bringing my little two year old son into one and letting him sit on those cool round ball chairs (anyone know where I can get one?) and play with an eMac. I can't say enough about these stores. They are beautifly simple and envite people walking by to come in and look around. How many people do you think come into these stores who had no intention of buying a computer or even going to a computer store? The only reason most of these "resellers" even exist is because it was the only way to get a Mac! Apple is making a strategic decsion to create a presence and put their products in the best possible light. Joe blows computers just doesn't cut it. Thank God for Steve Jobs. Apple would be dead without him.
 

sethypoo

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,580
0
Sacramento, CA, USA
Re: Screw em!

Originally posted by xtekdiver
Screw em! Buy from Apple.com. Why should we care if somebody can't make a go of a business selling Apple products? There is no competition; they all sell the computers at the same price. Apple gives us a nice online store to use and they provide some of us with outstanding show room floor stores; why should I shop anywhere else? I don't know about where most of you are at, but here in Southern California, a lot of "so called" Apple resellers are really seedy, hole in the wall, strip mall store fronts. Not exactly a very inviting place to make a purchase. I certainly wouldn't want to take my children there. And let's not talk about the embarrasment of CompUSA or Fry's Electronics. I think Apple has done the right thing by creating their own store and are able to show off their products in their best light. The stores really showcase all of Apple's products and offer a very consistent experiance to the end user. Someone walking into an Apple store will walk away with the same experiance at home with their brand new computer. If you can find a nich selling Apple somewhere, more power to you; but don't go bitching about it when Apple opens a beautiful new Apple store down the street in a mall while the police are cleaning up the murder outside your store from the night before.

Seriously, Apple store are very nice. I have no problem bringing my little two year old son into one and letting him sit on those cool round ball chairs (anyone know where I can get one?) and play with an eMac. I can't say enough about these stores. They are beautifly simple and envite people walking by to come in and look around. How many people do you think come into these stores who had no intention of buying a computer or even going to a computer store? The only reason most of these "resellers" even exist is because it was the only way to get a Mac! Apple is making a strategic decsion to create a presence and put their products in the best possible light. Joe blows computers just doesn't cut it. Thank God for Steve Jobs. Apple would be dead without him.
Yeah, but there's this little concept called "competetivness" in a capitalist market. Which we happen to be in.

I know there's not much of a price difference with Apple products between Apple Stores and authorized retailers. These authorized retailers do present another, less affiliated way to buy, which I appreciate. Also, not all of us are near an Apple Store, there are lots more resellers, CompUSA's and Best Buy's out there than Apple Stores.

And please don't say Apple would be lost without Steve Jobs! He's great and all, and he is responsible for getting Apple back on track, but they could survive without him. He's not quite God or anything.....

Ah, well, I'm ranting now. Goodnight everyone!
 

sethypoo

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,580
0
Sacramento, CA, USA
Re: Shameful way Apple treats dealers

Originally posted by MacRAND
Dahl,

This should make you mad at Apple's treatment of independent dealers:

http://www.thinksecret.com/news/specialistchanges.html

Special Report: Apple cuts Specialist reps; further dealer changes Monday

November 2 - Exclusive Apple will announce Monday that it is firing many of its dealer Representative Apple Executives across the U.S., replacing them with existing inside phone liaisons and upping Apple Specialists' requirements to achieve certain discounts on equipment by as much as 40 percent...

Dirty dealing, Apple. Shame! :mad:
Can anyone say "antitrust" in the works?

:(
 

xtekdiver

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2003
132
0
Re: Re: Screw em!

Originally posted by sethypoo
Yeah, but there's this little concept called "competetivness" in a capitalist market. Which we happen to be in.
Then let them compete! The point is they can't! And they can't because they suck! Who thought of Apple stores? Steve Jobs. Anyone could have done it, but no one did until Steve Jobs took control. These people are just out to make a buck and don't give a rats ass about Apple's image. Jobs understand very well that if this company is to succeed and grow then they must market their products and deal with the problems of perception; which is to say that most people think Apple computers are over priced and can't run common everyday applications they use. Let's face it folks, Apple has 3% market share because most people have no clue what an Apple computer is or why they should even care. Apple stores are critical to getting that message to the masses of ignorant windows slaves. These resellers present Apple in a very bad light and that has to change. Now it will. Why? Because if you want to compete then you have to offer something better. That's competition!
 

xtekdiver

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2003
132
0
Re: Re: Re: Screw em!

Originally posted by voicegy
Exactly. Uh, and your point, caller?;)
Uh, i think that was my point. Without Jobs Apple wouldn't have gotten itself back together. This was his brainchild to begin with.
 

MacRAND

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2003
720
0
Phoenix AZ USA
Broken promises, misrepresentations & lack of integrity

xtekdiver, you make a very good point about all these beautiful new Apple Stores throughout the country (2 high end stores in Metro-Phoenix area), they have set a high standard for independent Apple and PC stores to follow.

But, "screw them" Apple has apparently done, with misrepresentations, broken promises, and a serious lack of integrity. Suggest you read all of the link to my previous post. If you value personal and corporate integrity (enron scandal), then you should be concerned about Apple's misconduct. Selfish and Narcissistic behavior is inexcusable. Ethical behavior should be the standard, not the almighty bottom line. :cool:

Apple should be encouraging and protecting honest independent dealers, not undercutting their prices by unfair business practices. We don't tolerate it from Bill Gates and MS, nor should it be condoned just because it's Steve Jobs and crew at Apple, because the poor babies only have a 3.5% market share. :(

Problem is, without competition and alternatives, you and I become eventually become victims of our own greed when we ignore inappropriate corporate behavior and support greed. Macs are good value, but why should we pay a premium over a fair market price just for the privilege of having a place for someone's children to sit on beanbag chairs and play MacGames in the Apple Store while Daddy shops. I want to know why the Epson scanner for a few hundred dollars is rated as highly as a Nikon scanner for over $1,000 - and whether I should upgrade my HD in my iBook or simply replace it, and why is the Canon i70 a better mobile printer than the HP which appears to cost less - the Geniuses at the Apple store either don't know the answers, or they aren't allowed to share their real knowledge.

You say:
"Screw em! Buy from Apple.com.
Why should we care if somebody can't make a go of a business selling Apple products?
There is no competition; they all sell the computers at the same price."

The competition is underhanded, and indirect like manipulation of rebates and discounts. Apple makes rules that it enforces agains Independents, yet regularly turning around and breaking them itself. It's dishonest and dirty.

Yes, competition is good for us all, but unfair business practices SUCK, regardless of who is to blame. :rolleyes:
 
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