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Vendors and resellers in anti-grey market conflict

Stuart Finlayson
Angry resellers have accused the six major vendors behind the recently formed Anti-Grey Market Alliance (AGMA) of hypocrisy.

Resellers are disdainful of AGMA and the implication that resellers who use the grey market are passing on shoddy goods to the customer.

One Midlands-based reseller, who did not wish to be named, said the situation reeked of hypocrisy.

"On one hand, these vendors are basically saying they want to stamp out the grey market, yet it is the vendors that create the bulk of the grey market in the first place by offloading surplus stock into the channel at knockdown prices," he said.

Apple, 3Com, Compaq, HP, Nortel and Xerox are the vendors behind the alliance.

Trevor Camp, 3Com's spokesman for AGMA, told CW360 that the alliance would "give manufacturers an understanding of commonality of best practice and let them understand what they can do legally to protect themselves against grey market and the associated problems related to margins and customer satisfaction."

Camp acknowledged that there was some truth in the accusation that vendors are largely responsible for the grey market, but said AGMA had wider issues to confront.

"There could be instances where this is the internal practice of manufacturers, but there are also many instances of external fraud, so there are many different factors," he said.

"Gluttony on the part of the manufacturer [pushing products onto the grey market] is largely a thing of the past," Camp added. "Manufacturers are now more focused on maximising profitability, so pushing stock into the channel is less relevant in the modern world."

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