|Products||Best Sellers||Custom Designs||Search||View Cart||Order Info|
|New Products||Clearance||Free Catalog||Visual Search||Contact Us||About Us|
|Virtual Brokers - Buyer Beware||
As a word of caution to online shoppers, we would like to warn you about strictly "virtual" brokers. With the advent of the internet, the barrier of entry that historically separated small and large companies has diminished. This has created more competition, which is a plus to all prospective buyers, but buyers must also beware! Encompassed within this increased competition are many "virtual brokers" who falsely advertise their credentials to the public. In the Point of Purchase and trade show display industries the playing fields are populated with these virtual business'. The success or failure of your marketing campaign and the products you choose can be at stake if you end up picking a virtual broker who has little leverage.
What is a "virtual broker"?
Example - a newly created point of purchase display "internet company" advertises on their homepage "over 40 years of manufacturing experience" and has a picture of a large manufacturing facility pictured on the same page. In fact, this internet company is one person who has set up a website with pictures of products made by dozens of other manufacturers.... they are sourced products not made by this company. This company acts as a broker receiving an order from you.... re-faxing your order to any one of these dozen or so "true" manufacturers who then drop ship the order to you. Remember, the "virtual" internet company is really just one person working out of a home office! The picture of the large manufacturing facility on their website home page is likely of their "partners" facility". The "40 years of experience" is the aggregate years that this person has worked in the business, plus ten of his/her friends and partners. The problem for the consumer then becomes that of accountability- if something goes wrong with their order (i.e. a quality issue or shipping breakage)... the end result is often finger pointing. The "virtual" broker many times has little control of the situation, and often ends up trying to place blame on the customer or the "true manufacturer" who dropped shipped the product. Often the "virtual" broker can't interpret the problem to begin with due to lack of familiarity with the product or little experience with shipping procedures. Smaller "virtual" brokers also may have trouble backing the quality of the product. A real manufacturer will have the budget set aside for problem resolution, or guaranteeing their customer's satisfaction. In summary, be careful to evaluate suppliers....a "virtual" broker can hurt the buyer due to their lack of leverage, financial strength, live in-stock inventory, control over quality and lack of intricate knowledge of the products they are selling.