What an industry we are involved in. Sometimes I am not even sure that we are in the technology business any longer, but rather inventory management. This has led to three trends in our business for cleaning out old products.
Big buck sellers and big buck purchasers
now there is a term from the past and an often heard term in our industry. It used to involve the vendors pushing products onto the distribution and reseller community usually at the end of the quarter so that quota’s would be achieved.
Nowadays much of the time, those same products are already in the channel and the channel has to figure out how to move it out of stock and into the hands of customers or get stuck with old stock.
Calling up customers and letting them know about leftover stock is the norm.
Flea market sellers and flea market purchasers
In the last month, we have probably received calls from four different distributors and not just from the U.S. trying to sell us product. There definitely seems to be a re-birth of some resellers in the brokerage business as they constantly search for product that is just a little out of date or price. Borders, warranties, used, new, almost none of those real issues or concern because someone out there is trying to hit a technology or price point. Eventually a customer will stand up and issue that elusive PO or purchase order.
Boutique shoppers and boutique purchasers
The other real trend that seems to have surfaced is the use of e-Bay. For people looking for that piece of technology or elusive peripheral that is the place to buy and sell. Of course many of the folks there are real pros at it, especially now that you can have on-line bidding and email alerts if someone has overbid your latest price. It can actually be quite fun and interesting, but I think some of the buyers there must spend more time shopping and less time actually using the technology. Someone may eventually purchase something. We have tried it and it does work some of the time.
Any way you look at it, once it is built, somebody buys it eventually.
Frank Abate is the president of Infinity Technologies Inc. of Mississauga, Ont.