In preparing stories for Australian Reseller News we are always mindful of the level of information you need. For instance, you'll have noticed that we provide phone and fax numbers as well as e-mail and World Wide Web addresses whenever they will be needed by some readers. Apart from knowing information is valuable to you, by including it in the story we hopefully avoid lots of enquiries.
In order to present the information in as useful a way possible, we follow certain rules which you may or may not have noticed. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to immense levels of frustration as we try to drag the details out of vendors.
Getting the details
For instance, take something as simple as the price of a product. Until someone comes up with a better solution, we only have two ways of expressing the price of most products: recommended retail price (RRP) or estimated street price (ESP). RRP says that the vendor has a published, suggested price, and ESP says that the vendor doesn't have a suggested price, but has estimated what an average reseller will charge for it.
That sounds easy enough, and should cover most products, but you wouldn't believe the problems we have trying to extract one or the other from vendors. And if there's a usable price listed in a press release, we often think it's more accident than good work. The other problem is that we always prefer to list a tax-inclusive price, and vendors always prefer to give us a tax-exclusive price. Perhaps this is because it looks lower. A common response when we ask for the tax-inclusive price is "just add 22 per cent!" which is patently absurd for an end-user price.
Another area where we strike problems is channel terminology. In order to make plain what we're talking about we have to limit ourselves to certain terms. For instance, when we use the term "distributor" in ARN we mean a company that supplies a product to a reseller for sale to the end buyer. That shouldn't be complicated, but when talking to a small importer, we often have to ask repeatedly if they really mean they're looking for a few hundred distributors around Australia or is it perhaps a few hundred resellers they're seeking.
Another fact we don't want to mislead over is the real availability date. We know how frustrating it is to order a product only to find it won't be shipping here for another three months. It might sound petty to some vendors when we insist on getting information in our preferred format, but remember we're doing it for everyone's benefit.