NSW-based consumables specialist, Toner Warehouse, is the latest Gold Seal distributor to be added to Epson Australia's books.
Toner Warehouse business development manager, Nigel Baker, said the business had traditionally imported the vendor's printer consumables, but had now grown to a stage where it made better sense to deal with Epson locally.
"While we always dealt with reliable sources and were never caught out by anything we brought in, there are advantages to dealing with Epson here," he said. "We get greater access to product, a more reliable source for product and we don't have to pay upfront, either. This offsets any benefit we might get from the grey market."
Epson marketing director, Mike Pleasants, said: "Toner Warehouse came to us wanting to be a national consumables distributor," he said. "Gold Seal authorises and approves consumable distributors and when resellers go to one, they know they will get the product that is guaranteed."
Epson currently lists 11 Gold Seal disties on its books, including Ingram Micro, Synnex, Dicker Data and JTC Tasmania. Pleasants said there were no immediate plans to add more into the program.
"At this moment we're at a pause," he said. "We will sit back and see how this strategy works and ensure our distributors are securing enough business between themselves without over distributing. We'll review it in a few months time."
Epson famously revoked Digiland's membership to Gold Seal via a public advertising campaign in late 2002 after the distributor was found to be parallel importing Epson cartridges from Malaysia and selling them at reduced rates.
Toner Warehouse also distributes consumables from brands including Canon, Lexmark, Brother, HP and Oki. Baker indicated that this still included importing product in some instances, in addition to buying from vendors locally.