fbpx

My Grandmother Said It Best

My grandmother referred to someone as having “unmitigated gall” if they expected to live by different rules than others.

My grandmother had a phrase that she saved for describing people who believed they were above everyone else, who thought that they were better; deserving, somehow, to run their lives with different rules than the ones they expected others to follow.
She referred to them as having “unmitigated gall.”

This phrase popped into my head as I read a letter from a prominent distributor recently informing me, and seemingly every other dealer they have, that if I deigned to sell any of their products or, even have “the intention of reselling” to others, my account will be closed.

Of all the unmitigated gall, this is one of the galliest I have ever heard.

A while ago, I wrote a column about how this distributor and others have their own captive e-tailers that they supply directly from their warehouses after the item is ordered from retail customers. These e-tailers keep very little stock on hand. Their overhead is a fraction of what mine is. And because this distributor owns these e-tailers, the retail profits are kept within the corporation. We, as dealers of their product for the last 50 years, are being stabbed in the back in this manner by these very corporations that we helped become the major players that they are today. They sell to online companies like RevZilla, and others, which then sells to my customers, again depriving all of us a chance of people who might otherwise come through our doors.

So to say that I cannot sell parts or accessories to a shop that is perhaps too small to have its own account is probably the most two-faced action I have heard of for a very long time. For my shop, it’s not a big deal, as I do almost no selling to other shops in our area. Perhaps some dealers are doing so, as well as selling to online stores. I’m really not sure where all this is coming from. I don’t really believe that there’s a lot of this sub-dealing going on anyway. However, even if there is, I say “Big Deal!” Ultimately, they are still selling the inventory.

So, let’s get this all straight: this company that’s been around most of our lives, selling product to us so that we could have something to put on our shelves is telling me to whom I can and cannot sell. We, the dealers, have bought enough goods from them over the years that they are now a multi, multi-million dollar corporation. They have merged with another big corporation. Once again, it is the dealers who have bought enough goods from these immense corporations to, indeed, make them the immense corporations that they are today.

Many of these companies take all this money that we invested in them (because we need a reliable source for products) then stab us repeatedly in the back by opening online companies that compete directly with us. As I have pointed out before, I believe that this is a direct “Up Yours” in our direction.

Furthermore (and I’m not a lawyer), this letter seems to be absolutely illegal under the Sherman Antitrust laws. It looks to me that they are trying to restrict trade.

So it’s all right for them to be in conflict with us by selling directly to our clients, but if we sell a product that we purchased from them to the guy down the block, they are going to close my account. How the (bleep) is that fair?

Now, I’ve met the owner/majority shareholder; I’ve had direct dealings with him. He seems like a nice fellow. They always treated us dealers well in the past. I’d like to think that the higher-ups didn’t know about this letter before it went out. If they did, shame on them. If they didn’t, they should just retract it. This policy is not doing anyone any good and is just getting the dander up at a time when we need to have less dander in our lives.

I have a list of preferred suppliers that we deal with. I realize that I cannot blackball this company (as much as I’d like to; they just have too many products I sell), but I will tell you right now that it has been placed near the bottom of that list, and are likely to stay there for quite a while.

My grandmother would definitely say they had “unmitigated gall!” My grandfather, on the other hand, would have just said, “Bastards!”

You May Also Like

The Critical Role of F&I Manager Performance Plans

The performance of F&I staff is critically important in today’s market because the days of passive order-taking are long gone.

customer and salesman discussing deal in motorcycle showroom

Powersports dealers continue to navigate a persistently changing industry, influenced by today’s economy that continues to feel the impact of high interest rates and inflation. These factors create a challenging environment for dealers. This article is the second of a three-part series covering pay plans, performance and participation while offering key strategies for dealers looking to revitalize and perhaps even modernize their business to ensure it is optimized for operational, financial and customer success.

Do You Pay Staff on Commission or Hourly?

Keeping staff happy and motivated comes in many forms, but how they’re paid is paramount.

NPA Pre-Owned Market Update: March 2024

Used pricing has finally returned to normal levels post-COVID, and normal seasonality has returned.

National Powersport Auctions, NPA, Market Report
The Future of Buying: Navigating Powersport Consumer Trends

Insights into a study on the future of powersport shopping.

Future of Buying Study
Racer and Dealer Sponsorship Must Be a Two-Way Street

You’re better to have no racers than the wrong racers.

Other Posts

Turn 14 Powersports Makes Strides in Market Entry

An update on key developments in the company’s move into the powersports aftermarket.

turn-14-powersports
How to Respond to Digital Leads

Timing, presence and tools are all critical.

Digital leads
Cycle Trader and ATV Trader Expand Buy Now, Digitizing All Finance and Purchase Steps

The expanded Buy Now platform fast-tracks financing and sales for both dealers and buyers.

How to Attract, Retain and Develop Talent

This recorded AIMExpo education track features a panel of dealers discussing their hiring and retention practices.

MPN talent panel, AIMExpo 2024