My first adventures into the technology world were actually as a reseller. It was 1982, and I had purchased one of the first Apple II+ computers to land in Eastern Canada. The reseller that I bought it from was actually a job costing software company. They got the Apple authorization in the hopes that it might be a nice side stream of revenue, but they like many folks knew almost nothing about microcomputers.
I managed to figure out more about my Apple II in a week or so than anyone in dealership knew. It wasn't long until they were trying to hire me, and I finally gave in and started selling Apple IIs in fall of 1982. We opened four more stores and sold close to three million dollars worth of computers that year. I ended up the sales manager, and we had over twenty people working in those stores.
It was during that time I learned to appreciate what a good reseller could do. With some time and energy we could provide exactly what the customer wanted and make certain that it worked just how the customer needed it to work. We took the systems out of the box, installed enhancements and made certain that it all worked together as flawlessly as the technology of the day would allow. At the time Apple only had a couple of sales people in Canada so if they were going to be successful, they needed the resellers.
We were the technology intermediaries and between people who knew how to build the systems and the people who needed to learn how to use the systems.
It wasn't long before that changed. Apple started hiring people including me. They started taking business away from the reseller. First to go was the education business. Then they started authorizing chains which didn't know the product nearly as well as the local dealerships. They were able to low ball prices. Then came the catalog stores that didn't charge local tax. Then it was Apple's own on line stores with their special deals, and finally to add insult to injury Apple opened their own stores and has given them the best of everything including location and availability.
It's been a lot of years since then. Dell has changed the face of computer resale forever, but other things have made reselling computers made by large manufacturers a chancy proposition. In fact I was joking with one Apple reseller today that they could start using the old farmer joke and replace farmer with Apple reseller.
The joke would be the following An Apple reseller wins the lottery. Someone asks what he is going to do with the money. The reseller says he'll just keep selling Apple computers until the money runs out.
My new MacBook was ordered last Friday. It was shipped from China early this week, and I'm using it now. Custom configuration at the computer factories in China is going to make it harder and harder to be successful as a computer reseller without finding other streams of revenue.
That bring me to the point of my article. There are still companies that value their resellers and absolutely need resellers in order to grow.
Webmail.us, where I'm VP of market development, absolutely needs resellers in order to reach customers around the globe. Resellers allow us to get our product in front of customers that we would never reach otherwise. That's really important to our company, and I don't see that ever changing. We need the leverage.
We work really hard at giving our resellers first class treatment. We have two people, Adam and Trevor, dedicated to making certain our resellers understand our programs and get plugged into the right one.
Standing behind Adam and Trevor is our Customer Care Team which provides support to resellers and helps them solve customer problems when they can't figure out the solution on their own.
To Webmail.us our resellers' specialized knowledge is priceless. There are small markets which we do not have the time to understand. Resellers are usually already in these markets and can be the difference between success and failure.
So if you have been beaten to pulp in the wold of computer resellers, don't consider that the only way that resellers can be treated. We are a company that appreciates the impact resellers have on our bottom line.
In the computer world you're a necessary evil. In our world of email you are a necessity if we are to reach customers around the world.
While hardware has become a commodity world owned by the large manufacturers, services like providing email accounts to small and medium business is something which can be dominated by resellers.
If you know a particular subset of customers very well and see that they are challenged by their current email solutions, with your help we can fix their pain, and you can make some money along the way.
Our email solution is very reliable and has features such as a great web mail interface, spam and virus filtering, calendars,IMP folders and RSS that appeal to certain groups. You can check out our feature list at Webmail features. If you want to contact us to discuss the world of reselling email, our phone number is 866-392-3336, or you can email us by going to our reseller page.
There is plenty of room for good resellers to take their technical expertise and sell email services to small businesses. If you're interested give us a call. We are waiting to be your partner,.