Confirming; Borderless Trading is Indeed Challenging the Supply Industry and Undermining Consumers
Part 2 – Reality Check
The ACETA newsletter last month titled Borderless Trading is Challenging the Supply Industry and Undermining Consumers struck an emphatic chord with many entertainment technology acquirers as it did the industry supply sector, the vast majority in accord with the banner headline sentiment. Whilst the actual impact of borderless trading is unknown, the unexpected response to our publication indicates the negative outcome in terms of commercial activity and employment, is far greater than many of us realise and therefore demands a follow up reality check.
In the contemporary market place, when taking into account the cost of supply, service and support of most entertainment technology, Australia is indeed competitive. Whilst individuals and organisations have cited cases to the contrary, those representatives who price above what the market considers fair and reasonable do so at their peril. It is not ACETAs role or responsibility to impose on any party’s commercial activity, but it does encourage a balance of moderation and sustainability, along with a commitment to compliant and fair trading. On a pure cash basis, there is no doubt a saving by direct off-shore acquisition can be realised in some instances, however the anecdotal evidence supplied indicates most often it is not the case, with benefit more an assumption than a reality.
In last month’s newsletter, we defined the off-shore purchaser’s responsibilities when they bypass the locally accredited representative and assume the status of importer along with the incumbent consequence, which we won’t re-visit here. However, it is the core issue of warranty, service and support where the interests of both the off-shore purchaser and the local accredited representative meet head on. The typical scenario we hear time and time again, revolves around an off-shore purchase arriving damaged, defective or developing problems a little later, and/or the acquirer needing technical, operational or installation support even documentation. They contact the local accredited representative to discover they are not covered by warranty, service or support unless they pay for it. No fair-minded person will expect a local representative to resource and support a sale it did not participate in without a fee for service, unless there is an international warranty agreement and the acquisition is from a brand accredited source, whereby the local agent will be suitably compensated. This situation however is not a normal one and most accredited international resellers respect their territorial boundary agreement with the manufacturer or risk losing their accreditation, so the acquisition trail can deliver complexity and grief.
Aside from consumer risk potential, there are two principle casualties of borderless trading, the economy and employment and this concerned a number of respondents to last month’s newsletter, therefore warranting brief comment here. The undermining of the economy is patently obvious, what is not as well considered is the direct and negative impact on employment opportunity. A successful society is an inclusive society, one that understands and ensures the availability and delivery of the core essential rights such as justice, welfare and education etc. However, what is less spoken about is an individual’s right to sustain themselves and practise their skills, a right as important as any other. Being employed facilitates and defines a broad societal contribution and personal well-being, there is no down side. The overwhelming majority of us have children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces and it is fair to assume we would want them to have the opportunity to sustain themselves and practise their skills. ACETA will continue introducing initiatives to assist development of commercial activity and employment in the Australian entertainment technology industry and encourage its constituents to maintain a client focus, trade in a fair and sustainable manner and ensure a value add to the acquisition process. To those who acquire or consider acquiring off-shore we would ask you to consider your options in the industry and culture that sustains you.
All the best
President - ACETA