Feedback: Motion Seconded: Policies Can Help Dealers Compete

Hooray to Mr. Scott Long for voicing his opinion in regards to the swimming pool industry manufacturers [Jan., 2013 issue, p. 10]. I agree with him 100 percent!

As my small family mom/pop shop starts our 50th year in business in this industry, I have made the commitment to only support those manufacturers that support dealers. Personally, I have confronted manufacturing salespeople and sales reps for years demanding a reasonable explanation as why these Internet vendors are able to sell the same product for sometimes below my distributor cost.

I’ve heard all the lame excuses one could come up with. I fully understand these manufacturers have the right to sell to whomever they choose. I will also exercise my right to not purchase from these manufacturers who work both sides of the street.

For example, Maytronics U.S. markets their robotic pool cleaners and protects the pool dealer, such as myself, by stating on their website that if their machine is purchased online the warranty is void. I think their policy is an appropriate one, leveling the playing field somewhat and rendering the small shops something to offer a potential customer other than who can sell the product at the cheapest price.

In my personal experience, full service is still important to many pool owners. Going the extra mile for a customer is the only commodity I can offer that doesn’t cost me a lot in overhead. Providing service above and beyond the norm is what I believe has enabled my family to start our 50th year in this industry.

Wade Fowler Jr., Falco/Fowler & Sons, Texarkana, Texas, since 1963

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