Have you ever noticed that when you do a parts search on google the Bass
site comes up? I did a parts search and saw these guys. Who are they? Their
web page claims they are "professional". And yet they push Honeywell gear?
If you're a "professional" with any sort of reputation with your customer
base, how in the world would you find the time to run an on line parts
business? Why would you even want to get into that market with such skinny
margins if your "professional" business was successful? I can just see
quoting a customer and then having him or her say wait a minute, "why are
you charging me these prices when you sell the same thing on line much
cheaper"? And you get a 24 hour emergency number to call too. Wow.
Think about all the Honeywell products that sell on ebay on a daily
basis that are 50+ percent off ADI's so called wholesale pricing...once
you open your eyes to whats really going on, only then will it all
become all too clear you.
Roland Moore wrote:
"Roland Moore" wrote in message
Skinny margins perhaps, but you can make up for it with volume... really.
Especially if you can get your vendors to drop ship everything for you.
Seperate the businesses. Even if not, do you really want a customer who is
too stupid to understand that a device is worth more installed than in the
box on the shelf? I still have guys who buy parts from me, and local guys
from time to time stop by my shop to buy parts. Somebody buys a complete
system from me to self install I make $100-300 or more in 10-20 minutes. I
have to work over an hour installing or trouble shooting not counting travel
time to gross the same amount in the field (and that ain't all profit).
Besides those looking to buy parts aren't going to pay me to install a
system anyway. So its just extra profit.
I never provided 24hr support for on-line customer, and I provide no tech
support for DIY installers anymore. If they don't know what they are doing
tough. I don't get many, but those I get do seem to have a clue. I almost
never get any returns from these guys. When I do there is usually a real
problem or DOA on the equipment.
I ran an on-line parts store a few years ago, and its pretty easy stuff. My
problem was I got to the point where I would have had to spend some time
writing code and writing pages and making some shipping deals. Time I
didn't have to take away from my physical customers. I think I could have
easily out stripped the profit from contracting with on-line sales if I quit
contracting and worked at that full time. The problem I had was loyalty to
the customers who have fed me and my family for the last decade+. I could
not just walk away from them. When I retire if I don't find a buyer for my
contracts, I'll send each customer the information tehy need to find another
alarm company who should be able to take over their service with little or
no extra cost. Then I might look at on-line or other sales again.
RHC: The market is an ever changing entity. Today, just about anything
you can think of is sold on line, including security equipment. While
you and I might wonder about the wisdom of people buying alarm panels
and then installing themselves, the fact is, some people have chosen
to do this on their own. Many do it simply because they enjoy being do-
it-yourselfers; others do it because of frustration with the
commercial alarm industry and their insistence on long term
contractual commitments before they will even talk to you; others do
it simply because they have chosen (unwisely I might ad) to not have
their system monitored properly. However, that is the real beauty of a
free market system - it will evolve to fill every niche there is
regardless of what anyone thinks about it.
RLB and other online vendors have simply chosen to appeal to this
extremely tiny segment of the total security market. And with a target
market of 300 million people in the USA alone, there is plenty of
business to go around within the ranks of all the marketeers of DIY
equipment. But every market has it's downside. Selling professional
security equipment (much of which is not particularily user friendly)
carries with it the requirement for a certain level of technical
support. But again the market levels things out - failure to provide
that by any on line vendor will only serve to erode that particular
vendors market share.
Frankly, I don't see why anyone in the professional security industry
would care in the slightest about the presence of this market. It
doesn't in any way impact on professional companies who cater to
customers who only want a system that works properly and can be
depended on to be serviced right by that same company. And that is
the vast majority of buying consumers ! They have far more important
things to do in their lives than mess around with an alarm
system.People buying professional alarms know the dealer's presence
comes with a price but don't care - that's life (in every aspect of
All this over concern about the DIY market is a "storm in a teacup" in
I can imagine it is easy to find Honeywell gear to dump at prices less than
ADI wholesale list prices. Since the real price a dealer pays for the gear
is determined by the Honeywell rep, and then a special SKU is created in
your ADI account, I imagine prices for special SKU is a lot less that the
published wholesale price. If you're getting bugged by your Honeywell rep
for not meeting volume commitments, then just buy what you have to and dump
what you can't sell on eBay. If you are an even bigger national account
direct with Honeywell you could sell at 50% off ADI wholesale and still make
money on certain items. I have seen the pricing some big nationals pay for
certain items. For the guy selling a panel or two a week (thinking he is
getting a good deal from ADI) I think he'd be shocked to see what he is
really competing against price wise.
Yes, it's part of my plan for world domination.
It's a small alarm company that also sells stuff online. I did the
same thing until I decided to sell the brick and mortar alarm
business. They're probably a legitimate dealer.
Cruel, Roland. Very cruel. :^)
It depends on the size and scope of the two businesses. My alarm
company was small enough that I could still handle the then fledgling
online business. Now it takes two full-time people just to handle
phone calls plus one doing database updates. By this time next year
I expect to hire one or two inside sales reps.
It's all in the numbers. What some make in markup doing
installations I make in volume selling parts online. I have no idea
how much these folks sell (their prices are about average and their
site is kind of small but it's professionally done). Maybe they're
making a killing or maybe they're another "superstore".
Every so often one of our custom installation clients would find our
website and ask about the difference in prices. I explained that if
they wanted to DIY they could do so at significant savings but they
would have to do the work. Very rarely did the conversation progress
beyond that. Most custom install clients want nothing to do with DIY
at first. Only after someone like Brinks, Jiminex or one of the
myriad "authorized dealers" rips them off do they start searching
I buy around 50K plus a year from ADI and i think there pricing is good as
well as there return policy They have always taken good care of my account.I
relize the bigger guys get better discounts naturally since they buy 10
times what i buy but when it comes to custom fire jobs etc i do since my
overhead is very low it does not matter how low a price they get on parts
they still can not beat me price wise unless they give the jobs away for the
Now Frank, that's a terrible thing to post on Christmas
eve..............Have you no decency? You could have at least waited
until the 26th.
Let's all chip in and get bass a xmas present. Any suggestions?
It may still be subject to business licensing and other restrictions per
state, but they are a reseller. I suspect that as long as you operate your
business from Florida for instance you should have a business license from
your community and a tax license for the state of Florida. Many on-line
sellers ignore these things even though thaey may be required, and there
seems to be no kind of uniform enforcement.
I don't think it is the nature of the discounts that distribution or
manufacturers gives certain competitors that bother me. No, it's the sales
guys that work for these national companies that gives me trouble. I can
think of one sales guy in particular. This guys heads out the door every day
with the company checkbook under his arm and begins to give the company's
money away (under the idea he is actually doing business). It's not his
shrewd business acumen, his savvy presentation to the customer, his skills
in designing a solution, his cutting edge deployment of new technology or
anything of that type that worries me. No it's pure ignorance, sloth and
refusal to learn anything about the business that concerns me. Example?
Recently on one of his jobs he bid 800 feet of EMT. The installers gave up
counting after they hit 4000 feet mark and were still at it. This guy will
bid 2 hours to install a complete access door (reader, mag lock, REX motion,
REX button, and door position switch). But only on the first door. All the
other doors on the job get bid at 15 minutes per door because "the installer
is already there and set up". If it wasn't for the RMR from the jobs he
sells, they would be a total loss for the company. I guess he figures he
breaks even in 5 years or so, but I somehow doubt that. Those type sales
guys that the big nationals hire (and for some reason retain) are the ones I
fear. The ones that are too stupid to ever learn how to bid a job properly.
No matter what the application from a large commercial fire job to a small
residential job, it's always some flavor of a Honeywell Vista panel that is
going to get bid. Fortunately I never have had to bid against him.
Unfortunately we've been hired to clean up the mess his designs and his
company's "installers" leave behind. Heaven help you if you the poor
customer stuck with one of his designs.
That is correct. You still need an occupational license from the county
you run your business in, no matter what type of business it is. But at
the present time, you are only required to collect sales tax for any
sales or services within your state.
Bob La L>>>> If the web-based business only offers DIY parts -- not installation
Items like that we (and I assume most others as well) just send a
replacement. It isn't worth the postage or our time to bother
returning it. If the warranty item cost more than $10 wholesale, we
ask the client to send it back. Less than that why bother? If it's
bad out of the box we (or the supplier, depending on which make it
is) pay the return shipping and/or send an advanced replacement.
them "special order")...
True. For example, if the client orders a camera from Extreme CCTV
and wants to return it through no fault of ours, there's a restock
fee. If it's a custom rackshelf from Middle Atlantic it cannot be
returned. One reason many online stores don't like taking CCTV stuff
back is people buy it just to check out the new nanny and after 2-3
weeks claim they don't like it.
If you do that for a living that is exactly what you should do.
It depends on what part it is. If it's a burglar alarm component and
it's in new, resaleable condition, we take it back. Same thing with
most audio/video gear. If you already installed it or if you mess up
the paperwork, it's still covered under warranty but can't be
returned for credit.
Yep. If upon inspection you decide it's not what you want, return
it. Once you install it, you own it though.
Most local alarm dealers in the USA don't have a problem dealing with
DIYers because they won't sell them anything. That's why there is a
thriving online market for alarms.
Most states have no interest in retailers.
There is no Florida business license for an online alarm dealer. In
most cities there are minor regs but I'm in the county so even the
Sarasota city government has no interest.
I don't know what others do. Before I moved here I contacted county
and state authorities to find out what was required. There wasn't
much to it. A lot of online retailers worry about a national sales
tax that would supposedly level the playing field between
out-of-state, online dealers and local stores. I personally think it
would be a good thing. It should be a boon to local and state
governments and it would simplify things for most stores --
especially companies with multiple locations.
Most states have a great deal of interest in retailers. That is where a
huge percentage of their revenue comes from through sales taxes, transaction
priveledge taxes, and use taxes. Only a few states that don't collect sales
or transaction taxes would not be interested in retailers.
Even businesses that do not routinely sell retail are often required to
acquire a state tax license so they can be forced to pay "use" taxes on
items purchased out of state for their own use in business.
Most states however may not be interested in alarm or contracting licensing
Bob La Londe
The guy who decides who we do business with.
The Security Consultant
PO Box 5720
Yuma, Az 85366
(928) 782-9765 ofc
(928) 782-7873 fax
Contractors License Numbers
ROC103040 & ROC103047