Consumer Electronics distributors have been accused of using “dirty tricks” in an effort to prevent sales of goods online.A new eBay report claims that Australian online retailers have reported experiencing dirty tricks from manufacturers and suppliers trying to prevent sales of their goods via the Internet.
Last year Amber Technology found themselves in a fight with Sydney based retailer Digital Cinema over the sale of receivers and projectors online.
Another distributor who has had a fight with online retailers is Melbourne based distributor, Audio Dynamics, who after approaching an online sales operation in Australia to sell goods that were already being sold successfully online overseas, then pulled the plug on the online retailer, after a significant investment by the online retailer in marketing.
Audio Dynamics denied the online retailer access after complaints by his bricks and mortar retailers who were selling the same product but objected to the discounting that the online retailer was offering.
According to eBay’s second Online Business Index, released yesterday, some 78 percent of respondents had experienced difficulties of this sort. In particular:
- 35 percent faced issues with manufacturers/suppliers trying to prevent them from selling their goods on the Internet or on particular Web sites;
- 25 percent were required to sell their products at or around a particular recommended retail price – a practice clearly against the law; and
22 percent experienced unexplained problems from manufacturers or suppliers which they suspect was due to selling their products via the Internet.
Despite these problems, around 69 percent of e-tailers, including some of the largest operators on eBay, said they remain optimistic about their business outlook for 2011: a slight increase on 2010.
And turnover for the top 2000 Australian businesses on eBay grew by a claimed 38 per cent in 2010.