Canon, the Japanese digital Camera Company who earlier this year started direct selling to consumers, is now miffed because JB Hi Fi has chosen to source cheap Canon products direct from an Asian distributor as opposed to selling their expensive locally supplied products.In a beat their chest statement, Canon has bought directly into the issue of grey importing claiming that JB Hi Fi, one of their largest distributors, is now a “hybrid” retailer and as a result does not deserve their support.
This is despite the fact that JB Hi Fi is still selling a quality Canon product from which the Canon Corporation in Japan makes a profit irrelevant of whether that product is supplied by Canon Australia or via a Canon authorised distributor in Asia, who just happens to be able to deliver a product direct to JB Hi Fi at prices that are considerably cheaper, than what Canon Australia are able to sell the same product to JB Hi Fi for.
Canon claims that the decision to sell grey products could have a negative impact on their supplier/retailer relationship.
Really, let’s get a few things straight. JB Hi Fi is on the side of the consumer and there is nothing more a consumer likes than a quality product at a cheap price: especially when the price difference is huge.
And why is it that Canon Australia’s director of consumer imaging, Jason McLean, did not issue a statement to the media last month when several overseas and local web sites in Australia started selling grey imported Canon products?
Instead he waited till JB Hi Fi started selling the same products before he got on his soap box, for the simple reason that JB Hi Fi is a trusted brand who stands by the products they sell including grey imported digital cameras.
Wake up Mr Mclean, consumers are not stupid nor are they going to pay inflated prices just to keep you in a job. That’s not the way it works anymore due to Google search and that wonderful word called choice.
While you are trying to sell a Canon DSLR twin lens kit for $1,750 JB Hi Fi is offering the same product coming off the same production line as your camera for $795 which makes a mockery of any legitimate claims you may have.
JB HI Fi is a brutally competitive beast and when their competitors, which is any website in the world, sells the same Canon goods to Australian consumers at cheaper prices, they have a problem.
According to Drop Shipping Limited executives in Hong Kong JB Hi Fi is not alone.
According to senior executives at the Asian distributor several of Canon’s specialist dealers have been selling Canon products sourced from them for months. The only problem is that they, unlike JB Hi Fi, have not come out and said that they are selling grey imported cameras. What they are doing is pocketing the bulk of the difference by selling an Asian sourced Canon camera as opposed to product sourced from Canon Australia.
The bottom line is that we now have a new retail order in Australia. The consumer is charge and if any retailer is unable to offer consumers a shopping choice, such as online VS a visit to a bricks and mortar store, they will not survive.
And if any retailer believes that they can sweep away the irritating online operators who are selling grey imported products as irrelevant they are making a big mistake. Research shows that consumers will pay a 20% difference to shop online locally but they will not be screwed by greedy international brands or distributors who want to add layer after layer of costs to a product just to support a local subsidiary.
Those days are over as JB Hi Fi is now proving.