Yamaha has moved to stop a global scam aimed at selling Yamaha products online and via grey channels of distribution. The scheme involved the removal of genuine serial numbers so that stock could not be traced.
In an effort to control the distribution and sale of Yamaha products, in particular products sold online, the Japanese company has moved to terminate an unspecified number of dealers and resellers who transshipped Yamaha product to countries like Australia in violation of their dealer agreements and then tried to cover it up by altering the products’ serial numbers.
“Until now, transshippers have covered their tracks by replacing the manufacturers’ real product serial numbers with inaccurate ones that were difficult to trace,” said spokesman Tom Graham. The transshippers were caught through a “new highly accurate procedure to trace products from the factory all the way to where they are sold, through legitimate dealers or otherwise,” the company said.
In recent months SmartHouse has seen several new Yamaha products offered for sale online significantly below the recommended retail price and often below a resellers buy in price.
“Now, even if phony serial numbers are used on Yamaha products, we know with absolute certainty to which dealer those products were originally shipped,” Graham explained.
Also to deter and catch transshippers, Yamaha continues to offer a $25,000 reward for information leading to the identification and prosecution of individuals who open cartons and factory serial numbers on Yamaha audio products. The reward program will continue at least through the spring.
“Altering a product’s factory serial number is so serious because it defrauds consumers and voids the product warranty to which they are entitled,” said Graham.