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Old 07-29-2020, 09:29 AM   #1
Gandulf
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Am I wrong in thinking this?

In South Africa we have 1 company importing both Kindle and Kobo.

To me this is odd in its own, 2 competing bands sold by the same company. From personal experience the sales guys know nothing and the devices are sold by name. The name Kindle is just like asking for a vacuum cleaner but saying I want a Hoover.

Anyways Kindles basically sell themselves so kobo sits on the shelves. So the company with the agency for kobo stopped importing them.
The company wins no matter what as nobody else can import kobo, and by not importing and having stock the don't have cash tied up in stock.

Am I just being silly in thinking this is all kinds of wrong?
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:37 AM   #2
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Exactly.

You can't sell an Edsel to people who don't want to buy it.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:38 AM   #3
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Name recognition and a Purchasing Dept. that doesn't do any research?

Not sure if "wrong" is the correct word.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:46 AM   #4
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Like most things in life it all depends: is it illegal for a distributor to import competing brands? Do you know they stopped ordering Kobos out of malice? Can they order them if they want/need? What were sales like? Maybe not enough for Kobo or the importer to bother?

The pandemic has disrupted supply chains all over, including Kobo, which just went 4 months from announcing to shipping the Nia to the US. Availability might simply be limited to bigger markets for now.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandulf View Post
In South Africa we have 1 company importing both Kindle and Kobo.

[...]

So the company with the agency for kobo stopped importing them.

[...]

Am I just being silly in thinking this is all kinds of wrong?
It's all kinds of wrong, but probably not illegal. The way forward would be for Kobo to appoint a different distributor in South Africa, rather than going with one who sells their main competitor.

I suspect the problem is finding a distributor who would want to sell Kobo.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:23 AM   #6
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This is the reason they gave me as to why they don't sell them anymore and this goes back way before the pandemic.

"However we found the pricing to be out and when we did bring the devices in we found the sales through to be much slower than Kindle.

So we felt it was not wise to invest in stock that took months to sell."

Yes our market is small in SA, but it seems nobody want educated in the difference between makes.

When I asked about overdrive support in SA they said they haven't even discussed the subject.
If was my agency I would have at least asked kobo about supporting it as thats a market that kindle falls flat in. The government has been buying tablets for the libraries.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:50 AM   #7
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It's all kinds of wrong
Is it?
We don't know if they are an official distributor, or just a company that imports tech not available locally, for resale.
If the latter, of course they would consider importing multiple brands, and of course they would decide not to continue with ones that didn't make money.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:58 AM   #8
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Is it?
We don't know if they are an official distributor, or just a company that imports tech not available locally, for resale.
If the latter, of course they would consider importing multiple brands, and of course they would decide not to continue with ones that didn't make money.
They have the official agency for kobo, haven't asked if they have the agency for kindle but presume they do, if not then they are just blocking someone else getting the agency from kobo.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:07 PM   #9
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Wholesalers import competing brands all the time. What would be worse is mandating a wholesaler can't import more than one brand of the same thing, that's anticompetitive.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:10 PM   #10
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Wholesalers import competing brands all the time. What would be worse is mandating a wholesaler can't import more than one brand of the same thing, that's anticompetitive.
Or a company insisting that a distributor or reseller carry only their products and not those of a competitor.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:27 PM   #11
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Decades ago there was a segment on the 60 Minutes news show about distributors being restricted to selling only sodas made by Coke. Pepsi did the same thing. So grocery stores had to deal with two distributors instead of one. But it was more of a problem for the distributors. You'll also notice that when you go into a fast food place you can order Coke sodas, but not Pepsi sodas, or vice versa.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:41 PM   #12
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I guess it really come down to the agency agreement between them and kobo.

I have informed kobo now, so let's see what happens.

They not even giving me a silly high price to put me off, just say we not importing them at the moment.
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:48 PM   #13
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What about another vendor? For example, Amazon in the US carries the Kobo.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:06 PM   #14
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What about another vendor? For example, Amazon in the US carries the Kobo.
But Amazon will sell you a kobo.

What's happening in my case is if Amazon gets the rights to sell kobo in the US but won't sell you 1.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:52 PM   #15
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They have the official agency for kobo, haven't asked if they have the agency for kindle but presume they do, if not then they are just blocking someone else getting the agency from kobo.
https://us.kobobooks.com/pages/retai...aign=retailers

Is Takealot the company that you're referring to? If you're dealing with a different company, that means neither company has exclusive distribution rights. In which case, I don't really think it's wrong for the company to stop buying a product that doesn't generate good cash flow/profit.

Disappointing on the customer's part, certainly. However, I can't really fault the business for choosing to invest in products that bring in better cash flow/profit.
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