A Warning to Those Who Resell

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Reselling another product or service is a great way to make a small but residual income. Sell enough of these side products, and you’ll soon be seeing great profits as a result.

There is a downside, though: your reputation is at stake.

I’ve penned previously about why you need to be careful who you partner with. Choosing the wrong supplier can reflect badly on you and your business, even though you’ve probably had very little to do with the delivery of such a service or product.

Last month, I visited the USA for the first time. Quite a feat from where I live, with over 20 hours in the air one way, and no less than eight flights in two weeks.

Seven of those flights were great, and one was lousy. In fact, it wasn’t the actual flight that was lousy – it was the service of my airline when disaster struck. See, I got delayed due to bad weather and missed my connecting flight. I ended up at an airport in a strange city at midnight, after already spending half the day in the air, and really didn’t want to miss that flight.

Nature does get in the way though, and although not either airlines’ fault, I enquired about what happens next. It took me no less than two hours, speaking and negotiating between two airlines to sort it out. My biggest peeve was the fact the airline I had actually booked with – and paid my money to – had sold me another airline’s service, commonly called ‘Code Share’ and a frequent practice in air travel.

That was fine. However, when crunch time came, they weren’t interested. The airline they on-sold to me was left to pick up the pieces and the logistics of getting me on another flight. They were great – my original airline, not.

If you sell hosting or domains or any other third party product or service and rebadge it as your own, you have a real obligation here. You’ve made a commitment and a recommendation, and if your customer came back with an issue or complaint, I’d expect you to bring out your best customer service and solve it.

My experience with most small businesses is exactly that – even though you may only make a tiny portion of the profit, they are your client, and therefore you have the responsibility, rather than just blaming it all on the third party.

It’s a shame billion dollar airlines don’t feel the same way as you and I. Next time a customer of yours has an issue with a service you’ve resold, be acutely aware of how you deal with it – your response can really make or break a relationship.

Me? Well, I booked return flights for 16 people last week. Guess which airline I didn’t use?

Miles BurkeMiles Burke
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As Director of Bam Creative, and Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association, Miles spends his time managing his business or speaking about managing businesses. Recently awarded as one of the top Western Australian entrepreneurs under 40 years old, Miles can also be found writing at his blog.

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