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Channel to print vendors: make labels clearer to halt illegal toner trade

European channel players believe print manufacturers could to "a lot more" to stop counterfeit toner cartridges flooding the market, primarily through clearer labelling, according to the latest ChannelWatch report from CONTEXT. The market analyst's latest in-depth report is compiled from interviews with over 2,000 business owners and senior managers from key channel businesses across Western Europe including resellers, vendors, retailers and distributors. When asked who they thought could do the most to stop the growing problem of illegal printer consumables in the region, a clear majority (55%) claimed print vendors could do "a lot more", although some claimed the channel (37%) and government (35%) could do the same. When it came to government, however, a large number of respondents (30%) claimed they "don't know" what role it should take. The problem as the channel sees it lies in the packaging of illegal toner cartridges. Clear labelling (73%) for legal remanufactured and compatibles products was called out as the best solution to the counterfeit problem. However, half of respondents also thought that better awareness campaigns from vendors would help. Over half (58%) of resellers told CONTEXT it would be easy for them to spot counterfeits, but just 15% of them said they thought it would be simple for their customers.

"Illegal print consumables manufacturers are able to undercut OEMs and legitimate third-party producers because they don’t bear the same R&D, logistics and other costs", said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Market Analyst at CONTEXT. "This is not only eating into the market share of OEMs and third-party manufacturers – and damaging customer trust in brands and intellectual property rights – but can also backfire for the customer, as the end product is often inferior and can result in poor quality prints, reduced page yields, voided hardware warranties and even damage to the printer itself."

Some major print vendors are taking the initiative, raising public awareness, training channel partners, monitoring sales via distribution channels, and most importantly – seizing counterfeit goods and taking their manufacturers and resellers to court. HP Inc. seized more than 12 million items and enforced over 1800 actions across the EMEA between 2011 and 2015, while Kyocera seized €10m worth of counterfeit goods in FY 2015. But between just April and May this year Kyocera reported the capture of goods worth over €5m – an indication of the escalating scale of the problem. Some vendors have also responded with secure holographic seals, serial numbers and other innovative features to help distinguish genuine from counterfeit products.

ALSO in 3D with Builder 3D Printers

Netherlands: broadliner ALSO has inked a distribution deal with local 3D printer vendor Builder 3D Printers.

Wi-Fi heaven for resellers with Exertis and Airangel deal

United Kingdom: the value division of broadliner Exertis has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Airangel, a local provider of venue based, value-add Wi-Fi systems and services. For the first time resellers are able to sell and support Airangel's Wi-Fi technology and services. Rob Leggett, Exertis' sales director for wireless and mobility solutions said: "Airangel is the perfect complement to our wireless infrastructure portfolio. We already provide a choice of Wi-Fi infrastructure solutions to fit organisations large and small, centralised and distributed, Airangel enhances our offering in public facing Wi-Fi adding next generation customer connection, engagement and insight solutions."

The Airangel solution will enable resellers to help their customers extract the maximum value from their investment in Wi-Fi, providing the best connection experience for the guest or public, delivering customer analytics to the Wi-Fi provider and enabling personalised, targeted communication during a visit; a real value-add for both parties. MyAirangel, the cloud managed platform at the heart of the solution integrates with third-party Business Intelligence Systems, PMS, CRM, and other platforms delivering additional benefits to the customer. It is used by hotels, retailers, apartment buildings, large public venues, and outdoor leisure facilities all over the world, including The Ritz, Mercedes Benz, Hilton Hotels, IHG, and the NHS.

David Weston, head of channel at Airangel, added: "We have had great success enabling venues to maximise their on-property guest value and customer satisfaction with MyAirangel. Exertis' expertise in wireless networking, knowledge of the UK channel and ability to help recruit, train and nurture the right resellers will mean we can grow together and provide a significant new strand of business for those partners who want to add value to their customers with a need for next generation venue and value based Wi-Fi."

ALSO picks up a Cherry

Netherlands: broadliner ALSO has inked a distribution deal with keyboard and mice vendor Cherry.

A new division for Esprinet and a new partner for Inforpor

Spain: local giant broadliner Esprinet has officially launched its AV division, dubbed to compete with others specialists such as Charmex, Crambo or TD Maverick. The division will be headed up by Marcos Larroy, who is already Esprinet's director of its telecom and consumer electronics business, and supervised by Javier Aldea, the former sales manager of Crambo. Finally, print specialist Inforpor has become an official distributor for HP supplies, a brand which was missing in its catalog (source: Channel Partner España).

Recent additions

Our directory is updated daily through information sent by vendors and distributors. Here are the latest updates :
Exertis Corepixel AB -  Sweden - Specialist
3D Storm -  France - VAD
AMI Marketing (Pty) Ltd t/a Learning Curve -  South Africa - Specialist
AQM World FZCO -  United Arab Emirates - Specialist
Rare Distribution -  United Arab Emirates - Specialist
Aitek France -  France - Broadliner
Ebertlang Swiss AG -  Switzerland - Specialist
ITANCIA USA Inc. -  United States - Specialist
360Mobile SL -  Spain - Specialist
Smartycom GmbH -  Switzerland - Specialist

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We have collected some of the scams, fake companies and more that have surfaced in the channel over the past year.