Last week, Joseph Turek, CEO of M-Wave International LLC, announced its Morely and Ebtech products would no longer be sold on Amazon with this statement.
“Dear Valued Customers,
Sound Enhancement LLC, producer of Morley and Ebtech pedal and audio products, like others in the music industry, are following suit and discontinuing sales to Amazon.com. We have determined that the business practices adopted by Amazon.com are compromising the competitiveness of our brands. Consequently, While we believe the Amazon Marketplace is an excellent forum for our retailers to sell our products, this will only be successful with the strict adherence to our MAP policy. The value that our retail base brings to the consumer through superior customer service needs to be cherished and protected to keep our industry alive and vibrant.
Grab a Morley and Step On It
Joseph A Turek, CEO”
The Music & Sound Retailer asked Turek to expand upon this decision. Here is his response.
“When we purchased the Morley business in 2016, we took the time to understand our brands and our place in the market. We visited our top customers and asked them what we needed to do to keep them healthy and alive. The resounding comment that came back was to upgrade our product, remake our website and get rid of Amazon as a customer. Quite frankly, we were shocked at this statement about Amazon. But after hearing the same message over and over, we began to take note.
We started to compare what value our dealer network brought to the table versus what we saw with Amazon. When you peel back the onion, the picture is rather shocking. Our dealers bring real value to the consumers of our products. They offer real customer service with a human being knowledgeable about our products. They offer advice on how our products work, tips on how to interconnect devices, other products that augment our line and real hand holding when necessary. That is a huge commitment from our dealers with investments in human resources, training and systems. What does Amazon do with respect to customer service? Nothing! You cannot reach a human being for any problem. All the consumer can do is send a product back without recourse and post a message saying how disappointed they were. Unfortunately, these comments are addressed to Morley and not to Amazon. Our brand can get tarnished unjustifiably with no reflection on the lack of support from Amazon. That is just not right.
Our dealers go the extra step to offer service, repair and technical support on most of our products. We get very few returns from our dealers, and we pride ourselves in well built products that last for years. However, if a consumer purchases a product from Amazon and returns it for whatever reason, we get it back. We get charged by Amazon for shipping charges and we get ‘dinged’ from Amazon for having a ‘faulty’ product that was returned. We get no audience with the consumer, as we have no idea who returned the product and why. Ninety-nine percent of the product returned from Amazon has no problem found. Feedback from our dealer network shows that most consumers who are confused by a product and cannot receive live support return the product, frustrated. The consumer is unhappy, has spent time and money, and most likely will not buy another product from Morley again. How is that good for our brand or the consumer?
Our dealers specialize in music products. They have support staff and sales teams that are musicians. Most of them play and own our products. When they speak with a consumer, they connect on a personal level. How awesome is that? Amazon sells everything from a Morley pedal to baby diapers. To them, Morley products are just another widget, we are a number in big data that generates traffic and profit for them. They don’t know our products, and they are unable to help the end user. We translate that to ‘Amazon cannot provide service to their customers,’ and that is just not fair to the consumer. Technical products need knowledgeable live support, baby diapers do not. Amazon does not have the knowledge necessary to sell music products directly to the consumer.
What does Amazon do well? It moves volumes of commodity products quickly and efficiently through the supply chain at the lowest possible cost to the consumer. It does this at the expense of great customer support. Our dealers have figured out how to become almost as efficient in supply chain management as Amazon. They have done this with investments in infrastructure at a cost. So, the value proposition of fast delivery by Amazon gets diminished in our eyes, and the consumer gets so much more value from our dealers that do right by the consumer, we needed to move them away from Amazon to a network of dealers that have their best interest at heart and leave them with the satisfaction of a good sale. We had to leave Amazon for the good of the consumer and the music industry.
The funny thing is that once we stopped providing specific products to Amazon to sell, the sales numbers didn’t change. Those previous sales just moved to one of our valued dealers. Amazon does nothing to sell and promote our products and the sales they received for our product were ‘pull-through’ sales that exist with or without Amazon.
Sure, it hurts to lose our largest customer in Amazon. But that is short-term pain for long-term gain. We are visionaries that see the music industry resurging, and our products need the superior customer support and service offered by our dealers to grow with the industry.
For all of these reasons, we finally came to understand what our dealers were telling us, we had to say goodbye to Amazon.”